How to Remove Broken Key From Lock – 8 Best Ways

Are you locked out of the house due to a snapped key? Learn How to Remove a Broken Key From the Lock without getting a locksmith involved!

How to Remove Broken Key From Lock 1

If your key has snapped in half and stuck in the lock, there’s no need to panic. Just follow this article and learn How to Remove Broken Key From Lock with some simple hacks.

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How to Remove Broken Key From Lock?

Before using any of the below hacks, lubricate the lock’s cylinder with wd-40 and make the key removal process easier.

1. Use a Needle Nose Plier

How to Remove Broken Key From Lock 2

The needle nose plier hack will only work if the broken key is sufficiently visible outside the lock. Here’re the steps that you can easily follow to remove a broken key from a car or deadbolt, or ignition lock:


  • Needle Nose Pliers


  1. Stay calm and avoid any sudden movements that could push the broken key fragment further into the lock.
  2. Use the needle nose pliers to carefully grasp the broken key fragment as close to the base as possible. Gently pull it out, applying steady and even pressure. Avoid any twisting or turning motions that could break the key further.
  3. Once you’ve successfully removed the broken key, test the lock with a spare key to ensure it operates smoothly. If there are any issues, clean the lock or seek professional assistance.

2. Extractor Tool

How to Remove Broken Key From Lock 3

Extracting a broken key from a lock is a tough job, especially if a significant part of the key is stuck within. Here’s how to do it using a key extractor tool:


  • Key Extractor Tool
  • Needle Nose Plier


  1. Take your key extractor tool and slowly insert it into the lock. Make sure you are inserting it along the same path the key would normally take.
  2. The aim is to position the extractor hook under the teeth on the broken key. This might take a few tries. Be patient and avoid forcing the extractor tool to prevent it from breaking off inside the lock as well.
  3. Once you have positioned the extractor tool correctly, apply a bit of pressure and begin to pull out slowly. The broken key should start to move if it doesn’t, reposition the extractor tool and try again.

3. Needle-Nose Tweezer

How to Remove Broken Key From Lock 4

Cheap and readily available, tweezers are the go-to tool to remove a broken key from a lock cylinder.


  • Needle-nose Tweezers


  1. Carefully hold the broken key piece with a tweezer without pushing it further into the lock.
  2. Once you have a grip on the broken key piece, pull it out slowly.

4. Paper Clips

How to Remove Broken Key From Lock 5
shutterstock/beginer subhan

Besides common office stationery, paper clips easily extracts snapped keys from the door locks.


  • Paper Clip
  • Needle-nose Pliers


  1. Make the paper clip straight by unfolding it. Then, bend the end of the paper clip into a small hook with a plier.
  2. Carefully insert the hooked end into the keyhole, aiming for the top part where the key’s flat side would normally go.
  3. Try to hook onto the broken key with the paper clip.
  4. Once hooked, gently pull the paper clip out, bringing the key with it.
  5. If the key doesn’t come out, try again.

5. Hot Glue Stick

Hot Glue Stick

A hot glue stick is another effective but trickiest method to remove a broken key from the lock. However, read the caution before using this hack.

Caution –¬†If the glue sticks to the internal lock mechanism, it can damage the lock and make it unusable. That’s why use this hack very cautiously.


  • Lighter
  • Hot Glue Stick


  1. Grab a lighter and a hot glue stick.
  2. Next, using the lighter, carefully melt one end of the glue stick. Be careful not to burn yourself or start an unwanted fire.
  3. Quickly press the melted end of the glue stick to the exposed part of the broken key. Hold the stick there until the glue hardens.
  4. Once it’s done, gently pull the glue stick to extract the broken key.

6. Candle


All you need is a candle and a lighter to drag the key from the lock’s keyhole.


  • Candle
  • Lighter


  1. Light up the candle using a lighter and let the wax melt a little.
  2. Once you see the wax melting, carefully drip a small amount of wax into the lock’s keyhole, where the key is stuck. Be careful not to pour too much.
  3. Let the wax cool and harden for a few minutes. The idea here is that the wax will adhere to the broken key and allow you to pull it out.
  4. After the wax has cooled and hardened, gently draw out the candle. The broken key might come out with the wax. If not, redo the method.

7. Super Glue

Super Glue

Do you have a super glue and bobby pin handy? If yes, Then you don’t need anything else to get rid of that broken key.


  • Superglue
  • A Bobby Pin
  • Clean Cloth


  1. Straighten a bobby pin to make it as long as possible.
  2. Put a small drop of superglue on the end of your bobby pin. Be careful not to use too much glue, as it can run into the lock and cause damage.
  3. Carefully attach the bobby pin to the broken key and hold it in place for a few seconds. Be careful not to push the broken key further into the lock.
  4. Once it’s done, gently pull the bobby pin out. If the glue has bonded correctly to the broken key fragment, it should come out.
  5. In the end, clean the lock thoroughly to remove the glue residue.

8. Flathead Screwdriver

Flathead Screwdriver

Say goodbye to that snapped key with a flathead screwdriver and this short tutorial.


  • A Small Flathead Screwdriver
  • Tweezer


  1. Grab a flathead screwdriver and insert it into the keyhole, trying to get it to the side of the broken key piece.
  2. The aim is to use the screwdriver as a lever to nudge the key out of the lock. Apply pressure and try to move the key outwards.
  3. Once you manage to get a bit of the key out of the lock, use a tweezer to extract the broken key piece.

Safety Precautions to Consider

Certainly, if you’re attempting to remove a broken key from a lock using any kind of improvised tools or “hacks,” there are several important precautions to keep in mind:

  • Avoid Further Damage: Be careful not to force your tools into the lock. Applying too much pressure can push the broken key further into the lock, making it even more difficult to remove.
  • Prevent Injuries: Be careful while using pliers, tweezers, a lighter, a candle, a hot glue stick, and a screwdriver to avoid injuries.
  • Safe Disposal of the Broken Key: After successfully retrieving the broken piece, dispose of it safely. A damaged key can still be a safety hazard, especially to kids and pets.
  • Use Proper Lighting: If you’re working in low light conditions, make sure to use a flashlight or other light source.

When to Contact a Professional Locksmith?

Contacting a professional locksmith is highly recommended when or if:

  • The key has broken off deep inside the lock, and it’s unreachable.
  • Home remedy attempts have failed to extract the broken piece.
  • The lock is part of a high-tech or expensive system, where potential damage is a concern.
  • If the compromised lock is a critical part of your home or business security.

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