Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve got a key broken off in the lock? It can be incredibly frustrating, not to mention time-consuming and expensive, to get it out. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on doing just that. Keep reading for more information!
The most frequent reason for lock keys breaking is normal wear and tear on the key itself. Over time, the teeth on keys get worn down, making it hard for the teeth to catch inside the lock. Lastly, it could be the lock and tumbler itself that wears down over time.
There are many ways to go about broken key removal. These include professional techniques to methods that amateurs use to remove a broken key.
If the key is an old-fashioned bit key, the ones with a flag at one end and a long barrel, then, Mandelbaum says, the flag has probably broken off, and a professional will have to take apart the lock to retrieve it. Unless you live in a haunted mansion, you should probably upgrade your security anyway.
On the other hand, modern cylinder keys can be maneuvered out with a little skill and a steady hand. If the key is aligned vertically in the lock, the tumblers (or pins) that the cuts on the key manipulate should not be engaged. If you follow these steps, you should be able to slide the key out.
Inside the cylinder, there are pins, which correspond to the cuts in the key and allow the cylinder to turn when the key is inserted. Before the key is turned, these pins are free to go up and down in their chamber due to a spring located in the chamber. If, when you break the key, the cylinder is turned, the pins can no longer move up to let the key slide out. They will serve to hold the key in place and prevent it from being extracted. The cylinder must be returned to its normal position to remove the broken key from the lock.
If your home has Schlage door hardware (and some other brands), the easiest and quickest thing to do is take apart the lock to expose the backside of the cylinder. The backside of the cylinder will have holes that you can poke into to push the key out. To access the lock cylinder, take the lock off the door. Look at the piece that you normally slide the key into (the cylinder) from the backside. Do you see a hole? In many cases, you can insert a paper clip, or another small rod, into the back of this cylinder through that hole to push out the broken key.
Needle nose pliers can come in handy during a broken key situation, wherein the broken bit is slightly sticking out from the lock. After applying lubricant to the area and allowing enough time for it to soak, it’s sometimes possible to pull the broken bit directly out. It’s important to be careful when first grasping the broken key because grabbing it incorrectly with pliers can inadvertently send it further into the lock. If the broken bit is too far into the keyhole, it might be time to reach for another tool that can pull the broken bit further out.
After a lubricant has been sprayed into the keyhole, it’s time to gather the necessary tools. Those determined to get in themselves and still have access to a vehicle can go to a local hardware store to gather the materials required. If you’re locked out of your home, and the only working key has been broken, it might be time to call a locksmith because removing the broken bit won’t unlock the door. Neighbors can also be helpful in situations where a key is broken inside a lock, especially if they have tools or a phone that could assist. When trying to remove the broken piece yourself, some handy tools include pliers, tweezers, jigsaw blades, small pieces of wire-like paperclips, and superglue.
A method that has been known to work, albeit with a higher chance of ruining the lock, is using a hot glue gun. By melting the end of a glue stick and applying it to the broken key, the hope is that the heat will cause the metal to expand and loosen up enough that it can be removed from the lock. It’s worth noting that this method should only be attempted as a last resort because there’s a good chance it will damage the lock.
Another way to try and remove a broken key is by using superglue. The issue with this particular method is that if it doesn’t work, it can worsen the problem. It’s important to be extra careful when using superglue because a little goes a long way, and if too much is used, it can make the broken key stuck fast. Only attempt this method if you are confident in your abilities and understand how superglue works.
There are some instances where it’s best to contact a professional locksmith instead of trying to remove the broken key yourself. If you’re locked out of your home, and the only working key has been broken, it might be time to call a locksmith because removing the broken bit won’t unlock the door. Neighbors can also be helpful in situations where a key is broken inside a lock, especially if they have tools or a phone that could assist. When trying to remove the broken piece yourself, some handy tools include pliers, tweezers, jigsaw blades, small pieces of wire-like paperclips, and superglue.
After you’ve mastered these techniques, you should be able to extract a broken key from any lock. It should be no problem whatever the type of object they are connected to; as long as you have the appropriate supplies, it will not be. Take your time, but don’t rush it. It’s important to organize yourself and your schedule to get everything done on time. Rather than rushing these procedures, it’s generally better to take your time. It’s frequently the case that taking it slower is the quickest way to save time.
Never rush when you’re in a hurry. That is how accidents happen. Most people are going to freak out in this type of situation. Not you. You will get calmer than you had been even before this happened. Nothing matters except keeping your wits about you. Forget about your appointment. You can reschedule. Call your office and tell them that you will be late. If you get there on time, you lose nothing. You can do this. You can do anything! There is nothing you can’t do! Now get that broken key out of that lock.
There are a few different ways to remove a broken key from a lock, but it’s important to understand that some methods are more likely to damage the lock than others. If you’re unsure of your ability to remove the broken key yourself, it’s best to contact a professional locksmith who will be able to help you without damaging the lock.
If you’ve ever been in a hurry and accidentally broken your house key off in the lock, you know the panic that sets in. You don’t have to worry any longer, A Plus Services – Toronto Locksmith has the solution for you! We offer a variety of ways to get that pesky key out so that you can get on with your day. Don’t wait until an emergency happens- call us today!