What Should I Do if My Key Breaks in The Lock?

broken key

What Should I Do if My Key Breaks in The Lock?

If you’ve found yourself locked out due to a broken key, the first thing to do is remain calm. Even though you’re frustrated and possibly in a hurry, you won’t be going anywhere if you act rashly. While we do suggest contacting a locksmith to avoid making the problem worse, we have some suggestions that you can try out.

Before any attempt:

  • Do NOT try to insert the rest of the key to turn the lock again. This will only push the broken blade farther in.
  • Check to see where exactly the key broke off in order to choose the right extraction method.
  • Apply oil directly to the keyway (either a dry lubrication or oil-based) to grease up the workings on the inside, making the broken key easier to retrieve. Be sure to wipe away excess oil.
  • Hold on to the portion of the key you still have! Your locksmith can still use the broken pieces to make a new copy.

Remember that all these methods might require a few tries, and patience is key.

broken key

Tweezers or Needle Nose Pliers

This will work best if part of the key is sticking out of the keyhole. Grasp the edges and pull it out carefully. Do not try to insert them if the key isn’t protruding. You’ll likely end up pushing it in even deeper.

Tip: Keep your pliers handy – you can use them after trying other methods in order to pull the key out more quickly.

Two Thin Pieces of Metal

If you happen to have these on you, you can line up each piece on either side of the key. Once you’ve lined up the metal pieces, push them in far enough in order to get a firm grasp on the key. Be careful with your movement. Bend your wrists inward, toward you, to slide the key out slowly.

Jigsaw Blade or Scroll Saw Blade

These can work similarly to the broken key extractors that professional locksmiths use. Take the blade of the jigsaw or scroll saw and slide it into the lock with the teeth facing downward and pointing back toward you. The goal is for the thin metal to slide in next to the key and hook onto it. You’re going to have to feel around carefully when you insert the blade, so you know when one of the teeth has caught a cut on the key. Pull the blade out slowly, and the key should come with it.

broken key

Call your Locksmith

While the methods above are certainly options you can try, they’re not guaranteed to work. It might be a stubborn key or lock that you’re dealing with, and you don’t want to make a bad situation worse by damaging your lock.

If you are able to extract the key yourself, that’s great, but you’re still left with a broken key. It’ll be in your best interest to contact a local, trusted locksmith to retrieve your key, provide you with a replacement, or repair a damaged lock.

Time to call a locksmith?

It doesn't have to hurt your wallet.

Our professional and licensed mobile locksmiths at Discount Lock & Key will provide you with quality service at a discount price! Contact us at 336-687-7977 and we can help you with whatever service you require.

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