Lock Bypassing with Shims

 

When disaster strikes and you are searching for resources, locks are going to be obstacles between you and what you need.  But that doesn’t mean that you won’t want to make use of the locks yourself.  Learning how to bypass locks in ways that leave them intact for your future use is a skill you will want to develop.  Previously we dealt with bypassing door locks with bump keys, many of the areas you will want to access could be locked with padlocks.  A shim is a great way to bypass a padlock that will allow you to lock it again when you are done.

Previously, we dealt with bypassing door locks with bump keys, many of the areas you will want to access could be locked with padlocks.  A shim is a great way to bypass a padlock that will allow you to lock it again when you are done.

 

How a Shim works

A shim is a thin piece of bent metal that is used to unlock a padlock by separating the shackle from the locking component in the body of the lock.  If you look at a padlock that is unlocked and open it, you will notice that there is a notch on one, or both ends of the shackle (the “u” shaped piece that goes in and out of the body).  This notch holds onto the locking mechanism inside the body of the lock.  When the shim gets in between this notch and the locking mechanism, it allows the two to be easily separated.

How to use a Shim

When bypassing a padlock with a shim it is important to know whether the lock as a notch on only one end of the shackle or both ends.  If the shackle has a notch on both ends, then a shim will need to be used on both ends.  Each shim should be placed around the shackle and driving carefully (if your shim is bent it is longer useful) into the body.  This is usually easiest on the outside, then the shim can be turned to the inside where the notch is located.  This may require careful slight adjustments of the shim, and pulling and pushing on the shackle.

How to get a Shim

Like virtually everything else these days, shims are sold online.  You can get sets that come with several shims in different sizes for locks with shackles of varying sizes.  But one great thing about learning to use a shim as a padlock bypass is that shims can be improvised from soda cans.  Simply cut out an “m” shaped piece just taller than 1”, round the bottom point, make a fold at the top (virtually as small as you can) to create rigidity, then fold the sides up and over this fold, you may need to do this several times.  These will form the handles, and the rounded point is what you will enter then lock with.

 

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