If the lock dial hasn't been turned since the last time the combination was dialed normally, click here for help in finding numbers in the combination.

If your lock is open, click here.

If your lock does not follow the shortcut (e. g. American and Dudley Locks), watch the video and study the material on this page to learn how to find sticking places, then click here.



Finding sticking places and using them to identify the last number in the combination.

This video demonstrates the techniques for finding sticking places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Detailed Description of the technique shown in the video:

Turn the dial two turns to the right and stop at zero.

Pull up lightly on the shackle (or down on the body of the lock, if it is locked to something.) If you have a "Titanium Series" lock, push on the button instead of pulling the shackle. Turn the dial left until it "sticks." (If the dial doesn't turn, don't pull as hard.) On very old Master locks, there is only one place where the dial sticks. Rotate the dial back and forth at the place where the dial sticks. The number closest to the middle of the range of motion is the last number.

On newer Master locks, which have the recessed arrow as in the video, there are 12 places where the dial sticks. Eleven of them are fakes that make the process of finding the last number more challenging, and one of them is at the correct last number.

All the web pages, that we have seen, refer to the locks as "sticking on numbers." The locks do not stick on numbers. Instead, the dial can be rotated back and forth at each of the sticking places. The other web pages will tell you that 5 of the sticking places are on numbers and 7 are between numbers. If so, note that 5 sticking places that are "centered on" numbers and ignore the 7 sticking places that are "centered between" numbers. Four of the "centered on" sticking places should have the same last digit, for example, 3, 13, 23 and 33 (last digit 3) and one will have a different last digit, example 20 (last digit 0.) If so, the number with the different last digit, 20 in this case, is the correct last number.

We haven't found it that easy. Therefore, we have provided a more detailed method of finding the last number of the combination.

Turn the dial two turns to the right and stop at zero. Pull up lightly on the shackle. Turn the dial left. Find the first place, at zero or higher than zero, where the dial sticks. (If the dial doesn't stick, pull harder on the shackle. If the dial doesn't turn, pull less hard on the shackle.) Rotate the dial back and forth. Estimate the two ends of range of movement, taking notes. Then, make these checks which detect many, but not all fake sticking places:

Check 1: Does the dial move half, or less than half, the distance between marks on the lock dial? If so, the sticking place is most likely fake.

Check 2: Are the two stopping places at two adjacent numbers? (Example: Dial moves from 21 to 22.) If so, the sticking place is most likely fake.

Check 3: Pull harder on the shackle. Is the dial harder to turn when you rock it back and forth between the two places where the dial stops? Do you feel some "binding" that you didn't feel when the dial was pulled lightly? Are the two stopping places closer together? If so, this sticking place is a fake sticking place.

Check 4: Check for the sticking places where the dial moves the furthest between stopping places. On all the locks that we have checked, the correct last number was at the sticking place where the dial moved the furthest, or, if two or more sticking places were "equal", one of those places.

Turn the dial left to the next sticking place and repeat the above checks. Continue until all 12 sticking places have been checked.

Not all fake sticking places can be detected these two ways. These checks just help distinguish fake sticking places from the correct last number of the combination.

If you have a "sphero" or "Titanium series" lock, click here for special instructions.


If you find 8 sticking places that could be the last number, click here for help finding the correct one.

If you are ready to try your selected last number, click here. Note that, if the lock doesn't open, you can try other possible last numbers later.