How to remove a broken lock
There can be many reasons that cause a lock to break: the passage of time, inclement weather, quality, the wear of our key, among others. Whatever the case, once it has broken down we must find the right correct way to remove it.
Removing a broken lock doesn’t always turn out to be a task as simple as we hope. Generally, we insert our key and notice how the lock does not turn, but we do not know why. It is extremely easy to confuse a jammed locking ratchet with a broken lock core and knowing this difference can be critical to find the best solution to our problem.
There are many methods to remove a broken lock, some of these will be more subtle and others more invasive. We advise you carry them out in the order in which we will provide them to you, as a way to apply the different alternatives with which you could recover your broken padlock and thus avoid having to buy a new one. Alright, let’s get started!
4 methods to remove a broken lock
Here are four ways to open a broken padlock; starting with the simplest method, until reaching the most invasive. Consider taking the necessary security measures before proceeding to remove the lock in question:
1. Clean the lock
Perhaps you want to remove the lock thinking that it is broken, when the reality is that it only needs a little maintenance. Due to the dirt that keys tend to accumulate, rust, exposure to dust and the elements; They cause the security mechanisms of the padlocks to accumulate enough grime to make it impossible to open them.
Performing full maintenance on a padlock may not be as simple as removing a broken key, but it is not a complicated task either. To begin, simply put a little lubricant in the keyhole and in the holes where the shackle of the padlock enters. The lubrication will release the components of the mechanism that may be hooked and thus allow them to open.
Even though the padlock has successfully opened, the method may soon lose its effectiveness, even after thorough cleaning has been performed. This is because the padlock could be very deteriorated to continue its correct operation.
2. Cut the shackle of the padlock
As we have seen in many of our articles, it is possible to open almost any existing padlock, as long as we use the correct method and tools. With the exception of security locks (also called anti-shear), most can be opened very easily by simply making a cut in your bow.
To choose the correct shear, you will have to look at the size of your padlock. The larger and stronger the shackle of the padlock, the larger the shear must be or it will not be able to cut successfully. At the same time, take into consideration that a larger cutter will provide you with a better result; Thanks to the fact that it will have more kilo of force and you will not have to exert yourself too much.
On the other hand, if you have a die cutter or angle grinder available, you could use them to proceed to open the shackle of your padlock. These power tools are generally powerful enough to make the necessary cuts.
3. Drill the keyhole
Although it is a highly invasive method, there is the possibility of reusing the lock if it has a removable core and the procedure is carried out with great care not to damage the body of the lock.
Now, the method consists of slowly drilling the opening core of the padlock, so that it proceeds to open by itself. Take into account that it is a difficult task even for experts, since the probability of not doing any damage is quite low. So it is necessary that you have full consent that the lock could be unusable.
To proceed, lubricate the drill bit and the keyhole of the padlock, then slowly begin drilling at the cut line (where you normally insert the key). Drill in a straight line feeling the padlock bolts break, one at a time; in more difficult cases you could end up completely piercing the core of it. Once you’re done, the padlock shackle will open on its own, as nothing will hold it. Take into consideration that if you have a padlock with anti-drill plates, it will be impossible for you to use this method.
4. Call a locksmith
Sometimes we start a job thinking that we can do it ourselves, but then we realize that it is impossible for us to finish it. If this is your case or you consider that you cannot carry out these methods, it is best to call a professional locksmith to proceed to remove the lock.
Ideally, you should hire a locksmith who builds confidence and provides good service. To do this, you can use the references of your acquaintances or look for one online that has good qualifications. Residential locksmiths typically have the knowledge and tools to open locks based on the customer’s need.
Tips and Recommendations
- Have a spare lock, so you can replace the broken lock once it has been removed. This way you will not neglect security.
- Follow all safety protocols when using cutting tools. Remember to use protective glasses, work gloves, turn off the tools once you are not using them and thus avoid accidents.
- Whenever you change a padlock or lock, put a better quality one that provides greater security than the previous one.
- Try to be very careful at the time of removal; this way you will avoid doing unnecessary damage to the lock, shackles, chains or other parts.
- Before your next purchases, try to study the existing padlocks on the market. Take into consideration its value for money and the needs of where it will be located.
The goal of this article is to provide you with a quick, free, and easy alternative; to people who need to remove a broken padlock, in order to solve a problem.
Apply these techniques only in padlocks of your property or under the explicit authorization of its owner. Also, take into consideration that performing these methods in public spaces may be frowned upon by other people or by the authorities. Remember that breaking and entering, theft and robbery; they are criminal offenses.