How To Cut A Bike Lock
How To Cut A Bike Lock

Cutting bike locks aren’t much of cutting vegetables. You will require various tools depending on the quality and size of the locks.

This article will provide you with some exquisite methods on how to cut a bike lock. From knowing about different types of lock to the required tools to cut them, we got you covered.

So, let’s get started!

When Should You Cut Your Bike Lock?

Of course, you have encountered a problem which led you to search how to cut a bike lock. But are you sure you want to do that?

Well, you should understand when it becomes a necessity to cut the lock of your bike. Not every situation demands the same procedure.

We have piled up some cases below to show you when you need to take action.

The Bolt is Broke

If your bike lock is too old, it might refuse to open. Unfavorable weather conditions might also cluster the elements inside. Both of the causes will lead to a broken bolt. Yes, you must cut it open. No other way!

The Lock is Tampered

Have your kids tried to open the lock with sticks? Or, did anyone tried to steal your bike by tampering the lock? Either way, your lock-hole will be damaged. Yes, it will be difficult to enter the keys now.

So, your keys are not working but you need to go out. Solution? Cut the lock! You shouldn’t worry about destroying the lock forever. You know, it’s damaged anyway!

You Lost the Keys

Alright, we won’t argue with this one. Almost every one of us have lost their keys at some point, right? If you are in the similar condition, then go find those keys right now!

Hold on. We know you’re angry with us. (Sorry!)

It’s the best to cut your lock open than finding those keys. Of course, it’s mandatory when you are in a hurry. (Time is everything!)

How Many Bike Lock Types Are There?

You might be familiar with one or two types of locks for your entire life. Mostly, it happens when you care less about locks particularly. Majority of the bike riders focus on riding bikes really. But now that you need to cut the lock, here’s where we can help.

Before we teach you how to cut a bike lock, you should know which lock you are using. It’s because different locks require separate tools to break.

Cable Locks

These locks are the minimalistic ones. They are lightweight and flexible. You can secure a lot of things with these locks; not just only bikes. Moreover, you won’t need any key to unlock this type of lock. It works upon providing the right combination.

Chain Locks

You can obviously tell the lock is made of chains. The name suggests so! For preventing bike theft, chain locks are made of heavy, thick chains. You get the right type of lock and BAM! Your bike is completely secured.


U-locks are the ultimate locks that have a top-security system. These locks look like the English letter U. Hence, the name is U-lock. It’s much difficult to break this lock with instruments like a mallet, hammer chisel, and so on.

What Tools Will You Require to Cut Bike Lock?

Grab some snacks because we are about to reveal some good stuffs! We will provide you a list of tools that you can use for breaking the bike lock.

You can guess how to cut a bike lock with these instruments quickly. If you can’t, no worries! We’ll walk you through.

Bolt Cutters

Bolt cutters are outstanding for cutting U-locks and chains. These cutters can even cut high-end locks too if they are of the right size.

Speaking of sizes, you can get bolt cutters ranging in different dimensions. The smallest one is able to cut cable locks effortlessly. You can carry them in a backpack while travelling.

A medium sized bolt cutter can break U-locks and chains. But if your lock diameter is more than 16 mm, you will need to go for a larger size manual bolt cutter.


Some locks contain substandard elements that don’t provide top-notch security. You can easily smash these locks with a hammer. Usually, these types of locks are a threat for your bike’s security. Try to buy a high-quality lock that won’t break by the hit of a hammer.

Scaffold Poles and Crowbars

This combination is perfect for cutting a U-lock. They contain more space. So, if you have a mid-range U-lock in your bike, consider using scaffold poles and Crowbars.

Cable Cutters

For thin, soft locks, cable cutters are enough. They are highly portable. You can easily carry one in your coat pocket. These cutters work best for low-quality bike locks. Hence, you must be very careful while choosing the right lock for your bike.


Hacksaws work pretty much similar to cable cutters. A small hacksaw is easy to carry. By hitting a slice, you can cut your bike lock smoothly. Hacksaws are incredible for cutting thin U-locks.

Angle Grinders

This type of lock cropper is appropriate for cutting heavy big locks. Angle grinders can cut through any thick lock within the shortest time possible. However, you might not use it in public. The grinder produces noises and a lot of sparks all together. That’s why, you won’t even see any thief using this to cut bike locks. Needs much bravery! Pff!

Hydraulic Bottle Jacks

Hydraulic bottle jacks are extremely efficient in bike lock cutting. With the intense pressure your lock will pop out and break easily. However, you might face difficulty cracking a more secured U-lock with this tool.

How Can You Cut a Bike Lock Using Those Tools?

So, know that you have much knowledge about bike locks and cutters, it’s time you get to know the real stuff – how to cut a bike lock.

We have complied a few methods here on how to cut a bike lock in the most comprehensible way possible. Stick with us. You’re about to learn something really fun!

Using a Bolt Cutter to Cut the Lock

As we have already described, bolt cutters come in different sizes. You have to choose the right size depending on the thickness of your lock.

Well, you must remember, while small or medium sized bolt cutters may seem appropriate for your lock, a larger size can ease the process. You can get things done quickly and even without damaging your cutter.

So, the first thing you have to do is target the weakest part of the lock. Try to access the metal length fully at any part. Then, put pressure and cut it. In case the shackle comes off entirely when it opens, you will need to make two cuts.

Remember, your lock will be completely destroyed after this process. So, don’t keep high hopes of saving it for later!

Let’s Try an Angle Grinder

For using an angle grinder, you must ensure electricity first. If you are at home, you can simply plug in into your wall. However, you must purchase a battery-powered grinder to use outdoor.

As angle grinder produces small sparks while grinding, you must take some safety precautions. Cover your face and body entirely. Make sure a fire extinguisher is nearby for emergency situations.

Now, you will need vise-grips to lock your bike lock. Make sure the lock is firm and tight. With your non-dominant hand, hold the vise-grips to finally make a move.

The final moment has arrived. Take your angle grinder. Slowly press the disc towards the shackle. Give it a nice, thorough cut. You must be extremely meticulous while grinding or else, you might get yourself into a terrible accident.

Cutting with a Hacksaw

Just like the angle grinder we did, you will require vise-grips for the hacksaw technique too. Fasten the vise-grips sturdily with your lock. Now, hold it tightly so that the lock doesn’t move too much.

Make sure you wear gloves while you are breaking lock in this method. Now, get a propane torch near the shackle and burn it for 3 minutes. After the lock is red hot, turn off the torch and cut through the area with your hacksaw.

You will get best results in this way for metal locks.

Final Words

Finally, we would recommend you to understand the type of lock you used on your bike. Try to analyze which tool will do the job faultlessly. You can go through our whole in-depth guideline above for confirming your method.

However, don’t forget to maintain safety precautions while cutting the lock. A little misstep can cause you great trouble! So, we hope you will be able to use this article and get your work done perfectly!

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