Broken Key Troubles: What You Need To Know

The first time you experience a key broken off in a door lock, you might be tempted to take the remainder of the key, match it up to the broken piece, and try to open the lock anyway. While it sounds like a good idea, this is actually a very bad plan. If you try to do this, you could inadvertently push the remainder of the key further into the lock, making it harder to remove. Here's a look at some things your locksmith wants you to know about dealing with a broken key.

You May Be Able To Remove It Yourself

There are a few different tools that you can use to potentially remove the broken piece of the key on your own. The first thing you should think about is a way to make the broken piece slide more easily out of the lock. 

A spray lubricant is the best way to do this, but if you opt for something like WD-40, you risk the petroleum base creating a heavy residue inside of the lock. Instead, choose a dry spray so that you can treat the key without worrying about caking up the lock.

After you spray the lubricant directly into the lock opening, you need to try to pull the piece out of the lock. Use needlenose pliers, tweezers, or something similar to grasp the end of the key piece and pull it straight back out of the lock. 

A Locksmith Can Remove The Key Easily

While removing the key yourself can be difficult, and it may not always be successful, a locksmith can easily remove a broken key with an extractor tool. These tools, usually owned only by locksmiths, slip into the lock opening at the bottom of the key and hook onto one of the key's teeth. Once hooked on the key's teeth, your locksmith can pull the piece of the key straight back out of the lock.

Sometimes Disassembly Is Necessary

In severe cases, where the piece of the key is too small or too difficult to remove with an extractor, you may find that you need to have your locksmith disassemble the lock itself. When the lock is disassembled, the lock tumbler is freed. Then, with repeated impact on the lock tumbler, you can shake the key loose from the key chamber.

Talk with a 24/7 locksmith today for more information if you are struggling with a broken key in a lock at your home.