How to Pick a Luggage Lock

How to Pick a Luggage Lock
No matter how much experience you have as a traveler, we all forget things from time to time. If you've forgotten your luggage key, or the combination to your luggage lock, it can leave you in a real bind. Picking the lock on your luggage requires a few small tools and is surprisingly easy. So easy, you might even consider changing the locks once you've done it to deter professional thieves from breaking into your luggage.


Difficulty: Moderate

Unlocking Combination Locks

Things You’ll Need:
  • Paper clip
  • Bobby Pin
Step 1
Press down on the locking mechanism.
Step 2
Turn the first number wheel until the wheel gets stuck on a number and stop.
Step 3
Still holding down the locking mechanism, turn the next number wheel until it sticks on a number.
Step 4
Repeat the above steps on any remaining number wheels, turning until the wheel stops.
Step 5
Pop the lock open after lining up the last number wheel with the corresponding number.

Picking Key Locks

Step 1
Unbend a paperclip or bobby pin, so you have a straight tool to work with. Smooth out the bends.
Step 2
Probe the straightened tool into the keyhole just as you would do with your key.
Step 3
Apply pressure and turn the metal tool in the direction you would turn a key to open your lock.
Step 4
Wriggle the metal tool gently as you turn it inside the lock.
Step 5
Reposition the tool and try again if this does not work on the first try. You may need to try several different angles and positions until you get the right amount of pressure to pop open the lock.

Tips & Warnings

In the event that you cannot open your lock on your own, do not damage your luggage. Visit a locksmith and have them open it for you. Replacing your luggage is a lot more expensive than paying a locksmith's fees.
Do not pick locks that don't belong to you. Opening someone else's luggage is a violation of their privacy and could result in legal action.

Article Written By Jennifer Hudock

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.

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