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How to cut off a padlock with bolt cutters?

How to cut off a padlock with bolt cutters?

If you have lost all of your keys to a padlock and need to remove it, you may have no choice other than to cut it off using a pair of bolt cutters.

Guide to Cutting a Padlock with Bolt Cutters

Step 1 - Establish the best place to cut

If you are trying to cut off a typical brass padlock then you should think carefully about which element of the lock you cut.


The easiest place to cut is often the hasp on the locked door, through which the padlock’s steel shackle is looped. Hasps are usually thin and made of unhardened metal so – providing you can get a good grip – they often cut easily, enabling the shackle to slide out. 


If the hasp is inaccessible and you have to cut the padlock itself, then go for the body of the lock. This is often made of brass, which is considerably softer than the hardened steel of the shackle loop (which may well damage the blades of your bolt cutter).


Step 2 - Position Jaws

As with cutting metal chain and cable, you need to grasp the hasp or padlock as deeply along the bolt cutter blades as possible in order to maximise the cutting force and avoid the object slipping out of the jaws.

Step 3 - Apply Force

Take several hard “bites” at the hasp or padlock body, either of which should give after sustained pressure, freeing the shackle and allowing the locked door to be opened.

Legal Disclaimer

At Wonkee Donkee our guide on how to cut a padlock with bolt cutters is only meant for individuals who have lost all the keys to their padlock and need it removed. In no way do we condone using bolt cutters to cut off padlocks that do not belong to the individual.

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