If you own a house or a car, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve experienced having a key snap off in the lock. It’s a pretty standard scenario: You slide the key into the tumbler and turn it like you always do. Only this time the soft pot metal key that was probably a cheap duplicate, and instead of hitting just right, catching, and unlocking, it just snaps off smooth as butter. It usually happens at the least opportune time, too, like on the way to work, or on your way to some important function.
As trustworthy locksmiths, we realize the importance of watching your finances and holding off on unnecessary service calls. Sometimes a broken key inside of a lock can be a very easy fix, and simply isn’t worth the trouble of calling a specialist. And, we’ll give you some of the essential tips to try and free the broken key from the lock. But, we also realize that sometimes the broken off key piece may be too deep or difficult to remove, or you need a replacement key made so you can get back into your car, home, or business. That’s where we come in, to offer affordable, honest, and professional locksmith services.
3 Tips for Removing a Key That Breaks Off In the Lock
There are also several variables to consider, when trying to remove a broken key from a lock. For instance, how deep is the broken key seated? Obviously, you may also require some certain tools, and if you are not home, you may have to go buy or borrow some. But, let’s get on with our tips for key removal!
- Pulling Key with Pliers or Tweezers – Depending on where the key breaks off at, you might be able to grab the end, if it is sticking out of the lock, with a pair of pliers. However, if the key is broke off right at the keyhole. Using tweezers is a tricky method, because most tweezers are not sized appropriately for the removal of a key. It’s important to find a pair of tweezers that open wide enough to fit over the key. This is important because a lot times it’s all too easy to push the key even farther into the key hole, if you accidentally push on the key with tweezers. Needle nose pliers are also popular for key removal.
- Jigsaw Blade – Professional locksmiths oftentimes use a broken key extractor tool, which can be purchased, but it kind of defeats the purpose of keeping a broken key remove affordable and not too time consuming. Instead, what you can do is fashion your own homespun key extractor tools using jigsaw blades. Taking a thin pair of jigsaw blades, insert them into the keyway on opposite sides of the broken key facing downwards, so they can hook the key’s teeth. Use the blades to hook the key gently turning and catching the broken part of the key, and pulling outwards. However, this method might also require a trip the hardware store, so it may also become time consuming, if you don’t have the right jigsaw blades at home. Repeat the process, if you don’t succeed at it on the first go around.
- Super Glue – The only time this method is recommended, is when all else fails. It is also frowned upon by locksmiths, because it could end up doing more damage to the lock. It is also only recommended, if there is part of the key exposed. Typically, you would use something small, like a wooden match and attach the wooden end of the match with super glue to the key. Once there is a firm bond formed, try and pull the remaining broken end out of the keyway.
Why Do Keys Break Off in Locks?
A broken key inside of a lock is not a good problem to have, and should be addressed rather quickly. Especially, if the key has broken off in a home door, business door, or vehicle door. Here are some the main causes of broken keys:
- Too often, a broken key results from someone being in too much of a hurry and using excessive force.
- The most common cause for broken keys inside of locks is due to normal wear and tear on the key itself. Over time, the teeth on key get worn down, making it hard for the teeth to catch inside the lock.
- Lastly, it could be the lock and tumbler itself that is wearing down over time.
Contact a Denver Locksmith at Alexius Denver’s Locksmiths
If you simply don’t have the tools or inclination to try and remove a broken key from a lock yourself, then you need the services of an honest, trustworthy, and affordable Denver locksmith. For nearly two decades, the Denver Locksmith at Alexius Denver’s Locksmiths has offered professional locksmith services at an affordable rate.
You can reach our trustworthy and friendly staff today at 303-974-0215, or click the “Contact Now” button to send us your information.