Keys breaking inside locks is actually a lot more common than you may think and something that us locksmiths get called out to regular. Any good local locksmith will provide a key extraction service. When your key breaks in a lock it can be incredibly frustrating as it happens completely out of the blue and often without warning.
Why Do Keys Snap In Locks?
There are a multitude of reasons why a key can break inside of a lock, a few of the most common include:
- Key has become damaged over time.
- Standard keys are made from soft metals such as brass and nickel.
- The lock has become jammed or is not well lubricated.
What To Do When a Key Breaks In the Lock?
Regardless of how the key broke off in the lock, getting the broken key extracted should be your top priority:
- Broken keys can cause damage to the locks.
- You could be left locked out or locked in your property.
- You may not be able to lock your door leaving your property unsecure.
How To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock?
If you can see a small portion of the key still sticking out of the lock, then you can try to pull the key out yourself using a pair of pin nosed plyers. However, you do need to be careful as you could end up damaging the lock itself. The best thing to do in this situation is call out your local locksmith who will have the skills, tools and experience needed to carefully carry out broken key extraction.
How To Prevent Broken Keys?
There are a couple of measures you can take to help prevent broken keys:
Lubricate Locks – Keys can break in locks when the lock has not been well maintained. You can use a silicone-based lubricant to spray the keyhole at least every six months, this will keep the lock well lubricated. It is important that you never use oil-based lubricants such as WD-40 as these types of lubricants will clog the locks and overtime and lead to much more serious problems, and even cause the lock to fail.
Replacement Keys – Due to the frequent use of keys they are prone to wear and tear so as soon as you see any signs of wear it is worth going and getting a new key cut and dispose of the old one.