Posted in Blog  
  on Nov 25, 2013

How to Remove a Broken Key from a Lock

How to Remove a Broken Key from a Lock

What To Do After You Break A Key Off In A Lock

You are unlocking your door and SNAP the key breaks. You think 'Great! Now what am I going to do?'. Calling a locksmith or repair man can be a little pricey. For residents it can cost anywhere from $20 to $150 and commercial can be $100 to $550. It is not a hard fix and you don't need to speed any money that is not needed. These twelve easy steps you can have that key out and lock fixed in no time.

First thing is first look at the lock, if there is a piece of the key sticking out then the lock will still work. Get a pair of pliers and try to grab what is sticking out and turn the key to unlock the door. While you are turning the key using the pliers take your other hand and pull on the door knob to take as much of the pressure off the bolt as possible to make the turning easier. If you cannot get a good enough grip to turn the key, try to pull the key out and use your spare key to unlock the door.

If your key broke off and there is not any piece of the key sticking out of the lock for you to grab. Try a flat head screwdriver or anything with a small enough blade on it that will fit in the lock. Insert the blade or press on the keyhole and twist the key just like you would if you were able to get a hold of a piece sticking out. You also need to pull on the doorknob to relieve pressure off of the lock to make the turning process easier of the key. Once you get the door unlocked turn the screwdriver or blade both ways to unsure that you can lock and unlock the doorknob still.

Disassemble the Locking Mechanism
To remove the key part you will probably have to disassemble the entire door locking mechanism. If you do not have a spare key you can take the pieces of your broken key to a hardware store and they should be able to get you another key made. Or they can provide the correct parts to make your door mechanism work properly again.

If the above tips have not worked and you still have a broken key inside a lock that will not work you have two other options. One option is to breakdown and call that locksmith. Locksmiths will try their best to fix the situation without causing anymore damage as possible. You also have the drilling option. The drilling option if not done correctly and drilled to far could break the lock beyond repair.

If drilling is your choice then you need to make sure when inserting the drill you go no further than a typical key would be inserted. You also want to make sure the bit you choose will remove the metal of the key only and not part of the lock. Most locks can handle a 1/4" drill bit. Once you have most of the broken key removed pry as much of the cylinder and pin metal out so doorknob will turn and unlock the door. You will then need to remove the hardware from the door and take it to a hardware store to get the correct parts to repair like a new key and cylinder.


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