Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.Henry David Thoreau

How to Open a Truck Toolbox Without the Key

How to open a truck toolbox without the key

You’ve lost your keys from the truck toolbox? Don’t worry this job is quite easy to do it yourself. But of course, be ready to ruin your lock and get a new replacement lock and keys. To buy a suitable replacement unit read the serial numbers on the inside of your toolbox. But order the set with a different model number to be secure that nobody can open your toolbox with your old keys.

How to open the troublesome truck toolbox?

Read our guidelines and follow several simple steps. 

Step 1

When you understand that you’ve lost your keys and will need to replace the lock and bother with the whole unit you can first ask your friends. The manufacturers of truck toolboxes don’t usually use lots of models of locks. It often happens that your friend’s keys can open your box. So before you start drilling out the lock on your box, find out if anybody of your acquaintances can share a spare key with you.

Step 2

In your toolbox kit for home repairs, search for a drill bit that fits into the lock of your box. The length must be enough to drill fully through the lock pins if you have the tumble style one. Usually 2 inches long are enough. 

Step 3

Look at the keyhole and align your drill beat with its top. Start the process. Drill smoothly and steadily. After several seconds you will feel the crack, it means that the highest lock pin has broken. Continue with the rest of the pins moving your drill bit down. You must destroy all lock pins to open the construction. Tumbler locks usually have up to five lock pins.

Step 4

With the help of a flathead screwdriver try to open the lock. Put the tool into the keyhole that you have just drilled out. Move the screwdriver in the same manner as if it were the key. The lock must open. If not, you have to take a drill bit with a larger diameter and repeat the first two steps.

How to fit the lock of your truck toolbox to any existing key?

If you are lucky and you can open the lid of your toolbox then you can fit the existing lock to the key you’ve got at home.

Step 1 Unscrew the lock

Looking inside the toolbox you can see there is a working mechanism, which works due to the arm, which fixes the locking unit. The lock can be tightened by a nut or a clip. Unscrew the nut or take away the clip. Push up the lock to the front through the hole. Now you are ready to work straightaway with the lock cylinder.

Step 2 Find an existing key that fits the lock

There can be different teeth patterns or groove patterns but the main idea is that the key must go smoothly into the keyhole.

Step 3 Take off the fixing piece at the back

It can be in the form of a screw head or a clincher.

Note! Mark which way you pull it off with a marker. Draw a line.

Loosen the piece. In case of a clincher just peel back the edges. Remove the arm and a little retainer, if any, from the screw shaft.

Step 4 Remove a shielded lock cover

Some locks have a protected lock cover. To continue work with the lock cylinder, take the shield away. Pull out the cylinder from the capsule carefully not to damage the tumblers.

Step 5 Insert the key you are going to use for the lock

When you insert the existing key into the lock cylinder you see that the tumblers are at different levels. This prevents us from turning the key and opening the lock.

Step 6 File the tumblers

Take the file and process the tumblers on the cylinder to fit the key. Remember that the key must be inserted during this process. Continue until you hit the flush surface. Now all the tumblers are flush and fit perfectly to your key. Put the cylinder into the capsule and check how it works. The key must turn easily to open and close the lock.

Step 7 Assemble the construction

Reinstall the front cap. Put back the retainer paying attention to the mark you’ve made before disassembling. Return the arm to its place and tighten the whole piece.

Step 8 Insert the lock back into the keyhole and fix it with a screw head or a clip

The job is done, the lock is ready to use.

Optionally, you can just buy a new lock of the same model and install it. Pay attention to the arm, as it can be different, you will have to replace it and use the arm from your old lock. 

Useful tips and other options

  • Look carefully at the outside of the lock. If there are some stamped numbers on it, you can call the local locksmith and tell him the numbers stamped on the keyhole area. Several dollars and hours later you will have your keys. If you come to him on your truck it will be much cheaper. If you call the specialists home they charge a lot.
  • One more option is to go to the local store and check the locks on sale. If you can find the item with the same numbers as yours, the keys will match your lock too. 
  • If you have access to a lock picking set, this can be a temporary solution. 
  • Tumbler locks are pretty easy to drill through. It will take you around 10 minutes. The mechanisms inside are quite standard and replaceable for $5.
  • You can always go online and order additional keys from the manufacturer. 


It’s always unpleasant when you don’t have access to your truck toolbox. Choose the most suitable option and follow simple steps to cope with this trouble.