From the mind of Gabriel Shear

Tuesday, May 26 2015



This information is provided for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor the website are responsible for misuse of the information provided below.

 Bypassing A Master Lock

 Model 175

I was recently watching some how-to videos on You Tube over at ITS Tactical’s channel. A great channel, full of good information and reviews geared towards those with the survivalist mindset or a thirst for knowledge. One particular video on their channel caught my attention. It was a combo review/how-to on bypassing the Master lock model 175. It’s a common dial combination lock I see quite often. Usually used on construction sites, or places many different people need to access. Not needing to handle keys for multiple padlocks is a common reason for their use. I’ve known about this particular flaw in the locks construction, which allows for quickly bypassing the combination for some time now. So it was nothing new. It was a product that they were reviewing that I thought was unique. It’s called the EZ Decoder as seen below in this picture from ITS Tactical’s website.

.EZ-Decoder-01-330x220From ITS Tactical

You can view there video of how it works here, but basically you just insert the metal piece between the third dial and the lock housing. Then while pressing the shackle towards the lock you press downwards on the tool and then release the shackle. This bypasses the combination mechanism completely and quickly opens the lock.

Now I’m not posting this, just to regurgitate what ITS Tactical has already shown. While this is a great tool and certainly works. Not everyone in every situation is going to have access to one (especially if it’s illegal where you live to possess one) I wanted to add that it is not necessary to have one, in order to open one of these locks. While you could certainly look around for a thin (real thin) piece of spring steel just the right size to emulate this tool. Chance is not in your favor. Instead, it would be nice to use something more common probably something you already have on you. Keeping in line with the Gray Man mindset of keeping a low profile. Here is how you can bypass the Master Lock model 175 without the EZ Decoder tool.

One common object seen opening locks is the classic bobby pin. Good for handcuffs and good for this. Another common object is the small key ring loop,this will also work effectively. Paper clips can be hit or miss, newer ones are of such soft metal they are practically worthless even as paper clips. These are just a few ideas that I know work from experience but anything similar to shape, size and material should work as well.

To start, you first press the lock shackle in towards the lock just like with the EZ Decoder tool. This step is crucial as it releases the tension on the locking lever allowing you to manipulate it into place. While holding the shackle in, with the dial numbers facing up, you insert the make shift tool into the gap at the top of one of the dials and sharply to the left or right. Unlike the EZ Decoder tool, your only going in just a few millimeters .


Use a quick upwards or downwards motion and you should feel the end of the tool claw a piece of metal. You might also hear a clicking noise. Quickly release the shackle and the lock will pop open. This takes a few tries to find the metal bar behind the lock face between the dials. It helps if the tool has a sharp tip on it to try to gouge into the metal to grab it as you force it. I find with the bobby pin that rotating it as you push it upwards helps.

Here is a video showing the motion in action.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of the mechanics of these locks and how they might not provide the level of protection you expect.

– Gabriel Shear

Leave a Reply