How to Get a Broken Key out of a Lock?

How to Get a Broken Key out of a Lock? A sense of dread and helplessness descends upon the scene as your key breaks off in your lock with that gut-wrenching crack. How to remove a broken key out of a lock is the subject of this article. The optimal approach for you will be determined by the specifics of your circumstance.

How to Get a Broken Key out of a Lock?

Methods for Broken Key Removal

If you can’t get the broken key out of the lock on the first try after you figure out the procedure, don’t get discouraged. Repetition is required for most of these strategies. When something is so easy to break and so difficult to mend at the same time, it seems like a perfect match.

:small_blue_diamond: DO NOT Use Your Key Again

Even if a key is broken in the lock, many individuals believe that the lock can still be opened by inserting the remainder of the key. Please don’t do this. Instead of pulling the blade out, you’ll just push it farther in with each attempt to re-insert your key. The shallower the key is inserted, the easier and faster each of these ways will be to use.

The more difficult it is to get at the key, the further back it is. Some of these methods may not work if you shove the key too far into the lock. Let go of what remains of the key, and put it down or in your pocket. This piece is unnecessary.

You shouldn’t, however, get rid of it. Don’t forget to bring the other half with you to the locksmith or hardware store. A locksmith can make a new key using both pieces of your key.

:small_blue_diamond: Quick Prep

Getting ahead of the game isn’t required, but it will make things go more smoothly. Start by lubricating the keyway. Graphite or some other dry lubricant should be used in the lubricant.

WD-40 and other oil-based lubricants can be used; however, they can clog the lock’s internal mechanisms. The smoothness of the plug rotation may begin to suffer after a short period of time. The main drawback to a graphite spray is how easily it stains surfaces.

Make sure that the nozzle of the lubricant is positioned inside the keyway before you begin spraying it in. Additionally, you’ll need some sort of rag or paper towel to clean up any lubricant that spills out of the keyway.

Even if these methods will extract the broken key, needle-nose pliers will make the process go much more quickly. With your pliers, you may simply pull the key free once enough of it has been made accessible.

:small_blue_diamond: Materials That May Come in Handy

Our possessions can be hard to keep track of when we’re under a lot of stress. Extrapolation of similar materials may be challenging when reading about thin metal or matches. So, here are a few items you might have on you or around you that can assist you in removing your key from the lock.

  • Metal hair clip

  • Bobby pin

  • Paper clip

  • Safety pin

  • Button pin

  • First aid kit

  • Emergency kit

  • Swiss army knife

  • Playing cards

  • Pocket knife

  • Eyebrow scissors

  • Rolling Pin


Don’t give up if you can’t get the broken key out of the lock on the first try. Most of these strategies necessitate repetition. The shallower the key is inserted, the easier it is to use each of these methods. Some of these methods may fail if the key is inserted too far into the lock. It is not necessary to get ahead of the game, but it will make things go more smoothly.

Tools For Broken Key Removal

  1. Tweezers

  2. Broken Key Extractor

  3. Hacksaw Blade

  4. Super Glue

  5. Tapping the Cylinder

  6. Probe and Pull

1. Tweezers

When a key becomes stuck in a lock, often these people are reaching for the tweezers. Your primary considerations should be the depth of your tweezers and the depth of the broken key embedded in the lock. Most tweezers are small enough for this task and will only push the key further into the keyway.

Tweezers which swing open enough to satisfy the key but are not too thick to intrude with the key’s corners should be used. The majority of keyways have an overextending that inhibits standard tweezers from appropriate. Tweezers can be used to remove broken keys from locks as long because some of the key remains pointy from the keyhole.

When users try to press the key even farther back than necessary, you increase your risk of injury. Although we all love playing “Operation,” life is sometimes more than a game. Only use this procedure if you are confident in your abilities and the accuracy of your tweezers.

Tweezers should not be pressed too tightly. When the tweezers are closed after wanting to hold the key fragment, it will be tried to push further into the keyway. With each unsuccessful attempt to grab the key, the struggle of removing it grows.

2. Broken Key Extractor

Using a broken key extractor tool will quickly get you out of this jam. However, if you call a locksmith who just doesn’t end up making their own tools (and chances are you do not), they will use this one. Insert this tool into the keyway and follow the biting down of the key through the tool.

You’ll be attempting to connect the key’s teeth to the extractor’s hooks. Simply turn the key and squeeze it out from along the tickling. However, it may take several attempts to get it right.

When a key breaks in a lock, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the expert devices required to repair it, but this is the tool you’re attempting to replicate in your DIY method. Consult the data on the broken key extractor for guidance when trying to remove the broken key in another way.

