If you own an older home with locks, cabinets, and other storage spaces that use old-fashioned keys, you know how inconvenient it can be when one breaks in the lock. It’s annoying and inconvenient because it prevents you from accessing your home or belongings.
Removing a broken key from a lock can be simple, but challenging if you don’t know how to do it. However, with the correct information and tools, you will get through the process much faster and easier than you might think.
If you find yourself in this situation (or if this ever happens to anyone else you know), follow these steps to remove a broken key from a lock quickly and easily.
What You’ll Need
When removing a broken key from a lock, you’ll need a few essential tools and supplies. These include a tiny screwdriver, a pair of pliers, a flashlight, a key extractor, and an endoscope or camming tool, depending on which technique you choose to use.
The screwdriver can be used to pry the broken key out of the lock (more on that in a bit). The pliers can be used to bend the key extractor if it doesn’t fit into your lock correctly.
The flashlight will help you see what you’re doing more precisely as you try to remove the broken key. When choosing a key extractor, make sure it’s made for your type of lock. If you don’t know what type of lock you have, you should call a locksmith or search online.
And when choosing an endoscope or camming tool, ensure it’s long enough to reach the broken key inside the lock.
Step 1: Use A Small Screwdriver To Gently Nudge The Key
The first thing you want to do is gently nudge the key with a screwdriver. This will help loosen it up and make it easier to remove. After that, you can grab your hammer and place it behind the key. You want to tilt the lock and hammer to smash the key out of place. The key will likely get stuck at the bottom of the keyway.
Step 2: Tilt The Lock Up And Use A Hammer To Smash The Key Out Of Place
If the key is still stuck at the bottom of the keyway, tilt the lock and use the hammer to smash the key out of place. After you smash it, the key should come loose and fall into the lock. At this point, you can grab the scraper or shim tool to pry the key out of the lock.
Step 3: Pry The Key Out With A Shim Or Scraper Tool
After successfully removing the key, you can try removing the broken pieces from the lock with metal tongs. However, if the pieces are too small to grip, you may want to remove them with a fork or paper clip.
Step 4: Use Metal Tongs To Grip The Broken Key And Pull It Out
Once you’ve successfully gripped the key, pull it out of the lock and dispose of it. If you have a tool, you can also use the lock removal tool to extract the key.
You can test and re-key the lock once you’ve successfully removed the broken key. This will ensure that you don’t experience this problem again.
Step 1: Determine The Type Of Lock You Have
If you’re lucky, the broken key will be labeled, and you can find its corresponding replacement online. But if you don’t have the key or the lock is too old to have a manufacturer’s label, you’ll need to determine what type of lock you have.
Before you start removing a broken key from a lock, you’ll need to find out what type of lock you have. If you don’t know what type of lock you have, you can try using a few tricks to figure it out. Start by looking at the lock, paying close attention to the shape and design.
Once you’ve figured out its general shape, it’s time to look inside the lock. The next step is to use a broken key to see how it fits inside the lock. If you cannot get the broken key inside, there are still a few ways you can figure out what type of lock you have.
Step 2: Use A Broken Key Extractor
If the lock is broken or you can’t find the key, it’s time to break out the tools. Before you begin, make sure you have your safety glasses. Ensure your safety glasses are on because the broken key will likely be sharp. The key extractor is a long, metal rod designed to remove broken keys from locks.
You can either bend the end of the key extractor to fit inside the lock, or you can use pliers to bend the broken key to fit inside the key extractor. If you choose the latter option, be careful not to break the key extractor.
Once the broken key extractor is inside the lock, turn the lock slowly and gently until the broken key comes out of the lock. Make sure you turn the lock in the same direction as it would turn if it weren’t broken. It won’t come out if you don’t turn it in the same direction.
Step 3: Use An Endoscope Or Camming Tool
This is the trickiest part of the process, so ensure you’re careful and use the proper safety precautions. An endoscope is a device used to look inside places you can’t see with your eyes. In this situation, you’ll use an endoscope to look inside the lock and find the broken key.
Depending on the type of endoscope you have, you can use a few different techniques to look inside the lock and find the broken key. If you have an endoscope, you can bend the broken key and use the endoscope to look inside the lock and find the broken key.
If you have an endoscope that can rotate, you can use it to rotate the broken key until it comes out of the lock. If you have an endoscope that can push, you can use it to push the broken key out of the lock.
When To Contact A Locksmith
If you can’t get the broken key out of the lock no matter how hard you try, call a locksmith. Even if you successfully remove the broken key, you may damage the lock and need to replace it.
If you’ve tried the techniques in this article and can still not remove the broken key, you’ll want to call a locksmith. Locksmiths have experience removing broken keys and can do the job quickly and efficiently.
When a key breaks in a lock, it’s easy to become frustrated and think there’s no way to remove it. But by following the steps in this article, you’ll be able to remove a broken key from a lock quickly and easily. Keep in mind that if you cannot remove the key and don’t have a key that fits the lock, you may need to replace the lock.
So before you break out the saw and start destroying your belongings, ensure you’ve tried the techniques in this article and if unsuccessful, contact a locksmith. If you’re ever in this situation, follow these steps, and you’ll be able to remove a broken key from a lock quickly and easily.