Is your key stuck in the lock? You might be able to sort it out yourself, not necessarily by calling a locksmith. We know it is not a situation that happens really often but if your key got stuck in your door lock you need to sort it out somehow. Here are some of the methods you can try if you wish to solve it yourself. Of course, an expert locksmith is an easier and quicker way to get inside but it is worth trying by yourself first.
When the customer calls us and says: ,,I can’t get the key out of the lock, is that something you can do?” we are always trying to help. If you can’t get your key out of the front door lock you are pretty much locked out of your house. But, you do have a couple of DIY options still available to you before calling in professional assistance.
In this case, we would recommend reading this post first and seeing if there’s something you can do.
Remove the stuck key out of lock
Usually, there are different reasons for your key to getting stuck in the lock but here are some potential solutions. The problem can be a faulty mechanism, the sharp edges of your key, or the pin tumblers. So, the problem is the way the key is inserted into the lock.
Before trying anything please understand there’s a risk to cause more harm than good if you are not used to doing this type of work. It all depends on the lock and how deep is the key blocked inside the locking mechanism. You can break off the lock easily by forcing the key, so please be gentle and patient when trying these methods.
1. Push to plug in
The keyhole plug in a pin tumbler lock (found in deadbolts and locks) is just one part of a larger locking cylinder. As you might know, you can’t see the entire lock from outside but there are more components that are operating the lock. So, for example, your key may get stuck inside the lock if the lock cylinder plug has become loose inside the cylinder.
More than that, over time, the screws that hold the plug in place may get loose. Wear and tear signs are everywhere and the locks are no exception, unfortunately. So, if the screws are not tight enough, when you try to pull out your key as you’d do normally, the plug, encased by the cylinder, also moves in the same direction as the key. Therefore, you can’t get the key out, and most likely you are locked out.
- Try and push your key in as far as it will go inside the lock.
- Now you can try and turn the key in the normal direction, so that the keyway slot is in the exact position it was in when you inserted the key; this is the correct position for the pin tumblers to align in the cylinder.
- Secondly, with your other hand, use the tip of your finger to push firmly on the face of the plug next to the key.
- Gently twist and pull the key out.
In many cases, this is the easiest solution to remove the lock when the key is stuck inside the locking mechanism.
2. Try a lubricant
Of course, it is not this easy all the time. Sometimes, the teeth of the key are the reason why the key remains stuck. This is happening mostly for a new copy but not necessary. So, no matter the reason, the key might lodge against the lock pins. To get the key out, you can gently jiggle it up and down, while slowly pulling it outwards.
If this doesn’t do the trick, go and fetch a spray lubricant from your garage or car if you have one (WD-40 spray would do), or ask your neighbor to lend you some sort of a degreasing product.
- Hold the application straw right above your stuck key, aiming it into the hole.
- Now, wiggle the key (up and down, not side to side) to work it out of the lock.
Do not apply too much force so that you avoid breaking the key in half. Once it’s out, use a fine file to smooth the key. This way the sharp points on the key teeth will disappear. If you want to prevent future sticking, just ask the key maker to smooth the key down for you and you won’t have this problem again.
3. The weather dependent situation
Of course, the weather is an important factor that can affect the status of the door and of the lock. Most of the materials are affected by weather and wood or plastic are not an exception, unfortunately. This method will most likely work in the hot season. So, if it’s a hot summer day with high temperatures, it’s worth giving a try. Sometimes the volume of the door may cause door blockage and the quickest method to open the door again would be to… cool it down. Therefore, a good idea would be to find something cold to reduce the temperature of the door. So, you can try to use a bag of icecubes (you might find in the area).
- Hold the ice next to the key around 1 minute
- Slowly pull the latter outwards.
This easy method can save you some money and stress. Don’t forget, always try to stay focused on the solution. One of the common properties of metal, wood, or plastic: contracts in cold temperatures, which might “prompt” a stuck key to disengage if the burrs got lodged against the lock pins.
Expert Solution For Key Stuck In Lock
Of course, here’s always the option to leave the job of getting your stuck key out of the lock to a professional locksmith. Definitely, that’s the only method left if you’re still stuck after trying all of these methods. If nothing from the above is working, this job is for professionals only. You’ll be better safe than sorry.
Therefore, call a professional locksmith to either retrieve the key or replace the lock altogether. This way, you won’t risk snapping the key inside the lock. Obviously, if this is happening, even more problems will appear. And this meant a higher cost and more stress. When you are in rush, an emergency locksmith is definitely worth it if you’d like to have peace of mind and save some time. Because of their expertise and experience, they are able to fix the problem in minutes.
Ask For A Professional Locksmith
So, if you are based in South East London, you can always rely on our emergency locksmith assistance.
Our company called SE Locksmith (24h Emergency Line here: 07830431343) works with fully-qualified and equipped locksmiths and lock specialists, who simply know what they are doing and stand by the quality of their work.
Our team is available 24/7 and we are able to have your issue resolved professionally and without any damage caused to your lock.
- Please try not to apply too much force when trying to get your stuck key out of the lock. This can cause more damage than good and the cost for fixing will get higher.
- These are all unprofessional methods and they are not 100% working methods for any situation. Every door and every lock is different and the methods are not working in the same way for each of them. A locksmith will be able to try all the professional methods of opening the door – normally these are different approaches from what’s mentioned in the article. If you’re unsure about what you’re doing, just call a professional locksmith to help you out!
- If you have just tryied these methods (or any other ideas) and the situation just got worse or you’ve just snapped your key inside the lock, the only solution would be the professional help. Please don’t leave any unprofessional worker to try more, it will only cause a bigger damage if he doesn’t know exactly what he is doing. Call a locksmith and save yourself the stress and extra money – in most cases you will end up calling anyway.