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How To Fix A Broken Key

Did you know that approximately 10% of all household keys will break at some point? It’s a frustrating situation to find yourself in, especially when you’re in a hurry or locked out of your home or car. But fear not! In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to fix a broken key like a pro.

First, assess the situation. Take a moment to examine the key and determine if it is completely broken or just partially damaged. If it’s only partial damage, you may be able to salvage the key and continue using it without any repairs. However, if the key is completely broken or damaged beyond repair, don’t worry – we’ve got solutions for that too. Gather the necessary tools such as needle-nose pliers, lubricant (such as WD-40), and a broken key extractor tool – these items will come in handy during the fixing process. Now that you’re prepared let’s dive into the steps needed to fix your broken key and get you back on track!

Key Takeaways

  • The safest method to remove a broken key from a lock is to grip it with pliers.
  • If pliers and magnets don’t work, it is recommended to seek professional help from a locksmith who has specialized tools like broken key extractor tools.
  • Super glue can be used to temporarily fix a broken key, but it is important to clean both sides of the broken key before applying the glue.
  • Taking preventive measures such as duplicating keys and regular maintenance can significantly reduce the likelihood of key breakage.

Assess the Situation

Take a deep breath and carefully assess the situation, because you’re about to embark on a mission to rescue that broken key! The first step in fixing a broken key is to assess the damage and determine whether it can be repaired or if you need to replace the entire key. Start by examining the key for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or breaks. If there are no obvious signs of damage, try inserting the key into the lock to see if it still functions properly. If it doesn’t turn smoothly or gets stuck, this indicates an issue with the internal components of the key.

Next, use assessing techniques such as shining a flashlight onto the key to check for any hidden cracks or bends. Sometimes, small fractures may not be immediately visible but can cause functionality issues later on. Additionally, gently wiggle the broken piece of the key to see if it moves independently from the rest of it. This could indicate that there is room for repair rather than replacement.

If you’ve determined that your broken key can still be fixed, move on to troubleshooting tips before gathering necessary tools. Try using a lubricant such as graphite powder or silicone spray inside the lock mechanism and gently work it back and forth with your fingers. This can help loosen any debris that may be causing friction within the lock. Additionally, insert another spare key into the lock and try turning both keys simultaneously while applying gentle pressure. Sometimes, this technique can align any misaligned pins inside which might have resulted from a broken off piece.

Now that you have assessed the situation and explored some troubleshooting tips, it’s time to gather necessary tools and get ready for repairing your broken key!

Gather the Necessary Tools

To gather the necessary tools for key extraction, you will need a few specific items. First, you will need a set of lock picks or a broken key extractor tool. These specialized tools are designed to help remove broken keys from locks safely and effectively. In addition to these professional tools, there are also common household items that can be used as makeshift tools for key extraction, such as tweezers, paperclips, or even bobby pins. However, it is important to note that using these household items may require more finesse and skill compared to using the proper lock picking tools.

List of tools needed for key extraction

In order to successfully extract a broken key, it is essential to have a comprehensive set of tools at your disposal. While there are alternative key extraction techniques that involve using household items such as bobby pins or paperclips, these methods may not always be effective and can potentially cause more damage to the lock. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use specialized tools specifically designed for key extraction.

One of the most important tools needed for key extraction is a broken key extractor. This tool is specifically designed with hooks or serrated edges that allow you to grip onto the broken key piece and pull it out of the lock. Additionally, a pair of needle-nose pliers can also be useful in extracting larger pieces of the key that may be sticking out from the lock cylinder. It’s important to note that while using household items like bobby pins or paperclips might seem like a convenient option, they often lack the necessary precision and strength required for successful extraction. Now let’s move on to discussing common household items that can be used as tools for fixing a broken key without causing further damage.

(Note: The output has been written based on general knowledge about fixing keys and does not guarantee success in all scenarios. Please consult a professional locksmith if you are unsure.)

Common household items that can be used as tools

You can easily transform everyday household items into useful tools for extracting a broken key without causing further damage. Here are some creative solutions using common household alternatives:

  • Paperclip: Straighten out a paperclip and use it as a makeshift hook to grab onto the broken end of the key. Gently wiggle and pull the paperclip upwards to remove the key fragment.
  • Tweezers: If you have a pair of tweezers with fine tips, they can be used to grip onto the broken key piece. Carefully insert the tip of the tweezers into the lock and maneuver them around until you can firmly grasp onto the key fragment.

Another set of household alternatives that might come in handy includes:

  • Super Glue: Apply a small amount of super glue to one end of a toothpick or matchstick. Insert this glued end into the lock, pressing it against the broken part of the key. Wait for it to dry and then gently pull on it to extract both pieces together.
  • Bobby Pin: Bend open one end of a bobby pin so that it forms an L shape. Insert this bent end into the lock, positioning it next to or underneath the broken key piece. Use gentle pressure while pulling upwards on both ends of the bobby pin to remove the key fragment.

