Imagine locking or unlocking a door, and your key snaps in half. What will you do? A key break-off in your lock can be a painful experience. However, you can quickly get out of the situation with the correct information and tools. Locksmiths use several tools to unlock the locks or extract the key; however, a broken key extractor is one of the most valuable tools that come in handy in such a situation.
A key extractor is an essential tool in the locksmith’s supplies specifically designed to remove broken keys from the locks. Key extractors are designed to slide into locks alongside the broken key, and the hook is used to latch onto the key and pull it out. Whether it is a lock of your house door, office door, or car ignition, if you have an extractor set, removing the broken key from the lock is no longer troublesome for you. These sets are far more affordable than the cost of locksmith services. However, remember that you must put in some knowledge, time, and effort to use the extractor tools. But before you dive deeper into the topic of how to extract a broken key, continue reading and learn why do keys break?
Why do keys break?
There are several reasons why a key breaks in a lock. Firstly, the keys take a lot of damage and abuse, eventually due to which they might get weakened over time, making them more likely to snap when turned.
Secondly, the lock may be faulty, its mechanism has become clogged up with debris, or the lock itself has weakened due to extreme temperature changes and poor installation. This is why it is advisable to lubricate your locks frequently to work smoothly.
Thirdly, if your key is not made of durable material and you have applied excessive force to your key whilst trying to open the door.
How to remove a broken key from the lock?
The best way to remove a broken key is by using professional tools, which locksmiths widely use. A few locksmith tools you would need are key extractors, locksmith tweezers, and needle-nose pliers.
Key extractors are very helpful in removing the broken half of a key from the lock. These extractors come in various shapes, designs, and sizes; depending on the size and type of the lock, you would need to use different key extractors. There are spiral extractors, hook extractors, saw-tooth extractors, and more; however, these types of extractors’ jobs remain the same. If you know locksmithing, you can determine which one is the most suitable to use.
A thin and sharp-pointed locksmith tweezers can be helpful if the broken part of the key is not too deep in the lock. But remember, you need to be very careful while using tweezers as these tools are too thick and can push the broken part of the key further into the lock if slipped.
Further, you also have needle nose pliers for extracting the key. But it is also helpful only when enough of the broken part of the key is protruding from the lock.
Out of all these locksmith tools, you will find that a broken key extractor does the job well! However, to use it, you need to have a little knowledge of locksmithing to take out the broken key without causing any damage to your door lock.