If someone owns a car or house, there is a good chance that they have had a key snap off in a lock at some point. This is a common scenario -; the key is slid into the tumbler, and it is turned, as usual. Unfortunately, this time, rather than being able to remove the key in one fluid motion, it breaks, leaving you in a challenging situation.
At this point, it is clear you need a locksmith. However, there are a few bits of information that can be beneficial. For example, knowing why this happens and how to handle the situation when it does. Keep reading to learn more.
Why Does a Key Break Off in a Lock?
There are a few reasons that a key may break of in the lock. Some of the three main reasons that a lock may break off in a lock can be found below.
1. Sometimes, a broken key is caused by using too much force because you are in a hurry.
2. Another common cause for a key to breaking off in a lock is because of normal wear and tear and the teeth being worn down.
3. The lock and tumbler have become worn down.
If any of these issues occur, a person should figure out what to do and how to handle the issue. Some of the top methods to remedy this can be found below.
Pulling a Key with Tweezers or Pliers
Based on where the key happens to break off, it may be possible to grab the end that is sticking out from the lock. Sometimes, this can be done with pliers or tweezers. However, if the key has broken off flush with the keyhole, using this method can be tricky. Keep in mind, sometimes tweezers may push the piece of the key further in the hole, so proceed with caution.
A professional locksmith may be able to use a key extractor tool. However, most homeowners don’t have this. If that is the case, a jigsaw blade may be just as effective. A thin pair of blades can be inserted into the keyway on the two opposite sides. The goal is to face them down, so they will hook onto the key’s teeth. The blades can be used to gently hook the key, catching the broken piece, and pulling it out. Keep in mind, though that this method requires someone to go to the hardware store, so it can take more time.
This method is only recommended if everything else is ineffective. It is also not recommended by locksmiths since it may cause more damage. Only use this method if part of the key can be seen. Usually, something small would be used, such as a wooden match and then attach the wooden end of the match with the super glue to the key that is stuck inside the key. After a firm bond has been formed, pull out the rest of the key and use the lock as normal once again.
Taking the time to learn common issues or problems and why keys may break off can be helpful. Keep the information here in mind to take the right steps.