How to Recover the Combination for a Master Combination Lock
These pages are dedicated to putting the millions of Master combination locks, for which the combinations have been forgotten or misplaced, back into service. They are also dedicated to the millions of people who enjoy puzzles and those who consider finding the combination to be a challenging puzzle.

These pages cover techniques that apply specifically to the Master lock, but some of the techniques can be applied to other manufacturers' locks, such as ACE Hardware, American and Dudley brands of combination locks. The pages also show how a combination lock works and why these techniques work, and include pictures of the inside of a combination lock.

The pages have been updated to include the new
"sphero" and "Titanium Series" locks, and the models 2002 and 2010 "high security" combination padlocks. The locks that we purchased opened using slightly modified variations on these methods. (We explain the differences.) In fact, we didn't find them any more difficult to open than the type of locks pictured above. Also, Master produced some locks that didn't open using these methods, but it appears that they no longer produce those locks. We purchased locks of the type pictured above, and they opened readily using our methods. The packaging of the locks we purchased was restyled, leading us to believe the locks were recently produced and not locks from an old inventory.

Many other pages on the internet provide instructions on how to find the combination for a Master combination lock. We try to do a better job. We provide a more detailed method for finding the last number of the combination. This information is helpful when the simple method, given on other web pages, does not work. Once the last number is found, we provide a faster method of dialing the combinations that have that last number. Furthermore, we reduce the amount of dialing to do, by cutting the maximum number of combinations to try. Other pages have you dial as many as 100 combinations, but there are really no more than 64 to try.

These pages work best with Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you browse with Netscape or Mozilla Firefox, you may find text on top of text.

Click here to proceed to the next page.

Quick links for return visitors to the site:

1. Our "success" page, with links to other pages.

. How a combination lock works, with pictures of disassembled locks.

3. Finding combinations for Master locks with serial numbers that begin with 800, and locks from other manufacturers.

4. Methods for Opening the Master 4 digit thumbwheel lock (Model 175 and its family) and Sesamee 4 digit thumbwheel lock.

5. Opening the Master Key Storage Lock (added January, 2004)
A Few Words of Thanks!

The counter recently reached
98,000, thanks to you! We also set a new monthly record in September, 2004, of 4,237 visits and a new daily record on September 7, 2004, of 177 visits! (September is our biggest month. Students recover combinations forgotten during summer vacation!)

Thanks to those of you who have signed our Guest Book. We worked hard to write the instructions in a manner that would be understandable to as many of our visitors as possible. We are pleased that so many of you have been able to follow our instructions and report your successes!

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"Knowledge is the Golden Key." (Knowledge also works well on combination locks!)
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