How To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock

Getting a broken key stuck in a lock can be a frustrating and inconvenient situation. Whether it’s a house door, car door, or any other type of lock, dealing with a broken key requires careful handling to avoid further damage. In this article, we will explore effective methods to safely remove a broken key from a lock and provide tips on prevention.

Broken Key Out Of A Lock

Dealing with a broken key can be a stressful situation, but with the right tools and techniques, you can resolve the issue quickly and easily. We will explore various methods that you can employ to remove a broken key from a lock without causing further damage.

Using a Broken Key Extractor

A broken key extractor is a professional tool designed specifically for removing broken keys from locks. To use this tool, insert the extractor into the keyway alongside the broken key. With a gentle twist and pull, the extractor provides the necessary leverage to remove the key from the lock.

Fishing Hook Method

The fishing hook method is a crafty solution to retrieve a broken key from a lock, especially when the broken section is deeply embedded. Straighten out a fishing hook using pliers and insert it into the keyway. Rotate the hook towards the key, allowing the barb to grip the key and slowly pull it out.

Leveraging a Screwdriver

If the broken key is partially exposed, you can attempt to use a small flathead screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the lock and try to lever or loosen the positioning of the key. Once part of the key is extruded from the lock, you can use needle-nose pliers or a strong magnet to extract the broken piece.

Silicone Spray Assistance

Lubricating the lock with silicone spray can make it easier to remove the broken key. Spray the silicone into the lock, ensuring it reaches the keyway. Use needle-nose pliers to twist the cylinder, either locking or unlocking the lock completely. Select an extractor tool with a hook and insert it into the lock, locating the groove on the side of the broken key. Twist the tool towards the key while gradually pulling it out.

Needle-Nose Pliers Technique

If the broken key protrudes partially from the lock, you can use needle-nose pliers to grip the exposed portion and finish removing it. Be careful not to accidentally push it back into the lock. With a firm grip on the key, pull it out smoothly.

Saw Blade Extractor

For this method, you will need a coping saw blade. Break off one end of the blade, making it fit into the lock. Slide the blade, teeth facing up, into the lock and attempt to hook the teeth onto the grooves of the key. Once you have a secure grip, pull the key out.

When to Call a Professional Locksmith

If none of the above methods succeed in removing the broken key from the lock, it is advisable to call a professional locksmith. Attempting to force the key or using excessive tools may cause further damage to the lock, leading to additional expenses. A skilled locksmith will have the expertise and tools to extract the broken key safely and efficiently.


Finding yourself with a broken key lodged in a lock can be a frustrating experience. However, by employing the right techniques and tools, you can resolve the issue without damaging the lock further. Remember to exercise caution and, if necessary, seek the assistance of a professional locksmith. With these methods at your disposal, you can regain access and restore convenience to your daily life.


Q1: Are these methods suitable for all types of locks? A1: The methods discussed in this article can be applied to various types of locks, including traditional key locks and some modern electronic locks. However, complex or high-security locks may require specialized tools and professional assistance.

Q2: Can I use household items as alternatives to the suggested tools? A2: While some makeshift solutions may work in certain situations, it is generally recommended to use proper locksmith tools or household tools designed for the purpose. This helps minimize the risk of further damage to the lock.

Q3: Is it possible to prevent keys from breaking in locks? A3: While accidents can happen, you can reduce the chances of keys breaking by handling them with care and avoiding excessive force or rough treatment. Regular maintenance of locks, such as lubrication, can also help prevent key-related issues.

Q4: What should I do if I accidentally break a key in a rented property? A4: In the case of a rented property, it is essential to inform the landlord or property management as soon as possible. They will likely have a preferred procedure for handling such situations and can arrange for a locksmith if necessary.

Q5: Can a broken key damage the lock mechanism? A5: Yes, a broken key left inside a lock can potentially cause damage to the lock mechanism. It is advisable to remove the broken key promptly to prevent any further complications.

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