Master Lock Set-Your-Own Combination Locks Review

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Right 23, Left 12, Right 7. Ah, childhood memories of locker combinations, skipping class and bullies. Those were the days my friend… Not! But maybe we can make school just a little bit more fun for kids these days with the new Set-Your-Own combination locks from Master Lock.


Master Lock has introduced two new locks. The 1590D, with a familiar rotary dial, but with letters in addition to the numbers. And the new 1500iD Speed Dial lock with a spring loaded joystick. Both locks can be customized with your own combination.


Both locks are made with metal bodies and hardened steel shackles. The Speed Dial lock has a 2″ (51mm) wide body, while the rotary lock is 1-15/16″ (49mm) wide. Both locks are also available in several colors including Red, Blue and Black.

The Speed Dial lock is very unique because it has a 4 way directional combination input button instead of a rotary dial with numbers. The dial is spring loaded and is easy to use. Just use your thumb to slide it in the desired direction and when you let go, it slides back to the center. This type of lock would be considerably easier for a visually impaired person to use, since only touch is required to open it.


A reset switch on the back allows you to set your own combination, which can be any number of movements (Up, Down, Left, Right). Of course, to be able to actually change the combination, you have to first KNOW the current combination. 😉 So there’s no worries that someone will flip the switch on the back of your lock in order to open it without your authorization.


A sheet of stickers is included with the Speed Dial lock if it’s easier to remember the combination visually, instead of by direction.


The rotary lock works as you would expect, but it now has letters in addition to the numbers. The dial has a nice feel when you rotate it. There’s a tactile  click for each number / letter.

A combination is made up of three digits or letters or a mixture of letters / numbers. You can even repeat letters and numbers. A special key is required to customize the combination.


You have to open the lock and then stick the key into the shackle opening and turn it. Then you can set your own combination. Easy, but don’t lose the key if you want to change it again in the future.

Both the Speed Dial and the rotary lock feature anti-shim locking technology, which is supposed to make them more secure than traditional combination locks.

masterlock-5 masterlock-6

I tried both locks on some lockers at my day job and as you can see from the images above, they worked as expected. The only thing I noticed is that the Speed Dial lock is a bit harder to get the shackle in and out of the lock handle. I think it’s due to the shape of the lock body and the fact that the shackle loop is shorter. It’s not THAT big of a deal, but I did notice that I had to wrestle with it just a little bit.

Master Lock is the world’s largest manufacturer of padlocks, and these new locks are affordable, sturdy and easy to use. I really like the fact that I can set my own personal combination instead of remembering one that has no meaning for me.


Product Information

Price:$5.99 - $6.99
Manufacturer:Master Lock
  • Ability to set your own combination
  • Speed Dial lock is good for visually impaired people
  • Easy to open
  • Inexpensive
  • Shank on the Speed Dial lock can make it awkward to insert in a locker lock handle

111 thoughts on “Master Lock Set-Your-Own Combination Locks Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. It looks like the combination locks are due for upgrade ages ago. My current favorite is the word lock ( ). The only problem I can see with the rotary lock is the requirement of the key to set the combination. While this is a welcome security feature, but I can guarantee that I will misplace that key after a couple of months.

  3. I bought a Master Lock Speed Dial and set it along with the instruction video. I can no longer open it. I bought another, thinking I had made a mistake. Same thing. I have read several reviews on line and several people have said the same thing. At nearly $8, the lock is not worth it. Don’t waste your money.

  4. Read all details about this lock at (at the bottom of the page)

    If you can’t open it after re-programming, try this:
    1) just push in the shackle and pull it up, you might have accidentally pushed in the shackle (reset the lock) during reprogramming.
    2) push the shackle in, then dial the old and then the new combination; you might have forgotten to reset the lock during reprogramming
    3) push the shackle in, then dial the new combination, but let the knob snap back instead of guiding it back. Or, if you usually let it snap back, guide it back this time. Letting the knob snap back might give a different result than guiding it back: Letting it snap back might effectively move the knob halfway into the other direction as well.


  5. I bought one and can’t even get it open to change the combo. I’ve tried the default combo many times. I wonder if it had been played with in the store and someone (or me) didn’t push the shackle in to clear it first. It does not tell you to do this on the outside of the package. What happens to the lock if you try to unlock without first clearing the lock via the shackel depression? Is this going to be an ongoing problem if one of my kids or friends who may operate this lock forgets to clear it first?

  6. Arthur Bogdanove

    I got one and programmed in a very simple combination and it worked. Then I bought two more and tried to put in a much more complicated combination and lost track and did not know how to start over. In the process of trying I ended up with an unusable lock. On the second I successfully entered a long combo but when I tried to open it later it would not open. I bought two more and put in medium complext combos into each. One worked. The other became unusable.

  7. I have one of these locks in blue. I dropped it one day and the slider on the back moved to reset. After discovering this, I slid it back to the normal position, creating an unusable lock. It makes a great paperweight though….

  8. I bought the new speed dial master lock today have it home now and pulled out the paper to figure out how to open and set it. I can NOT even get it to open before setting it… it is still stuck closed on the plastic it was sold on, and I am very frustrated after trying over and over again for over a half hour now so looked this site up… It seemed to be a great idea but I am now thinking it may have been tampered with at the store but the code was still inside the back package so? Again it seemed like a good idea- especially liked the one hand operation possibilities… I just wish it worked!

