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How to Remove a Broken Key From a Lock

Aside from car and residential lockout, a broken key stuck inside your lock is a total day breaker. However, this problem is not a sign of the apocalypse because there several methods to resolve this issue, and last option is calling a professional locksmith.

We are going to share with you some of the practical methods of getting broken keys out from locks. The steps are straightforward, just read through the whole article to know everything. Understanding and being able to apply any of these methods will definitely give you savings from hiring a professional locksmith.

How to Remove a Broken Key From a LockHow to Remove a Broken Key From a Lock

Lubricate the Lock

For you to have a smooth extraction of the broken key, you need to lubricate the lock using WD-40 or graphite spray lubricant. The former is commonly used but there will be slight gum formation inside the lock.

Meanwhile, using a graphite spray lubricant is still workable but it causes stain on its path. That will be a lesser concern compared to getting the broken key out.

Option 1 - Using an Extractor Tool

Apply lubricant inside the lock using either WD-40 or graphite spray lubricant.

  • You need to align the cylinder in full lock or unlock position. You can use a nose pliers for the alignment. If the cylinder is half lock or unlock position, the stuck broken key will be harder to extract.
  • Slowly slide back the other half of the key inside the lock to serve as a guide until it reaches the stuck key.
  • Grab your extractor tool set and choose the one with the right shape to get the job done.
  • Slowly slide the extractor tool inside with the hook facing upward, so that it can easily hook onto the tooth of the key.
  • Once you hook on one of the teeth of the stuck key, slowly pull it out until it is completely removed from the lock.

Option 2 - Extractor Tool from Saw Blade

Grab a coping saw blade and break one of its end parts.

  • Alternative to coping saw blade is bicycle spoke and barbecue skewer.
  • Wrap one end of the broken coping saw blade with duct tape until its teeth no longer hurts when holding them.
  • Apply lubricant inside the lock but do not allow it to gum up.
  • Slowly insert the broken coping saw blade inside the lock with its saw teeth facing up.
  • Feel the inside of the saw teeth has grabbed some of the key’s tooth or groove.
  • Once you hook it up, slowly pull out the stuck key out from the lock.
Option 3 - Stick it with Super Glue

Choose a thin material with enough length to reach the stuck key inside the lock

  • You can use a thin steel rod and place a small amount of super glue on one end.
  • Slowly slide in the thin steel rod with the tip having the super glue first.
  • Reach inside until the tip with super glue touches the stuck key.
  • Wait for around 5 to 10 seconds, to allow enough adhesion between the super glue and the stuck key.
  • Slowly pull out the thin steel rod along with the stuck key
Wrap Up

These are some of the methods you can try whenever you experience a broken key stuck inside. You need to be cautious when doing any of the methods in order not to push the stuck key further, making the situation worse.

The important thing about removing stuck key is having the right material and patience in trying out all methods. Likewise, never expect the first trial to be successful. Always repeat the process until you have exhausted everything. Your last option will be calling a professional locksmith to resolve the issue.

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