Life is unpredictable and sometimes your key is breaks inside the lock. What should you do? Most importantly WHAT SHOULD YOU NOT DO? There is no simple answer. It depends on where you are, what tools you have available (if any), how deeply is the broken key inserted, and how much time you have in your hands.
Nevertheless, I hope you find some useful tips here and manage to get your key out of the lock without calling a locksmith in Belfast.
One of the most important things that you should avoid is to insert the key again. This can push the other half of the key further and create further delays. Some people are under the illusion that if you place the other half of the broken key back inside you might still open the door.
You should put the broken part of your key in your pocket and give it your locksmith. Sometimes the other half might stick out and in this case, I hope you have a spare key, too.
Before you start trying to get the broken key out of the lock you have to do a bit of preparation. This is optional and it will make your job easier.
Begin with applying some kind of lubricant on the lock. You can use the most common one WD-40 but for better results, you can use a dry graphite lubricant. You will need a towel to wipe the access lubricant. Once you have done that you can try to get the half key out with needle-nose pliers.
Don’t put too much pressure on the lock just in case you accidentally further damage it. If enough of the key is accessible you can simply pull it out. Here are some examples of what you can use to do that apart from the needle nose pliers-hair pin, metal paper pin, safety pin, swiss army knife.
What else can you use to extract the broken key?
1. Broken Key Extractor-This is a professional tool, that your locksmith will have. To use this tool you place it inside the keyway along the bitting of the key. To clarify further, you will be trying to hook the teeth on the key with the hook(s) on the extractor. Once placed along the biting, turn, and pull, and this should grab and remove the key. Of course, this may take several attempts.
2. Jigsaw blade-If you don’t want to buy a specialty broken key extractor, you can make one yourself out of a small jigsaw blade. (This will also work with mini hacksaw blades.)
What you want is a thin piece of metal that will be able to fit in your keyway along with your broken key, so the smaller the better. If needed, break the blade with some needle nose pliers so that you can insert the serrated edge into the lock. If the serrations on your blade are on an angle, place the blade in the keyway so that the serrations are pointing back toward you. This will allow the blade to go in easier, and hook the key easier.
Keys are subject to frequent use and the normal wear and tear happen, no matter how great the quality of the materials is. If you can’t get the broken key out of the lock by yourself, we are here to help you. Call us and we can fix your broken keys.