How to Drill Out a File Cabinet Lock with a Power Drill

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Written By John Gibbs

 

 

 

» Power Tools » Drill » Drill Bits » How to Drill Out a File Cabinet Lock with a Power Drill

Do you need to open a locked file cabinet but don’t have the key? Drilling out a file cabinet lock is a relatively simple process if done correctly. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to drill out a file cabinet lock in order to access your files. With the right tools and a bit of patience, you can have the lock removed and your file cabinet open in no time.

Tools and Materials

Tools And Materials

Tool Description
Drill A drill with a drill bit slightly smaller than the lock cylinder.
Screwdriver For removing the screws from the file cabinet.
File For filing down the lock cylinder after it has been drilled out.
Lubricant WD-40 or other lubricant to help loosen the lock cylinder.

It is important to have the right tools and materials for how to drill out a cabinet lock. You will need a drill with a drill bit slightly smaller than the lock cylinder, a screwdriver for removing the screws from the file cabinet, a file for filing down the lock cylinder after it has been drilled out, and a lubricant such as WD-40 to help loosen the lock cylinder.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Open Existing Lock

Insert a small flathead screwdriver into the key slot of the file cabinet lock. Gently move the screwdriver back and forth while applying pressure until the lock opens.

Step 2: Remove Existing Lock

Remove the existing lock from the file cabinet. This can be done by unscrewing the screws that hold the lock in place.

Step 3: Locate Lock Cylinder

Use a flashlight to locate the lock cylinder, which is usually located in the center of the file cabinet door.

Step 4: Drill into Lock Cylinder

Using a drill and a drill bit slightly larger than the lock cylinder, drill into the center of the lock cylinder.

Step 5: Insert Screwdriver

Insert a small flathead screwdriver into the hole created by the drill bit. Gently move the screwdriver back and forth while applying pressure until the lock opens.

Step 6: Open Cabinet Door

Once the lock is open, the cabinet door should open easily.

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Safety Tips

  • Wear protective eyewear and gloves when drilling out a file cabinet lock. Flying particles can cause severe eye and skin damage.
  • Do not use a hammer to drill out the lock. This can cause the drill bit to break and create hazardous conditions.
  • Keep children away from the area when drilling out the lock. There is a risk of flying debris.
  • Unplug the file cabinet to prevent electric shock when drilling out the lock.
  • Be aware of what is around the lock before drilling. There may be components that could be damaged by the drill bit.
  • Clean up the area after drilling out the lock. There may be sharp pieces of metal left behind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety precautions should I take when drilling out a file cabinet lock?

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any metal filings and sparks.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from the heat generated by the drill.
  • Secure the file cabinet by placing it on a stable surface and securing it to the floor or wall if necessary.
  • Ensure good ventilation to avoid breathing in any fumes produced by the drill.
  • Move away from the file cabinet before starting the drill and when stopping it.
  • Unplug the drill when not in use.

What type of drill bit do I need to use in order to drill out a file cabinet lock?

When drilling out a file cabinet lock, it is important to use the correct drill bit. The following are the most common types of drill bits used for this purpose:

  • High-Speed Steel Bits:These drill bits are designed for drilling through metal and can be used to drill out hole locks. They are ideal for drilling through hardened steel, cast iron, and other tough materials.
  • Carbide Bits: Carbide bits are made of a special material that is very tough and can easily be used to drill through hardened steel and other tough materials. They are more expensive than high-speed steel bits, but they last longer and are ideal for drilling through tough materials.
  • Diamond-Tipped Bits: Diamond-tipped bits are the most expensive option, but they are the most effective for drilling through hardened steel. They are designed for drilling through tough materials and are ideal for drilling through file cabinet locks.

When choosing a drill bit for drilling out a file cabinet lock, it is important to choose one that is designed for the type of material that the lock is made from. High-speed steel bits are ideal for drilling through softer metals, while carbide and diamond-tipped bits are better for drilling through tougher materials.

What other tools do I need to drill out a file cabinet lock?

You will need a power drill, a drill bit that is appropriate for metal, and a lubricant such as oil or WD-40. A flathead screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, and a flashlight can also be helpful. Safety glasses should also be worn.

What Should I Do If I Am Unable To Drill Out The File Cabinet Lock?

If you are unable to drill out the file cabinet lock, it is best to contact a professional locksmith. A locksmith has the experience and the necessary tools to open locks without damaging them. They can also replace the lock and provide advice on how to improve the security of the file cabinet.

What should I do to ensure the file cabinet lock is secure after drilling it out?

Once the lock has been drilled out, it is important to replace it with a new, secure lock. Make sure to choose a lock that is compatible with the pre-drilled holes in the file cabinet. Secure the new lock in place with the appropriate screws and test it to ensure that it works properly. It is also important to keep the old lock and key, as they may be necessary to access the file cabinet in the future.

Conclusion

Drilling out a file cabinet lock is an effective way to gain access to the contents of the cabinet if you have lost the keys. With the correct tools, following the correct steps and taking the proper safety precautions, you can successfully drill out a file cabinet lock.

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References

 

About John Gibbs

Hello everyone! My name is John Gibbs. I am 60 years old and have been in the family construction business all my adult life. Construction is not only my profession but also my passion. I know everything about building and repair materials, tools, advanced methods, techniques, and approaches. I will share the same knowledge with you in my articles.

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