Most us who've had school lockers or rental storage units know that lots of people trust inexpensive padlocks to secure their belongings. Tactical studies weblog ITS Tactical proves that this trust is a false sense of security by opening the two most popular type of padlocks with shims cut from an aluminium soft drink can.
Combination padlocks tend to only lock on one side while keyed locks usually have a double-lock shackle. To open a single shackle lock, you create a shim by cutting out a piece of aluminium shaped like the letter M. The middle indentation of the shim is inserted in the space between the lock body and shackle and then the shim is turned while working the shackle up and down until the shim has moved around to the other side of the lock into the mechanism. Once the shim is there, use it to push the locking mechanism out of the way and open the lock.
The process is the same for a double-lock, but you must shim each side. This is one of those activities that is easier to explain by watching the above video.
Finally, neither Lifehacker nor ITS Tactical advocates any illegal actions and this post is for informational purposes only so you may learn how unsecure the most popular padlocks actually are.
How to Open a Padlock with a Coke Can [ITS Tactical]