close up gray hoppe tubular key
  • Broken Key in Your Lock? Here’s What You Need to Do

  • Published By:
  • Category: Market Updates
  • Published Date: April 8, 2024
  • Modified Date: April 8, 2024
  • Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Featured Image Caption: Close Up Gray Hoppe Tubular Key

It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare-you go to unlock your door, only to have your key snap off inside the lock. Panic sets in as you try to figure out how to remedy the situation. But fear not, there are steps you can take to safely and effectively remove the broken key from the lock without causing any further damage. In this post, we’ll go over some tips and tricks for dealing with this common household mishap.

Assess the Situation

The first thing you should do is to take a deep breath and assess the situation. Is the broken key visible or is it stuck inside the lock? If it’s still partially visible, you may be able to remove it with your fingers or a pair of tweezers. However, if it’s lodged inside the lock, you’ll need some additional tools and techniques to remove it.

Panic can be a natural response to a situation like this, but it’s important to try and remain calm. Panicking may cause you to make rash decisions or use too much force when trying to remove the key, which could result in further damage to your lock. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that this is a common issue and there are solutions available.

Gather Some Tools

To remove the broken key, you’ll need a few specific tools. These include needle-nose pliers, a small screwdriver or paperclip, and graphite powder (or pencil lead if you don’t have any on hand). You may also want to wear the gloves to protect your hands from any sharp edges.

Lubricate the Lock

Before attempting to remove the key, be sure to lubricate the lock. This will make it easier to maneuver and reduce the risk of further damage. Apply a small amount of graphite powder or pencil lead into the keyhole and work it in with your finger or a paperclip.

Try a Magnet

If the broken key is visible but out of reach, you can try using a magnet to retrieve it. Place the magnet near the key and slowly move it around until it attaches to the broken piece. Pull gently to remove the key from the lock.

Use Needle-Nose Pliers

If a magnet doesn’t work, you’ll need to use needle-nose pliers to remove the key. Insert the pliers into the keyhole and carefully grasp the broken key. Once you have a good grip, pull gently to remove the key from the lock.

What Not to Do

While it can be tempting to try and use force or other makeshift tools such as a screwdriver or wire hanger, we strongly advise against it. These methods can cause damage to the lock mechanism and potentially make the situation worse. It’s best to stick with the proper tools and techniques outlined above.

If All Else Fails, Call a Professional

If you’ve tried all of the above methods and still can’t remove the broken key, it’s time to call a professional locksmith. They have the experience and specialized tools necessary to safely extract the key without damaging your lock. While this may result in an additional expense, it’s worth it to avoid any further damage or potential safety hazards.

When calling a locksmith to remove a broken key from your lock, it’s important to ensure that you are hiring a reputable and trustworthy professional. Before agreeing to their services, ask for proof of certification and credentials. You can also check the online reviews or ask for the recommendations from friends or family. It’s also wise to get a quote beforehand and make sure there are no hidden fees. By thoroughly vetting a locksmith, you can have peace of mind knowing that your lock and key are in capable hands.

Prevention is Key

Once you’ve successfully removed the broken key, be sure to take steps to prevent this from happening again in the future. Be sure to regularly clean and lubricate your locks to keep them functioning properly. If you notice any signs of wear or damage on your keys, replace them before they break inside the lock.

Sometimes, removing a broken key from a lock may not be possible or the most practical solution. In cases where the lock has been damaged or compromised, it may be necessary to rekey the lock. This involves changing the internal pins and springs of the lock so that only a new set of keys can open it. Rekeying is often done for security reasons, such as when moving into a new home or office, or if you’ve lost your keys and are concerned about someone having access to your property. It’s also a good idea to get some lock rekeying done periodically to prevent any unauthorized individuals from accessing your space.

While removing a broken key from your lock can be frustrating, try to remain calm and follow these steps for a successful outcome. Remember to regularly maintain your locks by cleaning and lubricating them to prevent future mishaps. And if you do find yourself in this situation again, you’ll now have the knowledge and tools to handle it with ease. Keep your home secure and your locks in good condition with these simple tips and tricks. Good luck out there!

By Dixie Somers
who is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Member since October, 2022
View all the articles of Dixie Somers.

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