Unlock Your Storage Unit: How to Open it Without a Key.


To open a storage unit lock without a key, you can use a shim or pick the lock with tension wrench and hook tools. Shimming involves sliding a specially cut piece of metal between the locking mechanism, while picking uses tools to manipulate the lock’s pins.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that breaking into a storage unit without proper authorization is illegal. If you’ve forgotten your storage unit key or lost it, the process of opening the lock can be daunting. While it’s essential to have the key or access code, there are ways to open the lock without them.

Shimming and picking are the two most common techniques to open a storage unit lock without a key. Shimming requires sliding a specialized metal piece between the locking mechanism, and picking involves manipulating the lock’s pins with tension wrench and hook tools. However, it’s crucial to remember that entering a storage unit without proper authorization is unlawful and can lead to serious consequences.

Unlock Your Storage Unit: How to Open it Without a Key.

Credit: www.stor-it.com

Understanding The Locks Used In Storage Units

Opening a storage unit lock without a key can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t know what type of lock you’re dealing with. In this section, we will discuss the common types of locks used in storage units, provide information on lock-picking tools and techniques, and touch on the legality of using these tools on storage units.

Explanation Of The Common Types Of Locks Used In Storage Units:

When it comes to storage unit locks, there are a few common types that you may encounter. These include:

  • Padlocks: These are the most common type of lock used in storage units. They can be opened with a key or combinations, and may be constructed out of steel or brass.
  • Disc locks: These locks are more difficult to break than padlocks, making them a popular choice for storage units. They consist of a round padlock and a shackle that fits through a disc.
  • Cylinder locks: These locks can only be opened with a unique key, and require a skilled locksmith to open.

Information On Lock-Picking Tools And Techniques:

Lock-picking tools come in various shapes and sizes, and can be used to open different types of locks. Here are the most common tools used for opening storage unit locks:

  • Lock picks: These tools are used to bypass the pins or tumblers in a lock to unlock it.
  • Tension wrenches: These tools are used to apply the necessary pressure to turn the lock after the pins or tumblers have been bypassed.
  • Bolt cutters: These are heavy-duty wire cutters that can be used to cut through padlocks and other weaker locks.

When it comes to lock-picking techniques, there are several methods that can be employed:

  • Raking: This involves rapidly inserting and removing a pick to bounce the pins or tumblers until they lock into place in the correct order.
  • Single-pin picking: This is a slower and more precise technique where the locksmith picks each pin or tumbler individually.
  • Bypassing: This involves manipulating the lock in a way that it can be opened without even picking the pins or tumblers.

Discussing The Legality Of Using Lock-Picking Tools On Storage Units:

It is essential to note that the legality of using lock-picking tools on storage units varies from state to state. Some states have strict laws prohibiting the use of lock-picking tools unless you’re a licensed locksmith. In contrast, others allow it if you have permission from the owner of the storage unit.

Therefore, it’s important to research the laws in your area before attempting to use lock-picking tools on storage units. Otherwise, you risk facing legal charges.

Method 1: Using A Bolt Cutter

Detailed Explanation Of Using A Bolt Cutter To Cut Through The Lock.

If you’ve lost the key to your storage unit or simply need to access it and don’t have the key, using a bolt cutter might be the best option. This method involves cutting through the lock to gain access to your unit.

Although it might appear intimidating, using a bolt cutter is not as complicated as it appears. Here’s how to do it:

Information On The Ideal Type Of Bolt Cutters To Use.

Before purchasing bolt cutters, you should first decide on the type of lock you plan to cut through and look for bolt cutters that match that lock’s thickness. Bear in mind that the thicker the lock, the more substantial the bolt cutters should be.

Here’s a list of features to look for when purchasing bolt cutters:

  • Length of the handles: The longer the handles, the greater the cutting leverage.
  • Blade thickness: The thicker the blades, the more durable the cutters.
  • Blade material: Look for cutters made of high-quality chrome molybdenum steel.
  • Cutting capacity: The cutting capacity should match the thickness of the lock you desire to cut.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using This Technique.

Like any method, using a bolt cutter to open a storage unit lock has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them:


  • Quick and easy: Using a bolt cutter is an easy way to quickly gain access to your storage unit.
  • Affordable: Bolt cutters are relatively inexpensive, and there is no need to hire a professional locksmith, saving you money.
  • No skillset required: Using a bolt cutter only requires a few simple steps, making it a viable choice for someone with no locksmithing experience.


  • Damage to lock: Cutting through a lock renders it unusable, resulting in repair or replacement costs.
  • Loud noise: Cutting through a lock with bolt cutters creates a loud noise, which could draw unwanted attention.
  • Illegal: Utilizing bolt cutters to circumvent a lock without the owner’s permission is illegal and could result in criminal charges.

Using a bolt cutter is an efficient method of opening a storage unit lock without a key. However, it carries some risks and should be used only as a last resort. Always seek legal guidance and options before using bolt cutters on a lock you don’t own.

Method 2: Using A Shim Tool

Have you ever lost the key to your storage unit and found yourself in a frustrating situation? You don’t have to worry anymore, as there is a way to open the lock without the key. One of the simplest methods is to use a shim tool.

