How to Cut a Bike Lock with 4 Tools

Want to learn how to cut a bike lock? Good for you! Nothing is more empowering than knowing that you can perform this simple but important task for your bicycle.

This is especially important when you consider the fact that cutting a bike lock is something that every bike owner will need to do at some point, so you might as well learn how to do it and do it right.

As you’ll soon see, this is more than just a post on how to cut a cable lock, but rather a complete guide on the different ways in which one can go about doing this.

Read on as we share with you how to cut a bicycle lock and protect it from thieves who might want to use some of these tips to steal your pride and joy.

How to Cut Through a Bike Lock

Learning how to cut through a bike lock requires that you follow a predetermined set of steps using certain tools and keeping in mind the type of lock that you’re working with.

1. Cable Cutter

Use a cable cutter to cut through your cable lock. These cable cutters are pretty easy to come by and they come in all different types and sizes. They’re also very effective and will free your bike lock from its place within seconds.

Of course, you could always opt for a more aggressive tool such as a hack saw which is also quite popular at cutting U-locks and cable locks alike. With a sharp hack saw by your side, you’ll experience just how effective and easy it is to cut through any bicycle lock.

Both tools are easy to use but hacksaws are especially useful at cutting through thin chains although they might take longer to get this particular job done.

2. Bolt Cutter

You can also use a bolt cutter to cut your bike lock, especially if you’re using a cable lock. All you have to do is clamp the bolt cutter once and the bike lock will come apart.

These types of cutters come in different sizes, including medium to large-sized versions that are great at overcoming a U-lock and cable lock.

You may also use hydraulic bottle jacks to break apart a durable U-lock. That’s because these jacks are made to handle a difficult lock and pry it open by applying lots of pressure.

3. Hammer

As you learn how to break a bike chain lock, you’ll find that there are many different tools that you can use for this, including a hammer.

To get the most out of a hammer in this situation, you want to place the lock against a hard surface so that it can effectively break the chain. You can use a rock, put it on the ground or place it against a wall too.

If you don’t have access to a hammer, you can use a crowbar as well. Crowbars are especially effective at breaking a U-lock specifically. You can use the crowbar to pry the U-lock apart from the center. The result is very satisfying if you use a long crowbar because it’ll give you more leverage.

With that said, U-locks only have so much space to insert the crowbar into so you must keep this in mind before you start using it because you’ll need to be careful and delicate.

4. Portable Grinder

If you’ve tried all of the different tools and methods mentioned above and your bike lock still won’t budget – congratulations!

This means you have a really tough bike lock but that’s not what you want to hear. Your next best bet is to use a portable grinder that will effectively break through the lock guaranteed.

Sure, portable grinders are noisier than the other tools, but they’re well worth it because of the guaranteed success.

Why Cut a Bike Lock?

Why would you want to learn how to cut a bike lock cable?

Well, for the most part, you want to be prepared the next time you get into an emergency and need to quickly uncouple your bike lock from the bicycle.

Either way, there are multiple scenarios where learning how to cut a bike chain lock will come in handy, such as the following:

1. Tampered Lock 

If you have kids around then you might wake up one day to find that they’ve tampered with your bike lock while playing.

In fact, kids have been known to insert sticks and other weird objects onto stuff while playing which will obviously make it close to impossible for you to insert your bike lock key into the required hole.

If you can’t open your lock or even access the hole because of this, then your best bet is to cut it open.

2. Lost Keys 

One of the most common reasons why people need to cut their bike locks is because they’ve lost their keys and have no other way to access your bike.

Instead of panicking for a few hours and frantically trying to find your keys, rather break the lock using the skills you learned here.

3. Broken Lock 

Although uncommon, you might find one day that the actual lock is broken. A bike lock can break due to prolonged exposure to the elements and also because it’s just too old.

It is at this point that you’ll thank yourself for having read this guide on how to cut a bicycle lock.


If you’ve made it this far, then you officially know how to cut a bike lock using different tools. You’ll never panic again when you discover that your bike lock has either been tampered with or you’ve lost the key.

It doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself in, you’ll have the confidence that comes with knowing that you can handle it.

You’ll never get stranded or trapped because you can’t move your bike on account of a stuck bike lock. You’ve now added another valuable skill to your repertoire and can call yourself a proper bike owner!

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out doing about every kind of biking and experiencing the occasional tumble. Ready to share the ride with you.

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