  9. I got one today and tryed to change the combo, now I cant open it. I have tryed everything. Does anyone know what to do?

  10. I have one of these that works perfectly… absolutely no problems despite playing around with it quite a bit.

    Some internet searches I did as part of my research before I bought the lock revealed a couple of operator-related issues that can make it difficult to open the lock:

    – Forgetting to reset it (either before opening or during resetting the combo): You have to push the shackle into the body to reset. This also clears the combo if you screw it up and need a re-do.

    – Allowing the combo knob to ‘snap’ back to center, instead of easing it from position to position. The lock is extremely reliable if you allow your thumb to ‘ride’ the knob from position to position, instead of lifting your thumb after each movement. Glide the knob through your combo… don’t let it snap to center!

    By the way, for those who wonder if their lock has been tampered with: my lock came with a plastic caution sheet affixed to the back. The sheet covered the reset lever, and made it obvious that the lock had not been messed with. And there appears to be no way to remove that sheet and then replace it.

    And I’m really surprised with the comment about the reset lever moving when the lock was dropped. The reset lever on my lock requires very deliberate manipulation (and a fair amount of force over the entire arc of motion) to get it into the reset position. I can’t imagine any mere impact achieving that. Of course, most anything is possible, but I’d say that it happening at all is quite the fluke!

  11. Am I understanding you corectly? anyone who wants to do mischief can wiggle a reset lever and thus your combination gets changed or reset, and you are locked out for good?

    But remembering the original combination you can somehow open the lock? that would be the salvation.

  12. mh, thank you for saving me $8!!!! I followed your instructions and finally got the stinking lock to open. I appreciate your help!

  13. I spoke too soon. After getting the lock to open, I tried to reset it following the instructions to the letter. It won’t open. I guess I’m out $8 after all.

  14. I also bought one, tried to reset the combo and cannot get it open. I tried mh’s tips, none worked. I even tried variations on my combo in the event I mixed up left and right, didn’t fully click to a direction and so forth. Having looked at the MhVisualizer ( i have an idea to try to open it regardless of the combination. Since the joysitck causes the disks to rotate, with 12 possible states for each disk, making 12^4 possible combinations, could there be a sequence (albeit a very long one) that would rotate through all possible combinations?

  15. ok people if u got a letter/number master lock and u accidently lockt it and forgot the code heres what i did: while waching a movie i was playing with the master lock by spinning it back and forth the way u should 3 times right when wile holding thumb in midle of the metal thing and pulling it up (not to hard not too easy just so u can feel all the klics) the 1st key is gona prety hard i had my lock 7 keys off the real number idk about all the other locks but my 2nd key was way too east to find as i went 1 full turn left and kept going till i felt it wouldent go if i hadent forced it so then turn it right and every numb/letter u pass from the 2nd key u pull on it till u open it … if u have a lock that has to be forced while rolling then dont pull on the metal piece or w/e if this helped im glad to help if not im sorry maybe i was just lucky …

  16. I just bought a speed dial master lock. I cannot find the combination anywhere on how to open it from the package. Where can I find this, or did it somehow just fall out? Please help!!!

  17. ok i found another way to open the letter/number master lock this time its easyer ! ok pick any numb/letter and start spinning it left go 1 time around then when u feel u have to push it a lil then go right and pull on the lock every letter/number u go from the letter u had to push alright have fun hope it worked ^.^ for every 1 of u

  18. Okay so I just bought the speed dial lock and I reset the lock and put a new password for my lock and I forgot the code what do I do pleaase heeelp meeee..

  19. I have the same problem as ‘jwalk’. I can’t get it off the plastic it is attached to because I can’t find the combination. Could the secret combination be on the plastic cover I threw away?

  20. No offense, but do consumers no longer the tiny printed words on the back called instructions.

    here it is.

    1. theres a slot in the back of the package that you need to open using a flat (butterknife) tool to open it. Inside it, you will then proceed to pull out a piece of paper with the stickers on it. All the way on the bottom of that sheet beholds your combo.

    to reset.

    Perhaps some of you who did it right keep forgetting to “zero” it by clicking down two. If not, it clearly won’t happen.

    Now use your combo and open it. On the back, use a bobby pin or whatever to push the lever up. REMEMBER IT HAS TO BE OPEN other wise it is a paperweight. Now slide your password, best to write it down and then do it so one, you remember and two, you know where you’re at. Click the lock back into place, then push the lever down to set from the reset position and voila.

    Really no offense, but some of you need to read the instructions. Videos will teach you how to reset it but if you can’t even find the combo that’s clearly written,

  21. I got one out of curiosity, I’m disappointed because I can’t speed through the combo. Basically if I go left and release, the joystick pops back right enough to hit. I’ve played with the default a lot and most times when I don’t SLOWLY guide the pucstick back to center it won’t open.

    Second thing, two shackle depresses is what it takes to reset. I haven’t found anything yet that will make the lock not open, including pushing the shackle down a dozen times in a row, straight playing, etc. Just shackle down twice, enter the combo SLOWLY releasing the puc to center, and it opens.

