How to Pick a Spoke-Hedz 3-Digit Combination Lock
My kids found an old Spoke-Hedz three digit lock, and wanted my help to crack it open. One of the first things I noticed was that it doesn't function like a normal code lock, where one half of the lock will open, or the lock itself separates. In this lock, the locking bail extends through the lock mechanism, and the lock mechanism itself slides back and forth across the bail.
Even locked, there is a little bit of wiggle, so the trick is as follows:
- Put pressure on the lock by sliding it across the bail as far as it will go.
- Rotate each digit until it gets very hard to move.
- If it gets really hard, try one more click. If it becomes easy again, just put it back to where it is hard.
- Keep pressure on the bail, and try moving the numbers one at a time. It should pop right open.
The mechanical 'slop' in these locks make brute forcing the combination really simple. They appear to be stamped, and then riveted, and their build quality is pretty poor. Unlike other locks, these have a lot of play in how the pieces fit together. When you put pressure on the bail by pulling it through the lock, it causes the internal rings to 'bind' as they're rotated around the combination. When you rotate the rings and feel the bind, move to the next ring and repeat until it unlocks. It took me about 5 minutes or so once I understood how to put tension on the lock mechanism.