How to Break a Lock with a Hammer?

When you find yourself locked out of your home or car, the first thing you’ll probably reach for is a hammer. This may seem like an extreme solution, but it can actually be quite effective! In this blog post, we will teach you how to break a lock with a hammer. 

So, if you’re ever in a bind and need to get into your property quickly, don’t panic – follow these simple instructions!

Why Should You Break a Lock with Hammer?

It may seem unusual, but breaking a lock with a hammer can save you time and money. If you’re locked out of your car or home, the first thing you’ll probably do is call a locksmith. However, if you have no budget for this or are in a bind and need to get into your property quickly, breaking the lock with a hammer is your best bet. You can do this with any master lock, which will take only a few minutes.

The Tools You’ll Need

Before you start, you’ll need to gather a few tools. This is important to do beforehand because you don’t want to be caught off guard if you’re in an emergency situation. As we all know, emergency locksmith issues can happen anytime so make sure to always prepare these tools:


Hammers are not created equally, so you’ll need to choose one heavy enough to break the lock but not too heavy that it will damage the door. For breaking the lock, the bump hammer is the tool you need. 

It is designed to ‘bump’ a lock open as it is made of high-density polymer with a rubber handle. This hammer won’t damage the lock and provides the extra force required to ramp the lock open.

If the case, you don’t have a bump hammer at hand, don’t worry, as there are other kinds of hammers that you can use. One of those is the mallet. This kind of hammer is mainly made of rubber or wood. 

It has a broad head providing an easier aim when striking an object. Another one is the ball-peen hammer. This hammer has two heads; round and looks like a standard hammerhead. If you decide to use this hammer, make sure that it is appropriate to the size of the lock. If you have smaller locks, you should use size 4.

Safety Gloves

And, of course, don’t forget the hammer-proof gloves! Wearing gloves will protect your hands from the debris of the broken lock. When choosing safety gloves, make sure its durable enough and can grip well. 

We recommend you use the leather one as it is more durable and comfortable. It can hold a hammer without slipping and prevent your hand from getting hurt if the hammer slips.

Protective Goggles

We don’t know when an accident can happen, so it is best to be prepared. Wearing safety goggles will protect your eyes from the flying debris of the broken lock. It is better to be safe than sorry! Again, when choosing protective gloves, make sure it’s appropriate for the task. 

For example, you wouldn’t want to use your everyday glasses as they will most likely shatter when flying debris hits. Unlike power tool goggles, welding goggles have separate lenses surrounded by thick borders. The goggles also have air vents, so you don’t also have to worry about fogging.

The Steps on How to Safely Break a Lock with Hammer

Now that you have gathered the tools, it’s time to learn how to break a lock with a hammer safely. Breaking a lock with a hammer is easy and only takes a few minutes. But before we start, ensure you have the right tools to do it quickly and efficiently. If you are sure that you have everything you need, then let’s begin!

Step One: Wear your Protective Gear

As we mentioned earlier, it is essential to wear your safety gear before you start. This includes your leather gloves and goggles. Once you have all of your equipment on, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step Two: Position the Hammer

You need to position the hammer behind the lock. The best way to do this is to place the head of the hammer between your thumb and first two fingers. This will give you more control over the swing and help prevent the hammer from slipping.

You need to pull up on the shackle loop to create tension. This will place the locking mechanism inside the lock into its correct position for a quick crack. Make sure that you have completely eradicated any excess slack from the shackle before continuing- if you don’t, then you won’t be able to bump the lock to loosen, no matter how many times you strike it.

Important: If the lock you’re breaking has a plastic body, don’t use too much force as it may cause the shackle breaks, and the lock will remain intact.

Step Three: Swing the Hammer

Once you have the hammer in position, it’s time to swing. You want to aim for the bottom of the lock where the pins are located. The goal is to hit the pins and cause them to misalign so that the lock will open. It may take a few swings to get it right to get them to come free, as the ends will still be secured in the locking mechanisms inside the lock.

Step Four: Remove the Lock

Once the lock is open, you can remove it from the door. If the lock is damaged, you may need to replace it with a new one. But in most cases, the lock can be re-keyed and reused.

How was your experience breaking the lock? Did you break it on the first try? If yes, then congratulations! You have successfully learned how to break a lock with a hammer. However, we mentioned earlier that you would need to replace the lock with a new one after breaking the lock. This is because the old lock will be damaged and may not work correctly anymore. 

So, if you don’t want that to happen in the first place calling a locksmith would be a better idea. At MYA Locksmith, we provide a wide range of locksmith services to help you with your lock-related problems. We can unlock your door without breaking your lock, so you don’t have to worry about replacing it.


Is it legal to break a lock with a hammer?

It depends on the situation. If you are breaking into someone’s house, then it is illegal. However, if you are trying to open your door because you lost your keys, then it is legal.

Can I use any type of hammer?

Yes, but it depends on your skills. However, it is best to have a bump hammer as it has a more curved head. This will help you to get a better grip on the lock.

Can I break the lock with wearing protective gear?

Yes, you can, especially if you are used to working with tools. However, we still recommend wearing gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes from flying debris.

I still can’t break the lock even though I followed all the steps. What should I do?

You may call a locksmith if you still can’t break the lock. They can help you unlock your door without damaging your lock.

What should I do if the lock is damaged?

In most cases, the lock can be re-keyed and reused. However, if the lock is damaged, you may need to replace it with a new one because it may not work as it should.


Breaking a lock with a hammer is easy and only takes a few minutes. But before you start, make sure you have the right tools with you and that you are wearing your safety gear. Also, this process may break your lock permanently if not done correctly, so it’s always best to call a professional locksmith if uncertain.