Broken keys stuck in locks are one of the worst emergencies one can ever have. They can keep you stuck outside your house or stop you from accessing a document you need urgency from a safe. Sadly, you have to be content with the fact that broken keys can happen when you least expect. A few tips up your sleeve can help you deal with the situation and only call in a locksmith when the matter gets out of hand. In this article, you will learn a few things that will help you remove a broken key from a lock:
Refrain from Pushing the Key Further
The first mistake most people make is that they try inserting the rest of the key to unlock the door. This will not work. It only makes the situation worse by pushing the rest of the key deeper into the lock. You will only have an easier trying to retrieve the broken key if the broken part is sitting shallow in the lock. The deeper it goes, the bigger your problem becomes. In fact, pushing the key further back will make some of these makeshift techniques to fail.
Prepare the Affected Area
You need to do a few things before you can retrieve your broken key. First, you need to lubricate the keyway using dry lubrication or graphite spray lubricant. Spray the area generously with the lubricant for optimal penetration. However, you must be cautious because graphite spray can stain the area severely. Make sure you direct the nozzle accurately in the keyway before launching your shot of lubricant.
Another good idea is to avoid oil-based lubricants because they can clog the keyway with a gum-like substance and make things more difficult.
Materials You Will Need
Some handy tools and home items can suffice when you need to remove a broken key from a lock. Even though it is difficult to take inventory of some of these small items. Some of them include bobby pins, Swiss army knives, buttons pins, safety pins and paper clips. You just need something that can grab the broken piece and hold it while you pull put gradually. If none of your home tools work, consider getting a broken key extractor from a store near you.
Alternatively, you can disassemble the lock, turn it such that the broken key faces downwards and tap it gently to remove it. This technique works well on most padlocks. If none of these techniques work, then it's time to call for an emergency locksmith.