how to remove a broken key

5 ways to remove a broken key from a lock

If you’re finding yourself reading this article, then it’s highly likely that you’ve made a simple mistake that a lot of people make, and you’ve broken your key off in a lock. First of all, don’t worry and don’t feel stupid, this thing happens all the time and in many cases, it’s not your fault. Day-to-day wear and tear will eventually lead to a key breaking. Plus, it’s not the end of the world to fix. So to help you out here are 5 simple ways to remove a broken key from a lock, that use a number of different tools you’ll find laying around your home.

Use a small jigsaw blade

If you still have access to your tools, or can borrow one of the these from someone, then a jigsaw blade is often a quick and easy way to remove your broken key. If it is small enough then slip it in alongside the key, and keep the serrations facing towards you and at an angle. Then you want to twist and pull and use the friction and the serrations to grip the broken key and pull it out. If the blade is too big, then, if you don’t mind breaking it, use needle nose pliers to break it up into a smaller size that will fit.

Get the tweezers out

There is a reason that this option didn’t come first on the list and that’s because most people instinctively go for the tweezers and then end up making matters worse. In your mind, they may seem like the perfect tool for the job, but in reality, they are often not useful. If there is a small amount of your key still protruding from the lock then yes go ahead and use them; just be careful not to accidentally knock it in any further. However, if the key is buried in the lock, then only use tweezers if they are thin enough to actually fit in. The common mistake that is made is that people use tweezers that are too thick and just end up pushing the key further in.

Knocking it out

This method is only applicable in a few circumstances and requires you being able to turn the lock upside down. If your key has been stuck in a fixed door, then it’s best to keep reading. Simply enough, if you can manoeuvre the cylinder of the lock upside down, then you will need to strike the other side opposite to the key in an attempt to knock the key loose so it falls out. Just be careful to not damage the lock too much by hitting it too aggressively. You can use a hammer to gently try to bang it free, or alternatively, it’s best to strike it against a solid surface. If after some attempts this doesn’t work, it means it likely won’t at all and it’s best to try other methods.

Probe and pull

If you have skilled hands and 2 thin pieces of metal, then this could work nicely for you. You will essentially be placing one piece of metal on either side of the key, and then ever so gently start to slowly prise the key from the lock. The 2 pieces of metal ideally need to be flat and thin, or if you have access to some bobby pins or paper clips this may work. One point to note is that this process may take some work and will likely damage the lock itself, so take that into consideration before trying this.

Super glue

Last of all, if you have access to some super glue and a steady hand, you could possibly remove your broken key from the lock this way. The idea is that you apply a small amount of super glue to a very thin piece of metal or a match. Don’t leave any glue dripping or hanging off as this will damage the lock and make it even harder to remove the key. You will want to insert the glue and attempt to stick it to the end of the key facing you and pull it towards you. If you do have too much super glue on the match or piece of metal, then it will trap glue in the lock and make things even harder.

What to do if all else fails?

If all of these methods don’t work for you, or if you simply don’t have access to the tools or don’t want to potentially cause serious damage to your lock, then the best thing to do is hire a locksmith to come help you out. They have a lot of experience with this kind of issue and have specialist tools for the job. If you live in the Leicestershire area, then JG Locksmiths can have someone out to you to get this fixed within the hour, so simply get in contact today by calling 07846 962825.

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