How to Drill a Barrel Lock

Helen Harvey

If you have lost the key and need to gain access to something locked with a barrel or cylinder lock, the easiest way to remove the lock and gain access is to drill the lock out. Calling a locksmith can be expensive, but providing you use drill bits that are made for drilling into metal, you should be able to complete this task yourself relatively quickly and easily.

Drilling out a barrel lock should take just a few minutes.

Step 1

Place a piece of masking tape over the lock. Press it down firmly, so you can see the small circular area in the center of the barrel. The masking tape will minimize residue from the lock flying out during the drilling process.

Step 2

Drill into the lock at medium speed for approximately 3/4 inch. Use a 3/16-inch drill bit and keep it as straight and level as possible, while drilling.

Step 3

Continue drilling at a slow speed until you feel the drill bit catch the latch bar, which will pop open the lock.