    I suggest playing with the default combo until you get a feel for that lock- I would love this lock if I could just let go of the pad and have it open.

  22. I can’t find the original combination for the Speed Dial lock? Do you know where on the little paper that came with it it’s located?

  23. This is a shame I just bought this new masterlock today at 5:35 and now here it is 5:40 and I only got to open it once. The second time I tried to open it, it would NOT open. I have been on the website to see if it was a way to fix it manually and it isn’t. Now I have to drive back to CVS just to exchange it, might even get my MONEY back if it isn’t going to work! Such a rip off so before I get my MONEY back is there any way to fix this $10.59 lock?

  24. I bought a speed dial, and cut the instruction sheet out of the holder. Followed the instructions and it works perfectly. I liked it so well I have bought at least a dozen, for gifts. First I show mine and let them play with it. No one has had any problems. I have reset one to require 8 different motions. It works fine.

    The key is: First, read the instructions. Second use it many times before you even think about changing the sequence. Then write down the new sequence you want. Follow the instructions and reset the combination. If it doesn’t work you, not the lock has screwed up.

  25. I bought one of these locks a few months ago. I set my combination and it worked fine the first 15-20 times I opened it. However I started having more and more difficulty getting the shackle to release after entering my combination. It required an increasingly firm tug to get it to open. I can’t get it to open at all now. It looks like I am going to have to cut it off to get into my shed.


    1. “Cut it off to get into your shed.” Aha. You made the same mistake I did. Mine got harder and harder to open the longer I had it on the back of my truck. The joystick Speed Lock is an INDOOR lock. It does actually say this on the packaging. It’s for a school locker or the like. I did eventually coax my lock into popping open, and then I squirted some WD-40 into it to lubricate the mechanism, and now it’s working perfectly again, with the 8-step sequence I programmed it with.

  26. Just got one for Xmas. Changed the combo no problem. Have operated it over and over with no problems. I can even let the knob fly back to center repeatedly and it works flawlessly. Only have to press the lock once to reset. If you close it but don’t press all the way to reset, it will open again without entering combo. I actually like this “feature”. Really like it so far.


  27. ? Possibly there is a bit of an art in the way one slides the slider? I think it should be controlled to make each motion very clear. I could guess that if one just lets it fly back, as the mechanism wears, flying back may start doing different things. ?? In any case once you have lost the “combination” the only solution is: Buy a a new one or something else.

    In my case: First it was a novel toy. I would set and opened and closed it while watching TV–I suspect over a hundred time or more with the original 4 move combination. I took it to meetings and let others play with it, and if it was a birthday or a special friend I would give them a brand new one with the combination unknown to me or them. As far as I know everybody that used it loved it. Several have ask me where they could buy one.

    I have only one time reset the combination. I wanted 8 movements. It works fine, but I don’t use it, when I show the lock to others–4 moves is plenty to start with.

  28. Maybe people don’t push the shackle in positively enough, so they don’t get a clean reset? Mark: I would encourage you to give another one a try, it is possible you got a defective one. It saddens me to read so many have problems.

  29. on the speed lock, i followed the instructions to the T, and tried a 6 move combo.


    i have another one at home that i just may leave with the default code. but i guess i’ll constantly be playing with this one until i get it undone.

    i noticed that the knob in the middle sticks.

    Master obviously didn’t run these things through any sort of QA or testing, or they would have seen this problem immediately. a master key for the back of the lock would’ve been smart, and probably more necessary on these locks than any other.

  30. I believe that the Speed Dial lock is a hit or miss product. If you look inside the lock, it appears to have plastic parts. The plastic parts may not be strong enough to have a successful combination opening every time.

    I followed the written instructions that came with the lock and I watched the video on the Masterlock website. I wrote down my pattern before I attempted the combination change, and yes I depressed the shackle twice. According to the written instructions from Masterlock, it states to “Be sure to slide the button all the way in each direction, letting the button SPRING BACK to the center position before moving to the next position.” I have also tried the suggestion from this site to gently glide the dial, and that is a crapshoot as well. Sometimes the Speed Dial opens and sometimes it doesn’t. Is it possible that some people lucked out and got good locks while others received a substandard lock? Yes, that is possible. Are a lot of people who are buying this lock possibly keeping the original combination and thus having success in opening it every time? Yes that is also possible. Masterlock needs to use better internal parts for this lock to make sure that it opens successfully each and every single time. The problem could also be the types of combinations that people are using.

    I will more than likely buy a traditional Masterlock with combination or combination and key in the near future.

  31. Over time I have bought well over a dozen of these locks, and am in a computer hobby club where several others have these locks. A few have destructively taken them apart to figure out how it works, and been able to figure out longer combinations that work. None of these people have ever mentioned it being unreliable. My conclusion is: It should only be bought by someone mechanically inclined who can read and follow instructions.

    I am astounded by the number of people who: can’t find the original combination, and if they do, immediately try to set a new combination; but don’t write down or remember what they have done. And then expect somebody to bail them out–For God sake it is a combination lock, you should not be able to open it if you have lost the combination!

  32. I got one of these speed dial locks yesterday to go to the pool. I reset it successfully to model my old phone number (which I could never forget). It worked great all day.

