Whether you forgot your combination, lost it or never knew it to begin with, finding your clothing, books or other belongings beyond your reach because you cannot open the lock is very frustrating. Locksmiths charge a great deal to unlock a lock and cutting it off just means that you will have to learn yet another combination. With some patience, a little time and a magnet you will be able to open that pesky lock.
Clean off any residue such as tape or grease from the back of the lock you wish to open and make certain it is dry. Place the magnet in the center of the back of the lock with the magnetic side touching the back of the lock.
Pull up the top of the lock as far as it will go. Line the arrow so that the line on the turning wheel is aligned with the zero. Pull the top of the lock again as far as you can.
Turn the wheel to the right or clockwise slowly. You will feel a slight bump and the pointer will either be on a number or between two numbers. Write down the number where the wheel is pointed when you feel the bump. For example if the wheel bumps between 3 and 4, write down 3.5. If the lock skips a number, going by twos and the lock bumps between 3 and 5, write down 3 to 5.
Continue turning the wheel clockwise slowly until you feel another bump. Look at the lock and write down the numbers between which the wheel bumps using the same method as above. Do this a third time and write down the number range.
Use the number ranges that you have written down and begin trying them as possible combinations. If the first number falls between 3 and 4, try using 3 as your first number. If the second number is between 15 and 16, use 15 as your second number and if your third number is between 33 and 34, use 33 as your third number. Write down the combinations that do not work as you try them.
Try using the first number (3) and the second number of the other two places. Continue trying the various combinations until the lock can be opened.