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How to Open a Vending Machine Without a Key? – 7 Steps

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to open a vending machine without a key

Having a vending machine business will greatly improve your finances. Offering many items from sodas to snacks, vending machines with a key are income-generating devices that often only need meager repair and maintenance.

However, losing the key to or having a malfunctioning locking mechanism inside your vending machine might affect your business. Fortunately for you, there is still something you can do to open your machine to either fill it with products or retrieve your sales.

In this article, I will show you how to open a vending machine without a key.

Step-by-step to Open a Vending Machine Without a Key


Vending machines are commonly installed with tubular locks, making it more difficult to get into vending machine locks with a hook and tension tool.

To break into a vending machine lock, follow these steps:

1. Prepare your tubular pick.

The recommended tubular lock pick vending machine is the adjustable manipulation pick. This is because some tubular locks vary in size and number of pins, making it difficult to bypass them with non-adjustable tools.

2. Loosen the pick


Rotate the collar in the middle of the pick in order for the needles on the pick to move.

3. Push down the washer.


With your two fingers, slide down the washer near the handle to make the needles protrude from the tip of the tubular pick.

4. Push your pick down.


Find a flat and hard surface and push down on your pick with the tip at the bottom. This will align the needles and the circular tip of the pick.

5. Tighten the pick.


Rotate the collar in the middle of the pick, but tighten it this time and not loosen. This step ensures the needles won’t budge as soon as they hit the tubular lock.

6. Insert the pick inside the tubular lock.


When you insert the pick, make sure the pick’s notch aligns with the keyway of the lock.

7. Rotate the pick left and right.


The lock should pop out of the vending machine. That’s how you do the vending machine key hack.

If your pick doesn’t work, check the number of pins inside the lock. The number of pins on your pick should correspond to the number of pins on the lock.

How to Replace a Vending Machine Lock

Having faulty plug locks for vending machines can cause problems as some thieves might take advantage of them. Faulty locking mechanisms can also damage your key.

That is why you need to replace your defective lock with these steps:

1. Open the lock with your key.


The T-handle should pop out of the vending machine.

2. Locate the pin on the key.


The pin should be sticking out behind the keyway.

3. Pick the pin inside the lock.


Get a screwdriver or a punch and push it to where the pin is.

4. Pull out the lock from the machine.


5. Get your new lock.


Make sure that you put the key inside the lock and turn it. Press the little tab on the end of the lock.

6. Insert the lock inside the hole.


Make sure the lock stays in place inside the T-handle. Remove your key, and you now have a brand-new tubular lock.

Frequently Asked Questions


What do I do if I lost my vending machine key?

If you still cannot pick a vending machine lock with the steps mentioned above, there are still three things that you can do to gain access to your vending machine. You can either acquire a vending machine key, use a tubular key duplicator, or hire a vending machine locksmith.

  • Acquire a vending machine key.

Call the manufacturer of your vending machine in order to buy a new key. Most of the time, you will need to provide the model information of your vending machine, as well as the four-digit number that can be found on the assembly of the lock.

  • Use a tubular key duplicator.

A tubular key duplicator will create a duplicate key for your lock on your vending machine if you input the number of pins and insert a blank key. However, this step is costly and might take time to complete.

  • Hire a vending machine locksmith.

If the model of your vending machine is already phased out, you might want to seek professional help from a locksmith for money or stock retrieval. Your trusty locksmith can open your vending machine and can also provide a duplicate key for it.

  • Use a ballpoint

This step is less effective than the methods we mentioned above, but it’s worth a try if you’re truly desperate. Detach the exterior of the pen from its other parts, and cut four long notches along its tip as deep as the keyhole.

Insert the tip into the vending machine lock and shake the lock open.

Is there a master key for all vending machines?

Unfortunately, there is no master key for vending machines. This is because the pins inside the tubular locks of these machines can sometimes vary and range from seven to ten pins.

However, if you buy vending machines from the same manufacturer, it is possible to opt to install the same locks for all equipment and make them open with only one key. This vending machine universal key will only work with your own set of machines in order to maintain security.

You may also set up electronic locks instead of traditional ones. Rather than using physical cylinder holes, these types often have fobs, key codes, and no visible component on the machine to minimize drilling.

How to open Pepsi machine with an electronic key?

Simply scan the remote with the machine sensor. Make sure the remote is activated while doing this as well, and the machine should open by itself.


It is important that you know the ins and outs of your vending machine to take advantage of its money-generating capacity. Losing the key to it should not put a halt on your business.

Knowing how to open a vending machine without a key will go a long way in maintaining its operation. Just remember that picking vending machine locks should be done on your property only, and not for illegal purposes.

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