BEFORE YOU START - There are only a few reasons why a key will not work.  It's important to narrow this down so we can help you solve the problem. Work through these questions first and, if need be, let us know what you determine is the problem.

1.  You may have selected the wrong key code when ordering. We do not list ALL key codes and a key code can be used for a hundred different applications and most are different from each other.  Also, check to make sure the number you ordered is the same as the information on your lock.

2.  Does your key fit in the lock and just not turn?  This can indicate a lock that is not functioning correctly.  In this case, start with the help below.

3.  If you have tried the steps below with no success, the next possibility is that the key depths/spacing have not been cut correctly.  This DOES happen from time to time for different reasons but MOST of the time, the problem lies within STEPS 1 and 2.

You will find some great suggestions here that I have accumulated over time.  Be sure to see the pictures of gummed up locks at the end.  It will give you a better idea of what you might be dealing with in your own case.

1.  If you have a sliding door over the lock face, make sure is it fully out of the way so you are able to insert the key properly. Sometimes the cover sticks in place and won't let you in until you wiggle it out of the way.

2.  Does the key fit in the lock properly?  If so, that tells us it is the correct keyway. When inserted, does it just not turn? Double check the number. Recently a customer could not get the CH516 key for his lock to work. He returned it to me and I tried everything I could think of.  As a last resort, I started taking every CH series key I have and tried them in the lock. The one that worked was a CH518. When I looked at the stamping on the lock, what was supposed to have been an 8 didn’t get stamped on properly and was on an angle. It made it look exactly like CH516!

3.  If number 2 is true,  then it might mean that the wafers inside the lock are stuck in place. They can get this way if the lock has been exposed to weather. First, spray the key with a good lubricant (preferably not WD40,  as it has very little lube and causes dirt to stick) and insert it in and out and do this a second time. Then see if you can get the key to move slightly.  If not, get more aggressive and spray more lubricant (a graphite is good) directly in the lock so that it flushes out some of the gunk (some people have used brake cleaner with success) Let sit over night, if possible.  If you are noticing that the key is moving more and more each time, that's a good sign.  A friend of mine removes the whole T- Handle and soaks it in water.  He claims this works better than anything.

There are a number of things that can occur to cripple your lock.  Using lock de-icer leaves a residue that actually eats away the brass.  The brass wafers inside (min 4-6) can corrode and have chunks of that green looking stuff  growing on it. When the lock is exposed to weather all the time, not only the corrosion starts to build, but the dirt from the outside also begins to adhere to the lock.

Look below at the pictures, especially Figure 1.  You see the brass wafers and the tiny springs that hold them in. You can have corrosion or dirt built up in the gate or hole that the key slips through.  This can change the height of the hole and push the wafer higher than it should be when the key is inserted.  The springs may not have moved for a long time and are bound in place. This is where a sharp rap can help. It only takes one wafer that's stuck or disfigured due to dirt/corrosion to keep the lock from opening.

      A word of warning - don’t try and muscle the key and put too much pressure on the key when trying to open. The lock will finally spin around from stripping the outside wafer that is exposed, but it will never unlock again.

4.  If 3 fails, get a small hammer and tap gently all around the outside of the lock/handle. Sometimes you can actually hear the ping when the spring that is stuck breaks loose. Sharp raps but not enough to deface or warp the metal. Some people finally had success by tapping gently on the key itself.

Here are some suggestions we found searching on the internet too-

1).  I already gave one bit of advice on the subject and this is my final bit seeing as there are still people ranting about it. The best to use would be carburetor cleaner for the cleaning (will clean a lot of the gunk and stuff out) and then use a gun lubrication such as clp (according to the locks climate there are a multitude of CLP's like motor oil). Your really should not use a heavy lubricant on something that requires precise mechanical movements with small parts. As far as cleaning a lock out, leave it in carburetor cleaner/Hydorgenperoxide over night. If water based lubricant was used previously and you are not in a dry/sandy climate or hot/humid climate WD-40 should be sufficient. As far as I’m concerned wd-40 is for large non technical mechanical objects I.E. Door hinges and the like. I’ve worked in a multitude of climates from dry/cold (St.Paul) to hot/humid (Georgia) to hot/dry (Iraq) and many places in-between. From Mechanic to Tactical Satelitte Commo and have had to clean locks out for my equipment boxes and sensitive items.


a).  Yes, WD-40 Can work. Is it the best item to use? NO.  There are far better lubricants and other cleaning methods out there. The stuff I use on my locks doesn't require that  I need to be out there respraying them every 4-6 months. (Which would happen in my climate) WD-40 is also very bad a


SAVE 15% on your WHOLE ORDER by ordering two or more keys. Just use the code LOSTAKEY in the DISCOUNT COUPON redemption code box during checkout. Order multiple different key codes or items and receive the same discount!


  • 500 Units in Stock

Please provide as much information below about your key selection to insure we send the correct key code when filling your order.

Example- What is the application the key is used on? I.e. Tool box? Truck Cover? Tonneau Cover RV? Office Equipment?

What is the manufacture and/or model number of the equipment for which you are trying to replace the key?, etc.

maximum characters allowed

Copyright © 2018 A division of KAHOKA INC. Lost your key? Find a key replacement here for truck tool boxes, toppers, office equipment and more!
Website maintenance and hosting by Wheaton Website Service
Lost A Key