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How to Open a Suitcase Lock Without the Key or Lock Combination

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open a suitcase lock

No one on Earth would want to lose the key or forget the combination to their suitcase lock, but this problem still happens. Instead of feeling hopeless and trying to damage the lock completely, follow our suggested solutions on how to open a suitcase lock.

In this article, we will provide you with instructions in 2 possible scenarios, namely either you lost the key or you forgot the lock combination.

With our expert support, you will be unlocking the suitcase in no time, all on your own without having to spend a bunch of money to call a locksmith. Give our approaches a shot first; if they do not work, you can still get professional help later.

What You Need to Follow This Tutorial

If you have no keys, prepare either of the following:

If your problem is missing the suitcase combination, you would not need any tool for its unlocking procedure. Here, we have divided the instructions into 2 different parts that are easy to follow.

  • Open suitcase lock without key
  • Open suitcase lock without combination

Choose the correct method for your current situation, and you’ll unlock a suitcase lock in no time.

Step By Step Instructions


It is not the end of the world dealing with a locked suitcase out of the blue. Open luggage lock successfully by following the steps below.

Open suitcase lock without key

Almost all manufacturers will have no problem sending you a replacement key at your request. But imagine how long it takes for them to deliver new keys. That is why we prefer to try unlocking the suitcase on our own without them.

We will demonstrate 2 different approaches to open suitcase lock without key:

Using a pen

This method will work if your suitcase has a zipper.

Simply take out a pen and push its writing tip between the teeth of your luggage. That’s it! You’ve successfully bypassed the lock. To close the bag, simply rezip it as you usually do.

To better visualize the process, you can check out this video:

Note: This method is very effective and straightforward, but it’s also concerning that anyone can open our luggage this way. If a pen can unlock your bag, consider buying a zipless one for better security.

Using bolt cutters or a drill

This method should only be used if you’re okay with destroying the lock. If you have a padlock, acquire some bolt cutters and use them to grip and cut the lock.

Alternatively, you may also drill through the lock pins. Make sure the drill bit fits into the keyhole and the lock is sufficiently lubricated before you break it. Once the drilling is done, insert a flathead screwdriver into the lock and open it.

Open suitcase lock without combination

Unlock suitcase combination lock would have been a piece of cake if you still remember what the combination is. Unfortunately, you do not. Our job in this section is to guide you through a few quick methods to open your suitcase without the need for its combination.

Step 1: Try the factory setting

As much as it sounds useless at first, sometimes preset passwords for the lock before it heads to the market may solve the issue. This tip of inputting the factory setting should be a priority over others. The code is often 000 or 999.

Step 2: Test all combinations possible

If the above method fails, consider going through all possible combinations if you have time. For 3-digit locks, it takes around 30 minutes to try all available codes.

But personally, we think that this solution is more like a desperate measure rather than an optimal one to opt for. That is why it is better for you to try other approaches as well.

Step 3: Hack your lock

First, place your suitcase upright so you can see the lock easily. Then, rotate the dials/digits of the lock until you see a small hole under each of them.

Once you found the hole under every dial, move all digits clockwise and press the side button on the lock. This should open your suitcase.

If the suitcase is still locked, move all digits again like in the previous step. Eventually, you’ll be able to pop the lock open.

Watch this video for a demonstration:

Step 4: Get support from customer service

The last thing you can do is to pick up the phone and call the customer support of your suitcase brand. Moreover, you can go to the brand’s repair center if your calls go unanswered.

This method will work for reputable brands like Samsonite, but if your suitcase comes from a small, less successful manufacturer, there might be no assistance and you’ll just have to destroy the lock instead.



Are TSA locks easy to pick?

Yes. You can pick TSA locks using a paperclip. Moreover, it’s possible to get a TSA master key using 3D printing.

What to look for when buying TSA-approved locks?

I recommend looking for shackle locks made of steel instead of plastic or rubber. Another great option is keyless locks, although they are more expensive.

It’s also important to take into account your habits. If you constantly misplace keys, it’s not a good idea to buy keyed locks. Look for lifetime warranty and search indicator lights as well.


Those were highly effective hacks on how to open a suitcase lock for you to apply to different situations of key or combination loss. Each of them has its own pros and cons, so make sure you choose the method that brings you the most convenience.

We hope that our guide is comprehensive enough to help you deal with your locked suitcase and open it with ease. In case you have any further questions, feel free to leave us a comment right below. And do not hesitate to share this article with friends and family to spread this useful knowledge!

Thank you for reading.

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