How to remove a key that broke in the lock: 5 tricks to avoid disassembling everything


Minor mishaps occur daily, whether due to neglect, manufacturing flaws, or mere haste. One such common predicament is the snapping of keys, leaving them lodged in locks.

The dilemma intensifies when it's the key to your abode. However, before rushing to call a professional locksmith, you might want to try these DIY tactics to free a trapped key without taking apart the lock.

If the Door is Locked:

1. Magnet Magic

Required: A strong magnet.

Procedure: Apply a lubricant on the key. Position the magnet close to the key; it should cling to the magnet, enabling easy extraction.

2. Precision with Pliers

Required: Needle-nose pliers or fine-tipped scissors.

Procedure: After lubricating around the key, use the pliers or scissors to carefully grasp the protruding piece of the key. Gently attempt to extract the key, being cautious to avoid pushing it deeper into the lock.

If the Door is Unlocked:

1. Scissor Solution

Procedure: If the key's trapped with the door unlocked, find a pair of fine-tipped scissors. From the opposite side (e.g., inside the home), slide a scissor tip until it contacts the broken key. Push gently to nudge the key outward. If it doesn’t emerge entirely, employ pliers to draw it out.

2. Key to the Rescue

Procedure: This technique parallels the earlier one, albeit using another key. By inserting this key into the lock from the opposite side, it will thrust the broken key outward.

3. The Silicone Savior

Popularity: This method has garnered attention on social media for its efficacy.

Procedure: The broken key must be upright. Lightly heat a silicone piece with a lighter to melt it. Swiftly press the molten silicone against the lock, covering the lodged key. Hold firmly for a minute until the silicone solidifies. Gently pull back on the silicone; the key should follow. Be gentle to avoid breaking the silicone.

While these strategies may work in many scenarios, always remember that if you're unsure or if the key remains stubbornly stuck, consulting a locksmith is the safest route to ensure no further damage is done.