How To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock In 4 Simple Ways
Today we will explore a few simple ways how to get a broken key out of a lock. With that stomach-curdling snap, your key breaks off in your lock, leaving you feeling helpless and dreadful. The first reaction that comes to mind if you have a key that breaks in a lock is probably to panic. Keep a calm and relaxed attitude and assess the situation. It may not be necessary to call a locksmith depending on your situation.
Sometimes, it’s best to consult an expert. It’s important to fix the problem right away in either case. A broken key in the lock could weaken the security of your home, car, or business. Other people could gain access to the building easily because this makes locking the door impossible. Let’s dive into 4 simple ways in which you can remove that broken key from the lock.
Important Tips To Note Before You Begin Your Chosen Method
Don’t Attempt To Use Your Key Again
Firstly, let’s quickly go over the three methods that have been proven to bypass the ignition. These are: People often believe that their broken key should still open the lock even if it is broken in the lock. Try not to do this. The broken blade becomes embedded deeper in the lock as you try to insert a new key. The shallower the key is inserted, the easier and faster it will be to use. You will have a harder time unlocking the key if it is farther back.
Bear in mind that some of these methods may not work depending on how deeply the key broke off in the lock. Put the broken part of the key on the ground or in your pocket. This piece is not needed. However, you shouldn’t throw it away. Your locksmith or your local hardware store will need both parts. Hold on to yours so you can give the other half. A locksmith can make a new key from both pieces of your key.
Consider Lubricating Your Lock
If you prepare beforehand, the process will be a lot simpler. A lubricant should be applied to the keyway first. It would be ideal to use graphite or another dry lubricant. Oil-based lubricants like WD-40 will work, but they can gum up the inside of your lock making the plug rotation not as smooth. One disadvantage of graphite sprays is that they stain things very easily.
Before you spray the lubricant, make sure that the nozzle is positioned inside the keyway. The excess lube spilled out of the keyway should also be removed with a rag or paper towel. Also, get a pair of needle-nose pliers because pliers will help to remove the broken key faster, even though these methods will succeed in doing so. Using your pliers, you can simply pull the key free when enough is exposed.
Choose The Method That Would Work Best For You
The 4 methods we will explore to remove your broken key are:
- Broken Key Extractor
- Super Glue
- Hacksaw Blade
How To Choose A Method:
Consider these questions to help you figure out which solution is right for you.
● What’s your location?
● Do you have any tools?
● Does the broken key go all the way in?
Don’t get stressed out if you can’t extract the broken key from a lock on your first attempt after finding the method that works for you.
How to Get A Broken Key Out of A Lock
Method #1 – Broken Key Extractor
The professional solution to this problem is a broken key extractor tool. This will be the tool the locksmith uses if they don’t make their own tools (as is likely the case). It should be inserted along the biting of the key inside the keyway to be used. The hook(s) on the extractor is what you will use to hook up the teeth on the key. After you have placed it along the biting, turn and pull, and it will grab and remove the key. You may have to try this several times.
As with lock picks, these tools are sold in sets that include unnecessary variants if you are looking to purchase a broken key extractor. Depending on the user, some folks use single-hook key extractors, while others prefer double-hooked key extractors. Other than that, they are merely extraneous. Consider saving some money and purchasing at least one of these.
Method #2 – Tweezers
The second method is more accessible than the average Joe, that’s a pair of tweezers. Most people reach for the tweezers when they break a key off in the lock. When picking up a broken key in a lock, pay attention to how thick your tweezers are and how far the broken key is inserted. Tweezers designed for this task are usually too small and will end up pushing the key further into the keyway. If your tweezers are too thick, they won’t be able to fit along the sides of the key. Make sure they can open wide enough to fit around the key.
Most keyways have warding that prevents tweezers from fitting. If you can get a bit of the broken key through a keyhole with tweezers, you’ll have the best chance of getting it out. The chances of you pushing the key too deep increase exponentially when the key is too far back. Although many of us enjoy playing “Operation”, life can be more than a game sometimes. If you aren’t confident of your ability and your tweezers, do not attempt this method.
Method #3 – Super Glue
Third, we have super glue. Unjamming a lock with superglue seems counterintuitive. In my experience, this method also fails quite frequently. Even so, if you have these supplies and are really in a bind, it may be an option. To pull the key free, glue a match to the key. The first thing to keep in mind is that you should not attempt this if there is no metal visible and your key is pushed back far into the keyhole. When the broken key is accessible, the superglue trick works best.
Add some super glue to a small wire or match. The glue should be added if there isn’t enough or removed before this is near the keyway. Glue in excess may damage the lock. If there is not enough glue, it will not stick. Hold the match/wire up to the broken key. Be careful not to push the broken key further into the lock when applying pressure. Then, let the substances bind for the recommended amount of time and pull your match away from the lock just like you are pulling a key away from the lock.
Method #4 – Hacksaw Blade
The final method is using a hacksaw blade. Rather than buying a specialized tool to extract broken keys, you can use a mini hacksaw blade or jigsaw blade to do it yourself. To fix your broken key, you will need a thin piece of metal that will fit in your keyway. The smaller the piece, the better. To insert the serrated edge into the lock, you may need to break the blade with needle nose pliers.
Your blade’s serrations should point backward if the serrations are angled. For example, if the serrations are angled, place the blade into the keyhole so that the serrations face backward. The key will be easier to hook, and the blade will go in easier. By aligning the blade’s serrations with the bitting on the key, you can use it as a broken key extractor. You should be able to remove your broken key with a turn and a pull. If you fail to remove the key on your first try, try again. You can use this method if you have a few blades lying around, or if you don’t have the means to travel to the hardware store.