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How to Drill Out a Toolbox Lock with a Power Drill – An Easy Guide

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Written By John Gibbs




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Are you stuck with a locked toolbox and can’t figure out how to unlock it? If so, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to drill out a toolbox lock. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from which tools and materials to use, to the best techniques for drilling out the lock. With this guide, you’ll be able to unlock your toolbox in no time!

What You’ll Need

What You'Ll Need

Tools Description
Drill Cordless drill with adjustable speed control
Drill Bits High-speed steel drill bits in varied sizes
Screwdriver Flathead or Phillips screwdriver to remove any screws securing the lock
Lubricant Graphite lubricant or WD-40 to lubricate the lock
Protective Goggles Safety goggles to protect your eyes during drilling

Preparing Your Workspace

Preparing Your Workspace

  • Gather the necessary tools: drill, drill bit, screwdriver, and a pair of locking pliers.
  • Choose a comfortable and stable workspace: a workbench or sturdy table should do the trick.
  • Prepare the toolbox: place it on the workspace and make sure it is stable.
  • Make sure you are wearing safety gear: safety glasses, gloves, and a mask.
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Step 1: Locate the Lock

Step 1: Locate The Lock

Before starting the procedure to drill out a toolbox lock, you must first locate the lock. To do this, look for a small hole in the center of the lock cylinder, the part of the lock that protrudes from the toolbox lid. The hole will be where you will insert the drill bit. If the lock is completely flush with the toolbox lid, you will need to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to identify the lock’s exact location.

Step 2: Mark the Lock

Step 2: Mark The Lock

  • Gather your supplies: drill, drill bit, marker, and masking tape.
  • Mark the lock: Use the marker to make a small mark in the center of the lock, or on the keyhole itself.
  • Tape the drill bit: Place a strip of masking tape over the drill bit, then mark the center of the bit with the marker.

Step 3: Drill the Lock

Step 3: Drill The Lock

Once you have the drill bit ready, fit it into the chuck of the drill. Now position the drill bit at the center of the lock. Slowly start applying pressure and begin drilling. Keep drilling until you feel the lock start to give. Make sure to not apply too much pressure or you might damage the lock beyond repair. Once you feel the lock has been drilled enough, you can use a flat head screwdriver to remove the remaining fragments.

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Step 4: Remove the Lock

Step 4: Remove The Lock

  • Unscrew the Lock – Use a screwdriver to loosen the screws and unscrew the lock.
  • Remove the Lock – Once the screws are removed, the lock can be lifted off the toolbox.
  • Discard the Lock – The lock is now useless and can be discarded.

Step 5: Install New Lock

  • Choose the right lock – It’s important to choose the right type of lock for your toolbox. Consider the size, shape, and material of the lock in order to ensure it fits and is strong enough to secure your tools.
  • Drill the lock holeUse a drill with the correct size bit for your new lock and drill a hole in the correct position. Make sure to keep the drill bit level to ensure the lock fits properly.
  • Install the lock – Insert the lock into the drilled hole and then secure it with the screws that came with it.
  • Test the lock – Verify that the lock is installed correctly by testing it. Open and close the lock a few times to ensure it is working properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Drill Bit Should I Use to Drill Out a Toolbox Lock?

For drilling out a toolbox lock, you should use a 3/32-inch or 1/8-inch drill bit. This size is large enough to drill through the lock, yet small enough to avoid damaging the surrounding material. If you have a soft-metal lock, you may use a larger drill bit, but it is important to be careful to avoid damaging the toolbox.

Is drilling out a Toolbox Lock a Difficult Process?

Drilling out a toolbox lock is not a difficult process but it does require patience, accuracy and a good set of tools. The following steps will help you to successfully unlock your toolbox without damaging it:

1. Gather the necessary tools: You will need a power drill, a masonry bit, a flat-head screwdriver, and a pair of safety goggles.

2. Mark the lock: Using the screwdriver, mark the center of the lock.

3. Drill the lock: Put on your safety goggles, then insert the masonry bit into the drill and drill into the marked area. Drill slowly and steadily until the lock is drilled out.

4. Remove the lock: Once the lock is drilled out, use the screwdriver to pry it out of the toolbox.

By following these steps, you should be able to drill out a toolbox lock with relative ease. However, it is important to take the necessary precautions when performing the task, such as wearing safety goggles and using the correct tools.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take While Drilling Out a Toolbox Lock?

When drilling out a toolbox lock, always wear safety glasses and a dust mask to protect your eyes and lungs from debris. Make sure the toolbox is securely clamped down on a flat surface to keep it stable and use a drill bit that is the right size and type for the job. Exercise caution while drilling as sparks may fly and debris may be propelled away from the toolbox. Additionally, make sure to thoroughly inspect the lock after drilling to ensure all pieces have been removed.

What are the Best Practices for Replacing a Toolbox Lock After Drilling it Out?

1. Choose the Correct Lock Size – Make sure that the new lock you choose is the correct size and style for the toolbox. If the existing lock is too small or too large, it won’t fit correctly.

2. Pre-Drill the Holes – Before installing the new lock, pre-drill the holes in the toolbox for the screws. This will help ensure that the lock is installed securely.

3. Use High-Quality Locks – Make sure to use high-quality locks that are designed to withstand weather and wear and tear. Low-quality locks may not last as long or offer the same level of security as higher quality locks.

4. Securely Install the Locks – Use the right screws and fasten the locks securely. Make sure to tighten the screws completely and check that they are secure before closing the toolbox.

5. Test the Lock – Before closing the toolbox, test the lock to make sure it is functioning properly. Try locking and unlocking the toolbox several times to make sure the lock is working correctly.

Is it Possible to Drill Out a Toolbox Lock Without Damaging the Toolbox?

Yes, it is possible to drill out a toolbox lock without damaging the toolbox. However, it must be done correctly to avoid damaging the lock and the toolbox. To drill out a toolbox lock correctly, you will need to use the correct drill bit and follow the steps outlined in this article. By following these steps, you will be able to unlock your toolbox without causing any damage.


Drilling out a toolbox lock is a straightforward process that can be completed with basic tools and a bit of patience. With this guide, you should now be able to unlock your toolbox in no time.



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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