A broken key in the lock is a frustrating problem. It’s hard to know how to get it out without damaging other parts of the lock – and if you don’t fix it soon, you may find yourself locked out of your house or car.

The good news is that there are many ways to remove a broken key from a lock. Here are six different methods for getting the job done.

6 Practical Ways to Get a Broken Key Out Of a Lock

What You Will Need

Every project requires appropriate tools. Proper execution of tasks like removing a broken key out of a lock will require you to have certain tools at your disposal. You could be having them already or perhaps you need to add a few to ease the completion of the job. 

Here are important tools that are requisite for the job to get started:

  • Paper pin
  • Metal hair clip
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency kit
  • Playing cards
  • Button pin
  • Safety pin
  • Army knife (Any good home knife can also do a great job)
  • Pocket knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Eyebrow scissors

You might want to add more as you keep up with the work. Depending on the intensity of the situation, you might want to add or remove some tools. We have just created a list for anyone who wants to get the problem solved as soon as possible. 

Here are the steps to get it done:

1. Use Tweezers To Get The Key Out Of The Lock

Tweezers are what most people would resort to when a key breaks in the lock. It is one of the most effective methods. There is a concern, however, on the size of the tweezers chosen for the job.

Often, they come in different sizes. They may further worsen the problem by pushing the broken key further into the lock. So, if you resort to using tweezers, make sure you pick an appropriate size

Open the tweezers wide enough to allow you to navigate around the broken key so that you can hold and remove it with ease. It will prove a lot easier to get the key out if some part of it is protruding out of the lock.

If it is deep in the lock and you cannot get a grip on it, using tweezers may push it further into the lock. Only use the tweezers if you are confident that you can get it out.

Be careful not to squeeze the tweezers too much. If they shut, by chance, after getting a slight grip, they will push the key further making it very difficult to get it out.

2. Use A Broken Key Extractor

This is one of the most efficient and professional methods of getting broken keys out of locks. You will simply have to place the key extractor in the way of the broken key and then hook it out.

Gently turn and pull it out. It may take you more than three attempts to pull it out but it should not be too long before you have the broken key out. 

When making a purchase, be certain to check on the specifications of the key extractor. Most of them come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The most common types are the single hook key extractor and a double hook version. The problem may catch you off guard, but simply having a key extractor in place is a great upgrade to your DIY assignments. It is worth having.

3. Use A Hacksaw Blade

If you find it a little difficult to purchase a broken key extractor, you can get a little creative. Using some jigsaw blades, you can devise one for yourself and provide solutions to your problems. A mini hacksaw can do a great job.

Make a thin metal that will fit precisely into the keyway along the broken key lines. It is advisable to make a mini hacksaw for this purpose. A serrated edge makes it easier to pull the key with ease. 

To allow the blade to penetrate the lock, make sure that the serrations are positioned towards you. Serrations make the blade get in easily, hook up the broken key. Well, that makes it easy to get it out of the lock. You need to ensure a firm grip then turn and pull it out.

Like in the previous methods, the broken key may not get out in the first attempt. So, keep doing it with care and precision. You should be able to pull it out after several attempts. It all depends on the depth it had penetrated in the lock. 

This technique is ideal if you have idling blades around. Also, if you can shop around and get some blades in the hardware stores near you, you can always get them and get the job done as soon as possible. Be careful not to force the blade into the keyway during such operations.

If you find that it does not penetrate it with ease, then some adjustments have to be made. It is advisable to keep it thin enough to allow some space for penetration, rolling, and pulling.

4. Use Super Glue

If you have super glue around, you can use them as a great tool to remove a broken key out of the lock. The trick is to glue the broken to a small and formidable object like a match and then use it to pull the key out.

If your key is broken far into the lock, it is a good idea not to use this method. The use of glue is only applicable if the key is visible and can be reached with ease

Glue the tip of a small object like a wire or a matchstick and put it in the keyway to reach the broken key. Make sure that any excess glue on the tip of the object you are singing is removed. Be moderate. Too much glue may compromise the integrity and working of the lock.

