If you own a trailer with a Reese hitch lock, you know the importance of keeping your trailer secure.
However, there may come a time when you need to break the lock for various reasons.
Whether you have lost the key, need to change the lock, or are dealing with a stuck lock, it is essential to know how to break a Reese trailer hitch lock safely and effectively.
In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to break a Reese trailer hitch lock using different methods.
We will also discuss the tools and precautions you should take to avoid damaging the lock or your trailer.
How To Break A Reese Trailer Hitch Lock?
Breaking a Reese trailer hitch lock can be a difficult task, but it is not impossible.
Here are some methods you can follow to break the lock:
Method 1: Bolt cutter method:
Step 1: Gather Tools And Materials
- Bolt cutter
- Safety goggles
- Earplugs (optional)
Step 2: Wear Protective Gear
Always wear protective gear, such as safety goggles and earplugs, when using power tools or cutting instruments.
Step 3: Position The Bolt Cutter
Place the bolt cutter around the lock’s shackle, making sure it is centered and has a good grip on it.
Step 4: Apply pressure to handles
Begin applying pressure to the handles of the bolt cutter until the shackle is cut.
This may require a lot of force, so be prepared to use all of your strength.
Step 5: Remove the lock
Once the shackle is cut, the lock should be able to be removed from the trailer hitch.
Step 6: Dispose of The Lock And Clean Up
Properly dispose of the lock in a responsible manner, following any local laws or regulations.
Clean up any debris or scrap metal created during the process of breaking the lock.
Method 2: Angle grinder method:
Step 1: Gather materials
- Angle grinder
- Protective goggles
Step 2: Position the angle grinder
Place the angle grinder against the shackle so that it is touching at a 45-degree angle.
Step 3: Turn on the angle grinder and begin grinding
Hold the angle grinder firmly and apply pressure as you grind.
This process may take longer than using a bolt cutter, but it can be effective if you don’t have access to bolt cutters.
Step 4: Wear protective goggles and earplugs
The sparks and noise from the angle grinder can be harmful, so it is important to protect your eyes and ears.
Step 5: Continue grinding until the shackle is thin enough to snap off
Keep grinding until the shackle is thin enough to break.
This may take some time and require a lot of force, so be prepared to apply pressure as needed.
Step 6: Remove the lock once the shackle breaks
Carefully remove the lock from the trailer hitch once the shackle is broken.
Dispose of the broken lock properly.
Method 3: Hammer and chisel method:
Step 1: Gather materials
Step 2: Position the chisel and lock
Place the chisel against the shackle of the lock. The chisel should be touching the shackle at a 45-degree angle.
Step 3: Tap the chisel with the hammer
Begin tapping the chisel with the hammer to create a groove in the shackle. This may take some time and effort, so be prepared to use all of your strength.
Step 4: Create a groove around the entire shackle
Continue tapping the chisel and creating a groove around the entire shackle. Make sure to evenly distribute the force around the shackle to create a consistent groove.
Step 5: Snap off the shackle
Once the groove is deep enough, the shackle should snap off and the lock can be removed.
Be careful when removing the lock, as the broken shackle may be sharp.
Step 6: Remove the lock
With the shackle broken, the lock should be able to be easily removed from the trailer hitch.
Be sure to dispose of the broken lock properly, as it is no longer functional.
Tips for Breaking a Reese Trailer Hitch Lock:
Wear protective gear:
When using a bolt cutter or angle grinder, it is important to wear protective goggles to protect your eyes from sparks and debris.
Wear earplugs or earmuffs when using power tools to protect your hearing.
It is also a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands from cuts and abrasions.
Use the right tools:
Make sure you have the correct tools for the job.
A bolt cutter or angle grinder will be more effective at cutting through the shackle than a hammer and chisel.
Make sure the tools are in good condition and are suitable for the job.
Take your time:
Breaking a lock can be a time-consuming process, especially if you are using a hammer and chisel.
Take your time and be patient. Rushing the process can result in mistakes and accidents.
Consider the consequences:
Breaking a lock without permission is illegal and can result in criminal charges.
Breaking a lock can also cause damage to the trailer hitch, which can be costly to repair.
Consider whether breaking the lock is worth the potential consequences.
Contact a locksmith:
If you are unable to find the key or are unable to break the lock, consider contacting a locksmith for assistance.
A locksmith will have the knowledge and tools to safely and effectively remove the lock without causing damage.
Preventing Future Lockouts
There are several ways to prevent future lockouts when using a Reese trailer hitch lock:
Keep track of keys
- Designate a specific place for keys
- Don’t lend out keys
- Consider using a key tracker device
Secure the trailer with a new lock
- Choose a high-quality lock
- Replace the lock if it becomes damaged or worn
- Consider using a lock with additional security features (e.g. combination lock)
Consider additional security measures
- Use a trailer hitch lock cover
- Use a trailer lock cable
- Use a trailer lock bar
Keep copies of important documents
- Make copies of the trailer’s registration and ownership documents
- Keep copies in a safe and secure location
Plan ahead for future trips
- Make sure you have all necessary keys and documents before leaving for a trip
- Consider purchasing a spare key or keeping a spare key with a trusted friend or family member
FAQs About Breaking A Reese Trailer Hitch Lock
Is it safe to break a Reese trailer hitch lock?
Breaking a lock can be dangerous and can cause damage to the trailer hitch.
It is recommended to use protective gear, such as goggles and earplugs when attempting to break the lock.
What tools do I need to break a Reese trailer hitch lock?
Options for breaking a Reese trailer hitch lock include a bolt cutter, angle grinder, or hammer and chisel.
It is recommended to use a bolt cutter or angle grinder for a faster and more effective result.
Can a locksmith remove a Reese trailer hitch lock?
Yes, a locksmith will have the knowledge and tools to safely and effectively remove a Reese trailer hitch lock without causing damage.
Is it possible to break a Reese trailer hitch lock without causing damage?
It is difficult to break a lock without causing some level of damage.
It is recommended to consider other options, such as finding the key or contacting a locksmith, in order to avoid damaging the trailer hitch.
What should I do if I cannot find the key for my Reese trailer hitch lock?
If you cannot find the key for your Reese trailer hitch lock, consider contacting a locksmith for assistance.
A locksmith will have the knowledge and tools to remove the lock without causing damage.
Alternatively, you could also try breaking the lock using a bolt cutter, angle grinder, or hammer and chisel.
However, these methods may cause damage to the trailer hitch.
Can I break a Reese trailer hitch lock without permission?
No, breaking a lock without permission is illegal and can result in criminal charges.
Now you know the steps to break a Reese trailer hitch lock.
Breaking the lock can be a difficult process and requires the right tools, such as a bolt cutter or angle grinder.
You may also need to use a hammer and chisel.
Whatever the case, make sure to take careful steps in order to ensure your safety and the security of your trailer.