What to do When a Key Breaks Off in a Lock

What to do When a Key Breaks Off in a Lock

Have you ever gone to open your house door or car door, only to hear an unwanted snap of the key? If you have experienced this, then you can know that you are not alone. Every day, there are people who get themselves in this situation and are left standing in front of their locked front door or car door wondering what happened. The question is, what do you do now? Should you push the rest of the key in the lock? Should you call a locksmith? Before doing anything else, take a few deep breaths and read about these 6 things to do when a key breaks off in the lock.

1. Do Not Force the Key

The first thing is to be sure not to force the other end of the key into the lock. If you do this, you will only push the broken piece of key further into the lock which will make it even harder to retrieve. Keep the broken piece that you have in your hand and put it in a safe place; a locksmith can create a new key out of the two pieces (once the other one is pulled out of the lock). The best do-it-yourself way to get the broken key out is to use some lubricant and a good pair of tweezers or pliers. If, after trying, you have no luck, an experienced locksmith will be able to get the key out for you for a small fee.

2. Use a Special Tool

Did you know that there is a special tool designed to extract broken keys from locks? It is called a key extractor tool, and you can easily purchase one online and keep it handy. The tool is relatively simple to use. It requires you to feed a part of the extractor into the lock in hopes of locking it with the broken key part, so you can pull it out. A locksmith will more than likely have one of these special tools in their supply if you need to call one.

What to do When a Key Breaks Off in a Lock

3. Super Glue to the Rescue

While this may sound like a strange way of extracting a broken key from a lock, it has proven to be a successful method. All you have to do is take a small, thin wire or stick and dab super glue on the end of it. Next, you feed the wire or stick with super glue into the lock and try and stick it to the end of the key. Once you poke the key, hold the wire or stick for a good minute to allow the super glue to adhere to the broken key. Lastly, give it a good pull.

4. Use a Magnet

Most keys have magnetic properties since most are made of metal. If your key is metal, which it most likely will be, you can use a magnet to fish out the broken piece of the key. Look for a very strong magnet because the weaker the magnet, the less of a chance you will have at grabbing the key. The magnet will hopefully pull the broken piece of key towards the opening of the lock so that you can fish it out with a pair of pliers or tweezers.

What to do When a Key Breaks Off in a Lock

5. Jigsaw Blade

A hand jigsaw blade, that is on the smaller side, can work great at getting a broken key out of a lock. All you do is put the serrated blade in the keyhole and ensure it is flush against the broken key. Next, twist the blade so it fits into the lock and the key should pull out as you pull the blade out. This method should only be done if you are comfortable using a blade.

6. Grab a Pair of Scissors

All those scissors you have lying around in a drawer can actually be put to good use here. They are a great tool to use to remove a broken key from a lock, and all you need is one of the blades. Take the blade and slide it into the lock, moving parallel along the one side of the key. It may take some time to shimmy the key into position, but if the scissors are thin, then you should have no problem after a couple tries.

The next time you are stuck with a broken key in a lock, do not panic. There are many solutions to retrieving the key, and you can always give a local locksmith a call, and he or she can assist you. A lot of everyday household items, like scissors or wire, can be used to fish out the broken key, so give one of these methods a try next time you have a broken key stuck in your lock.


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