What To Do When Your Key Breaks 

fixing a key hole that breaks

In hindsight, you always know better. When you’re in a hurry, you never think about how rough you are with your keys. Until one of them snaps off in the lock.

There are few feelings like standing outside of your home or car unable to get in while watching the broken key in your hand in disbelief.

Why would a key break in a lock?

This can happen when the lock is old or defective. Some part of the locking mechanism sticks. When you apply full force while turning the key, it breaks. 

Or, the material the key is made of itself is weak and snaps more easily because of it.

You may even have inserted the key upside down and your attempt to wiggle it out of the lock causes it to snap.

Getting The Key Out

If this happens to you, you might be able to use the remaining piece of the key to let yourself into your home or, remove the fragment yourself, if enough of it is outside the lock.

Spray the remaining bit of key and the lock with WD-40. This should lubricate the lock and key fragment and make them easier to manipulate.

Hold the protruding end between your index finger and thumb or use a pair of pliers to turn the lock. Either way, you can open the lock and let yourself inside.

If the key breaks while you’re already inside, you can use the pliers to pull the broken piece out of the lock.

Keep in mind that this may damage the lock.

If there are no pieces of the key outside the lock 

You have a few other options in this situation. 

Firstly, you can use a flat-nosed screwdriver. Insert it into the lock and attempt to turn it the way you would a regular key. If the key did not break in mid turn it should open easily.

For a key that broke while you were turning the lock, you can use a hacksaw blade or any other similar-sized tool with a serrated edge. You want something thin enough to insert into the lock that can slide alongside the key fragment.

The serrated edge will catch in the lock like the teeth of the key and allow you to turn it like the regular key. You can also use it to slip the remaining fragment of the key out of the lock.

The hacksaw blade works very much like a key extractor, which is a tool you can buy and have on hand to deal with these situations as needed.

It’s important to note that the key can only be removed if it and the lock are in the vertical position. Also, while you’re attempting any of these methods, don’t push the broken bit of key any further into the lock.

Take the lock off yourself

You may decide that the above methods may be too much trouble or work. If that’s the case, you can run down to the local hardware and purchase a new lock and do the replacement yourself.

If the key has broken off on the outside of your home, your door will remain locked while you are away, so security should not be an issue

However, if the key snapped while your door was open, you’ll have to get someone you trust to look after your home until you return.

Call the locksmith

A locksmith will eliminate all of the above work for you by coming to your home, removing the jammed key fragment, and replacing your key and lock without damaging anything. Or they can remove the old lock and broken key altogether.

A skilled locksmith will be able to do this in less time than it will take you and you’re also assured you’re getting the job done correctly the first time.

As you can see, there are lots of things you can do when your key breaks, including calling us. You can reach us at 1 305 692 0234 or check out our website at https://southbeachlocksmiths.com/

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