How to Cut Through a Padlock

Justin Obrien

If you can't find a padlock key or you forgot the combination, you may have to cut it off. It's not that difficult with the correct procedures.

  1. Buy a bolt cutter from a hardware store, or borrow one. It should be a bolt cutter that can cut up to 1/2-inch bolts; most padlocks are 1/8 to 1/3 inch in diameter.

  2. Grab the padlock and face the front of the padlock toward you.

  3. Position the bolt cutter on the right side of the U-shaped lock on the padlock (it's the left side of the lock that rotates).

  4. Firmly press the bolt cutter handles together and slice through the right side of the U-shape on the padlock.