A broken key in a lock can be nerve-racking, and the first instinct most people have is to call the locksmith. Although hiring a locksmith will get the job done for you, it will cost you some huge bucks, particularly if the locksmith is dubious and he knows you are in dire need. A broken key in a lock shouldn’t be much of a problem if you know what to do. With the right knowledge and tools, you can get the key out without much fuss.
There are different methods of extracting broken keys from locks but one of the most effective is using a key extractor tool;
Step 1. Spray the lock with lubricant:
Firstly, flush the lock with a silicone spray. You can attach a straw to the nozzle of your silicone spray so the spray can penetrate the lock properly. The silicone spray will act as a lubricant, allowing the key to slide out without much qualms. Silicone is also water resistant, so there is no worry of rust.
Step 2. Align the cylinder:
A lock cylinder should either be in a locked or unlocked position in order to be able to remove the key. If it is in between the key won’t come out. You can use a needle nose pliers to align the cylinder into one of these positions.
Step 3. Use the broken key handle as a guide:
In order to confirm that the cylinder in a good position and to act as a guide for the extractor tool, you can insert the handle portion of the broken key into the lock until it touches the broken key part. The location of the large groove on the side of the key is the best spot to put the extractor tool.
Step 4. Choose your extractor tool:
Extractor tools come in a set with different hook shape. These tools have long thin rods. Although any of these tools can work for a number of key fragments, you may still have to do some trial and error to find the one that would fit your lock best and bring out the key fragment.
It is advisable you start with the small hook tool as the hook on this tool is able to grab a majority of key fragments.
Step 5. Slide the tool into the lock:
Slide the tool into the lock, allowing the hook to face upwards so it can hook the teeth of the key. The tool should be directed such that it slides in along the groove by the side of the key.
Step 6. Twist the tool and attempt to pull out key:
Once the tool is in the lock, turn it toward the key fragment. While pressing the tool against the key try pulling the fragment out. You may miss at first but keep trying. Soon the hook will attach to one of the teeth of the key allowing you to pull the key out.
If the key comes out partially, you can use your pliers to grab the exposed portion and pull it out completely.