Jammed Lock: 4 Causes and Accessible Solutions

So, your lock is jammed. The key does not turn, the tension is rising and you are ready to explode with fury as you push the key up and down in fruitless attempts to get it to turn the necessary way. Don’t panic – it is easier to get rid of a lock jam than you think. In fact, most jamming locks share one of the 4 most probable causes that can be easily addressed.

The 4 most Probable Reasons Why Your Lock Is Jammed



One of the most prevailing problems is when a lock jam occurs due to a stuck key. You must know that the modern keys have small holes that can get dirty and partially clogged. When this happens, it requires a certain degree of effort to insert the key into the keyhole or turn it once it is already there.


Solution: Lubricate the key and lock using a special liquid lubricant WD-40. Simply distribute a little liquid on both the key and the lock, and you’ll see that your lock will return to work perfectly. You can find the WD40 lubricant on Amazon, or in your local houseware store. The most acquired types are WD-40 Multifunction Double Position 500 ml and WD-40 Multifunction Double Position 500 ml, their price can be up to 12 dollars depending on the shop and area.


For a temporary solution, try rubbing the tip of a pencil on the key. Graphite (of which the pencil lead is made) is one of the traditionally most used materials for lubricating locks. However, graphite is considered to be quite an “old school” product, because today there are dozens of better lubricants on the market. Never use oil, because it will attract dust and clutter the key, which will make it even harder to rotate.



In some cases, if someone introduces a key from the inside, it is not feasible to rotate the cylinder from the outside.


Solution: Simply tell the person inside your home to remove the key inserted in the security door. If that is not possible, call the locksmith services to help you out, because the problem cannot be solved autonomously.


  • Lock has a piece of broken key


If the key broke up inside the cylinder of the door, you must take out the broken key.


Solution: to extract the broken key it is best to use the crochet iron or a smaller knitting needle. Squeeze it inside the keyhole between the key and the lock grids and push the lock gently up and towards yourself. The procedure may take time, but a small pointed object is the key to your success.  


  • The cylinder is flawed.


This is the worst case. If the cylinder has been forced or is old, it may have undergone slight structural changes that do not allow it to be opened.


Solution: the only solution is to call a technician who will have to drill the cylinder and help you to unlock the door.