How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock?

broken key

A key broken in a lock is something that can sometimes be resolved without calling a locksmith. In some cases, you will require professional help for a key stuck in a lock. Before you go to the expense of calling a locksmith there are a few things you can try to remove a broken key from a lock yourself.

As specialists in lock repairs we see this happen regularly and have a few top tips which may help you sort the problem yourself. This could save you money on expensive locksmith bills!

Tips to Remove a Broken Key from a Door Lock

Whether you are trying to remove a broken key from a deadbolt, or a Yale lock these tips should help.

1) Lubricate the Lock

Squirt some lubricant like WD40 or GT85 into the lock.

wd-40 to lubricate a door lock

2) Get the Position Right

Make sure the key is in the right position to be retracted from the lock – it should be vertical and not turned to the right or the left.

door lock

3) Find the Right Tool

Some tweezers or long nosed pliers may work if the key is not too deep in the lock. However you may find that you need a specialist key extraction tool.

specialist key extraction tool

4) Attack from The Back

Attack the key from the backside of the lock by pushing the key through to the side on which it is broken (it isn’t usually easy to pull the key out from the front). Often tackling the key from the front can push the key further into the lock.

There are various videos online about how to remove a broken key from a lock. Many of which require specialist key extraction tools. I hope these simple tips on how to get a key out of a lock work for you!

Can’t Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock and Need to Call a Locksmith

If the tips above don’t work and you find you need to call locksmith, make sure it’s a good one! Read here about the importance of choosing a locksmith with care.

MLA approved locksmith

Should a Locksmith Need to Destroy a Lock with a Key Stuck in Door Lock?

Should a locksmith need to drill the lock? NO! They shouldn’t need to drill the lock, except in drastic circumstances!

If a locksmith suggests drilling the lock in the case of a snapped key, you should question their motives. It is so important to choose a reliable qualified locksmith to avoid unnecessary expense. Read our guide on how to choose a locksmith.

How Does a Locksmith Remove a Broken Key in Door Lock?

A good locksmith will have tools and the experience to do the job quickly and efficiently. There are several methods they may use;

  • A special lock extraction tool
  • Removing the cylinder
  • It may be necessary to change the cylinder

The way they take the broken key out of the lock can vary depending on the set of circumstances.

How Much Should It Cost to Remove a Snapped Key from a Lock?

A genuine local locksmith in London should charge in the region of £70+ to remove a snapped key from a lock. The cost may vary depending on factors like travel and the time of day. You can read more here about locksmith costs.

Will Super Glue Work on a Key Snapped in a Lock?

super glue
Image courtesy of DocChewbacca

Absolutely not! On several occasions I have encountered customers who have tried to super glue their key back together in the lock. In each one of these cases I have had to replace the lock. Using super glue to try to fix a key back together is a complete no no!

There is usually no need to replace a lock when a key snaps. Using super glue will just make matters much worse and will mean you will have to spend much more that if you had just called a locksmith in the first place.

Can I Get a New Key Cut from a Broken Key?

key cutting
Image Courtesy of Jay Gooby

If you break your key in lock it is possible to cut a new key from the broken key. However, it would be much better if you have a complete key to cut a duplicate from. In fact, it is advisable to keep the original key safe somewhere and always have duplicate keys cut from the original. Read what you need to know about getting keys cut hereAlways have keys cut by a professional locksmith to guarantee quality.

How to Avoid a Key Snapping in a Lock

As well as getting keys cut by a professional using high quality key blanks it is also important to take care of your locks.

Locks don’t take much maintenance to keep them running smoothly and without issues, but they do require some attention. Looking after your locks by lubricating them periodically could avoid problems like a snapped key. Read our guide on how to maintain your locks. A little care could save you time and money.

IKS Locksmiths are MLA approved locksmiths based in London. If you have snapped a key in your lock give us a call for a competitive quote. We will aim to resolve the issue with minimum cost and inconvenience.

Main image courtesy of alex roberts

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