Broken key extraction? Please don't get into the 'Do it Yourself" mode!
It's late in the night, you come home tired, after a grueling day and as you unlock the door, the key simply snaps. Now you are stuck with half a key and an inoperable lock. Fatigue, frustration, and despair can be potent cocktail and may even propel you to try and extract the broken piece on your own. Stop! Please don't attempt to do that.
The reason why you should never try to extract a broken key out of the lock on your own is because you can easily make matters worse. Without proper tools and skills, the key will most likely be pushed in deeper. If the key does get pushed further this makes a locksmith’s task more complicated. Sometimes, there is no other alternative than to have the entire lock replaced and that can become a prohibitively expensive affair.
What causes a key to just snap like that? Many tend to attribute this to the use of extreme force by the homeowner. But the fact is, not all keys are broken because their owners apply unnecessary pressure while opening the lock. The most probable cause is, after many years of strenuous use, keys can simply snap inside the lock. Over time the metal tends to soften, causing it to bend or snap inside the lock.
When this happens, the smartest way to go about resolving this is to call a professional locksmith. With his ever-reliable broken key extraction tool, the locksmith will begin to gently pull the broken key piece out of the lock. This may sound easy-peasy, but it sure ain't folks. So in case, your locksmith is taking time to get it out, please give him his space to do his job. It is more important to do it right than to do it fast because this will prevent the lock from suffering any additional damage. In most cases, a well trained professional locksmith will be able to remove the broken key without damaging the lock. In some cases, they may have to disassemble the lock to remove the broken key.
Once the broken key is extracted from the lock, you will naturally get him to make a duplicate key for you. You must insist that the new keys be cut with the help of advanced laser car key cutting machines. This ensures that the key is of high quality and will not easily snap in the near future. Just make sure you also get a couple of spare keys made as that will save you from lockout problems in the future.