Drilling a lock is sort of a last resort solution that professional locksmiths use when all of the other possible unlocking techniques have been exhausted. It’s like that because drilling is essentially a method of destructive entry which destroys the lock cylinder itself, leaving only the lock mechanism intact.
Let me expound it so you can understand it better.
If a locksmith can open a lock through non-destructive means (e.g. lock picking), he will most likely choose to unlock it that way because it’s the easier and less costly option for the locked-out customer.
However, if the locksmith fails to unlock the door using every non-destructive method available, possibly due to a malfunctioning lock or a vandalised lock, the locksmith will have no other choice but to resort to drilling just to get it open.
Before the locksmith commences the lock drilling procedure, the customer must agree to have it drilled first. The locksmith must explain in detail to the customer why drilling is the only option available. Without the customer’s consent, no further action shall be taken by the locksmith.
Ever wonder how professional locksmiths actually drill through locks, or what happens during a normal lock drilling process?
As soon as consent has been given to drill the lock, the locksmith will begin to analyse the lock to check if it has anti-drill pins. For the uninitiated, locks with anti-drill pins are nearly impossible to penetrate with a small drill bit, so trying to drill locks like this will only be a waste of time and materials. There’s no need to worry, though, as most locks can be bypassed with a drill bit.
Once the locksmith determines that the lock doesn’t have any anti-drill pins, he will proceed to the next step – drilling.
Using a small drill bit, a professional locksmith typically drills through the lock cylinder and destroys it in the process, with the lock mechanism being left unharmed. The objective is to drill off the pins in the lock, and a locksmith will typically drill straight through these pins to loosen the cylinder plug and allow it to move around.
The instant that the cylinder plug is able to rotate freely, it means that the lock has been successfully unlocked and the door can finally be opened.