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How to Cut a Lock Off of a Storage Unit? – A Detailed Guide

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to cut a lock off of a storage unit

Keeping your storage unit secure from intruders is the best way to keep your business safe. But what is the point if you cannot access your belongings inside when needed? You should know how to cut a lock off of a storage unit in case of emergencies.

There are high chances that you might lose the key to a storage unit or suddenly forget its passcode. That is why you need to prepare yourself for such situations by learning to cut different types of locks off of your storage unit.

There are different techniques to remove each lock type (tubular, disc, round, bolt, circular, etc.) from a storage unit. This article offers step-by-step guidance and tips for you to follow at home, using simple gadgets for storage unit lock cut-off.

Prepare Necessary Tools for the Procedures


Before getting into the details of any storage unit lock cutting process, you should prepare the following necessary tools.

Bolt Cutters

Most professionals would probably suggest you take this approach first: it is best to get a pair of bolt cutters that is 30 inches in length since this size is ideal to cut off most available lock diameters.

You have to tilt these bolt cutters in a certain way that allows you to reach the lock’s shackle or the metal clasp. The procedure will need certain skills and practice. You can use this tool to cut round locks or whatever type of lock the storage unit is equipped with.


In case bolt cutters cannot do the work, your next potential option is a grinder. This compact device includes a disc that can cut through hard materials, such as tile and metal, with high precision.

We advise choosing a 60 grit disc for your grinder, and do not forget to equip yourself with a proper face shield and gloves while using this machine.

With extra help from vise-grips (in terms of padlocks), you will need to hold the storage unit lock and turn this device on. Then, press the grinder’s disc blade against your lock.


The hardest part is when your lock on the storage unit is too thick for grinders. That is the right time to use some fire, specifically a propane torch. After you hold the torch towards the thick lock for 3 minutes, it will turn red hot and come off easily.

Drill, drill bit, lubrication, and a screwdriver

You’ll need these tools if you’re working on a bolt lock.

Step by Step Instructions

The truth is there are many different lock types available on the market, so we will help you by introducing a separate cut-off process for each popular lock design below. You should determine which lock is on your storage unit first.

  • Disc Lock
  • Circular Lock
  • Bolt Lock
  • Round Lock
  • Public Lock

Check out this video for more information on the best way to cut the lock off my storage unit: Ultimate guide on how to cut a disc lock off a storage unit.

1. Disc Lock


Step 1: The first thing to do is to contact the storage unit authorizer to confirm your dismantlement of its lock. You may have to fill out some paperwork to get their approval.

Step 2: Decide how you should cut this lock. It is up to you to cut its sliding latch with either bolt cutters or a grinder. In case you fail to make a latch replacement on this disc lock, a grinder’s wheel that can cut metal will do the work.

Determine which device you will use for disc lock cutting. Trust us, grinding will not be as quick, safe, and effective as a pair of bolt cutters.

2. Circular Lock

It is no joke when it comes to breaking a circular lock on a storage unit. Keep a close track of our advisable steps to help yourself out during this procedure.

What you need:

  • Bolt cutters
  • Grinder

Step 1: Get a high-quality pair of bolt cutters that will move through your lock with ease. Although we do not guarantee this tool will work well, it is still worth a shot.

Step 2: If you are looking for a second choice, take stainless steel into account. Use it to make a deep cut through your circular storage unit lock and it will fall apart after a few seconds. Remember to handle the material with care since there might be unseen harm when it’s misused or stored.

3. Bolt Lock


Bolt locks require more professional skills and experience to be picked successfully. That is when a drill steps in and takes all the hassle away.

  • Tools: Take a power drill, attach the drill bit.
  • Lubricant: You have to spray this drill bit with lube. Cover the whole thing with it. It is a good idea to give the lock lubrication as well. Concentrate on the inside and outer edges of your lock.
  • Drill: Position the drill bit inside your lock. Pull the trigger at the same time. Continue doing it as you force your drill bit in a gentle manner into the bolt lock.
  • Screwdriver: Keep on drilling until you see all of the tumbler pins have fallen out. Afterwards, as you insert a screwdriver in the hole and make a turn, it will open your lock.

4. Round Lock

What you need:

  • Bolt cutters
  • A grinder
  • Cutting wheel

Step 1: Cut through your round lock using a sizeable pair of bolt cutters. When it is used effectively, we promise that the lock will fall off in several minutes. Sit this device on your lock as you apply force and watch it function.

Step 2: A powerful grinder is also helpful in cutting a round lock. Keep in mind that you might be disappointed if the machine is not strong enough. You need to focus on the lock because some actions taken during the cut are irreversible.

Step 3: One of the quickest ways to break a round lock is using a cutting wheel made of stainless steel. A cordless wheel will provide you with better results.

5. Public Lock


There are multiple tools available for a successful public storage lock removal, but we will introduce a method that is both reliable and really fast:

Step 1: Check the correct directions printed on the package, so you know how to maneuver through it smoothly.

Step 2: Use necessary tools like bolt cutters, grinders, or cutting wheels. Stay moderate to avoid damaging the lock.

Step 3: Hire a professional locksmith if your storage unit lock appears to be stuck.

How to Open a Tubular Storage Lock without a Key

Most people know tubular locks for being extremely hard to unlock without their compatible keys. If you have to cut a tubular lock off of your storage unit without a suitable set for lock picking, we recommend the method below:

  • Pen: Take a regular ballpoint pen, make sure it is as small as (the smaller the better) your storage unit lock opening.
  • Scissors: Remove the ink tube from this pen. Use a pair of scissors to cut 4 vertical notches along the side and in the pen’s back.
  • Lock: Insert the end of this pen that has notches inside your lock. Push your pen as far as possible. Shake both of these items from side to side as it helps loosen the pins to open the lock.

How to Open a Latch Lock with a Paperclip


The truth is latches are quite simple to bypass. All you need to do is unfold a paperclip and push its end through the door gap, but make sure it is underneath the latch. Afterward, just slide this paperclip up until the latch is pushed off its hook.

In case this action has no effect, consider bending your paperclip’s end into the shape of a hook. Put that end through the door gap. Keep on pushing it in behind the latch until it appears again in the front.

At this point, you will find opening this storage unit door really simple, by pulling on both of the clip’s ends. If you think that it is too safe to use a paperclip, try drilling instead, but it may damage your lock.


We hope this article has provided you with enough helpful information on how to cut a lock off of a storage unit quickly and effectively as desired. Since locks are manufactured in various shapes and sizes, you will need to perform different procedures.

What do you think about this article in general? Let us know what is on your mind in the comment section. Moreover, share the tips with friends and family via social media as well. Thank you for reading.

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