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How To Get A Broken Key Out Of A Lock?


Before looking at the solutions, you might want to understand the underlying causes that led to the misfortune in the first place. Mostly, one of the following reasons lead to this problem:

  • When you are using excessive force to unlock the door or are in too much hurry.
  • Over time, your key might undergo normal wear and tear resulting in wearing down the teeth on the key making it difficult for it to catch inside the lock.
  • Wear and tear of the lockset and the tumbler can also cause this.


  • Tweezers
  • Penetrating oil
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Scroll saw or jig saw blade
  • Paper clips
  • Super Glue
  • Broken Key Extractor (A professional locksmith always carries this)

Optional Items

  • Screwdriver
  • First aid kit
  • Swiss army knife
  1. Paper Clips

Paperclips offer one of the handiest methods for getting a broken key out of the lock. In order to insert the paperclip into the keyhole, you have just got to bend a paperclip into a straight line. Then, simply twist the paperclip downwards to get the hold of the broken key and pull it outwards.

  1. Tweezers

The foremost solution for almost everyone is a pair of tweezers, but you must keep in mind how far the key has broken off in your lock as well as what is the thickness level of your tweezers. You must ensure to open your tweezers wide so as they fit tight inside the key not alongside it. You might unwittingly push the key deeper inside the lock instead of getting it out, that is why this tweezer method is only recommended if you consider yourself to be confident enough in your ability to handle the tweezers and extract the broken key.

  1. Disassemble the Lockset

This method is only feasible if, despite your key stuck in the door’s lockset, you’re able to enter another room from a different side; as then, you can simply screw open the entire doorknob and subsequently disassemble the lockset in a careful manner. For this method to work out, you may need to have the proper disassembly instructions for your specifically designed lock model. But don’t worry as this might be easily available on lock manufacturer’s website.

  1. Jigsaw Blade

Another widely used method in case you don’t want or can’t afford to call a locksmith is utilising a small jigsaw blade. You might have to break the blade using pliers in order to easily insert the jigsaw blade into the lock and hook the key out conveniently. You might get your key out with just a simple delicate twist and pull, if not, then simply try again. 

  1. Super Glue

At first thought you might wonder that making use of a super glue to hook out the broken key from a lockset is rather counter unreasonable. But if you are really in a hurry and can’t get hold of the accessories required for the other aforementioned methods, this superglue method is at least worth a shot. 

We must warn you to not try this method if your key is stuck deep below into your lockset as this trick is most efficient when the broken key is visible and easily accessible. Now, for this method, you would just have to take a small wire and put some super glue on either end. 

Remember: too much glue could harm the lock! Keep holding onto the edge of the stuck key and make sure that you are not pushing the broken key further into the lock as it would lead to counterproductive results. Wait for 8-10 minutes to let the substances bind together. Then, place the superglue against the broken key bit and wait for it to harden. Then, when you are sure that they are bound enough, simply pull your wire away from the lock. 

Despite whatever results you may achieve, we just want to make sure that we don’t recommend this method as it could potentially damage your key as well as your lockset. Use this method at your own discretion.

  1. Broken Key Extractor

The best possible and highly advisable method is to call a professional locksmith from your most preferred locksmithing solutions provider such as us at Locksmith Philly to easily and expertly get your broken key out of the lockset at affordable rates in no time. Our well trained and certified locksmiths make use of the broken key extractor tool. In this method, the professionally well-equipped locksmith places this broken key extractor tool inside the keyway to hook out the teeth on your key with the hook(s) on the extractor tool. Once placed along the biting, our technician would then carefully turn and pull it to delicately grab the key and successfully remove the broken piece out of your door’s lockset. This is one of the most tried and tested yet easily accessible methods which you can also successfully use on your own if you have some sort of locksmithing manual or using online resources. However, employing this method on your own would require buying yourself a broken key extractor that might include some unnecessary equipment, further increasing your expenditure. Moreover, doing this yourself may take several attempts in contrast to a professionally trained expert locksmith.

We hope that the aforementioned methods would be beneficial for you to get your broken key out of the lock in times of emergency.

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