broken key

My key stopped working suddenly, how and why did this happen?


  • broken keyBroken lock
  • Dull key
  • Jammed lock (Lint, key fragments, etc.)

With time, locks can break from wear. They can also break from misuse. When a lock is old, like anything else, it becomes less durable. With instability and misuse, it’s bound to break. Misuse could be conveyed in several different ways. People get frustrated sometimes, and a little frustration can sometimes result in a big dilemma.

“My teenage son and I were arguing one morning, trying to come to some kind of common ground on a recurring issue affecting our family. He walked out for a few minutes, slamming the door behind him. When he returned he was frustrated trying to get the door open. In the process, the key got stuck for a moment but was able to be removed. He tried the key a few more times, but the lock didn’t budge. We called a locksmith, and it turns out the spring inside the lock broke.” -Anonymous

It’s also possible that something, such as lint or string could become jammed into a lock. This is more common than some would think. Long sleeve clothing or other loose clothing can be twisted into a lock when turning a key. It might even happen without the person realizing it. This can become frustrating, especially in situations when new locks have been purchased recently and installed.

Do I need to call a locksmith, or is there something I can try on my own before calling?

    1. Broken lock – If the lock is broken, it will likely need to be replaced. If the handle is held together by two screws, you can unscrew the handle and replace it on your own. If you can’t remove the lock, you may want to call a locksmith to come and repair/ or replace it, especially if you need to get into your home fast.
    2. Dull Key – If your key is dull enough that you can’t open your doors with it, you’ll need to either find another copy of your key (assuming you have more than one) or you’ll need to have a locksmith come and replace it. If you have the code to your key, make sure you have that when you see a locksmith. It will make expenses less.
  • Jammed lock – If the lock has something jammed up inside of it, you can try WD-40 or powdered graphite. Could be that something sticky was on your key when you tried to open the door, or could be something as simple as lint stuck inside of it. If you aren’t able to ease it open using a lubricant, you should call a locksmith to come and fix it. Chances are it is a bigger issue than you thought. You won’t want to cause any unnecessary damage, because a locksmith may be able to repair your lock, instead of replacing it.If you happen to be in the PNW area call our Seattle Locksmith for all of your Locksmith needs!

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