Keys snap in locks for all kinds of reasons. You’ve put the wrong key in; your key or lock is old and brittle; the lock is broken, which makes the key stick inside; your key has a fulcrum in it due to a very deep cut; you’ve been heavy-handed. These are all possible reasons why keys can snap.
It’s a very common phenomenon that locksmiths have to deal with, and the solution is a fairly standard procedure.
How to extract a key
Depending on how deep the key is, and what type of lock we’re dealing with, the locksmith would use a different tool. If the key isn’t stuck very deep, he might be able to get it out with a pair of pliers. The deeper it’s lodged in there, the more fiddly it becomes.
There are things known as key extractors, which come in a variety of shapes that allow you to extract keys from different situations. One might be little more than a thin wire with a rough surface, while another might have a hook on the end.
Most of the time it’s possible to extract the culprit, though sometimes it’s simply impossible to do. The keyhole could be too thin, or the piece of key might be too small and too deep.
If you’re lucky, the key will come out and the lock will still work. Oftentimes you won’t be that lucky.
The lock may need some TLC. It may be dry or full of dirt/dust. The locksmith would then clean out the lock.
Otherwise, the lock will probably need to be replaced.
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