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The lowly "...master key..." aka Bolt Cutters

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by 7SFCW4, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    I have been keeping an Ace Hardware 36 inch Bolt Cutter in each truck as a "...master key...", boy was I surprised to find it completely made useless by, you guessed it, cutting the bolt on an actual lock. My understanding was that this was it'd core line of function. So...this has lead me to find a (seemingly) better made set of Bolt Cutters from KREEN with replaceable blades. Since Ace has a 30 day replacement policy and I've had them for years, they will not become a nice door stop but I will acquire and test the KREEN brand and post back here.

    So....for those who are like minded, I would suggest taking those bolt cutters out and giving them a try and posting here for others.

    As a reference the model I purchased is ACE Model #2195469, 36 inch Bolt Cutter

    In the interim be safe.
     
    pokerace likes this.
  2. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    It's actually pretty easy for lock manufacturers to harden the bolt to a point that it deforms most if not all bolt cutters jaws. It's going to be hard to find a bolt cutter that is harder as they tend to shatter when that hard and then used on an equally hard lock bolt.

    However, most locks can be overcome with a hammer, hitting hard down on the body until it breaks open.
    Also, lock hasps are a weak area and can be pried off.
    Don't forget a Zak Halligan bar for general door entry.
    Look for easier ways to gain entry if needed.

    I would recommend never trying to gain entry unless it's an emergency/rescue type of need or a very dire SHTF situation because any armed occupants will quickly end your SHTF experience.
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A rechargeable Dremel tool and a tiny emery cut off disc will cut through the hardest of steels. you can buy the little cut off disc's in a tube with like 25 of them for a few bucks.
     
  4. lowly monk

    lowly monk Beaverton, Oregon. Just a guy. Bronze Supporter

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    I have a pair of bolt cutters for softer steel, Like some chain, I also use a hardened drill bit and can get into most key access holes.
     
  5. Ligito

    Ligito Oregon Active Member

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    The weak point is often the hasp, not the lock.
     
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I thought we were talking 30-06.
     
    156256Hunter and 7SFCW4 like this.
  7. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    +1 With Mark W. my rechargeable Dremel tool will hold over 90% of its charge for a year. It lasts a long time under use too. I use mine to trim my dogs huge and fast growing toe nails (with extreme caution), as well as other chores. I have to charge it twice a year. You can bet that I have plenty of cutoff wheels and other abrasives and bits on hand too!
     
  8. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Trailboss likes this.
  9. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Burt Gummer likes this.
  10. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    you have to be careful buying bolt cutters. many are made cheaply and are not rated for cutting hardened steel. find some that are meant for cutting locks and you cant go wrong.
     
  11. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    The4thShake hit the nail on the head for me, Craigslist'ing that pair of bolt cutters tomorrow, RIGID cordless angle grinder, here I come.
     
  12. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    I have the Dewalt 18v version of the above - only because almost all of my cordless tools are 18v Dewalt simply for convenience.

    In the 'man sees tool, man must have tool' scenario like Tool Time I saw the show Storage Wars where the guy cuts right through locks like butter and knew I had to have one. (I do electrical work so I use it not just as a master key).

    My one cheap SnapSafe modular gun safe would be carved to bits by it in minutes.

    Quality bolt cutters do have their place. I have giant pair HK Porter 42". Those, a giant ax, a shovel, and misc other things are kept 25' off from the house in case the big one hits and I need to try to retrieve things.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
    Doc In UPlace likes this.
  13. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A can of compressed air (nitrogen) held upside down and sprayed over the lock bolt until it's really frozen solid, then whacking the lock bolt really hard with a good sized ball peen hammer, will generally shatter hardened metal.
     
    Burt Gummer likes this.
  14. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    While I recently also destroyed a pair of ace hardware bolt cutters (cutting rebar oddly enough), there are many better ways to get through most padlocks, as you can easily shim them (put a shim down along-side the lock bolt and force the cross-bar out.) In most cases, it's easier to attack the thing the padlock is attached to rather than the lock itself.

    As far as "making the magic happen" I'm a big fan of oxy-propane cutting torches. Mine makes really quick work of huge slabs of steel.
     
    Trailboss likes this.
  15. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Interesting thread. I'm a little biased since I worked along side locksmiths in the past. Lockmasters and Timemasters generally sell the public last I checked. Get a good pick kit and practice with it.
     
    lowly monk likes this.
  16. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  17. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have a 26" Workforce bolt cutter and it made it through a lock... but just barely. Left chips on the cutter blades. Not sure why I didn't think of using a Dremel for this.
     
  18. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Plasma cutter - works on stainless too.
     
  19. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Yea, I like plasma cutters, problem is they need a lot of juice or a gas engine to run...

    The only thing I can say for more "stubborn" jobs is the thermal lance. Which is a magnesium/aluminum tube with oxygen flowing down the center.

     
  20. 7SFCW4

    7SFCW4 Out and About, Oregon Active Member

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    Well, when you care enough to send the very best, there's always LOX + Charcoal Briquettes....