3 Ways to Extract a Broken Key from a Lock

Broken Key in Lock

You’re arriving at your home after a long day of work. You’re excited to Key broken and stuck in the door? It happens!

What causes this breakage?

  1. Sometimes this occurs due to normal wear and tear on a key over time. The teeth on the key get worn down and can make it difficult for the teeth to catch onto the lock.
  2. In a hurry? Using excessive force can sometimes break a key in an instant.
  3. Other times it can be due to the key being a cheap duplicate!

No matter the cause of your key breaking in the door, we can all agree that it’s a huge pain. The question becomes, how can you extract it and move on about your day?

3 Ways to Extract a Broken Key

 

Tweezers

This is usually the go-to tool when a key breaks off in a door for most people. Two things you need to be aware of is how far the key has broken off in the lock, and how wide/thick the tweezers are. Thin tweezers that open wide are ideal for the job. Too thick tweezers won’t allow you to position them along the sides of the key, while tweezers that don’t open wide enough will not be able to grasp it. The last thing you want to do is end up pushing the key further in the locking mechanism.

This method will only work if there’s a little bit of key sticking out. Pushing the key deeper is more likely to happen if this isn’t the case.

Jigsaw Blade

This is probably the most time-consuming method of them all and will most likely require a trip to your local hardware store. However, if available, use two jigsaw blades when trying to extract a broken key. Insert both blades on opposite sides of the key.

For this to be successful, the blades must be thin enough. Be sure the blades are also faced down so that they can hook the teeth of the key. After doing so, simply turn and pull.

If it doesn’t work the first time, try again!

Super Glue

This should be your last option if all else fails. While we do not always agree with this method, because it can end up making things worse, this is an option that can be pulled off if done correctly.

The trick here is to utilize something small like a match and glue it to the key. Mind you, this only works if part of the key is sticking out. After creating a firm bond between the two, try pulling the key out of the lock!

Extracting a key isn’t easy all the time. It depends on the type of lock and how the key is broken.

Contact Your Chicago Locksmith

Don’t feel like extracting it? Tried these methods and still came up short? Give us a call at 877-787-3399. With 24/7 service, Quick Key Locksmith & Security can get the job done fast and affordable when needed. Not only can we remove the key,  we can also create a duplicate key.

How Crash Bars Can Improve Business Security

Crash Bars

What Is A Commercial Locksmith? 

The job of a commercial business locksmith is to install the proper locking and security mechanisms to keep a commercial business safe. A locksmith provides businesses with keys, locks, crash bars, panic bars, touch bars, and other advanced security measures that are needed to maintain commercial business safety.

When businesses are considering locksmith for the installation of their safety and security measures for their facility, they should make sure that the company that they choose has been vetted carefully and has highly trained installers. A locksmith should be able to perform the following services:

  • Install master key systems
  • Rekey locks
  • Install locks
  • Repair locks
  • Install high-security doors and reinforcement
  • Install advanced access control systems

The Importance of Panic Bars And Crash Bars For Commercial Business Safety 

When it comes to commercial buildings, almost all of them are required to have crash bars which are also known as panic bars on their emergency doors. This requirement is part of most commercial building codes. The crash bars or push bars are the most popular type of door locks since they have multiple different types of benefits. Once the individual depresses the bar on the door this activates the unlatching mechanism of the door and allows a smooth easy exit. Push bars have been the reason why the casualties in random incidents, such as stampedes, have decreased tremendously.

The Benefits Of Push Bars On Emergency Exit Doors

The way that push bars increase commercial building security is that the doors are designed so that they aren’t accessed from the exit side of the door. Because of this security feature that push bars offer, businesses can we receive insurance discounts for having them installed. Did we mention that they’re also very affordable and they are catered to fit the needs of each individual building?

The push bar also varies when it comes to the style so a facility can get the exact push bar that matches their measurements when it comes to vertical or horizontal designs.

Quick-Key is always available to install push bars for your commercial business. Reach out to any of our locations and schedule an appointment today!

Lock Problem? Is the Problem Really Your Lock?

