Yesterday, the housing cooperative I live in had a spring clean out. This time the goal was to remove all the abandoned bikes. I volunteered to do lock cutting. This was fun! I had a first-time experience cutting locks via a manual bolt cutter like this:

It took me a couple of locks to figure out how to use it properly. Otherwise I could not cut even the thinnest wires. Here is what I can say about bike locks.

Simple locks are super easy to cut even with this manual tool. The only lock I had problems with and didn't cut in the end was U-shape lock:

Types of locks that were easy to cut:

Wire locks

Very easy.

Chain locks

Pretty easy, but depends on the chain link size.

'Barrel' locks

I can't find an image for it. It is similar to wire locks, although the surface of the lock goes into a shape that resembles a series of barrels. It alternates between thicker and thinner parts. These are marginally harder than wire locks. I could not cut all the way through and needed to do a couple of bends by hand to finish the cut.

My advice

  • consider the value of your bike and the lock you put on.

  • have a look at lock reviews on the net.

  • Do not use wire locks and assume protection!