How to Open a Dial Lock

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Dial three numbers in the correct sequence to open a dial lock.

A dial lock is a familiar type of combination lock for securing valuables and, most commonly, school lockers. The dial on the front of the lock is marked with a series of numbers; a hash mark at the top of the lock face marks the positioning point for dialing up the numbers of the combination. Rotating the dial to three different numbers in a sequence--first one direction, then the other, then back the other way--will release the clasp and open the lock.


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Step 1

Spin the dial several times when you want to open the locker, to clear the locking tumblers inside. For this example, the dial lock combination shall be 3-27-14.

Step 2

Turn the dial three complete rotations to the right and stop on the first number of the combination, which is 3 in this example.

Step 3

Turn the dial to the left, passing the first combination number, 3 (you'll go a full revolution), then stopping the dial on the second number, which is 27 in this example.


Step 4

Turn the dial to the right to stop on the third combination number, which is 14. (Do not go all the way around).

Step 5

Pull down on the lock body to release it from one side of the U-shaped shackle, unlocking the mechanism.


Write down the three-digit combination number to the lock and store it in a safe place in case you forget the number.