How to Use a Pencil to Open a Sticky Key Lock

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Introduction: How to Use a Pencil to Open a Sticky Key Lock

About: Garvey's Office Products is the largest family-owned office supply dealer in Illinois. We are the nice guys in office supplies!

Got a sticky office lock that just won't open? Try this trick!

Step 1: Grab Your Keys and a Pencil.

Grab your supplies:

  • Keys
  • Sharpened pencil

Step 2: Rub Your Pencil's Graphite (black Tip) Onto Key.

Rub a sharpened pencil's graphite onto your key to lubricate it. Fun fact: A pencil's graphite (or the tip of a pencil) is a natural lubricant.

Step 3: Stick Your Key Into Your Tricky Lock and See If It Opens!

Take your key (now lubricated with graphite) and gently fiddle with the lock. Tip: If your lock is still stuck, try rubbing more graphite on your key.

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    9 Comments

    Be careful using graphite for lubricating locks. A locksmith advised me not to use it because unlike oil the graphite builds up inside the lock and will eventually cause problems. The pencil tip is good but important not to overuse, given a choice a light weight oil is probably a better choice.

    1 reply

    Agreed. Everything in moderation!

    Very useful tip for getting yourself out of a jam!

    I personally use http://goo.gl/ce2KbS on the job a lot but keeping a good old No. 2 around is also a great idea!

    I now have a small pencil always in my home office... Thanks for this practical tip.

    1 reply

    Happy to hear that, Eunice21.

    Welcome! We look forward to seeing your instructables as well!

    This is a great little trick to know. Thanks for sharing this!

    1 reply