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How to retrieve a broken key in the lock

Updated: Mar 11


How to retrieve a broken key in the lock


Are you worried that one day you will be locked out of your house? Some of the problems that we face every day about home locks and keys could be solved without professional help. You will not need any relevant skills or tools to fix a stuck or broken key in the lock. But what are some of the reasons why your key gets stuck in the lock?


A new key.


This is a common phenomenon. Perhaps you just had a new spare key cut. This key will often have some burrs that will catch the lock pins, thus limiting the usual slide in and out of the lock. The spring that is on the pins will be pushed against the key thus binding the movement of the key. However, you should not force the key to turn. With little lubrication in the lock, the key and pins will release and thus retrieve the key. Consequently, you should be able to lock and unlock the door quickly.


After the key is retrieved, you do not want to be stuck in the future. It is advisable that you take it to a hardware store, or have a reliable locksmith in San Jose buff, or de-burr it.


An old lock.


It is evident that some of the locks that we use in our homes have been used for quite a long time. As a result, the locking mechanism will be loose, and the rim cylinder will turn with the key. It is frustrating to see the key turn, without unlocking the padlock.


However, you should be able to open the padlock by stabilizing the cylinder rim. When the rim is stable, it should release the key without compromising damaging other components of the lock.


If your lock starts to hold its key or some of its components are moving within it, it is a sign that its old and worn-out. You should get a new lock. In such a case, you can call a locksmith in your area for a lock change. Moreover, the locksmith should be able to re-key the lock so that you can use your current key with the new lock.

Extract a broken key in a residential door lock.


There are instances when the key will not move out of the lock. While you try to open the lock forcefully, the key will break. A broken key inside the rim cylinder is an emergency and will need quick retrieval. There is little you can do with your lock when there are broken key pieces in it.


In such a situation, you will want to call a professional locksmith in San Jose for broken key extraction services. However, you should be able to extract the key yourself. Depending on how far the key is sunk into the lock, you can rake or pull it out of the lock.


But how will you extract a broken key out of a lock?


To effectively remove the key, you might need a screwdriver, needle-nose pliers, or a jigsaw blade. It is essential to lubricate the lock before the beginning of the works to loosen its components.


Extract key with needle-nose pliers.


This is one of the effective ways to extract a broken key. With the tip of the pliers inserted into the keyhole, you can try to grip the pieces of the broken key and slide it out. This is only possible if the cuts on the key are aligned with the pins on the lock. If this is not successful, you can use a jig or scroll saw blade to retrieve the key.


Using a jigsaw to extract broken keys.


Slide the blade with its teeth facing downwards. If you push it into the lock, you will feel the blade grip one of the cuts on the key. With the key and the blade held together, pull it out of the keyhole. The broken piece should slide out of the lock with the blade.


It is important to state that with a broken key in the lock, anyone could open your house. Especially if the key cuts are in the lock, if half the key is in the lock, it won’t unlock. Depending on the situation, it is vital to have someone you trust guarding the door as you look for these tools.

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