Door Lock

In the vast majority of cases where you think you might have a lock problem, the real culprit reason for the problem lies elsewhere, and statistically more than 80% of the time it has nothing whatsoever to do with the lock itself. Listed below are some of the most common causes of problems that appear to be lock issues, but which are actually attributable to other reasons entirely.

Hinges

Loose hinges can cause a great many problems, and if they happen to be poorly mounted in the first place, hinges can cause even greater problems. For instance, if the hinges are not securely mounted and the door is not properly positioned, the door may sag, thereby severely interfering with the necessary alignment between lock and strikes. The most obvious giveaway for this condition is in checking the gap between the jamb and the door, and finding that the gap is not uniform between top and bottom. This almost always means the door will not be situated right, and lock problems will be the likely result.

Strikes

Even if the door has been installed and hung properly, problems can result if the strike was carelessly or improperly installed, because, for proper functioning, bolts and latches need to be centered with their respective strikes. The entry lock latch must have its strike positioned in such a manner that the deadlatch plunger cannot fall into the opening for the strike, and the strike itself should be installed with screws at least three inches long so that the strike is well anchored into the framing behind the door jamb.

 

Keys

The internal pins on a lock have been ideally matched with their keys to ensure smooth functionality, and if you lose the original key which was 100% compatible, the replacement key may not be quite so ideally matched. Even a minor variation can have a huge impact on key operation, causing it to become completely unworkable. Even worse, sometimes it becomes necessary to make duplicates from duplicates, and in such cases, any small variation can get magnified into an even larger incompatibility, and more ‘lock’ problems may develop.

What to do

Lock problems are not generally repairable by do-it-yourself-er types, even if they aren’t truly problems with the lock. When any of these kinds of problems develop, your best recourse is almost always to contact your local expert locksmith and have the problem professionally resolved. In many of those cases, the best option will involve re-keying the lock itself, and preparing an entirely new set of keys to match that new lock. Your residential locksmith will have the knowledge, the skills, and the high-quality products on hand to expertly handle your lock crisis and solve your access problems in the fastest and most effective manner possible.

How Can Many Locks Be Opened with a Single Master Key?

master key

Have you ever wondered why it is that a single master key can open any of the locks in your entire apartment complex, while the one you have will only open your apartment door, and possibly the main entrance door to the building? While this specific scenario highlights a master key setup in an apartment complex, the same situation could be true with any number of other commercial and residential lock-and-key configurations.

The answer to the ‘one key, many locks’ question lies in a very clever arrangement of the components which comprise a lock and key system – but the same principle which allows that kind of master key access is also what makes this model vulnerable to a security breach if engineered by a skillful and knowledgeable criminal. Here’s why all that is true.

How master locks work

Most locks are constructed using design concepts that are fairly uniform in the industry, the most common of which is the cylinder lock. With this kind of design, the key turns a cylinder which is attached to a cam, which then also gets turned. When the cylinder is turned in one direction, the cam or plug, causes the door to open by pulling in on the bolt. When the cylinder is turned in the opposite direction, the bolt is released by the cam and is snapped into place to prevent the door from opening.

Another common type of lock is the pin and tumbler design, which features a series of small pins, each having different lengths. These pins are separated into pairs, with each pair situated in a shaft that goes through the central cylinder cam, and on into the housing. The pairs of pins are kept in position by springs situated at the top of the shafts.

Before key insertion, the bottom end of each pair rests totally inside the plug, and the topside pin stays halfway inside the plug and halfway within the housing. The position of the upper pin is what prevents the plug from being turned because the plug is bound to the housing by the pins. The fundamental principle which makes any master key system functional is that there are extra pins in the cylinder of the lock, and these allow for several differently shaped keys to achieving a compatible alignment with all sets of pins that they extend into.

Do you need a master key system?

If you need a master key system to be installed at your home or place of business, the first call you should make is to a highly reputable commercial locksmith or residential locksmith in your area. As mentioned earlier, some master key systems are more easily breached than others, because clever criminals can reverse engineer the system of pins in the cylinder to create their own master key. An expert locksmith can discourage this kind of criminal breach of security with a professionally designed master key system.