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How to get a broken key from a lock

We’ve all been there, you reach for your house key, go to unlock your door, only to hear a snap. Panic sets in, you’re either locked out, or late for work, and it feels like the world is crumbling around you. But fear not, before you resign yourself to hours of waiting, take a deep breath and give GHI Locksmiths a call: 01225 663143 or 07841 842541. Alternatively consider these DIY hacks to rescue your broken key and your peace of mind.

Assess the Situation

Before you dive into extraction methods, take a moment to understand the situation. Is any part of the key protruding from the lock? This makes life significantly easier. If not, don’t despair, but be prepared for a more delicate operation. Also, identify the type of lock you’re dealing with. A simple doorknob lock might yield to gentler methods.

Loosen the lock

A well-lubricated lock will give you a better chance of manoeuvring the broken key. A can of WD-40 is your best bet especially because its long thin nozzle can fit into and around tight spaces in your door lock. Failing that a little bit of an oil based lubricant and a gentle wiggle should help loosen the lock’s internal mechanisms.

Gather some tools

Now comes the fun part: the extraction! There are some household items you can turn into makeshift key-rescuing heroes. Tweezers might be all you need. Grab the exposed end firmly and pull steadily. Be careful not to force it, as you could damage the lock further. A paperclip is a malleable bit of kit most houses have. Start by bending it into a right angle with a small hook at the end. Insert the hook into the lock alongside the broken key and try to snag the jagged edge. Gently wiggle and pull to release the key.

This method requires a bit more dexterity. Break a small piece of a thin jigsaw blade and carefully insert the serrated edge into the lock alongside the broken key. The serrations can grip the key’s grooves, allowing you to pull it out.

This technique is best for exposed key fragments. Apply a tiny amount of super glue to the end of a matchstick or toothpick and carefully touch it to the broken key. Let the glue dry completely, then gently pull the matchstick/toothpick, hopefully extracting the key fragment with it.

Be Patient

Don’t get discouraged if your first attempt fails. Be patient, use gentle force, and try different methods until you find one that works. Remember, the goal is to remove the key without further damaging the lock.

Call a Professional

If you’ve exhausted all your DIY options, or if the lock is complex or valuable, don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith here at GHI Locksmiths. We have the tools and expertise to handle even the most stubborn broken keys. We can also help if a key becomes jammed in a lock and snaps off, or just becomes stuck and can’t be removed. Just a word of warning: in the event of this happening don’t try to remove the key yourself because you could end up making the situation worse and breaking the lock completely.

We have the skills and specialised tools to remove any broken or stuck key from a lock with the minimum of fuss and bother, and ascertaining why it broke or jammed in the first place, so we can prevent it from happening again.

Fully equipped mobile locksmith

We pride ourselves in being a local, independent locksmith firm with many years’ experience. We’re tried and trusted by hundreds of grateful customers, who freely recommend us to friends, family and colleagues who experience a key catastrophe or need new locks.

We travel to clients with a fully equipped van complete with all the tools, locks and spares we need to complete any service, so there’s no delay in solving your locksmithing problems whether it requires effecting entry or repairing a broken lock.

Give GHI Locksmiths a call: 01225 663143 or (mobile) 07841 842541.

Free quotes, consultations and surveys
 No call out charge
Emergency call outs welcome
Rapid response, usually within 1 hour
PVCu Lock Specialist
Fully qualified and approved locksmiths
I can deal with most locks e.g. doors, windows, cars, vans, garage etc.
All domestic and commercial work undertaken
British Standard locks fitted where required for insurance purposes

I cover all the towns & villages covered by the following postcodes:

Bath: BA1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Bradford-on-Avon: BA15
Calne: SN11
Chippenham: SN15
Corsham: SN13