It may happen at the worst time. You’re unlocking the door to your home or car, and the lock sticks a bit. You wiggle the key to get the lock to turn. Instead, the key breaks off in the lock.
Don’t panic. There are solutions to this problem. Take a deep breath, relax, and try one of these 3 strategies for how to remove a broken key.
Removing the Broken Key
- Tweezers. If you have tweezers, these can be one of the most effective tools to remove a broken key. Tweezers are most effective if part of the broken key is protruding from the keyhole. If the key is not protruding but is very close to the opening of the keyhole, you may be able to get the prongs of the tweezers around either side of it and pull. The biggest risk with tweezers is that you could accidentally push the key further into the hole, making the situation worse. The thinner the prongs the better the chances that you’ll be able to get them around the broken piece of the key. The ones that come in a swiss army knife are often ideal.
- Jigsaw Blade. If you happen to have a small jigsaw blade, you can make a tool to extract your key. Ideally, the blade needs to be thin enough to slide into the keyhole alongside the broken key. You’ll have to break or cut off a small piece of the blade and insert it on the ridged side of the broken key. The hope is that the serrated saw blade will hook the key and pull it out.
- Super Glue. This strategy can be successful if it works. However, it can ruin your lock if you’re not careful. Only try this in an emergency situation where getting the key out and getting through the door is important enough to risk the lock. This strategy should also only be used if the broken key is close to the opening of the keyhole or protruding out from it. This may also ruin your key so that it can’t be duplicated.
Get an item like a toothpick and apply a tiny dab of superglue to it. Hold the item with the glue against the broken piece of key (touching only the key if possible) until the glue sets. Then pull and the broken piece of the key should come right out.
Your Safest Strategy: Call a 24 HR Lockouts
Don’t risk it. 24 HR Lockouts has special tools, such as a key extractor, for just this purpose. We can extract the broken piece of key, preserve the integrity of your lock, and duplicate your key from the broken pieces leftover. Contact us today.