Do not apply too much pressure when trying to get the broken key out or you risk pushing it further into the keyway. You should allow the glue some time for it to stick onto the broken key. However, it is not advisable to turn the broken key since the glue is not strong enough to sustain a torque turning.

5. Tap The Cylinder Method

This method involves striking the lock with a hammer to force the broken key out. You have to position it such that the lock way faces down. Alternatively, you can hit the cylinder against a surface.

You may want to do this repeatedly to force the key out. It is a slow process. Ideally, it is advisable to start by striking the top part and then sideways. 

Gravity plays a huge role in this method. It is a rarely preferred method, but when it is the only choice, then you may want to add some tools. After striking the lock several times, the lock potentially sustains some serious mechanical damage. As a result, you should seek the services of a lock locksmith to repair the core of the lock.

6. Prop And Pull Method

You require two thin pieces of metal to make this method produce viable results. You will use them to prop your way into the keyway and force the broken key out of the lock. You need to like each piece of metal on either side of the keyway.

You do not have to push them deep in the keyway as this may push the broken key further into the lock and make it impossible to pull it out. Just put them enough to get a firm grip on the broken key. 

Like in the previous methods, you may have to pull it a couple of times before the key is completely out of the lock. If you bump on a challenge probing the key, you can use a piece of sturdy paper or a thin plastic instead. Make sure that they have a grip space to get hold of the key. 


Why Does A Key Break In The Lock?

If your keys or locks have malfunctioning problems, you may be forced to turn your keys several times to lock and unlock your locks. This puts a lot of stress on the key and it may eventually break into the lock.

Stress and intense torque cause your keys to snap into the lock. With proper functioning of the locks, however, you can avoid all these problems and maintain your locks and keys in a good condition. 

What Is The Best Method To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock?

The safest and the most reliable way of getting a broken key out of a lock is by calling an experienced locksmith. An expert knows exactly where the problem lies and they can help you sort the issues without causing further damage on the lock, door, and whatever the look was securing.

Experience and tools are the two most important things to get the job done as quickly and as smart as possible. 

You may also carry out the task yourself. But that means you will use the trial and error method which may equally pose possible damage. if you are a good DIYer, however, you can get the appropriate tools and use the tutorial highlighted in this article to get the job done.

Can I Call A Locksmith To Remove A Broken Key From A Lock?

Yes. Calling a locksmith to remove a broken key in your lock is the most advisable decision to take. Your hired locksmith will help you remove the key and carry out a repair on any damaged parts. This maintains good integrity and appearance of the lock after the rectification has been made.

If you cannot handle the job yourself, calling and tasking a locksmith to do it on your behalf is a decision you will never regret.

How Long Does It Take A Broken Key Out Of A Lock?

It usually takes less than a minute for a professional locksmith to get a broken key out of a lock. It all depends on the degree of damage and the size and design of the lock and key.

Devised methods may take even longer depending on these factors. You will have to collect materials, skim through tutorials and run an eye through applications.

Can I Get A Key Made For A Lock?

If the broken key was the only one at your disposal, you are wondering where you will get another one. Well, you should trust a locksmith to craft an identical key that will be used on the same lock.

Many experts can cut keys to the desired sizes and designs. So, yes, your lock will still be functional after the broken key has been removed. 

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock?

Residential or commercial doors will cost you about $30 to remove a broken key out of a lock. If you are removing a broken key in your car, you should expect to pay about $60.

It also depends on a myriad of factors and the cost of materials you bought for the activity. If you will have to acquire a new key, it means you will have to dig your pocket further to get it done. 

How Do I Get Inside After I Remove The Broken Key From My Lock?

A locksmith will help advise you on how to get back to your room, car, or residence. If you had carried out the task all by yourself, you should be careful not to inflict further damage on your locks.

Your locksmith can give you recommendations on how to get back to your premises o car after removing a broken key. 


At the end of the day, you will get a credible solution to get a broken key out of a lock. It does not matter the type of lock. With the right type of tools and guidance, you can get a broken key out of your lock. Go gentle on it because the task of removing a key from a lock is an intricate process.

Do not be in any rush. If you cannot trust your skills, better call an experienced locksmith to handle it for you with professionalism and efficiency. There you are. Your situation is under capable hands.