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How to Get the Broken End of a Key Out of a Keyhole

While keys can secure cars and homes from intruders, a broken key will keep even you from accessing your own vehicle or house. Whether the key was weak or you applied too much pressure, a broken key can delay you from an appointment as you seek out the nearest locksmith.

Regularly spray lubricant into keyholes to help prevent a key from breaking.

Things You Will Need

  • Lubricant
  • Coping saw blade
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Stiff wire

While keys can secure cars and homes from intruders, a broken key will keep even you from accessing your own vehicle or house.  Whether the key was weak or you applied too much pressure, a broken key can delay you from an appointment as you seek out the nearest locksmith.

However, if you have the right tools available, you won’t have to rely on a locksmith to extract the broken key. 


Method 1

  1. Spray a lubricant into the keyhole. This will allow the key fragment to slide out more easily.
  2. Insert a coping saw blade into the keyhole. You can substitute the coping saw blade for another serrated blade or a fishing hook.
  3. Lock the teeth of the coping saw with the teeth of the key fragment.
  4. Pull the key fragment toward you until the edge of the key is visible. Proceed slowly to avoid further breaking.
  5. Grip the visible end of the key with needle-nose pliers and drag the fragment free from the cylinder.

Method 2

  1. Remove the screws around the cylinder with a screwdriver.
  2. Place the cylinder on a flat surface and spray lubricant into the keyhole.
  3. Insert a stiff wire or flat-head screwdriver into the back of the cylinder. This will push the key fragment out of the cylinder.
  4. Grip the edge of the key with needle-nose pliers and extract the broken fragment.
  5. Tip

    If you can’t find a serrated blade around your home, you can purchase a key extractor from a local locksmith. Take the fragments of the key to a locksmith for a replacement. Examine your key for cracks on a regular basis. These cracks are a warning sign of future breakage.

Things You Will Need

  • Lubricant
  • Coping saw blade
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Stiff wire

Tips

  • If you can’t find a serrated blade around your home, you can purchase a key extractor from a local locksmith.
  • Take the fragments of the key to a locksmith for a replacement.
  • Examine your key for cracks on a regular basis. These cracks are a warning sign of future breakage.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images