3. Hacksaw Blade

If you don’t want to spend the money, you can end up making your own broken key extractor out of a small hacksaw blade. What you need is a narrow piece of metal that will fit in your keyway alongside your broken key; the smaller the better.

If needed, use needle nose pliers to break the blade before inserting the serrated edge into the lock. Angled serrations on your blade should be placed in the keyway so that they face you. This will make trying to insert and latching the blade and key easier.

You can use this in a similar way to a broken key extractor by aligning the blade’s serrated blades with the key’s biting. With a simple turn and pull, you should be able to remove your broken key. If the key doesn’t really come out the first time, try again. Unless you already have some razors on hand or can make the journey to a hardware store, this method is ideal.

This same blade should not be pushed into the keyway with excessive force. If the fit isn’t perfect, adjust the blade as needed. It has to be small enough to fit through the broken key piece and into the keyhole.

4. Super Glue

At first, the concept of using super glue to liberate a stuck lock seems strange. This is another method that, in my experience, frequently fails. It’s an option even when you’re desperate and have all these resources.

You’ll have a need for a match to get the key out. If your key is imbedded deep in the keyway and there is no metal visible, do not attempt this procedure. The superglue method works well when the broken key is easily accessible.

Apply super glue to the finish of a small wire or match. Before trying to place this near the keyway, remove any excess glue or add more as needed.

An excessive amount of epoxy can damage the lock. If there isn’t enough adhesive, it won’t stick. Light a cigarette by holding the match/wire against the broken key’s edge. Check that you aren’t pushing the broken key deeper into to the lock by putting pressure. Allow the ingredients to bind for the time specified, then gently pull ones match away from the lock as if it were the key’s bow.

Once the glue has been applied to the key fragment, do not attempt to open a door with the key in the lock. Because the conditional point is weak, the key cannot be turned.

5. Tapping the Cylinder

To tap the cylinder, you must be quick to point the keyway downward toward the ground. To use this method, you must first understand how to unlock or remove a lock on the door. When the keyhole is facing down, strike the lock with a hammer.

If you were able slam the cylinder into a solid surface, this would be fantastic. Gravity would then pull the broken key out if you keep the lock stationary.

This strategy requires only just few specialised tools to be successful. If you have broken the lock by striking it too many times, you should have the lock core repaired by a locksmith. Lock core problem can lead to other issues in the future.

To release a key that has broken off in your bike lock, tap the cylinder. Bike locks are usually the easiest to turn and encounter the ground. The only thing you’ll need is a tool to strike the lock, which is probably available in your area.

6. Probe and Pull

Remove the key by probing the keyway with two thin metal bits. Place a chunk of metal in the same position on each side of the key. You don’t need to get too technical with your tools. Try inserting them far enough so that you can press down firmly on them. So, grab the broken key and pull it toward you. As a result, the key will most likely be pushed out only slightly.

As you repeat the procedure a second time, the key will begin to emerge. You can also use a screwdriver to pry the key out. Turn your wrists inward, as if you were removing a key from a keyhole.

These can be useful items to have on hand if you know how to pick locks or have access to lock picks. You should not use picks that are very valuable to you because they will almost certainly be significantly distorted during the procedure.

If you can’t find metal probe material, thin plastic or research paper stock are good substitutes. You might be able to make your probes out of short strips of playing cards. Tape the material that isn’t inserted into the lock to give yourself more grip.


When a key becomes stuck in a lock, these people frequently reach for tweezers. If you have broken the lock by striking it too many times, a locksmith should repair the lock core. The only thing you’ll need is a hammer to strike the lock. Probing the keyway with two thin metal bits, remove the key. A screwdriver can also be used to pry the key out. To increase your grip, tape the material that isn’t inserted into the lock.

What if You Still Can’t Get the Broken Key Out?

Remove the lock off the door and bring it to your local locksmith if you’ve tried everything else. The key can be removed for a fraction of the cost of a new lock. Throw away the lock if you disobeyed my instruction and cemented the key in. However, a new lock should be purchased from a local locksmith. Additionally, most locksmiths will key the new lock to your home key as part of your purchase, and there is no additional payment to this service.

Get your keys created at ACME Locksmith and you’ll get a key that’s guaranteed to never break, split, or crack for the rest of your life! Just bring it to one of our stores and we’ll replace your key for free.

Why Do Keys Break in Locks?

Several factors can lead to this difficulty:

Brass and nickel are the most common metals used in the construction of standard keys.

