What is the Tiny Hole in a Padlock for?

by | Learn

Last Updated on June 29, 2021

You may have randomly noticed the strange small opening next to the keyhole. And then ask, what is the use of that tiny hole on the bottom of a padlock? 

Padlocks are typical household items that we use every day to secure our property and belongings. But, amazingly, these locks hold a fascinating secret. And that is the existence of the tiny holes on the bottom of the padlock.

Today, you will finally find the answer to why padlocks have tiny holes at the bottom. But, before that, you may want to check the best padlock guide here.

What’s the Little Hole Next to the Keyhole?

In general, the small space on the bottom of the padlocks is made for a purpose. Padlock manufacturers don’t simply put it there for no reason. These tiny holes serve two essential functions:

First, the tiny holes would drain out any elements, especially water, that come through the shackle’s openings. That is why these little holes are known for their unique name, drain holes.

If you observe the placement of the padlocks, they are outside the house, in the gate and doors. Hence, rainwater can easily slip inside the shackle. And if there is no way to drain the water out of the lock, its components will quickly get rusty and damaged.

That is why some locks are so hard to open. You may want to check here how to open a padlock.

padlock and key attach to keyhole

Secondly, another important nature of the pinhole at the bottom of the padlock is that you can use it to pour oil and remove the rust inside. That means this small opening is very helpful to unlock a jammed lock.

We recommend that you pour WD-40 oil into this tiny hole to help you turn the key quickly. After dripping oil inside the lock, wait for a minute or two until the oil softens the rust that causes this problem. Be sure that the padlock is in a horizontal position to allow the oil to stay inside. (1)

After which, position the lock vertically to remove the oil. That should resolve the problem, and you will be able to use the key to unlock the padlock.


What is the little hole on the bottom of a padlock? Technically, it drains out the water and moisture inside the padlock’s body. Also, you could use it to pour WD-40  in to protect the metal from rust and corrosion. So that it is not hard to unlock the fastener.

You may want to check also the guide on how to open a padlock without a key


(1) WD-40 oil – https://www.wired.com/2009/04/st-whatsinside-6/

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About Gadgets Spy

Hi, I’m Michael, a security and surveillance expert. I co-founded and write for GadetsSpy and help teach people about new tech and Gadgets.