How to Set a New Combination on a Padlock

Padlocks are remarkably useful items that can help to provide security in a wide variety of circumstances. In fact, padlocks have been around from the Roman era in Europe and seem to have been independently developed in ancient China, too. Most of the early padlocks in existence were made to operate with keys. If you want to get into an outbuilding or a shed that you have padlocked but for which you have lost the key, then calling on the services of a locksmith is the surest way of doing so without causing damage.

However, many people prefer the convenience of a keyless padlock these days. Combination padlocks are a good deal more convenient for locking gates, garages and storerooms because you don't need to remember to take the key with you, nor do you need to share the key with others. However, you need a memorable number for your combination. If you want to restrict access to someone you have previously given the combination to, then you will need to adjust the existing one. Most combination padlocks have the same system for setting a new combination.

Step One – Enter the Current Combination

Most combination padlocks on the market have four dials which can be rotated to present a number between zero and nine. A padlock of this type, therefore, offers 10,000 possible combinations. Once each of the digits is lined up correctly, it is possible to open the padlock by pulling on its shackle. This is the U-shaped section of metal that extends out of the body of the padlock itself. Bear in mind that some high-security padlocks have more combinations and use letters instead of numbers but the principle is the same.

Step Two – Change the Padlock's Operational Mode

With the padlock now in its opened position, raise it so you can view the underside of the lock. You should see a circular plate with a groove in it. This will look like the head of a large screw in many cases. Using a screwdriver or the edge of a coin, rotate this plate until it sits in a new position so you can set a fresh combination. A ninety-degree turn is usually all that is required, and you should feel when you have reached the right point.

Step Three – Set the New Combination

With the padlock now ready for adjustment, alter the digits on the dials of your lock to a new combination. Make sure you make a note of it, or choose a set of numbers you will be able to remember!

Step Four – Set the Padlock Back to Its Usual Mode

Turn the plate on the padlock back to the position you first found it in. The new combination should be set. It is always a good idea to test it immediately to ensure the process has worked correctly.