The key has been deteriorated over time as a result of wear and use.

Insufficient lubrication or jamming of the lock is to blame.

How to Prevent Broken Keys

Some preventative measures can be taken to ensure that a key doesn’t break off inside of a lock.

Lock Lubrication

It is common for keys to snap inside locks because they haven’t been properly maintained. Every six months or anytime you experience grinding or excessive friction when locking the door, a silicone-based lubricant should be sprayed in.

Replacement Keys

It’s not uncommon for keys to be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. This means getting new keys created and throwing away the old ones if you detect the wear on yours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are some frequently asked questions related to how to get a broken key out of a lock.

Q1. What is the best way to get a broken key out of a lock?

One of the most effective and efficient ways to remove a damaged or broken key from a lock is to call a locksmith. Professional tools and an expert hand are required for any job of this magnitude. It is possible to accomplish this type of work on your own, but it necessitates a lot of trial and error. It will take time and effort to find the DIY solution that works best for you and your scenario.

Q2. What causes the key to weaken?

In light of the fact that keys are constructed of delicate metals, they are susceptible to being damaged for seemingly innocuous activities. It is possible to wear down the teeth of your key by using it to open packages or tins of paint, as well as by leaving the key in your back pocket or “knocking around” in your backpack. Broken or stuck keys are far more likely to occur when your key is damaged.

Q3. How long does it take to get a broken key out of a lock?

Most broken keys may be extracted from a lock by a trained locksmith in less than a minute. There are, of course, a slew of variables that can add time to the process. Make sure to keep in mind the time it will take to gather the materials, learn how to use them, and then apply them to the lock.

Q4. What causes a door lock to weaken?

Poor installation, significant temperature variations, debris buildup in the internal mechanics, and/or rough key handling are all common causes of lock failure. Locks should be lubricated at least once a year to keep them running smoothly. Do not use WD-40 for this task, contrary to popular opinion. There is no lubrication in the lock cylinder, and WD-40 is a solvent, not lubricant. Instead, use Du Pont Multi-Use, a Teflon, silicone, or graphite-based lubricant.

It’s best to replace your lock as soon as possible if you notice that it isn’t working as well as it should to avoid the possibility of your key being stuck in the lock or a break-in occurring.

Q5. Why does a key break in a lock?

Having faulty keys or locks forces the user to turn the key unnecessarily. The metal in the key blade is strained by every turn of the key that does not result in the rotation of the lock cylinder. The key will snap if it is subjected to a lot of stress or an extreme amount of torque. You can prevent keys from getting stuck in locks if you use the right key and the right locks.

Q6. How to get a broken key out of a lock yourself?

A solvent like WD-40 can be sprayed into the lock to make it simpler to remove the key (please note that WD-40 should not be used to maintain your lock). This is only for the purpose of getting the key out)). After that, use a tiny instrument, such as a jigsaw or sawing, to pry out the shattered piece from the lock’s entrance and remove it.

Q7. Can I call a locksmith to remove a broken key from a lock?

Broken keys are routinely removed from locks by locksmiths. A locksmith can produce a new key or open the locked door after removing the key from the lock. If you can’t get a broken key out of a lock on your own, you should always call a locksmith.

Q8. How much does it cost to get a broken key out of a lock?

There is a $35 fee for key extraction from a commercial or residential door by United Locksmith. $65 is the fee for a car key extraction. A new car key is required in practically every incidence of car key extraction. Because of this, you can expect to pay your locksmith professional around $120 to produce a new auto key if you need one after having your old one extracted.

Q9. Can I get a key made from a lock?

Yes, even if you don’t have a spare, a locksmith can still create a new key for you. Residential, business, and automobile keys can all be used to perform this procedure. A locksmith can make a new key without the original because car keys have pre-existing codes linked to their VIN numbers. Commercial and residential locks can be dismantled, and the key deciphered to create an entirely new key. Just make sure you get in touch with a reputable locksmith service.

Q10. How do I get inside after I remove the broken key from my lock?

A locksmith can help you get back into your home or workplace if you have a broken key in the lock and can’t get it out. Make sure you don’t damage your locks or door when attempting any type of do-it-yourself access approach. Even if you don’t have the key, there are workarounds you can try to get back into your car and open a locked door.


You should be able to get a broken key out of any lock using any of these ways. It doesn’t matter what kind of lock or item they’re attached to, as long as you have the correct tools. Take your time, and you’ll be fine. A bad situation might quickly become a terrible ordeal if these steps are rushed. One of the most effective ways to conserve time is to go slowly.

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