You insert the key in your lock and turn it as usual, only to come to the shocking realization that the key is broken and that its broken piece is in your hand. And now you’re staring at it and the other stuck piece of the key in the lock that just won’t come out, while wondering, “Now what?”
We got you covered with that. As frustrating and inconvenient the situation may be, there are various ways to get a broken key out of a lock. Whether it is through DIY methods if you are skilled with that area or a locksmith’s services which are the most recommendable for any lock issues, you can remove the broken key from the lock and get back to operating it with a working key.
Why Keys Break in Locks and How to Prevent It
The issue may be the key wearing down due to constant usage over the period. It can grow fragile over time, and break down in the lock when it is inserted, especially if it is done with force. If you notice your key to be showing signs of fragility, then it is best to switch to a new key so that it does not catch you off guard with a key broke in lock. Additionally, always make sure to use the key gently so that you do not risk breaking or weakening it.
Alternatively, the problem may be within the lock. It may be lacking the proper lubrication, or it may be jammed due to other reasons. In order to prevent that, make sure to have your lock repaired and cleaned regularly. You should also be on the look-out for warning signs that your lock may require repair or replacement.
How to Get the Broken Key Out of the Lock?
Here are 8 methods that you can try on your own. Remember to try anything only at your risk and understand that as a layman, your attempts to fix the situation can be prone to aggravating it.
1. Broken Key Extractor
A broken key extractor is a common method to remove broken keys from locks used by professional locksmiths. This is the best broken key extraction method out of the various ways to remove the broken pieces from the lock. However, it is the most likely that you do not have in your home.
It entails inserting the tool towards the cut side of the key piece. This is so that the teeth of the broken key extractor grab onto the teeth of the key. Once they are hooked into the key, you need to twist the tool and gently try to pull it out. After some attempts, you should be able to remove the broken key from the lock.
You can spray the lock with a lubricant to decrease the friction and soften the grip of obstructions upon the piece. Your handy WD-40 can do the job for this. Once the lubricant has penetrated the keyhole, try to pull the broken piece by grabbing with your hands if enough of the broken key piece is poking out. If you can not properly grip the broken key with your hands, then you can use the lubricant in conjunction with another tool mentioned here.
Using tweezers is one of the common ways that you can try to remove the key stuck in the lock. The thinness of tweezers makes them a good method to get deep inside the lock and grab the edge of the key piece, even if the broken key piece is not sticking out enough. Carefully insert the tweezers into the keyhole and try to get a grip into the key piece. Once you have grip upon it, gently wriggle it around and apply low pressure out.
The downside to tweezers is that they may not give a strong enough grip to pull the key out. Additionally, you should take care not to push the key into the lock further. You may want to use this method in conjunction with a lubricant. However, keep in mind that it can make the tweezers too slippery to hold onto the broken bit of the key.
4. Needle Nose Pliers
Needle nose pliers can be utilized to extract a broken key if enough of the key piece is sticking out of the lock. Using lubricant in conjunction with them can help with the effectiveness of the pliers. Pliers can strongly grip the key even with lubrication, which can be very useful in order to remove the key. Use the pair of pliers to grab the broken key tip, and then give wiggling directions to the grabbed piece to pry it free from any obstruction. Then slowly pull it out, which should come out along with the piece.
Be sure to be gentle so that you do not break the key further into more pieces or to make it push back into the lock. If you push the key further into the lock, then pliers may no longer be effective as they would be too clunky to go in and grab into the piece. In that case, you would have to turn to another means, for example a thinner tool like tweezers.
You can try to remove a broken key using by inserting a flathead screwdriver with a slim blade. Once it is in, you can try to probe on the broken part of the key in order to try prying it out of the obstructions holding onto it. It might not be very effective, but it may help you at least make the broken piece poke out somewhat from the keyhole if it is not already, so that you can utilize another tool to grab onto the piece and pull it further away from the lock.
6. Small Jigsaw Blade
A small jigsaw blade can be a particularly useful tool to grab the part of the broken key deep into the keyhole. You should carefully push it deep into the keyhole in a position that would allow the serrations on the blade to hold onto the broken key and pull the piece along when you pull the jigsaw blade out.
7. Paper Clip
If your broken key is stuck in your lock, your paper clips can be an unexpected solution. Begin with bending a paper clip into a straight shape. Then you need to slip it above the broken piece; be careful not to push the broken half into the lock further. Once it has reached inside the keyhole enough, gently push it down to twist it so that it can grip upon the broken piece. After that, gently try to pull it out, so that it can come out with the broken piece.
8. Glue Stick
If you have not heard of this hack that has a bit of fame online, you may be caught off surprise by this suggestion. However, as counterintuitive as the method sounds, removing a key from a lock using a glue stick can be effective if done right. And if not done right, then you can risk damaging the lock further; so this tricky hack should be done at your utmost risk.
How it works is that it makes use of a glue stick from a glue gun. Then the tip of the glue stick needs to be softened, which may be done with a lighter. Then the glue stick should be carefully attached to the broken piece until the glue cools and hardens around it. Once you have noticed that it has hardened, pull the glue stick out which should have gotten a firm grip on the key and ideally should successfully extract it out.
Why It Is Better to Call a Locksmith
As you may be able to tell from the aforementioned methods to use to remove the stuck key piece, doing it on your own can be one tricky endeavor. It can take a lot of effort, time, and tools that you might not have in home. Even worse, you can risk damaging the lock in an attempt to remove the broken half if you do not have proper knowledge. This can be a very plausible scenario for a layman; so to avoid damaging the lock, consider if it is a wise choice.
A locksmith is equipped with the right expertise and equipment. They can get your key out of the lock in no time, as well as repair the lock if it is damaged. All in all, your best option likely is to call a locksmith and save yourself the trouble. Additionally, if the situation of the key broke in lock has left you locked out of your house, a locksmith can assist you with unlocking your house door as well.
What to Do If You Do Not Have A Spare Key
What can worsen the situation even further is that you do not have a spare key. However, as frustrating as the situation is, a locksmith can easily resolve it for you. Locksmiths are capable of crafting the keys even if they lack access to the original key, thanks to their specialized hardware accessibility. Alternatively, they can also rekey the lock and issue a whole new key.
In order to avoid such a situation in the first place, however, it is highly recommended to keep a spare key. A locksmith can craft one for you easily. Hence, if you have a spare key but the old key broke off in lock, you should get another key spare made.
Call Us Now to Remove a Broken Key Stuck in Your Door Lock
A key broken off in a lock can be highly inconvenient, especially if it is stuck in there and won’t come out without notable efforts. This will hold you back from being able to operate the lock, causing you even more disruption. Attempting to remove it on your own without proper expertise can be quite bothersome and even a risk to the condition of your lock. hence, it is better to call a locksmith to have it fixed.
If you are looking for a locksmith nearby, look no further than Faster Locksmiths. Our expert locksmiths nearby can remove the remove the broken key from the lock without posing risk to it in no time. We can also repair your lock if it suffered any damage from your attempts, as well as craft you another key.