11 Methods to Take away a Damaged Key From a Lock

Breaking your key in a lock generally is a panic-inducing second, particularly when it is your entrance door.

However when you have additional keys and want a method to take away a damaged key from the lock, there are numerous artistic and simple methods to do it.

On this information, we’ll cowl 11 tried-and-true strategies utilizing completely different objects — you doubtless have a number of of them in your house.

Earlier than continuing, it’s important to notice that eradicating a damaged key may cause extra issues if rushed or completed incorrectly. So watch out and delicate whereas attempting any of the strategies under.

With that mentioned, let’s get to it!

Keyway preparation

You will need to cut back friction as a lot as potential for any of the strategies under. Though this step isn’t essential, it will possibly assist tremendously.

The best method to do that is to spray slightly lubricant into the keyway.

Ideally, you will need to use a dry lubricant reminiscent of graphite or Teflon. Glorious dry lubricant for locks Houdini Look Loeb. Nonetheless, for a full checklist of my prime suggestions, see my article What are the most effective lubricants?

Nonetheless, you too can use oil-based lubricants, reminiscent of WD-40. Understand that oil-based lubricants depart a residue contained in the lock that may acquire grime and trigger sloppy build-up on inside parts.

Earlier than leaping into any of the strategies under, we should guarantee that the keyway is aligned appropriately.

Most locks are key retention, which implies that until the keyway is rotated to the right place, the important thing can’t be eliminated.

So step one is to ensure the important thing observe is aligned to the identical place earlier than inserting the important thing. For many cylinder locks – reminiscent of these on doorways – the keyway should be vertical.

As soon as the important thing observe is lubricated and aligned, it is time to extract the important thing!

The primary and greatest method to take away a damaged key from a lock is to make use of knowledgeable software known as a key extractor.

There are numerous several types of key extractors, however they’re all utilized in the identical method. They dig one thing sharp into the damaged piece of the important thing and provide the energy to tug it out.

Let’s check out two in style key extractors and learn how to use them.

Hooked key extractor

Some extraction instruments, eg Peterson hooked key extractorUse a lock-lock sort software with a rod on the tip – much like a straight fishing hook.

To make use of a tapered key extractor, insert it into the highest of the keyway, with the barbs pointing down.

As soon as inserted, gently raise the extractor deal with up and press it towards the highest of the keyway to assist dig out the barbs in the important thing.

If completed appropriately, the prong will grip the important thing and can help you pull it out of the lock with ease.

Alternatively, you too can push the bar to the again of the keyway and seize the tip of the important thing.

corkscrew extractor

hpc interchangeable key extractor

Some extraction instruments – eg HPC Extractor Spiral Blade KeyUse a skinny, versatile applicator with a spiral thread – much like a nail.

To make use of a spiral extractor, insert it between the damaged a part of the important thing and the important thing.

Push it in so far as it is going to go after which bend the software into the important thing in order that the threads dig into the important thing.

Slowly begin turning the spiral extractor and use the software to face the important thing at completely different angles. Ultimately, the software will choose up the important thing and begin retracting it with every rotation of the software.

2. Pliers or tweezers

A broken key in the lock comes out

If the damaged key sticks far sufficient out of the lock, you might be able to seize it and pull it out with pliers.

Nonetheless, when doing so, remember to pull it out slowly. The important thing could also be damaged, which might be the way it broke within the first place.

Pulling a caught key may cause additional injury or damaged items. If the hot button is jammed, you possibly can attempt to launch it by gently rocking it or rotating it in each instructions.

If the damaged a part of the important thing does not stick out far sufficient to seize with the pliers, you might be able to use tweezers as a substitute.

As with pliers, give the important thing a wiggle in a number of instructions to assist free it from any binding that may maintain it within the lock.

last observe, Watch out to not by chance push the damaged piece of the important thing into the lock.

3. Paper clips

Paper clips are actually a magical software and work nicely for eradicating damaged keys—So long as the damaged piece isn’t too small, and never too deep contained in the keyway.

There are two methods to make use of a paperclip to extract a damaged key. In my expertise, paper clips which are thinner are inclined to work higher and offer you a deeper grip on the important thing.

Remove the broken key with a paper clip under the key

The primary methodology is to slip the paperclip beneath the underside of the damaged piece after which push all the way down to press it into the important thing.

If there may be sufficient room, you too can insert a paperclip up the keyway to try to catch the primary one Lower on the important thing.

This course of could take a couple of makes an attempt, but when completed appropriately, you’ll slowly pull the important thing out of the lock lower into items.

Remove the broken key with a paper clip next to the key

The second methodology is to make use of two paper clips to carry the important thing on each side and press it out.

Plus, each strategies work higher with lubricants, and in case you can pull the wrench out far sufficient, you may be capable to end the job with pliers.

NB: If solely a small piece comes off, you will have to be cautious to not push the important thing additional into the lock.

4. Knife

If the paperclip methodology above does not offer you sufficient gripping energy and it retains sliding away from the important thing, you might want to make use of one thing with a sharper head.

The steel utilized in most keys is comparatively delicate, and the tip of a pointy knife normally cuts by the aspect of the important thing nicely sufficient to faucet.

Nonetheless, to make use of this methodology, the important thing piece should be near the sting of the keyway. If it is too distant, you will not be capable to attain it.