    Then today, one day later, I can no longer get it to open. I have no idea why it stopped working. I push the lock in several times to clear it on each attempt. I’ve tried letting the button “fly back” on its own, and I’ve tried guiding it back with my fingers. Nothing seems to work.

    I do not recommend this product.

  33. Bevin: I have no answer for you, however it has been my experience
    that people who immediately change the combination get into trouble.
    Then blame the lock, before they have even learned its virtues.

    I would recommend: You get a new one (Usually under $10 today.) and
    take a week or two just to get very familiar, and smooth, with it
    using the default combination. You may find there is little need to
    make the combination more complicated.

    Changing the combination is always risky. It has to be done clean and
    perfect. This is true even for the combination locks on big
    safes–which I have changed.

    PS. After thinking about your case–I bet after you changed the combination you failed to push the leaver back down? This would have effectively restarted a new combination each time you cleared it. And it would have re-opened each time.

  34. wow! The video online has the wrong combo to open it first time, the actual first time code is hidden in the sercret compartment on the bottom of the package, its really hard to find, I didn’t even know it was there, but after 2 hours trying to figure out how to open this thing, I decided to read every single word on the package and discovered a tiny text on the bottom, thats where you suppose to cut and uncover the secret area where instructions are!!

  35. Lambhair McDaniel

    Some of the responders on this forum are making the dangerous assumption that the consumer is always wrong or stupid. A big middle finger to those responders. I bought one of the locks with the letters. I have no issues remembering combinations so for me, I didn’t need to replace the one i had. However, my wife doesn’t remember them. I bought this lock thinking it would be perfect for her. I have had it for about 2 weeks now. It is on our tool room doors. I have unlocked and locked it at least 1 time every day during that 2 weeks (working on a project). There is zero possibility that I forgot my code (3 kids – 3 first letters of their names). This combination worked at least 10 times before today. When I went to unlock it today I noticed that the wheel is difficult (sometimes impossible unless you go the other way) to spin in some spots. I finally got the 3 letter code in and it will not unlock. I have tried a bunch of times. I tried some of the suggestions on this site. Nothing is working. My guess is that the mechanism failed when I locked it yesterday and somewhow the combinaton got reset. I will be calling a locksmith and sending a bill to Master Lock. DO NOT BUY THIS LOCK! STICK WITH THE REGULAR COMBO LOCKS AND BE RESPONSIBLE WITH THE CODE.

  36. Lambhair McDaniel

    UPDATE – Yes, that fast. No locksmith necessary. I took a small household hammer (my big ones are behind the locked doors) and went to work. It took about 5 good, solid blows before this lock busted into 13 pieces that I could find. Another reason to leave this one at the store.

  37. I bought one of this locks thinking it looked and easy to operate. I’m all abbout efficiency. I folkowed the instructions, reset the conbination to something easy to manuver and remember but after using it ONE time at the gym I can’t get it to open. I have spent over 15 minutes trying to open this thing at the gym. It is so frustrating and time consuming. I dont remember the original combination and can’t reset the damn thing. Looks are deceiving sometimes. It looks cool but it is useless. I spent $9.99 at Ride Aid. If anyone can help I’d appreciate. For those who haven’t purchase this product, do NOT waste your $ and time.

  38. I do not recommend this lock to people who can’t follow instructions.

    They buy it and can’t find the initial combination!
    If they get it to open once, they immediately try to change the
    combination–and can’t remember what they have done.

    Then they submit complaints, expecting some secret way to open
    it not knowing the combination. For God’s sake it is a Combination lock–it should not be openable by idiots.

    Then they blame the lock! They would see the problem if they
    looked in a mirror.

    I have never seen a malfunction in dozens of these great locks. Yes, the parts inside are made of plastic (won’t rust) and if you force it when you have not fully operated the combination, you could break to the tabs that move the wheels inside. This is most likely when you don’t follow instructions and loose your temper.

  39. i bought a number/letter lock the other day! it worked good with the default combo, so i did that 5-10 times and decided to change it. i remember what i put in but it doesnt work! someone please help me! i have tried cutting a pop can to pick it but it didnt work!!!!! does anyone know of anything else i could use that i would have around my house? please respond as soon as possible!

  40. Country/gak, and anybody else:

    When you screw up the combination, your case is hopeless. Nobody can help you. That is how a good combination lock MUST work. Otherwise anybody could open it, and it would be worthless.

    Anytime you change the combination on a lock, it must be done perfectly. This is true for locks on safes or the Speed Dial. All the people complaining here have showen they cannot accurately follow instructions; and should either get a key lock or one with a fixed combination.

  41. Lambhair McDaniel

    Just wondering, is DON the site administrator of this forum or just the resident jerk? Or maybe DON works for Master Lock, because he certainly does not like any criticism of these locks. DON thinks that he is smarter than the rest of us. He is special. Hey DON, is there any chance that these locks are not 100% perfect 100% of the time? If they are not 100% perfect, can’t we assume that some users of the lock are experiencing true malfunctions? What exactly are you attempting to provide the posters of this site? Your posts are not helpful. Please find a different forum to be a jerk in.

