3 Simple Tools That Can Remove a Broken Key
There are few things more nerve-wracking than the sound of a key snapping off inside of its lock. Your first thought might be to try opening the door anyway. However, you should never attempt to open a lock with a broken key inside. Doing so will only push the snapped fragment further into the lock, making it harder to remove later and causing unnecessary damage. Your first step should be to call a trusted, professional locksmith. If you are unable to for some reason, then the three simple tools listed below may help you remove the broken key.
Needle-nosed pliers are one of the most effective ways to remove a broken key, especially if the entire blade has broken off from the head of the key. If you don’t have pliers with you, ask to borrow a pair from your neighbor or landlord. When attempting to remove the key fragment, make sure the lock is at its default (vertical) position, then slide the pliers in, clamp the key, and pull out slowly.
Jigsaw and scroll saw blades are small, long, thin, and toothed. They are very similar to the tools used by locksmiths and are available at any hardware store. If you have access to a saw blade, you can use it to remove your broken key by sliding it into the lock (teeth down, as you would a regular key), hooking onto the teeth of the broken key blade, and sliding both back out. This method is applicable whether or not the entire key blade has broken off or not.
A thin flathead screwdriver can be used to turn the lock back to its default position before proceeding with either of the above key blade retrieval methods. Unlike the previous methods, however, use of a screwdriver can also unlock the door if the entire blade of the key broke off within the lock. By inserting the flathead alongside the broken key blade, you can turn the screwdriver like a key to activate the tumblers and open the door. Once you regain access to your home, you can use either method above to remove the key blade from the lock.
Be warned: do not leave your home unattended if your whole key blade is stuck inside the lock since anyone with a screwdriver can use this method to break in.
With these three tools, you should be able to remove a broken key from your lock. Although, you will still need to have the key replaced. If you do not have access to any of these tools, or if you need a key or lock replaced due to damage or old-age, call South Shore Locksmith at (561) 531-2619 and we will send someone right away to help you.