It’s happened to everyone at some point, and because you’re reading this article now it has more than likely just happened to you. There are many reasons a key can break off in a lock. Keys can become worn over time and eventually the metal becomes brittle enough for even a small amount of force to snap it. Though this is usually the cause for a key braking off in a lock, the issue may not even be with your key. Locks can stick or break in general so even if you’re using a new key, enough force from a stuck or broken lock can be enough to snap it in half. Whatever the issue is, we are here to help you. Continue reading and we will guide you through the process of removing a broken key from a lock.
Apply a lubricant inside the lock’s keyway. Graphite, Houdini, white lithium grease or WD-40 are all acceptable for lock lubrication…
Most of these methods require a bit of repeating over and over… but with some patience you will be able to successfully extract a broken key from a lock!
Tools that May Come In Handy
We have kept the tools needed simple so that anyone reading should have access to any one of them, refer to this list:
- Metal hair clips
- Bobby pin
- Paper clips
- Safety pin
- Sewing Needle
- Swiss army knife
These preparatory things are optional, but it will make the process faster.
Apply a lubricant inside the lock’s keyway. Graphite, Houdini, white lithium grease or WD-40 are all acceptable for lock lubrication.
Note: The only issue with graphite spray is that it leaves a lot of hard-to-clean-up stains.
Line up the nozzle of the lubricant with the lock keyway and spray the inside of the lock with a decent amount of lubricant. Spraying lubricant inside the lock isn’t completely necessary, thought it will make it easier to extract the key, The lubricant will lubricate the broken piece of the key and the pins inside the lock so the key can slide past the pins easier.
Next, you’re going to take any one of the tools listed at the beginning of this article. Just as an example, we will be using a sewing needle. Take the tool you have and wedge the tip of inside the lock against the side of the broken piece of key. Apply a bit of force against the side of the key using the tool, and pull the tool back towards you. The force applied to the side of the key along with the pulling motion should slowly begin to pull the broken piece of key out of the lock. Once the key is sticking out of the keyway far enough, grab a pair of needle nose pliers or if some are not available to you, you can also use a hair clip (or your fingers, although it will be much harder to pull out with your fingers it is not impossible). Grab onto the base of the broken piece of key and simply pull it out the rest of the way and.. voila! Your keyway is now free!
If your lock is damaged and you’re not able to use another key to get inside or if you’re having trouble extracting the key, give us a call today and we will send a technician out to extract your key and get you inside!