Remove the broken key with a knife

To begin, take the knife and insert it into the aspect of the important thing – as within the picture above. Use some power to stab the important thing as exhausting as you possibly can, being very cautious to not slip and end your self.

As soon as the knife is within the corkscrew, apply a power of stress on the corkscrew. If the knife slips, strive drilling it in numerous different locations on the important thing, together with the underside.

It might take a couple of tries, but when completed appropriately, the important thing will retract from the lock in items.

If you happen to’re feeling courageous, you too can use two knives to hack by each side of the important thing—much like our knife paperclip methodology above.

5. Fishing hook

One other crafty method to take away a damaged key from a lock is with a fishing hook. This methodology additionally works nicely if the damaged a part of the hot button is deeper contained in the lock.

To make use of the fishing hook, begin by straightening it utterly with pliers.

Subsequent, slide it open into the keyway with the fork pointing perpendicular (90 levels) to the important thing after which rotate the hook towards the important thing.

The tape will dig into the important thing and grip it sufficient to slowly pull it out!

6. Screw

If the damaged a part of the hot button is flush with the tip of the keyway – as within the picture under – you might be able to use a small screw to take away it.

Remove the broken key with the screw

To make use of this methodology, place the tip of the screw into any massive hole within the keyway.

Subsequent, apply some inside power on the screw and begin turning it slowly.

By turning the screw between the plug and the important thing, you’ll drill the thread into the important thing.

As you proceed to show the screw, the important thing will comply with the screw thread and slowly out of the best way of the important thing.

7. Drill

One other wonderful method to take away a damaged key’s with the assistance of a drill. Observe that you may solely use this methodology when the damaged a part of the hot button is accessible from the keyway entrance.

Utilizing a small drill bit, put a gap within the aspect of the uncovered key piece – not the lock.

The purpose is to drill a small gap within the aspect of the important thing and create an area the place you stick one thing and grip the important thing – like a paperclip or a knife.

8. Hack the noticed and jigsaw blades

This subsequent key may make you skeptical, however consider it or not, you possibly can take away a damaged key from a lock utilizing a hacksaw or jigsaw blade. Most individuals could have dozens of those sitting round their storage and toolboxes. And in case you do not, you should purchase them nearly anyplace.

For this methodology, you will have wire cutters and a blade skinny sufficient to suit over the damaged a part of the swap and the raceway aspect of the swap.

To make a chainsaw key extractor, lower one aspect in order that the barbs are on the tip of the blade. Moreover, if the blade is just too lengthy for the keyway, lower off the underside so it will possibly match.

Removing the broken key chainsaw

Subsequent, insert the lower finish of the blade into the slot aspect of the important thing and drive the noticed enamel into the damaged piece of the important thing.

Gently transfer the noticed blade, and the important thing ought to comply with.

It might take a couple of tries, however this methodology is fairly highly effective with just a bit little bit of endurance.

9. Sizzling glue stick

Oddly sufficient many of those are for eradicating damaged keys, I believe this one takes the cake.

If the damaged key piece is shut sufficient to the entrance of the keyway, you might be able to use a glue persist with take away it.

To carry out this miraculous method, begin by melting the tip of the glue with a lighter.

Subsequent, push the melted finish of the glue into the keyway and let it cool. Do that rapidly earlier than the adhesive glue begins to harden.

Remove the broken key using a hot glue stick

Enable the glue to chill, then slowly pull it away from the lock as slowly as you possibly can. If all goes nicely, the glue stick will pull the important thing out.

This methodology works very well, nonetheless it might take a number of tries, so do not be discouraged and hold at it!

10. Superglue

If the damaged key’s deep contained in the lock, an fascinating and considerably harmful choice is to make use of superglue.

Now any locksmith studying this can most likely be pulling the hair out of their head and exclaiming, “No no no!”

For sure, this methodology can destroy your lock. If you happen to’re not cautious, you may get superglue on the lock useful componentslike pins.

Nonetheless, if you’re extraordinarily cautious or do not care in case you by chance loosen your fastener, superglue works very nicely. Use this methodology at your individual threat!

To make use of superglue, apply a really small quantity of glue to the damaged a part of the important thing. Smear glue round it and wipe off any extra balls, so it does not crush something.

Remove the broken key with super glue

Insert the important thing piece into the lock as straight as potential and press inward till the 2 items of the important thing smash collectively.

Wait about 2 minutes for the glue to set, and slowly pull the wrench out.

NB: Don’t flip the swap utilizing this methodology as this may occasionally trigger the superglue to squash out and coat the core parts.

11. Locksmith

Eradicating a damaged key isn’t at all times straightforward, and if completed incorrectly, it will possibly trigger an actual headache.

For instance, in case you get caught whereas eradicating the important thing, you might by chance push it additional into the keyway – exacerbating the issue.

If you happen to’re not the risk-taking sort, you may need to contemplate contacting a locksmith.

Ultimate ideas

Breaking a key in a lock does not need to be an unsightly nightmare, and I hope this information helps relieve a few of the panic.

Whereas we have lined 11 tried-and-true strategies, there are numerous different methods to take away a damaged key from a lock—with slightly creativity, in fact.

If you would like to study extra about lock selecting, locksmithing, and residential safety, remember to try academy Extra free guides. Additionally, be mindful to fall by Lock choose artwork store For your entire lock selecting and locksmithing wants! Simply watch out, choose lock is addictive!

Have an important day and, as at all times, pleased selecting!

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