Key broken in lock? Oh snap!

When the key snaps off in the lock, you can find yourself in a bit of a jam.

Key broken in lock

What if you can’t even lock the door? How can you leave the house or office like that? Don’t panic – it’s possible that you can extract the broken part from the lock yourself. Then if you have a spare key you can lock up and carry on.

So how do you take a broken key from a lock barrel? There are a number of ways you can do it.

First, if there’s a piece of the key protruding from the barrel, you might be able to get a grip on it with tweezers, needle nose pliers or something similar. If you can use your fingers, you can be on your way in a few seconds.

But if the main body of the key is inside the lock with none of it sticking out, it’s not so easy. There are a few tricks you can try:

  • Use a piece of wire, a paper clip, hair pin or similar to see if you can gently work the broken piece out.
  • A thin, serrated edge like a hacksaw blade or a small pocket knife can get a good grip on the key-piece.
  • You might try two thin wires on either side of the broken part to try and wedge it out far enough that you can use your tweezers, pliers or fingers to get a grip on it.
  • If you have a steady hand and are confident you can pull it off, a dab of superglue on the end of a match or a paperclip head might work. Once the glued end of whatever you use to probe is stuck to the key, you may be able to pull it out.

Be warned! Any of the above techniques can result in further damage to the lock. But if you’re  desperate, you may have no choice.

If you try and can’t get the broken key from the lock, it may be time to call a locksmith. Call Lock, Stock and Farrell on 6350 8500 and we’ll be on site to retrieve the broken part for you. We can even cut new keys to fit on the spot.

Remember: If your key starts to weaken and bend, replace it. You can also try lubricating your locks with a silicone spray every now and then. Simple maintenance avoids expensive repairs.

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