24 Hr Lockouts Logo

Lockout Tips

What to Do When a Key Breaks in the Lock

When your key breaks, it’s an unexpected burden. Once it happens, you could easily get locked out of the place you’re trying to get into for quite a while. While frustrating, there are some steps you can take to try and get your key out.

We’ve outlined below some important information about your keys. Often, the reason for a key breaking is just regular wear and tear, but there are some signs to watch out for. There are also some actionable steps you can take before calling a locksmith.

What to do if Your Key Breaks in a Lock

There are a few methods to extract a broken key before calling a locksmith. However, if you’ve locked yourself out of your house, the idea of using tools can be a bit ironic because you might be unable to access any of the tools you have.

If you have a friendly neighbor or a friend that can help you out, ask around! Plenty of people have these tools.

Pliers and Lubricant

If the key breaks so it’s sticking out of the lock, you can often get it out with some WD-40 and a pair of pliers. Spray the lubricant, wipe down the key, and try to pull with your pliers.


If a tiny portion of a key is sticking out or the key isn’t visible at all, you could always try a powerful magnet. While most people don’t have strong magnets on hand, they are available for purchase at many stores. There’s no guarantee, however, that a magnet will work.

Flathead Screwdriver

If the key isn’t sticking out, you could try a very thin screwdriver to see if you can dislodge the broken part, but your chances are slim. It’s important not to be too harsh, either. The last thing you want to do is damage your lock if it’s in good condition.

When you Should Call a Locksmith

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to try and get a stuck key out yourself if it’s sticking out and the situation isn’t urgent. If you can’t access the right tools, there’s no harm in calling a locksmith right away.

If the above tricks don’t work, it’s time to call a locksmith. A professional locksmith can help remove the key and get you inside your home. They can also identify the causes of a broken key and fix your lock if it’s damaged as well.

Final Thoughts

In the process, don’t try so hard that you damage the lock. It’s also essential you don’t try to open your door with any of the remaining key parts, no matter how urgent it is to get inside. It won’t work and could cause further damage to your lock.

When keys break, a professional locksmith can truly save the day. While it’s a frustrating situation that can often cause a bit of panic, stay calm. A locksmith is just a phone call away and there are plenty of ways to fix your door and get your day back on track!

We accept: We accept all major credit cards