If your lock is so stubborn and you are unable to unlock the door with any other means, there is still a way–brute force with a power drill. Keep in mind that it is the utmost last resort to break open a locked door. Doing this to your lock will definitely destroy it completely and will require a replacement. Perhaps if done carefully, it would only necessitate the replacement of the door lock cylinder.


Verify Your Lock Type

Before proceeding, determine what type of lock you are dealing with. Some locks have a hardened-steel center pin, or a ball bearing in the centre pin. These locks cannot be opened with a power drill. If your lock is a pin tumbler lock, this method will likely work. Most main door locks are pin tumbler locks especially in residential properties.

Consult your local door unlock service to verify if your lock can be safely drilled. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, send them a photograph of the lock in question.

Also, make sure your lock can be easily taken apart. Some locks are so tightly integrated that drilling through might render it unusable. A reputable locksmith will be able to answer your questions.

If you are sure you are working with a tumbler lock with no mechanisms to prevent drilling, follow these steps to proceed.


Steps to Drill Your Lock Open


  1. First use a punching tool to punch a hole directly above the keyhole, like a centre punch. This point should be between the inner and outer cylinder of the lock. It will act as a guide for the drilling.


  1. Attach a 1/8-inch (3 mm) drill bit to your drill. The size can vary, but should be as close to the size of the keyhole as possible.
  2. Following the guidance point that you made, start drilling. Keep your motion slow and steady, and your drilling level to prevent unnecessary damage to other parts of your lock.

Expect to meet resistance as the drill bit encounters each pin, and easing in between. Your lock can have five or more pins. If the drill binds, reverse it out. Clean out any metal debris and start again.


3. Switch to a larger drill bit, such as 1/4-inch (6 mm). The task now is to break up the pins as much as possible so that you can turn the lock. Start drilling along the same path as before.


  1. When you’re finished drilling, insert a flat-head screwdriver into the hole and turn in the direction that you would with a key. You should be able to gain entry now.
  2. In the worst-case scenario that this still doesn’t work, use a larger drill bit, such as 3/4-inch (19 mm). This will completely destroy your lock. But at least you won’t be locked out anymore.

Little Locksmith Singapore provides reliable locksmith services in Singapore that can help you with your residential or commercial lock emergencies. We can help with all kinds of door lock services if you are in need of a change in locks or even door lock repair in Singapore. To see how we can help, take a look at our blog and projects. We guarantee workmanship quality with warranty, and you can read all about it in our locksmith reviews in Singapore. We operate islandwide and you find our locksmiths near you. Whatsapp or email us at enquiry@littlelocksmith.com to find out more about our services.