Tips For Addressing A Broken Key Stuck Inside Your Lock

Although some people may never experience it, many will find themselves with a broken key in a lock at some point. If your key has broken, leaving a piece remaining stuck in a lock, it's important that you address it the right way to avoid further damaging the lock. Here are a few things that you should know to deal with a situation like this.

Don't Make It Worse

It's tempting to try to line your key up and open the door despite the piece being broken off inside. While you might get this to unlock the door, it's likely to push that broken piece further into the lock, potentially rendering it impossible to remove. If you do this, it could leave you needing to work with a locksmith to remove the lock and replace it instead of just extracting the key piece and having your key replaced.

Use Gravity

If your key is broken inside a padlock, or you can remove the lock cylinder from the lock that it's broken in, you can try to use gravity to your advantage to remove the broken piece. Hold the padlock or the lock cylinder with the opening facing the ground, then tap the sides of the lock. Don't be afraid to tap it hard, because that may be what it takes to dislodge the key.

Tweeze It Out

If you can still see the end of the broken piece inside the lock, you might be able to pull it out with a pair of tweezers or pliers. Grasp it with the tip of the tool, and try to gently pull it out, wiggling a bit if necessary.

Lubricate It

If the key won't budge, or it's clear that it's jammed in there, you might be able to encourage it out with some spray lubricant. Apply the lubricant directly into the lock opening around the key, and let it settle in for a half-hour or so before trying to move the key again. Repeat this a couple of times to see if it will encourage the piece to come out.

Call A Locksmith

If the key piece won't budge despite your best efforts, that may mean that you need to reach out to a local locksmith. He or she will have professional removal tools that may actually make it easier to get the key out of the lock.

However, in some cases, it isn't possible to remove the broken piece without completely disassembling the lock. If that piece did any damage to the lock itself, you may need to have it replaced. Talk with a locksmith service such as Bob's Lock & Key about the options before you rule anything out.