Easy Tips for Removing a Broken Key From a Cylinder Door Lock

20 March 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


A broken key is one of the things that can really ruin your day. The stress that comes with it is unimaginable, especially if you are in a hurry and you know that it will take the locksmith some time before they arrive. Thankfully, you can salvage the situation and actually save a few coins by removing the broken key by yourself instead of waiting for the locksmith. The technique you employ depends on how deeply the broken key is embedded in the lock. You might have to simply pull it out or do some raking. Here is a discussion that will take you through what you need to do:


For this do-it-yourself procedure, you need a few handy tools to help you remove the broken key from the cylinder locks. First, you must have some penetrating oil for smoothening the keyway where the broken key is stuck. Sometimes, keys break in cylinder locks because of rust or too much friction, which make it hard to turn the key in the keyhole. Lubricating the keyway makes it easy to pull or rake out the broken key. You will also need a screwdriver, needle-nosed pliers and a jig saw blade or scroll saw.

The Depth of the Broken Key

Examine the key to determine how much of it has broken off. If part of the key that you have in hand has some grooves, then it means that the lock is still aligned to let the key in and out. On the other hand, if you only have the key head, without any grooves, then the door lock had already turned too much before the key broke. Here, you must use a screwdriver to reset the lock to its default position before removing the broken key.

Removing the Key

After lubricating the keyway with oil, insert the needle-nosed pliers in the keyway and try to hold the broken piece. If you get a good grip, pull the piece out of the lock. This technique often works for a key that broke at its head and all its grooves are embedded in the keyhole. If you have trouble using the pliers, glide the jigsaw or scroll saw into the keyhole with the teeth pointing downwards. The teeth on both saws should be able to grab the grooves on the broken key and enable you to rake it out.

Ideally, any lock that breaks your key should be replaced by a professional to prevent such problems in the future. Contact a company like Rivercity Locksmiths Pty Ltd for more info.