Getting a broken key stuck in a lock can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Whether it’s the key to your front door or your car, a broken key can prevent you from gaining access to your property and can be a major inconvenience. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to get a broken key out of a lock, and with a little bit of patience and the right tools, you can be back inside your home or car in no time.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
Before you start trying to remove the broken key, you need to assess the damage. Is the key completely broken off, or is a small portion still sticking out of the lock? If only a small portion of the key is sticking out, you may be able to remove it with a pair of pliers or tweezers. However, if the key is completely broken off, you will need to use a different approach.
Step 2: Lubricate the Lock
If the key is broken off in the lock, it’s likely that the key and lock are jammed together. To loosen them up, you can try lubricating the lock. Apply a small amount of lubricant, such as WD-40, to the keyhole, and wait a few minutes for it to soak in. Then, try to gently wiggle the key back and forth to see if it will come loose.
Step 3: Use a Broken Key Extractor
If lubricating the lock doesn’t work, you can try using a broken key extractor. A broken key extractor is a tool specifically designed to remove broken keys from locks. To use a broken key extractor, insert it into the keyhole and turn it slightly to catch onto the broken key. Then, pull the extractor out slowly, and the broken key should come out with it.
Step 4: Call a Locksmith
If you’ve tried all of these steps and you still can’t get the broken key out of the lock, it may be time to call a locksmith. A professional locksmith has the experience and tools necessary to remove a broken key from a lock without causing any damage to the lock itself. They can also cut you a new key on the spot if necessary.
Preventing Future Key Breakages
Once you’ve successfully removed the broken key from the lock, you’ll want to take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be gentle with your keys. Don’t force them into the lock if they’re not going in easily.
- Don’t use your keys as tools. They’re not designed to be used as screwdrivers, bottle openers, or any other kind of tool.
- Keep your keys separate. Don’t put too many keys on one keyring, as this can put extra pressure on the keys and cause them to break more easily.
- Get a spare key made. Having a spare key made can save you a lot of hassle in case you ever lose or break your original key.
Getting a broken key out of a lock can be a frustrating experience, but with the right tools and a little bit of patience, it’s a problem that can be solved. If you’re not comfortable trying to remove the broken key yourself, don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith. By taking steps to prevent future key breakages, you can avoid this problem in the future and keep your home and car secure.