Key Lock sticking: what to do?

Sometimes just inserting or removing a key is impossible. Or, it is when turning your key that you encounter enormous difficulties.

In these cases, it is evident that the lock is stuck. Before looking for the appropriate solutions, start by identifying the origins of your problem. Therefore, we offer you complete information on the problem and the options to consider to overcome it. Follow the leader!

Why does a lock stick?

When a lock jams, it is usually the cylinder that malfunctions. The pins are positioned to block the rotor. That’s why the key can’t find its way. In other cases, the pins downright deteriorate. Obsolescence and lack of maintenance are to blame in most cases. It then becomes impossible for you to lock/unlock the lock.

What can be the causes of a seized lock?

To adopt an adequate solution, it is not enough to know which part of the lock is damaged. First, you need to consider all possible causes of deterioration.

Ask yourself about the quality of your lock. Low-end models have the advantage of being marketed at highly attractive prices. However, they are not designed to last. It only takes a trifle for the barrel to malfunction. That is also why we take great care to select top-quality locks from leading brands on the market.

Also, evaluate the manipulations of your lock. Pay attention to both how often and how you perform the maneuvers. For example, too frequent openings/closings are as harmful to the longevity of the lock as sudden movements. Moreover, rough handling of the door (and not necessarily the lock) can also cause seizing.

If you do not feel concerned by these probable blockage causes, ask yourself if you have carried out maintenance on your lock regularly. The use of penetrating oil that you will find in DIY stores can extend the life of your lock. In addition, remember to have your installations checked by professional craftsmen at least once every 3 years. If you have neglected this good habit a little, it could be that your lock seizes up as a result.


It is another likely source of your concern. The lock is frosted. That is a problem that mainly concerns gates and exterior doors. Note that it does not take long for a lock to be completely frozen. If you live in a region subject to harsh winters, you must plan for this kind of inconvenience.

Otherwise, estimate the number of times your door got slammed shut. Even if you have a premium lock, repeated snaps can damage it over time. Result of the races, the key no longer turns correctly or is completely stuck in the lock.

Furthermore, improper use of keys cannot be ruled out. If you use it to open bottles or for anything other than locking/unlocking your lock, its life will automatically be shortened. In the same way, you have the wrong key that damages the lock for sure. Therefore, it is essential to check which key you insert and, above all, make sure you only use your sesames for the functions for which they are dedicated.

The origins of a lock seizure are far from stopping there. For example, your door may be veiled. In other words, the door and its dial are no longer on the same axis. Even if the difference is only a few millimeters, it is more than enough to hamper the operation of the lock. A visual check is therefore necessary. Or use a square to find the gap.

Have you ever lost or broken your key?

If the one you are currently using is a copy, it may not completely adapt to the lock, especially if its construction is not in all respects consistent with the original.

In the case of a multipoint lock, it is essential to control the floor strike. That is the hole in which the metal bar sinks to ensure optimal locking of your armored door. Dust or other impurities may be clogging the hole. Therefore, it would be expected for your lock to no longer work as it should.

Also, explore the path of renovation. If, for example, you have redone the paint and a few drops have fallen into the lock, there is a good chance that it will end up seized up. It’s the whole point of applying an adhesive or other protective material to the lock when you’re indulging in painting.

Finally, we must not rule out the possibility of an attempted burglary. Criminals do not have an original key in such circumstances. Instead, they use master keys, metal rods, and many other options to try to break into your home. By mishandling the lock in this way, burglars cause severe damage.

What solutions to unjam my lock?

No time should be wasted when you find yourself with a seized lock. Once you have identified the source of the problem, you can consider a repair on your own.

If you’re handy at DIY, there’s the prospect of disassembling the lock. Mark the screws carefully and remember their respective places for successful re-assembly. Once the lock is dismantled, rid it of all its impurities. A chemical stripper can be helpful against rust. Be careful not to immerse your lock in the product! Instead, it should be applied very gently with a brush. Leave to act for a few minutes, then scrape gently with a metal spatula and wipe with a soft dry cloth.

If you are not a handyman at heart, try straightforward maintenance of your lock. Contrary to popular belief, locks should not be over-oiled. The grease retains the dirt very quickly, which will accelerate the fouling of the mechanism. Instead, we recommend that you get a non-greasy lubricant. Many products are offered in specialized stores. The spray is the most suitable form. All you have to do is inject the grease into the lock with a firm squeeze. Then use an air bomb that will remove the residue. Typically, the lock should be functional. Remember to repeat the process every 6 months, including once just before winter.

Are you dealing with a frozen lock?

Get a lighter and make sure to heat the key with the flame. Please insert it into the lock so that the heat overcomes the frost. It is sometimes necessary to start repeatedly before unlocking the door, but this solution should work very well. Moreover, it is not enough to loosen the lock. It is necessary to protect it against a possible blockage due to frost. Rest assured, the solution is elementary. Apply a dab of glycerin or petroleum jelly to your finger, and then rub your key over its entire length. Do the same at the level of the interstice of your lock. Insert the key and turn it in both directions. Remove the key and insert it back into the lock. You will find that the harshest winters will not succeed in blocking your access.

In the event that your door is veiled, do not touch the lock. Instead, be sure to re-level the gate with its frame.

If you are not using an original key, it is best to contact the manufacturer directly to ask for a suitable model for your lock. If not, have the cylinder replaced. A new key will be given to you. Make good use of it!

Regarding multipoint locks, it is essential to vacuum regularly at the level of the floor strike. Then, when the dust is removed, you can open and close the access with the key.

As for seizures caused by paint, scrape off the paint.

In addition to all these tips, there is a proper use of your lock and your door. Get into the habit of closing your door gently and opening it with equal care. Remember always to remove the key if you are often the victim of the door slamming. You will thus have the prospect of unlocking your access without damaging anything.

Label your keys for easy differentiation. In addition, it will save you from several unsuccessful attempts before finding the right one. So, on the one hand, you will save time, and on the other hand, you will ensure that minor errors do not lead to a total blockage of your door or gate.

Have you tried everything with no results?

Replacing the lock is an option to consider. However, before that, we advise you to call a competent locksmith. He will assess the problem and offer you a relevant solution. If no repair is possible, the locksmith will advise you on the model and brand of lock to be preferred. In addition, an experienced Locksmith in Tampa will carry out the replacement quickly. You will also have the certainty that the operation is carried out according to the rules of the art. It will optimize not only the efficiency of your lock but, above all, your peace of mind.

Several factors can cause a lock to stick. Therefore, it is imperative to ask yourself the right questions to identify the causes of the problem with precision. After that, a few simple gestures will allow you to unlock the lock. If the lock remains stuck despite your best efforts, contact a qualified locksmith Tampa promptly. All In One Locksmith is at your disposal for quick repairs.

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