Did you break your key in your lock? If so, learn how to get a broken key out of a lock here, without causing damage to the lock or door.

Shoot! You’re trying to get into your home or car and the last thing you need is to snap your key in the lock causing wasted time, frustration, and money to have a locksmith come to your rescue.

But do you really need to pull your wallet out, or can you solve this yourself?

With a few simple hacks, breaking your key in a lock doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Here’s how to get a broken key out of a lock with things you’ve probably got lying around the house.

How to Get a Broken Key Out of a Lock: 101

First things first, some folks assume that the door will still open if they simply jam the remaining half of their key into the lock and turn.

Do NOT do this.

Not only does this not work, but you’ll hamper your abilities to remove the broken key. The further into the lock your key is, the harder it is to get out. 

Depending on how far the key is inside your lock, you should be able to pull it out yourself without the expertise of a professional locksmith

To get started, look around your house for the following items to help you:

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • A metal hair clip or bobby pin
  • Safety pin
  • Tweezers
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Penetrating oil of your choice
  • A screwdriver
  • A jigsaw or scroll saw blade

1. Start by spraying your penetrating oil of choice (WD-40, or something like it), into the lock to help loosen the broken key.

2. Look at where your key has broken. If it broke at the head, you must get a screwdriver to turn the lock back into position to allow the key to slide back out. 

3. Once the keyhole is back into its default, vertical position, you can proceed. Insert either the needle-nose pliers or tweezers into the keyhole and try to pull the broken half out. 

4. If this method doesn’t work, get that jigsaw or scroll saw blade. Point the teeth of your chosen blade down and slide it inside, while trying to feel it grab onto one of the broken key’s teeth.

Once you’ve got a grip on the key with your saw, gently try to slide the blade out of the keyhole, pulling the broken key with it. This may take some 

5. You can use just about any of the tools listed above to work the key out slowly. A bobby pin or safety pin may work better than a jigsaw or scroll saw blade if the key is broken in an unusual way.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes you may simply not be able to figure out how to get a broken key out of a lock no matter how hard you try. If you get to this point, or you try one of the less effective methods (like super-glue), it may be time to call a locksmith.

The last thing you want to do is cause further damage to your keyhole or door. For expert advice or help, see our services page and discover how Tracy Lock can help you.