  42. Lambhair McDaniel

    Countrygal, I used a household hammer on my lock. It took about 5 good licks to shatter the lock into pieces. Seemed to be the best way to get this thing open after a malfunction. Good luck.

  43. Lambhair McDaniel for your information: I do not and have never worked for Master or any other lock company. I have no connection with this site. I have worked with combination locks, I once had a job changing the combinations on about 100 conventional locks for a University. I have also reset the combinations on safes used to store medical supplies.

    I have carefully taken appart and re-assembled this Master Lock. Mechanically it is a very ingenious mechanism, as was the mechanical part of a Rubic Cube. I would suspect that someone at Master Lock had to open each lock at least once to get it onto the holder. I have no idea if any more testing is done on each lock.

    I wish I knew how many of these locks have been sold to people who are happy with them. If you have read through most of this web site, you have to have seen several where people could not find the initial combination. Its location is described, yes in small print, where it is on the holder.

    There are several posts, that try to explain how to use the lock, and it is on the package and in the instruction sheet.

    I have never recommended taking a hammer to any mechanical device to fix it. The simple fact is: A combination lock for anyone who does not have the combination should not be openable–short of destruction.

    I have not called you names or made personal insults. But I wonder: What do you think your contribution to this site is?

  44. I have the letter-number lock. Bought 2, one for each of my kids. Changed combos through the keys away. They’ve been working for weeks, well, one has, the one my son uses to lock his money in a box. Tried it today, combo no longer works, just like that. Didn’t forget it, it’s JET, one of the recommended combos. I dont care “genius” the design is. Looks like hammer time.

  45. It seems that Master Lock wanted to make the lock instructions as opaque as possible. For the instruction challenged among us, here are the explicit steps to help find the Speed Dial lock instructions and how to reset the default combination. Simply stated, the instructions are located in a secret compartment in the bottom rear of the package. Inside this compartment, you will find instructions for the Speed Dial lock. In the upper right hand corner of the instruction sheet is a block entitled “Preset Combination” with a series of arrows. The sequence of 4 arrows arrayed vertically along the upper right hand margin of the instruction sheet is the default combination for your lock. The default combination can be reset by following the steps in the instruction sheet. Hope this saves you some time.

  46. I have no experience with the letter-number locks, with keys to change the combination.

    Each Speed Dial comes with its own 4 step combination. So for most users, the original combinat is probably all they need. (Obviously, there is a limited number of possible 4 step combinations. I don’t think Master Lock has published the number of different combinations they use.)

    It saddens me that the US Post Office has gone to key locks on their boxes. When I ask why, at my Post Office, the answer was that they thought everybody was having trouble with them. I think they mostly had contact with the people who got confused, and never talked to the many who were opening their boxes with no problems. (I liked the combination locks because I could always get my mail–even when the key was in my car somewhere else.) I hope the complaints don’t discourage Master Lock to the point they discontinue these locks.

  47. Good Idea, if only it worked. Went five for five, none of them worked, unless you just wanted to lock something up with the intent of never opening it again, in that case they all worked fine.

  48. ok. so i got the speed dial lock opened the package got the combo opened it and it worked fine. so then i changed the combo to my name. well it took me about 4 times to get it open, well that would make me late for class, so then i changed the combo to just sliding up, and then it would open every time. so then i got to thinking that someone could easily get into my locker so i changed the combo to up down. then i tried to open it… it would not open. i tried opening it up up down, down up up, up down up, up down left, etc. well my mom is not going to be happy that she bought a $9 lock just for it to be unusable… im not saying the lock is bad i just want to know what to do if there is anything possible to fix this??

  49. One day and then it stopped working! I have seen enough comments to realize Masterlock did not sufficiently debug this product – wish I read this before I spend the $10.00. I want my money back!

  50. i just got mine yesterday and put the paper with another pile of papers that i did not need and put it in the trash how do i get combination back?

  51. I like that the spring loaded action of the 4-way directional one I had entire school for the blind order these from my companies website. It felt good to help out. Great Product!

  52. Hey, Don.

    When I happen upon your lock and brick it for you without even knowing your combination maybe you’ll change your perception.

  53. I followed the directions to a “T” and the thing worked fine for about about 5 lockings and 4 unlockings. Now it will not open. I just saved my receipt and the packaging for the class action suit that will probably follow in a couple of years.

  54. Bought one of these and never reset it from the combo it came with. Thought it would be easy to undo from outside the fence. After one month it became difficult to open after three months I had to cut it off. Maybe these work better inside than out? I like Master Lock products but won’t buy another one of these as I have read several similar complaints. Just stops opening after a short service life.

  55. I just had to reread the instructions and they were right at the top- the combination I mean…at first I thought I had broken it, but just reread the instructions! I’m not the type to read instructions…..

  56. I bricked one. Thought maybe I made a mistake programming it. It did open reliably a dozen times before I attempted to reprogram it. So I went back to Target to buy another one. Tried to open it while sitting in the car, and it wouldn’t open. So I returned that one, and I’ll attempt to return the first one too. Or maybe I’ll open it up.

    I did read all the instructions. After I bricked the first one I even watched the video. I don’t believe that I failed to follow the instructions. I think that the lock looks cool, but it has issues and I would no longer trust it even if it initially works.

