Let’s face it, at some point our keys break. As often as we use them, it’s a surprise they don’t break more often. So what should you do when your key snaps, and it’s in the lock? Call your friendly neighborhood locksmith, for a start. But until we can reach you, follow some of these handy locksmith tips to try and solve the problem yourself.
Don’t Reuse the Key
It’s easy to assume that you can continue to use the broken key. However, the first of our locksmith tips is here to remind you that this is not a smart idea. When you attempt the force the unbroken part of the key in, all you are doing is making the broken part harder to extract. Once they two halves of the key are reunited, expert locksmiths such as the skilled employees at Village Lock and Key can make a new key for you.
Try to Loosen the Broken Blade
Graphite spray lubricant is your best bet for loosening the broken key blade and retrieving it. While you might think an oil-based lubricant can do the job, our second locksmith tip reveals that this method won’t work as well as you might think. While you might be able to grab the other section of your gum, the oil can play havoc with the rest of your lock mechanism.
Luckily, even if you don’t feel comfortable using those solutions, you have several other options available. For example, you could use one of the following:
- Bobby pin
- Safety pin
- Swiss army knife
All four of these items feature a thin metal element. These are clever ideas, but what happens if even they fail you?
Tips and Tricks
Grab Your Tweezers: The first reaction most people will have is to get the tweezers. But the size of the tweezers and the skill of the user count too.
Tap on the Cylinder: This technique is rarely needed, but consider how well-stuck the key is. You might need to hit the lock with a hammer, as long as you can point the cylinder of the lock downward, and then let gravity takes its course. Don’t forget to have an expert locksmith waiting to repair your lock in case of severe damage.
Pull It Out: Once you have the right metal implements (see the above list for examples), you can attempt a pincer attack on your lock. You’ll need some firm pressure, but you should be able to fish the broken piece of the key out of the lock.
Village Lock & Key is the Key to Your Success!
You might wonder, what makes us unique? We’re the only locksmith shop in all of Howard County, Maryland. Visit our location at 8970C Old Annapolis Road in Columbia, or reach us over the phone at 410-997-5969 (local calls) or toll-free at 800-966-9911. Are you on social media? Come and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!