How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock


Nothing is worse than trying to hurry into your home and while unlocking the door, your key snaps in half. This isn’t something people are usually expecting, so it can be a weird experience. You might find yourself confused at first, followed by a wave of panic! If this has never happened to you before, you might not know how to get a broken key out of a lock! Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost and there are a few ways you can get it out!

Ways to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock:

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to leave the broken key. Even if you think there’s enough of it poking out for you to turn it far enough to open it, it’s integral that you don’t act on it. Even the slightest bit of movement that’s wrong, could push the broken section of the key far into the mechanism itself. Leaving it stuck there forever. For most of these methods to work, we need the key to at least partially be poking out.

  • Tweezers or Pliers: If you have a pair of super thin tweezers in your bag, they might be of help in this situation. Grab the tweezers and gently position them on the exposed end of the broken key. If the tweezers are thin enough and are positioned the right way, this will be enough to get the key out. If you have a thin pair of pliers, they might work better in this situation.
  • Paperclips: This one requires a little bit more of a steady hand. Take a paperclip and un-bend it so it’s a straight piece of wire. Wiggle it super gently over the key and slide it all the way to the end of the lock. Once you hit the end, push down on the paper clip. The idea here is to “catch” the key and hopefully, when you slide the paperclip back out, the broken half of the key comes with it!
  • Tap the Cylinder: This one won’t work well for a door because you won’t be able to reach the other side of the door to tap the cylinder. However, if you have a padlock or something removable that has a key stuck in its lock, this one might do the trick! Using gravity, point the broken key downwards and tap on the cylinder from the other side. Unless the key is jammed in there pretty far, this would be enough to dislodge the broken half of the key and ideally, it will just fall out!
  • Superglue: This is something you can try if nothing else works. Take something thin like that paper clip from before or even a tiny branch and douse it with superglue and get it as close to the broken key as possible. Hold it firmly in place while the glue dries and once it has, shimmy the key out. The idea here is to give the key something to hold on to to be able to slide out. It is also possible that you might just end up super gluing your entire lock mechanism though, so proceed with caution.
  • Professional Help: If all of those seem like too much work, it’s because they are! Getting a broken key out of a lock is possible, but it’s not easy. There’s always the chance that you might accidentally make matters worse. It’s much better to call a locksmith Birmingham or a recommended locksmith from your area to get your key out for you professionally. The work will be done a lot faster and there are minimal chances of damaging your entire lock for good!

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