How to Pick an Old Trunk Lock

Picking the lock on an old trunk can be a difficult task. There are many different types of locks, and each one can be tricky to pick. This article will teach you how to pick an old trunk lock. In addition, we will provide a few methods, tips, and tricks to make the process easier. So, if you’re looking to open up your old trunk, keep reading!

How to Pick an Old Trunk Lock

Old trunk locks are typically effortless locks. They usually consist of a few basic mechanisms, such as a keyhole and a locking mechanism. Picking these locks can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Many people use a pick set when picking an old trunk lock. A pick set is a collection of tools designed for this specific purpose. However, if you don’t have a pick set, you can still pick the lock with a few simple tools.

Common Locks For Vintage Trunks

There are several types of locks that were commonly used on vintage trunks. While the specific type of lock will vary depending on the trunk’s age and maker, there are a few basic types that you are likely to encounter. Master locks, keyhole locks, and combination locks are among the most common varieties.

Warded Locks

The warded lock is one of the simplest types of lock. It consists of a series of metal wards – small protrusions that line the keyhole – and a locking mechanism. The key has notches that correspond to the wards, allowing it to be inserted into the keyhole and turned.

Tubular Locks

Tubular locks are similar to warded locks but use a cylindrical key rather than a flat key. The key has a series of holes along its length, each with a corresponding pin in the lock. When the key is inserted, these pins retract and allow the locking mechanism to be turned.

Combination Locks

Combination locks work by setting a sequence of numbers that, when entered correctly, will unlock the lock. The sequence can be anything from a simple three-number code to a more complicated series of letters and numbers.

Master Locks

Master locks are among the easiest locks to pick. They use a series of levers and pins set into the locking mechanism. By manipulating these levers, it is possible to move the pins into the correct position and unlock the lock.

Use a Hammer

Keyhole Locks

Keyhole locks are also known as pin tumbler locks. They use a series of pins inserted into the keyhole and held in place by a locking mechanism. The key is then inserted into the lock and turned, which causes the pins to retract and unlock the door.

Tools and Materials:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Knife
  • Pry bar
  • Metal saw

A Step by Step Guide on How to Pick an Old Trunk Lock

Step 1: Prepare Yourself

Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary tools and materials at hand. You’ll need a flathead screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver, hammer, chisel, knife, pry bar, and metal saw.

Step 2: Remove the Latch Plate

Use your flathead screwdriver to remove the latch plate. This is the small piece of metal that covers the lock mechanism. It’s held in place by two screws. Once it’s removed, you should be able to see the lock mechanism.

Step 3: Disassemble the Lock Mechanism

Use your Phillips head screwdriver to remove the four screws that hold the lock mechanism together. Be careful not to lose any of the screws or other small parts. Once the screws are removed, you can take the lock mechanism apart.

Use a Knife

Step 4: Cut the Lock Cylinder

Use your metal saw to cut the lock cylinder in half. Make sure you’re careful not to damage the keyhole while doing this.

Step 5: Remove the Lock Cylinder

Once you’ve cut the lock cylinder in half, use your pry bar to remove it from the housing. You should now have access to the locking mechanism.

Step 6: Pick the Lock

Use your screwdriver and chisel to pick the lock. Unfortunately, there’s no one correct way to do this, so you’ll have to experiment. Be patient and take your time. Once the lock is open, you can remove the key.

Step 7: Reassemble the Lock Mechanism

Once you’ve picked the lock, reassemble the lock mechanism by reversing the steps you took to disassemble it. Make sure everything is aligned correctly and secured before you replace the screws.

Step 8: Replace the Latch Plate

Replace the latch plate by screwing it in place with your flathead screwdriver. Make sure it’s properly aligned before you tighten the screws. You’re now done!

Picking an old trunk lock can be a challenge, but you can do it with the right tools and patience. Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to get into your trunk in no time!

Use a Chisel Tools

Additional Tips:

  • If the lock is rusty or dirty, clean it with a metal brush and WD-40.
  • Apply a little bit of oil to the key before inserting it into the lock. This will help it slide in more easily.
  • If the key won’t turn, try tapping it gently with a hammer. This may help dislodge any dirt or debris blocking it from spinning.
  • If all else fails, you may have to drill out the lock. Be very careful not to damage the trunk in the process.

When it comes to picking an old trunk lock, you can try a few things before resorting to drilling. First, clean the lock with a metal brush and WD-40 to get rid of any rust or dirt. Then, apply a little bit of oil to the key before inserting it into the lock. This will help it slide in more easily. Next, try tapping it gently with a hammer if the key doesn’t turn. This may help dislodge any dirt or debris blocking it from turning. Finally, you may have to drill out the lock if all else fails. But be very careful not to damage the trunk in the process.


Can a Locksmith Provide Me With a Matching Key for the Antique Lock?

If you have an old trunk with a lock that doesn’t seem to work, it’s possible that the key has been lost or misplaced. In this case, you may need to call a locksmith to get a new key made. However, not all locksmiths can create duplicate keys for antique locks. So, if you’re having trouble finding someone who can help you, you may want to try contacting a locksmith association or guild in your area. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace an Old Trunk Lock?

The cost of repairing or replacing an old trunk lock varies depending on the type of lock and the level of difficulty involved in repairing it. However, as a general rule, repairing a lock costs less than replacing it. So, if your lock is in relatively good condition, it may be worth trying to have it repaired before opting for a replacement.

Use Your Pry Bar to Remove Lock

How Can I Tell If My Trunk Lock Is No Longer Working?

If your trunk lock isn’t working, you can do a few things to try and determine why. First, try using a different key to see if that will open the lock. If it doesn’t, the problem may be with the key itself. Second, try spraying some WD-40 or another lubricant into the keyhole and see if that helps. If neither of these methods works, it’s likely that the lock is no longer functioning correctly. In this case, you’ll need to replace or repair it.


So, if you’re in the market for a new trunk lock, be sure to keep all of this in mind. If you’re not comfortable picking locks yourself, don’t worry – our experts at are more than happy to help. The old-fashioned trunk lock is something that most drivers take for granted. After all, it’s just there to keep our stuff safe. Well, not quite. The fact is that a good trunk lock can be the difference between keeping your possessions safe and losing them forever.

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Michael Ortis

Michael has always been interested in security and safety. When he was younger, he loved reading books about espionage and crime. This led him to develop a fascination with surveillance systems and home security systems. He has 8 years of expertise installing, fixing camera problems and door locks. He also gained knowledge by helping homeowners to stay safe and secure in their homes. Over the years, Michael has gained a great deal of experience in this field. He is responsible for the content development on this blog.

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