  57. Ahhhh. Just tried to set a one digit code…… Did NOT work. I tried just up, and it totally just locked me out…… I’ll never do that again… I just might buy a new one, but at 6.95 they are not that cheap… Other than that… It was a really good lock!

  58. Just bought a 1500iD model; got it back to office; cut the back of package off, slid instructions out, followed them to a “T” and “voila” – the lock won’t open. Now I wish I had looked up this site before buying it. I just wanted a simple lock for gym locker – now even if the lock works I am not sure I would trust it to open. Not denigrating anyone here but I sure DON’t want anyone to think I did not and do no continue to try the instructions. Went to the MasterLock web site and left a message on support – I expect a new lock (and not a 1500iD).

  59. I bought one of these to use at the gym. The preset combination was very easy to remember so I didn’t change it. I used it 3 times a week for about three weeks. This week I got out of the pool and when I went to my locker it wouldn’t open no matter what I did. There I stood in my bathing suit with my clothes and purse inside the locker. I finally went to the desk to get them to cut off the lock and let me tell you they struggled for about 45 minutes before they got it cut off. No explanation- I didn’t mess with changing the combination at all!

  60. Okay um I just bought the fast slider lock last weekend and at first the original code worked. Then when I put it on my school locker (yesterday) it wouldn’t budge at all. This is BUNK! I want a refund. I didn’t even change the code or anything. Huge waste of $15. Also I have ISS (in school suspension) for being late to class. BS! This shizz goes on my permanent record and this stupid masterlock is over priced. FREAKING BS!!!

  61. We KNOW how to use this lock. Have 4, all set to same combination. One works perfectly. Two stick when pushed to the right, so you have to be careful about pushing it back to middle. The last one only opens about once in 10 tries. We have tried resetting the combo when this happens, and it still won’t work. We will have to exchange it, and hope for the best.
    As for people who can’t find the combo, it is in the little raised area at the bottom. Find the combo to remove the lock. Do not cut it off. If it doesn’t work perfectly, return it immediately.

  62. I have the 1590D. It was just fine yesterday. Today, my daughter can’t open the lock. Since she’s still learning how these work, I went to unlock it. The whole family remembers the combination (we didn’t forget it all at the same time).

    It won’t open. The lock loop part appears to be frozen. (Normally there’s a little give to move it up and down. This one won’t move at all.)

  63. I’ve been happily using a 1590D for over a year…when yesterday I dropped it. This morning the combination would no longer work! Fortunately, it had coincidentally and conveniently locked itself in my bag, so I discovered the problem before I was locked out of the locker. I figured it was finished, but gave it the old college try, substituting the numbers or letters on either side of the combination increments, one at a time. On the 5th try, it opened up! 4 had become 5…and that was that.

  64. I love the spped dial loch, however when I changed my comination, it would not open. I tried it over and over again. I do not know how too open it, or if i did something wrong. Is there a code that will open any spped dial lock.

  65. Kris and others who have had difficulties.
    I now understand the frustration. Last week I bought another one. I noticed the packaging was different: The older ones had a black background including the bottom and where you have to cut opened to get the combination. The newer one has white on the lower back and on the bottom, also the instructions are in a little plastic drawer which is hard to get out.

    In my opinion Master Lock has really screwed up. I wanted to set the combination of one of the older ones into the new one. I was really careful, but when I did; the new combination worked only sometimes. When I did get it opened, I very carefully reset the combination a second time, being very careful to control each step. It is now no better. It is erratic. I won’t put it on anything that doesn’t have another way to get in.

    After this experience: I believe the old ones were MUCH better, and no longer recommend the Speed Dial 1500iD. (The new one seemed to work fine until I tried to change the combination. ? But I didn’t use it enough to even be sure about that.)

    I was wrong in thinking the problems were user error.
    Sorry, Don

  66. Following up. I’m certain we didn’t forget the combination. It was set to my daughter’s initials. I ended up cutting the lock with bolt cutters. Not easy.

    I replaced it with a lock that has keys. Hopefully that’ll work better.

    I think it it was a defective lock. The shackle doesn’t have any “wiggle” to it.

  67. Bought the number/letter lock and opened it fine the first time. Locked it and opened again using the default combo. Changed the combo the third time around and now… The lock wont CLOSE!? Most ppl cant get it open but Im having issues getting it LOCKED! Any ideas? Faulty mechanism?

  68. Omg. I tried to reset my own lock combination and I think I did it wrong. Now it won’t let me open it with my lock combination or the original one…

  69. Wanted a lock that I could reset the combo on. Bought the Speed-Dial lock and tried resetting it to something slightly more complicated than the 2-L, 1-D, 1-R it came set with.

    Had trouble getting it to open after the reset, but finally got it to open.

    Decided it was probably better to leave it with the original, more simple, setting and reset it BACK to the original combo. This worked fine (3 or 4 openings over 6 weeks time).

    I then had a need to reset the combo and so, following the directions to a “T”, reset it to another simple combo (1-U, 1-D, 2-R) and now it won’t open for anything.

    Bottom line: it’s a cool idea for a lock, but it’s too problematic to be practical/reliable/useful. I’m only glad that it didn’t fail while it was in use (i.e. being used to lock something up).

