Breaking a key off in a lock is oftentimes an emergency situation, and while you can always contact a locksmith to get the job done quickly, you can also solve this problem on your own using some simple tools. Of course, this depends on how much of the key is stuck in the lock, but in most cases this is a DIY project that you can perform yourself.
Here are some ways to remove a broken key from a lock.
Step 1: Loosen the Key
The first step is to use a penetrating oil, which you can spray into the keyhole to help loosen the broken key. This is particularly helpful if the lock has been a challenge to work with lately.
Step 2: Turn the Lock
Determine how much of the key is broken off in the lock. If you broke the key in the middle section and the part left over still includes key cuts, the lock may be aligned to allow removal of the key. If you don’t have any of the cuts left in the key, you likely turned the key slightly before it broke off. Using a screwdriver, you can turn the lock back to the vertical position.
Step 3: Use Pliers to Remove the Key
With needle-nosed pliers, you can remove the key from the lock in many cases by inserting the tip into the keyhole. Simply grip the key and you should be able to pull it out, which is most likely to work if the key is broken at the head with all of the cuts inside the lock.
Step 4: Use Jig or Scroll Saws
If pliers don’t work and most of the cuts are outside of the lock, you can use a scroll saw or jigsaw with the teeth pointing down to remove the key. Simply push the saw in until you feel the teeth grab a cut on the key, and pull the saw out, which should come out with the rest of the key.
Contact a Locksmith
If you don’t have the tools available and you’re in need of fast service, it may be best to contact a locksmith to help you remove the key and get a replacement. 24-hour emergency locksmiths such as the professionals at LondonLocksmith can provide you with last-minute service to help you in any situation. With the help of reliable professionals who can understand your needs and bring the right tools to get the job done, you can successfully remove a broken key from any lock and gain access to your home, office, or vehicle.