broken key extraction

Broken Key Extraction: Expert Tips for Success

Table of Contents

When keys break, it can be an annoying and problematic issue because it may prevent access to homes, cars, or offices. If neglected, this could also damage locks or create a security hazard. Therefore, the correct broken key extraction is necessary for getting back into places and keeping everything safe again. This article discusses common reasons for key breakage, the dangers of leaving keys stuck in locks, and effective removal techniques that can be performed independently or with professional help.

Common Reasons for Broken Keys in Locks

Keys break in locks for several common reasons.

  • Wear and Tear: The lock’s frequent use and the metal’s rusting weaken the keys over time, making them prone to snapping easily.
  • Wrong Key Insertion: A key can bend and break if not inserted straight into a lock or inserted at an angle.
  • Lock Damage: Damaged or worn-out internal parts of the lock can make turning difficult, resulting in key breakage.
  • Extreme Weather Conditions: The likelihood of keys breaking increases with extreme temperatures because such heat or cold makes metals more brittle.
  • Corrosion: Moisture and chemicals can weaken keys, causing them to rust and become brittle, ultimately leading to their breakage over time.

Knowing why keys commonly break will enable you to prevent this annoying issue.

The Risks of Leaving a Broken Key in a Lock

About the risks of leaving a key broken in a lock:

  • Risking safety: If a key breaks off inside a lock, it can facilitate unauthorized entry by burglars into your property.
  • Harming the lock: Trying to take the broken part out of the keyhole forcefully or using any inappropriate methods may spoil the internal details of that device, which will result in costly fixings or even an entire replacement of this mechanism.
  • Problems with gaining access to your premises: A lodged fragment from keys prevents doors from opening therefore barring you from entering into houses, cars, or offices.
  • Extra expenses: More often than not people without the necessary skills and tools attempting to extract broken keys themselves only cause even greater damages thus needing help from professionals who charge higher rates and demand payment for additional repairs done.

It is important to deal with such situations as soon as possible and apply appropriate extraction techniques so as not to compromise the security and functionality of locks.

DIY Methods for Removing a Broken Key from a Lock

If you’re stuck with a broken key in a lock, there are several quick and easy solutions before contacting a locksmith.

  • Tools called Key Extractors: These tools can be bought at any local hardware store or online website. They work by grabbing onto the broken piece of key and pulling it out.
  • Needle-nose pliers: Insert needle-nose pliers into the lock, grip the broken key fragment, and pull it out. Be careful not to cause any damage while doing this method!
  • Use a magnet: If the broken part is metal you may try to use a strong magnet to slowly draw it out of where it’s stuck.
  • Superglue: Apply super glue to a toothpick and attach it to broken keys in a lock. After drying, gently remove the lock, ensuring the whole thing aligns.

Even though these steps might help solve your issue, remember about safety measures – don’t break anything else accidentally! And if nothing works – ask specialists for help!

When to Call a Professional for Broken Key Extraction

There are some situations when you should call a professional locksmith for broken key extraction:

  • Lock damage: If the lock is damaged or if the broken key is deeply embedded into it, then yes – you need to contact a professional locksmith. They possess proper tools and knowledge on how to extract keys safely without further damaging locks.
  • Inaccessible locks: For locks that cannot be easily reached or those located in tight spaces, special techniques and equipment may be required which only professionals have.
  • Multiple breakages: When several keys have broken off inside one lock, this might point out some hidden problems that can be identified and fixed by professionals.
  • Compromised security: Leaving a broken key in any lock compromises the security of your property hence; after removing it, an expert should always ensure that such a system functions as expected.
  • Urgency: A professional locksmith’s quick response to a house lockout can save the day by regaining entry.

You can save yourself a lot of time, money, and trouble dealing with damaged locks by calling for professional help in extracting broken keys. They are equipped with the necessary tools, skills, and experience to do this work safely and effectively.

How to Choose the Right Locksmith for Broken Key Extraction

When talking about broken key extraction, not every locksmith is the same. Here are some pointers for choosing the proper professional:

  • Experience: Find a locksmith who has worked with broken key extractions and lock repairs for many years. This way they’ll have all the necessary skills needed to deal with your particular situation.
  • Licensing and Certification: Potential hires must be licensed by the state and certified according to industry standards to demonstrate their commitment to professionalism.
  • Reviews: Check online reviews left by past clients if they’re available because it will give you an understanding of timeliness, customer satisfaction levels achieved so far etcetera.
  • Ask About Guarantees: Do they guarantee a 100% success rate when extracting broken keys while fixing locks? If yes then this means their confidence level in doing this job right is quite high indeed!
  • Pricing: Always compare rates charged against each other before settling down with one specific candidate based upon other factors such as quality of service rendered or availability during certain hours/days which may suit your needs better than others can accommodate at the present moment.
  • Availability: How soon can they respond to emergencies where someone got locked out of their property for example? The time taken should be reasonable enough considering the urgency involved hence choose accordingly too.

