Our company logo

phone icon

Easy ways to remove a broken key from a lock

All of us probably have dealt with some kind of locksmith issue at a certain point in our life. These situations are practically impossible to avoid. Not to mention the fact that they mostly occur at the most inconvenient time.

One of the problems you might face is a broken key. It happens due to various reasons. Your key might be old and worn out or because there's a problem with your lock and the key wouldn't turn. No matter what has caused your key to break, it results in you being locked out of your property. Sure Lock & Key has been dealing with key and lock issues for years, so we would like to tell you more about removing a broken key from a lock.

Use a key extractor

Let's imagine a situation where you come back home after a day of work and while opening the door, your key gets stuck in the door lock. You try to turn it harder and it breaks down. You have a spare one that you can use to open the door, but it's impossible until you take the broken key out. For that purpose, you may use a specialized tool called a key extractor. There are different types of this device, but their working principle is pretty much the same.
The two most common types are
  • A hooked key extractor. As you can guess from the name, it has a hook on its end. You'll need to insert it in the keyhole and carefully grab the broken part of your key to get it out without damaging the lock.
key broke in a lock
  • A spiral key extractor. It looks like a screwdriver in a way but is much thinner. After you insert it, you'll need to rotate it until the key starts moving.
key broke in a lock

Try a glue stick

The method we described above is quite effective, but not everyone has access to such tools. Now we want to describe some ways to extract the key with the help of things that anyone may have on them.
One of the things you may use to get your key out is a glue stick. All you have to do is melt the glue stick and attach it to the part of your key that is sticking out of the lock. When it gets tightly attached, you can try slowly pulling the key out. However, this method will work only if the broken key is pretty close to the keyway.
glue stick for key extracting
glue stick for key extracting

Use pliers or tweezers

There are many different ways to get a stuck key out of the lock. However, for most people, it's quite difficult to do it properly and eventually, the key breaks down.
Some of the tools you might have in your car or garage that you can use to extract your key are pliers or tweezers. You can use them to grasp the end of the key that is sticking out of the keyhole and pull it out. However, remember to do it as gently as possible, as it is really easy to damage your lock.

Try paperclips

Another method of key extraction that is quite popular is to use regular paperclips. This approach is pretty simple and it's usually really easy to find a paperclip. The thinner it is, the better, as it'll be easier to get it inside.
You can insert the paperclip on the side where the cuts on your key are and grasp them one by one. Or you can insert two clips on both sides and try to get it out by grabbing your key with them. Keep in mind that you might need a few attempts to complete the process.

Call a locksmith

If all the previous methods didn't work out or you simply don't have any of the required tools on you, you can always use professional assistance.
To be honest, calling a reliable technician that'll provide you with residential locksmith services of the highest quality is the best decision you can make. It's the only way to be confident that it'll be done perfectly and promptly.
If you need reliable emergency locksmith services in your area, Sure Lock & Key will gladly assist you.

Summing up

We can all agree that locksmith emergencies are something that we, unfortunately, can't avoid or predict. For example, your key might break inside the lock at any time. You can try getting it out yourself by using the methods we described above, or you can always use the assistance of a professional locksmith.

You may also like