Locks have come a long way, but there is still a risk of your key getting broken in the lock. Nothing sounds more painful than that stomach wrenching snap as a key breaks inside of a lock. When this happens, stop what you are doing and don’t even try pushing the key further into the lock.
Instead you want to be trying out some of the methods mentioned below. Pick out whichever one is the most convenient for you.
Furthermore, you want to make sure that you have some of these items handy in case you can’t get access to the items mentioned below: pliers, metal hair clip, bobby pin, paper clip, safety pin, button pin, Swiss army knife.
When a key gets broken in a lock, a lot of people tend to go for these guys. The main thing to keep in mind with tweezers is the thickness as well as how deep the broken part of the key is in the lock. You also want to make sure the tweezers are wide enough that they can pick out the key as well. The last thing you need is to push it deeper into the lock.
Broken Key Extractor
A professional tool and is commonly used by locksmiths. If they don’t make their tools from scratch – and honestly most don’t – then they’ll be using this. You can of course buy one of these yourself and to use it you want to make sure that the tool is placed inside the keyway. It should be along the bitting of the key. Another thing to note is if you plan to purchase these, save yourself the hassle and buy either the one hooked or double hooked key extractor. A lot of stores offer unnecessary variations and add-ons that aren’t needed.
Don’t want to buy a broken key extractor? That’s alright. You can make a cheap knock-off of one out of a jigsaw blade. There’s multiple steps behind it, but this simple video makes it easy to use.
This method is a bit of an odd one and should only be considered as a last ditch effort. If you have the tools to make this work, it’s better than doing nothing. The idea with this one is to glue the key to a match and then work to pull it free.
Before trying this do note a few things. First off the success rate isn’t that great. Secondly, don’t even bother trying this if you can’t even see the metal of the broken key.
In order for this to work you need to make sure that the keyway can be pointed to the ground. If your lock is a padlock then this is something you can do. For doors, you are out of luck. All you need to do in this method is to strike the lock with a hammer or another strong tool.
Probe And Pull
The final method you can consider is something called probe and pull. What you do with this is you have two thin pieces of metal placed on both sides of the key and start pulling. For this method you shouldn’t need to go far in, but just enough so you can apply pressure firmly.