During the selection process, follow these steps to ensure professional handling and achieve successful completion in the shortest time possible.

Tools and Techniques Used for Successful Broken Key Extraction

Professional locksmiths employ various specialized tools and techniques to effectively extract a broken key. Here are some of them:

  • Key Extractors: These devices are made specifically for removing pieces of keys that have snapped off inside locks. They work by gripping onto the fragment and allowing the locksmith to pull it out.
  • Needle-nose Pliers: With their long, thin jaws, needle-nose pliers can prove very handy when trying to grab hold of small objects in tight spaces – like those tiny metal bits lodged within your lock!
  • Hooks And Picks: Locksmiths will often employ various hook-shaped or pick-shaped tools for hooking onto key fragments and pulling them out.
  • Drilling And Cutting: Sometimes a locksmith must drill through part of the lock mechanism itself, or cut into it with a saw, to gain access to the broken-off key piece and remove it.
  • Disassembling The Lock: In complex situations where other methods are ineffective, disassembling the entire lock may be necessary to extract the metal shard.
  • Lubrication And Cleaning: After freeing up any jammed components caused by broken keys, it’s important for locksmiths not only to clean but lubricate these parts too; otherwise they could seize back up again later on downline!
  • Replacement Keys: If the code or impression is severely damaged, we must cut new keys manually to provide a working copy to the customer.

A locksmith expert analyzes each situation individually to determine the best course of action for a compromised lock, considering factors like damage and location.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional for Broken Key Extraction

There are several reasons why it may be more prudent to enlist the services of a professional locksmith rather than trying to fix broken keys by oneself. 

  • Skill and Knowledge: Trained professionals and locksmiths are, who have dealt with such problems for years and know what effectively resolves them without causing additional damage.
  • Tools and Equipment: Locksmiths employ specialized tools for swiftly and safely removing broken keys from locks.
  • Prompt Assistance: Most locksmith companies offer round-the-clock emergency services, ensuring that you don’t have to wait outside your home for hours due to lockout.
  • Results Guaranteed: Trustworthy locksmiths consistently strive for success at no extra cost and offer a warranty for their services.
  • Prevent Additional Damage: If you try prying open doors or jamming metal objects into keyholes yourself, not only do you risk destroying expensive hardware but also compromising overall security levels within your premises. Therefore, always involve an expert!
  • Ensure Continued Security: After a professional locksmith service provider extracts the damaged locks, they ensure their optimal functionality to prevent future incidents and deter burglars.

Considering hiring qualified personnel when faced with such situations as broken key removal can save a lot of time, money, and energy since it prevents them from having to deal with damaged locks later on.


You find broken keys annoying and risky. There are various methods available to rectify them. Whether you decide to solve the problem yourself or hire a locksmith, it is important to know why keys break easily, the dangers of leaving them lodged in locks, and the best techniques for successful extraction.

This article provides expert advice on how to carry out broken key extraction so that it is safe and does not damage your locks or compromise the security of your property. When dealing with such situations, it’s crucial to exercise prudence and seek help from an experienced locksmith, as it’s safe and beneficial.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I do if I have a broken key in my lock?

You can start by diagnosing the problem. There are some DIY methods that you can try such as using needle-nose pliers or a key extractor tool to gently remove the broken piece of a key. If you don’t feel confident or succeed with these techniques, it’s better to ask for help from professional locksmiths.

2. How much does broken key extraction typically cost?

The cost of extracting broken keys depends on the job’s complexity, lock type, and the location of the key stuck. On average, expect to pay between $50-$150 for this service provided by an expert locksmith who will also restore full functionality into your locking mechanism after retrieving any remnants of this item.

 3. Can a broken key cause damage to the lock?

Yes, leaving behind pieces like these can result in damaging other parts too especially when they fall off into vulnerable areas. Similarly, if someone tries prying them out forcibly without the correct tools and skills; further destruction might occur hence always ensure timely removal in order not only to save but also to minimize expenses associated with repair works.

4. How can I prevent my keys from breaking in the first place?

Always use your keys properly without applying too much force or bending them unnecessarily. Regularly inspect for signs of wear and tear; replace weakened ones immediately found before things worsen any further. Employing either a fob/keychain would also help lessen the strain exerted on it.

5. What should I do if I’m locked out of my property due to a broken key?

Professional locksmiths immediately call for you, as they possess the necessary skills and experience to handle such situations. They will quickly assess what the matter is, extract remnants then grant access to the premises back again. Rather than trying to break in forcefully or using makeshift techniques which might worsen damages; this is not advisable at all.