How to Replace a Vending Machine Lock

by Tammy Bronson ; Updated September 28, 2017

In order to change a lock sometimes it needs picking or drilling. Vending machines commonly come with a barrel lock. Barrel locks offer high security, but they are expensive. A barrel lock is difficult to pick which means that replacement requires drilling out the vending machine lock and replacing it with another lock. A barrel lock is similar to a tubular lock; a tubular lock can replace the barrel vending machine lock. Most vending machines have a 6, 7 or 8 pin lock. Barrel and tubular locks have radially aligned pins that are not linear.

Check the stability of the vending machine before drilling begins.

Put safety goggles on to protect your eyes from any metal debris in the air during drilling.

Drill a hole in the center of the barrel lock approximately ¼ inch deep.

Twist tape around the drill bit at the ¼ inch mark. You need to repeat this for each drill cut made into the barrel lock. This is a depth guide that keeps you from drilling too deep into the lock.

Fill each hole drilled with a larger drill bit making a larger hole every time you bore into the barrel lock.

Get to the black pin that holds the lock to the nut in the vending machine by drilling deeper and deeper.

Insert a screwdriver into the hole drilled to twist the lock out of the housing. Use needle-nose pliers to assist in the pulling and twisting.

Decide if you want to put a barrel lock or a tubular lock in the original lock housing. Simply place the barrel or tubular lock in the hole.

Turn it until it clicks into position. Test the key to the lock before shutting the vending machine door to make sure the new lock works and fits properly in the old hole.


  • Purchase only one style lock and know the number of pins you want to have before installation.

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About the Author

Tammy Bronson has been a freelance writer since 1994. As a writer for Thompson Gale Publishing she wrote autobiographies and legal reviews. With Bronson wrote innovative informative articles about colleges and universities nationwide. She lives in the Greater Boston Area and has a Master of Arts degree in literature and writing from the State University of New York.