Combination locks made by the American Lock Company are popular. The distinctive round locks with black or colorful dials are used to secure lockers, bicycles, sheds and doors. These devices open using a series of three numbers that must be dialed using a precise technique.

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A typical combination lock

Find the three-number combination on your lock's packaging and put it in a secure place.

Dial clockwise to the first number, spinning the dial at least three times. For example, if the combination is "25-12-36," turn past "25" three times until the mark at the top of the dial rests on "25."

Note the second number and turn counterclockwise one-and-a-half turns. If the combination is "25-12-36," pass "12" once, then turn another complete revolution.

Step 4

Turn clockwise to the final number. Using the combination "25-12-36," spin directly to "36."

Step 5

Pull downward on the lock, and the left side of its shackle will pull loose. You may have to push up slightly and then pull down.