Let’s learn more about this technique in detail.

Detailed Explanation Of Using A Shim Tool To Open The Lock

A shim is a thin piece of metal that can slide into the space between the lock’s shackle and the locking mechanism. By doing so, it can manipulate the locking mechanism and open the lock. The following steps will guide you through the process:

  • First, obtain a shim tool. You can purchase it from any hardware store or online.
  • Insert the shim tool into the bottom of the locking mechanism. Keep the notched side of the shim tool facing upward and the sloped side down.
  • Push the shim tool down to the bottom of the locking mechanism and twist it slightly. This action will help the shim to catch on the locking mechanism.
  • While keeping the pressure on the shim tool, pull the shackle of the lock upward. If the procedure is successful, then you will hear a ‘click’ sound that indicates your storage unit’s lock is open.

Explanation Of How The Mechanism Of A Lock Works And How Shim Tool Exploits It

The basic mechanism of a lock involves a series of pins that secure the shackle of the lock in place. The key is used to push these pins to the correct height, allowing the shackle to release. However, when we use a shim tool, it bypasses the pins.

The shim tool also pushes the locking mechanism’s latch to move out of the way from the shackle, allowing it to be opened. In essence, the shim tool exploits the weakness of the locking mechanism to unlock the lock.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using This Technique

Using a shim tool to unlock a storage unit lock has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few:


  • It is easy and quick to use.
  • Shim tools are relatively inexpensive and widely available.
  • You don’t need to have any prior knowledge or skills to use a shim tool.


  • It is not a guaranteed method. The method may not work if the shackle has a protective ball bearing, preventing manipulation through a shim tool.
  • The technique could damage the lock or the locking mechanism inside the storage unit. In such cases, you may need to replace the lock or locking mechanism or even the entire storage unit.

Using a shim tool to open a storage unit lock without a key is a tried and tested method. However, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, and it’s always better to hire a professional locksmith if you’re unsure about using a shim tool or the lock’s viability.

Method 3: Drilling The Lock

Detailed Explanation Of Using A Drill To Break The Lock.

For those who have tried all possible methods and are still unable to open their storage unit lock without a key, drilling the lock is usually the last resort. This method involves using a power drill to create a hole in the lock, usually around the keyhole, that will allow the lock to be opened.

However, this is not a recommended method because it can damage both the lock and the unit.

Information On The Right Type Of Drills And The Right Size Of Drill Bits To Use.

If you have decided to try this method, you would need to use the right type of drill. A cordless drill with a variable speed setting is ideal. In addition, you will also need drill bits that are designed to work with metal locks.

A titanium or cobalt drill bit of appropriate size for the lock is recommended. The size of drill bits should be chosen according to the size of the lock.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using This Technique.


  • This method can be successful in opening a lock that cannot be opened using other methods.
  • It is a relatively quick process, taking only a few minutes to drill the lock.


  • Drilling a lock is usually done as a last resort and can damage both the lock and storage unit.
  • It requires a cordless drill and specific drill bits, which many people may not have on hand.
  • It is also not a precise or subtle approach, and the damage caused to the lock may result in a complete replacement of it being required.
  • This method can also attract attention and draw suspicion to the person drilling the lock, making it not an ideal method to use in public or shared spaces.

If you decide that drilling the lock is your only option, make sure to be cautious and aware of your surroundings and never attempt to break into a storage unit without proper authorization, as it is illegal and can lead to criminal charges.

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Open A Storage Unit Lock Without A Key

What Are The Common Types Of Storage Unit Locks?

There are three common types of storage unit locks: padlocks, combination locks, and disc locks. Padlocks require a key to open, combination locks require a code, and disc locks require a key.

Can I Open A Storage Unit Lock Without A Key?

Yes, you can open a storage unit lock without a key. You can try picking the lock with lock picking tools or using a shim to slide between the shackle and locking mechanism. Another option is to drill the lock, but this should only be done as a last resort.

How Do I Pick A Storage Unit Lock?

To pick a storage unit lock, you will need a tension wrench and a pick tool. Insert the tension wrench into the keyhole and apply pressure to the lock. Insert the pick tool and lift the pins until they click into place.

Continue lifting the pins until the lock opens.

What Is A Shim For Opening Locks?

A shim is a thin piece of metal or plastic that can be used to slide between the shackle and locking mechanism of a lock. When inserted correctly, it can release the locking mechanism and allow you to open the lock without a key.

Can I Call A Locksmith To Open My Storage Unit Lock?

Yes, you can call a locksmith to open your storage unit lock. However, this can be expensive and it is often cheaper to try to open the lock yourself using lock picking tools or a shim.


Opening a storage unit lock without a key may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be done successfully. Remember to always check with the facility manager before attempting to bypass a lock, and to use caution when using tools such as bolt cutters or drill bits.

Using non-destructive methods such as decoding or using tension wrenches can also be effective and prevent damage to the lock. And while it’s always best to have a spare key on hand, being able to open a lock without one can save time and money in a pinch.

With the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you’ll be able to confidently access your storage unit whenever you need to.

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