  70. I bought 2 of these locks to secure my privacy fence… Reset both to a programmed combo… Worked great for a month… TODAY, one is stuck closed on my gate. If you purchase this lock after reading this YOU ARE A FOOL.

  71. Hi Chuck,

    No, I purchased the lock before reading your post. I don’t know what they are doing at Master these days. I’ve used these locks for decades without a hitch and now they are producing shabby product. Sigh.

  72. I bought the Master’s number-letter combination lock just less than a year ago, had no problem setting my custom code; we have been using it for our breaker box (protected by the eave) and have accessed it several times the last 10 months. I opened it yesterday to turn off power for some lighting installation, and locked it up last night. We planned to resume our work today but have been unable to open it. The entire day of work has been lost, and we’re now waiting for our neighbor to come cut it off. Not happy, and I do NOT recommend this lock at all.

  73. I’ve had the speed dial lock for almost 2 years now and never had a problem setting it the first time or getting it to open until today. I reset it by pushing up twice every time, and have had the same pass code for a long time but now it will not open. I’ve tried putting my pass code in over a hundred times and it just doesn’t recognize my code. No one has tampered with it. This has never happened before a couple hours ago. Maybe the insides just wear out? It has a long warranty period though, which should mean it will last a long time, not less than 2 years. I mean, really? Masterlock, really?

  74. for anyone having trouble opening their lock for the first time I have some advice for you. All locks come with their own instructio manual in the back part of the package either in the upper right corner of the paper or on the lowest part of the instruction slip there is a preset combo specifically for your lock

  75. i tried resetting the lock with the numbers and letters, and i did what is said to turn the key and the dial and somehow when i closed it to create a new combination it didn’t work and now i can’t open it. Does anyone have an idea what i can do?

  76. I had a 1590D that just failed yesterday after just a few months. It opened fine in the morning and I locked it, and it would not open in the afternoon. It took 25 minutes to cut through the shackle with a bolt cutter (we had to cut on each side to free the lock from the locker itself). Fortunately I was at work and security had a bolt cutter, and not somewhere at some park with my phone and wallet locked into a locker with no access to them to ask for help…

  77. DEFAULT COMBINATION is located in the upper right corner of the instruction sheet as a series of 4 arrows. With all the other strange information on the instructions, it’s just about impossible to notice, so it’s a little ridiculous to see some idiots above berating people for not finding it, especially the one who claims the number is on the sticker sheet (which it isn’t).

    This should really be more obvious, like red ink with boxes around each arrow or something that makes it obvious that it this is a unique part of the instructions.

  78. I “Cracked it”. Like most others, I know what I put in for a new combination, but in the process evidently added or missed a slide of the puck.
    If you can get your hands on a set of precision screwdrivers, and get the back of the lock off, you can move the wheels into position to get the lock open, then replace the back and proceed with the instructions to reset the combination.

  79. We bought a master lock set your combination. We can’t even get it open to try to set our own combination. So now our package is all torn open and we have to take it back because it doesn’t work. I would have never guessed that a master lock lock wouldn’t work.

  80. Thank you mh! (comment #6) – My son screwed up the reset and I was about to throw it away when I decided to Google instead. Your #2 suggestion did the trick!

  81. Just want to chime in on the Genius of the Master Lock Speed Dial. Though the design is of genius origin this lock may (as all hardware and especially software might) suffer from the adverse environmental variables such as but in no means limited to freezing, extreme humidity, extreme heat, etc., not to mention the occasional inept user. I cannot be sure, but, most of the entries seem to be due to the latter. I have owned many of these speed dial Master Lock combination locks over the last three or more years, and have had zero malfunctions. My eight year old can reset the combo and resume normal use with the same results. I have to congratulate the company on knowing a true innovation when it sees it. I do hope for the future success of this product, as I for one will use this and only this lock in the future, where the application requires a superior lock.

  82. I have a speed dial lock- so far My mom’s bought two now because of the same problem.
    When we reset the code, our fingers must have slipped, forgot a number, or SOMETHING.
    But whatever it was, that means now I don’t know the combination that I reset it to- therfore meaning IT’S STUCK FOR GOOD.
    So is there any way I could open the shackle, put in a new code, or just ANYTHING THAT MAKES IT USEABLE AGAIN????

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. If you can get your hands on a set of precision screwdrivers, you can take the back of the lock off, and manually set the wheels inside so you can get the lock open. Then close everything up and proceed with the instructions to reset the combination. But be careful when you open it, everything is spring loaded inside. Good Luck !!

  84. Bought one today, set my own combination, worked fine for 10 times then…… I wished I discovered this forum before. $10.00 down the drain.

  85. Only way is to take the back off, and set the inside dials manually to get the lock open. Then put it back together and start over.

  86. Specifically to Margret: “What if you forgot your combination beacause I have a pink speed dial lock a I forgot the combination”

    If you have never tried to reset the combination, there are only 256 possible 4-move things to try. It is not impossible to try them all.

    A real problem exists when somebody plays with them in the store, and you buy it, or you get a returned one.

    I was given one and I could tell it had never been reset because the cover to slide the reset lever was in new condition. However the cover of the combination had been opened and taped over. I can only guess that someone opened several and got the contents mixed up.

