How Can a Locked File Cabinet Be Opened Without a Key?

It is possible to access filing cabinets with a small, thin metal object like the scraper on a nail clipper because they frequently have simple locks.

A metal bar that extends through the entire filing cabinet acts as the locking mechanism, preventing any of the drawers from opening. Under the bottom drawer of some cabinets, there may be a hole.

The drawers can be opened by pushing a finger through this hole and lifting the rod up if the cabinet owner needs assistance lifting it. Force the lock is an alternative strategy. You might accomplish this using an electric drill or a hammer and screwdriver.

The lock frequently falls out when the screwdriver’s head is inserted into the lock mechanism and then struck with a hammer, allowing the owner to open the drawer. Sometimes it takes a few hits for this to start working. Usually, the same outcome occurs when a hole is drilled through the lock.

These techniques do, however, damage the lock. Another approach is to ram a nail clipper’s straight scraping blade into the lock. Sometimes it becomes feasible to turn the lock like a key by moving it around.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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