How To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock: 6 Easy Ways

Key snapped inside door keyhole
Publish at Sep 15, 2022 By: Isaac Bell
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Have ever happened that you were in a hurry, and you put your key in the lock, and it snapped inside! The most frustrating part is the broken piece is stuck inside, and now you can't use the spare key either.

Keys are used almost a couple of times every day. Due to extensive use, keys get worn, weaken, and break down. Most of the time, key breaks occur inside the lock cylinder while unlocking the lock. When you face this situation, you should wait because you can worsen the broken key crisis.

In this blog, we have arranged six steps for removing broken keys. Experts recommend these methods, so there should be at least one best way to remove a broken key that might work for you in unfortunate key break moments!

Easy Method Of Removing Broken Keys

You don't always need huge, expensive tools to remove a broken key. You can remove a broken key with your old common tools or have them in your house. If the key is not very deep, you can easily extract it.

However, removing a broken key can be tricky if the key fragment is a bit deep.

Below are the six easy steps to remove the broken key:

  • Tweezers
  • Broken key extractor
  • Jigsaw blade
  • Super glue
  • Taping cylinder
  • Grab and pulling


Key snapped inside door keyhole

Do Not Use The Key Again

You should not insert the rest of your key while the broken piece is still inside. You can think you can open your door by inserting the key, but do not try this. It can work in some cases, but if not, you risk pushing the key part deep.

The following method we are about to discuss will only work if your broken bit is close to the point. You will struggle to access the key if it's further back.

Alternative Materials That Might Help You

In this situation, you may not have all the necessary materials in your hand. But you can use similar tools in the same way to extract a key from a lock.

Below are some materials that might be a good alternative for removing a broken key from a lock:

  • Hair clip
  • Bobby pin
  • Button pin
  • Swiss army knife
  • Pocket knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Paper clips
  • Hook
  • Spray lubricant
  • Needle nose pliers

There is some quick preparation you might make before starting the broken key extraction process. Although it is optional, it can be proven beneficial throughout the process.

You can start with the lubricators. You should use graphite powder or dry lubricants as oil-based lubricants can gum up inside and collect dirt. Grab a pair of needle-nosed pliers; if, in any case, the key is assessable, you can gently pull it easily.

Broken Key Extraction Method

1. Tweezers

You are most likely to go for tweezers when your key broke in the first place. Keep in mind the tweezers' thickness and the key's depth inside the keyhole.

If the size of the tweezers is not perfect, the task will not be done. You can push the key further away if the side is too small. You need tweezers that are wide enough to fit around the key. If they are too tick, don't push as they won't work along the sides of the key.

Squeeze the tweezers gently yet firmly. Whenever the tweezers are closed after grabbing the key fragment, it is pushed farther into the keyway. Each unsuccessful grip attempt makes the key more challenging to extract.

2. Broken Key Extractor

A set of key extractor

Any professional locksmith will use a broken key extractor to pull out a broken key. To get a broken key, insert the key extractor in the keyway with the bitting of the key. Try to hook the teeth of the key with the extractors hook.

Once you have a good grip, slowly pull the broken part. This method might take several attempts depending on your situation.

In an urgent situation, it is doubtful that you will have the necessary equipment to deal with a damaged key in a lock, but this is the tool you should ideally try to replicate with the DIY technique. Use the instructions on the key extractor to assist you in pulling the broken key in other ways.

3 . Hacksaw Blade

Consider buying small jigsaw blades instead of broken key extractors if you want to save money. The main objective is to put a thin metal in the keyway. If the saw blade is big, you can trim it according to your need; remember smaller, the better.

You should place the blade so that the serrations face your point. So, the blade will go in quickly and hook with the broken key. If you turn and pull in the correct location, the damaged key should be out of the keyhole.

Avoid forcing the blade into the keyway. Modify the blade if it does not fit perfectly. It must be narrow enough to slide through the keyhole with the fragmented key piece. You can find a saw blade in any hardware store.

4. Super Glue

Using Super glue to extract a broken piece is not a smart idea. It could only work if the key is visible. And if the key is visible, you can probably use needle-nose pliers or a spiral extractor to get it. However, if you don't have needle nose pliers or similar things, you can use this popular internet glue method!

You need to take a small wire or match and glue it on the top end. Be cautious and remove any extra glue before inserting it into the keyhole. If the adhesive is excess, it will stick inside, and if you use a tiny amount, it will not stick to the key.

Now, insert the key and hold the top with the key edge. Do not apply excess pressure as it will push the key further inside. Please wait a while for the glue to bind with the key blade and slowly pull it out when you think it is ready.

Do not attempt to spin the key in the lock once the glue has bonded to the key fragment. The bond point is not durable enough to resist the torque generated by rotating the key.

5. Tapping The Cylinder

If you can point down the keyway, you can bring out the key sticking inside with this method. You can try this by removing the cylinder or if you have a padlock. Position the lock cylinder facing down and hit it with a heavy tool like a hammer.

If your key snapped inside, try striking the side of the keyway. Don't forget to keep the lock still, so any small object or the key slide through it naturally.

Tap the cylinder if the key of your bicycle lock has snapped off in the lock. Bike locks are frequently the quickest to flip and face down. The only item you'll need is just something to hit the lock, which you should be able to find around you.

6. Grab And Pulling

You can probe the keyway with some tool like thin pieces of metal and pull the key from the lock. For this, line up some metal pieces on each side of the locks and don't put them too far—just deep enough to put pressure to pull the key out.

You need to apply the technique several times to bring the keys closer to you. Lock picks can help you in this kind of job.

If you can't get metal probe material, consider utilizing thin plastic or study paper stock. To build probes, you may try cutting little strips off of playing cards. Tape the material that isn't being placed into the lock to allow yourself more holding surface.

What If You Still Can't Get The Key Out?

If you still can't get the key out, you have the only option: seek help from a locksmith. They will the lock apart and pull the key out from the lock. If you have issues with a car or door key, you can try solutions at your own risk or call a locksmith.

Armour Locks Co. is a Houston locksmith company, and we have been providing professional locksmiths for about eight years. Our expert locksmiths can help you with locksmith situations like broken key extraction. We also offer a new key with additional keys in case you lose your working key.

Call us at 832-481-5030 and expect a FREE estimation. Book a schedule, and an expert locksmith will be on your door in no time!

Article written by: Isaac Bell
I'm Isaac Bell, founder of Armor Locks Co. I founded the company in 2014, and we've been growing. We're a Houston-based locksmith and security services provider, and we're dedicated to providing quality service and helping people in emergencies. We still uphold our founding ethos of putting customers first, which is why we're one of the most trusted names in security. Thank you for considering me for your next project!