    I wrote a program to generate all 256 possible, so I could systematically try and cross them off the list. I was lucky and opened the lock before I had tried half the possible ones. The list fits on one side of a sheet of paper. (If “” wants to contact me, it might be nice to have it available in a Printer Friendly page.)

    One more thought: If one positively closes the lock it can usually be opened without pushing the shackle in even once. Could it be people use it several times this way, but if someone moves the slider it won’t open without doing the reset. ???

    Lastly, I have found the more recent ones somewhat temperamental. As an experiment I sprayed WD-40 in it. I think it helped, and so far it still works.

  87. I purchased one of the 1500iD locks three months ago.
    Two weeks into using the lock, I decided to change my combination. I screwed up and the lock opened- THERE WAS NO COMBINATION. Just click the top twice, then pull it up and- Bam. Cracked.
    So today I tried to reset the lock.
    When finished, I double-checked, and yes, it did open.
    However, on the second try, the lock wouldn’t open.

    Am now buying a lock-and-key lock to make up for it-
    Strongly suggest not buying this lock.
    The set-your-own-combo has a certain creativity appeal, but it’s not worth it in the long run.

  88. I bought this lock (number/letter custom) today 5 minutes before I needed to use it at the gym. It worked fantastically with the original combination (I had to open it 3 times) but once I got home, I decided to use a custom combination, and I followed the instructions to the letter (no pun intended). I did it once, decided that the combination I chose was one I didn’t in particularly like, so I changed it, again following the instructions. NOW IT WON’T OPEN! I have tried SEVERAL combinations of the letters and number I used: backwards, sideways, upside down, mixed up, not proper lock use… NOTHING WORKS! I, first off, never have luck with locks because I tend to choose cheap, crappy locks. Now, I have chosen a relatively expensive lock ($8 in Canada; Walmart), thinking it would change my luck… BUT NO. I thought perhaps I screwed up or that I had bought a defective lock, but after reading these reviews (granted, these are mostly from people who have ONLY had issues with these locks, so it’s very biased) I now know that these locks are messed. I will either be bringing it back for an exchange, or write to Master Lock to find out what can done short of throwing $8 out of my second story window onto the street.

  89. Following the instructions has nothing to do why this POS looses its combination. 2 different locks (out of 6) that I’ve had have worked for at least 50 openings. Out of the blue the things loose the code and won’t open. So saying that people cant follow directions really is irrelevant in these cases.

    People seem to be on a high horse in here. These are know gitchy, unreliable, and flawed locks, end of story!!! Maybe not all of them but surely a lot. I wish I would have went with a better solution, its my fault for trusting Masterlock. Lesson learned, please say clear of these locks unless you want to waste a ton of time and money.

  90. I wasted $7 buying the 1590D. I carefully programmed a new combination following the instructions to the letter. I noticed after locking it the wheel was horribly hard to turn, but it loosened up after a few turns. The lock, however, will not open to the new combination. The original combination also does not work. Somehow the mechanism must have gotten messed up during programming. Fortunately I did not use it to lock anything, and now it’s in the garbage bin. MasterLock should pull these unreliable locks off the market. Will buy the old and reliable fixed combination model next time.

  91. This lock stinks… tried setting a new combination, closed lock and then tried combination and of course it does not open. Tried original combination and that will not open it. So now it is in garbage!! What a waste of money

  92. got the speed dial lock and reset the combination and guess what IT DID NOT WORK what a waste of money, how about doing something about these locks ! i see other people have the same problem too this should tell you that they are no good !

  93. Bought today the 1500iD Master Lock. Worked fine when on default combination. I reset the combination to my own one, tried to open it and didn’t work! Now it’s useless. 10 bucks thrown away. Good idea, poor implementation. They should recall.

  94. An earlier post fixed my issue…after resetting the combination, the lock would not open. I did recommendation #2 and it worked… I was able to reset the lock.

    mh says:
    September 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm
    Read all details about this lock at (at the bottom of the page)

    If you can’t open it after re-programming, try this:
    1) just push in the shackle and pull it up, you might have accidentally pushed in the shackle (reset the lock) during reprogramming.
    2) push the shackle in, then dial the old and then the new combination; you might have forgotten to reset the lock during reprogramming
    3) push the shackle in, then dial the new combination, but let the knob snap back instead of guiding it back. Or, if you usually let it snap back, guide it back this time. Letting the knob snap back might give a different result than guiding it back: Letting it snap back might effectively move the knob halfway into the other direction as well.


  95. Masterlock. I am tempted to buy these locks, but you need better instructions. I read the info on the packaging, and i dont get it. So I am not going to purchase. Potential costumers shouldn’t have to google or search for Youtube instructions.

  96. reset my new lock following the instructions enclosed and now cannot open the lock …What the heck…a costly lock and now its useless

  97. I had the same experience with the 1500id model. I tried two of them, and neither would open after the combination was reset by me. Finally I bought a third one and simply stayed with the preset factory combination. I like the concept of quickly opening the lock. Now the problem is that after a few months of use the preset factory combination no longer works, so I had to cut the lock off. I have wasted a lot of time, money, and aggravation on these locks. Good concept, but not ready for prime time!!

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