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I Lost My Mailbox Key How Can I Open It

"I lost my mailbox key. How can I open it?" This is definitely a problem and a burning question especially if it happens to you because chances are you need immediate access. The good news is that there are many options. If you have a mailbox that is part of a cluster, you may be able to get new mailbox keys quickly. However, it may happen that you’re the owner and no institution is in charge of your mailbox condition and functionality. What then? Sure Lock & Key wants to help our clients as well as potential new clients by providing tips that will work for your particular situation. This way you won’t need to concoct something new on your own. If you find this potentially helpful then let’s continue!

How to prevent this problem

To have a mailbox with keys is quite a security upgrade over a mailbox that’s always open. However, losing keys is really annoying. Even though most times they are usually found after a little searching or a retracing of your steps. It's certainly frustrating and stressful, especially if you're in a hurry! So what can you do to prevent this?
  • Paint your keys

    One effective way to never lose your keys is to make them visible even in the dark. Paint your keys with glow-in-the-dark paint, and they'll be much easier to spot, especially when they glow in the yard on a dark winter evening or at the bottom of your overstuffed and cluttered gym bag.

  • Digital Key Tracking

    The world of technology has solved many of our daily problems, and now it has come up with a way to track our stuff. If your keys are tagged with a handy little Tile device and are within 100 feet of your phone's Bluetooth connection, you can easily find them. Even if the tagged keys are out of range, as long as the Tile app is running in the background, your phone will remember where they were last seen.
    Tile is only one of the dozens of possible solutions. Today, there is a wide range of key finder devices available, so you can choose the one that works best for you.

  • Hallway Key Bowl

    One of the main reasons we have trouble finding things in the house or office is because we ignore one of Benjamin Franklin’s famous adages, "A place for everything when everything is in its place." To avoid losing your keys, give each item a separate place. For example, for keys, this place could be a hook by the door, a decorative dish on an end table, or a magnet attached to the light switch right by the front door. Today, the amount of paper mail has decreased and we may not use our mailboxes every day. So, you may have a special separate place for your mailbox key.

woman unlocks a mailbox
  • A large keychain

    If you carry just a few keys, they can be harder to find than a large bunch, especially when they're settled in the crevices of a couch or office chair. Make it easier on yourself by increasing your visibility with a colorful and fluffy pom pom or some kind of decorative keychain.

  • Duplicate mailbox key

    If you don't already have a spare set of keys, you should make one. A spare set of keys is a small investment that can save you an even bigger investment in the future. Also, make sure your spare keys are always in the same place. You don't want to lose your spare keys in addition to your regular keys!
    If you have lost your mailbox key and need a new one, you may be able to get a duplicate from your property manager. If the mailbox belongs to the U.S. Postal Service, contact your local post office for more information. The Postal Service uses a universal mailbox key, known as an arrow key. In the case of personal mailboxes where no third party has a replacement mailbox key, replacing the lock is often the easiest solution.

woman unlocks a mailbox

How to open a mailbox without a key

You will need special tools to open your mailbox. You may shop online and have a courier bring the item to you or visit your local hardware store, so you can open your mailbox without a key and get your mail.
  • Lock picking kit

    Lock picking kits are tools designed specifically for picking locks. They contain levers and picks of different sizes. You can choose them depending on the size of your lock. You may buy a lock picking kit online or visit your local hardware store.
    If you don't have a lock picking kit, you will have to use pins. When choosing a pin, it should be sturdy enough so that it won't break when you push it and insert it into the lock. If the pin has rubber caps on it, first remove them with pliers.
    Another option is two paper clips. One paperclip will serve as the pick and the other as the lever. We strongly suggest using a metal paper clip, so it won't break inside the lock. It should also be large enough to fit inside the lock and at the same time, put pressure on the pins inside the lock. It must first be straightened before it can be used as a pick or lever.

  • Pliers

    If you have a lock pick set, you won't need pliers. However, if you need to make your own using hair pins or staples, we recommend using needle-nose pliers. This type of pliers is used in jewelry and crafts because of their suitability for creating bends and shaping metal wire.
    You can use small pliers since you will only be bending a pin. The handle should provide a good and comfortable grip. It should also be made of sturdy material so that it will not easily break when you use it for this and other purposes.

  • Gloves

    A pair of gloves is necessary if your hands are wet or sweaty. That will give you a good grip when making the lever and pick, as well as when doing all the procedures.
    You can also wear leather gloves because they provide a firm grip and are thick enough to protect your hands from sharp materials, such as the tips of metal wires.
    Make sure to choose a pair of gloves that fit perfectly on your hands so that you don't get distracted while performing each step. Gloves that are too loose can affect your grip, while gloves that are too tight can make you uncomfortable throughout the process.

keys in lock cylinder
keys in lock cylinder

Hire a mailbox locksmith

In case you do have to pay for new mailbox keys, you will want to seek the help of professional residential locksmiths. These professionals will not only help you get into a locked mailbox but also help you solve the problem. They also can "pull out" the lock and replace it without too much headache and hassle.
A locksmith can even cut new keys for your existing lock, all without having to hold the original keys. That can save you a lot of time and money!
In more extreme situations, however, even the best locksmiths have to resort to replacing the lock. That involves removing the old lock, installing a new one, and essentially upgrading the entire security system of a particular mailbox. This is the most costly and time-consuming of all the solutions professional locksmiths might offer you.

Need more information?

Summing up

In conclusion, if you have lost your mailbox key and you are the owner or legal tenant of your mailbox, you can repair or replace the lock and key. There are three different ways to replace your mailbox lock.
  • If you're too rushed or uncomfortable to wait for other options, the fastest way to replace a mailbox key quickly is to seek the services of a locksmith. The locksmith will be able to unlock your mailbox and if necessary replace the lock immediately.
  • The second way is to call the post office, where applicable.
  • The third way is to replace the lock yourself.
Choose what you like and, please, remember that Sure Lock & Key is always ready to help no matter what has happened to your mailbox lock. After all, it’s our job and we love it immensely!

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