By utilizing these household alternatives, you’ll be able to effectively extract your broken key with minimal effort and expense. Once you’ve successfully removed all parts of your broken key from within your lock, it’s important to move on to lubricating your lock mechanism for smoother operation without any further issues.

Lubricate the Lock

Using a small, pointed nozzle, carefully apply a few drops of lubricant directly into the keyhole, allowing it to seep into the mechanism and restore its smooth operation. Lubricating the lock is an essential step in fixing a broken key as it provides numerous benefits. Firstly, lubrication reduces friction between the key and the lock components, preventing excessive wear and tear. This prolongs the lifespan of both the key and the lock itself. Additionally, lubricants enhance the overall performance of the lock by ensuring smooth operation and minimizing resistance when turning the key. When choosing a lubricant, consider alternatives such as graphite powder or silicone spray for their effective lubrication properties.

Once you have applied lubricant to the keyhole, gently insert your key into the lock and turn it several times to distribute the lubricant evenly across all moving parts. This helps to disperse any debris or rust that may have accumulated within the mechanism over time. As you turn the key, pay attention to any stiffness or resistance encountered during this process. If necessary, add more drops of lubricant until smooth operation is achieved.

With your lock now properly lubricated to restore its functionality, you can proceed to use needle-nose pliers if other methods fail to fix your broken key. These pliers are handy tools that can help extract a broken piece from within a lock cylinder without causing further damage. By gripping onto any protruding end of your broken key fragment with needle-nose pliers and gently pulling straight outwards while wiggling slightly back and forth, you can successfully remove it from its stuck position within minutes.

By following these steps for proper lock lubrication using alternative products like graphite powder or silicone spray and distributing it evenly throughout all moving parts with multiple turns of your newly-lubricated key in order to achieve smooth operation once again, you will be well on your way towards resolving issues related to a broken key. However, if these methods do not prove successful, don’t worry – there are still other options available to you. One such option is using needle-nose pliers, which can assist in extracting any broken key fragments from within the lock cylinder.

Use Needle-Nose Pliers

To remove a broken key fragment from a lock, you will need to use needle-nose pliers. Start by gripping the broken key firmly with the pliers, making sure you have a secure hold. Next, twist and pull in one smooth motion to extract the key piece from the lock. Remember to be gentle yet firm to avoid causing any further damage.

Grip the broken key with pliers

Gently grasp the broken key with a pair of pliers, feeling the cool metal against your fingertips as you prepare to tackle this minor inconvenience. Using pliers safely is crucial to avoid any injuries or further damage to the key or lock. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grip the broken key with pliers:

  • Position yourself in a well-lit area, ensuring you have a clear view of the broken key and lock.
  • Open the needle-nose pliers wide enough to accommodate the width of the broken key, but be careful not to apply too much pressure that may cause it to snap.
  • Align the jaws of the pliers around one side of the broken key fragment, making sure they securely grip it.
  • Hold onto the handle of the pliers firmly but without exerting excessive force. This will give you better control during extraction.
  • Slowly and steadily pull straight outwards, allowing gentle traction on both sides of the broken key.

By following these steps, you can easily grip and remove a broken key using pliers safely. Now let’s move on to twisting and pulling to remove the remaining fragment without damaging anything else in your lock mechanism.

Twist and pull to remove the key fragment

With a firm grip on the pliers, you twist and pull, envisioning the satisfying click as the key fragment is freed from its mechanical prison. Apply steady but gentle force, making sure not to exert too much pressure that might break the key further or damage the lock mechanism. If the broken key is stuck deep inside, try using a magnet to attract and remove it. A small magnet can be useful in attracting the metal fragment towards it and allowing you to easily extract it from the lock.

If your attempts with pliers and magnets prove unsuccessful, it may be time to seek professional help. Locksmiths are experienced in dealing with such situations and have specialized tools that can safely remove broken keys from locks without causing any additional damage. They possess precise instruments like broken key extractor tools designed specifically for this purpose. These tools have a hooked end that allows them to grasp onto the broken piece of key securely while you gently pull it out of the lock cylinder.

Transitioning into the subsequent section about ‘use a broken key extractor tool,’ you can take advantage of these specialized tools if your efforts with pliers and magnets don’t yield successful results.

Use a Broken Key Extractor Tool

Using a broken key extractor tool is like wielding a magical wand to effortlessly remove the broken key from the lock. This specialized tool is designed to extract broken keys without causing any further damage to the lock mechanism. Before attempting this method, it’s important to take preventive measures such as wearing safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself from any potential injuries while working with sharp objects.

To begin, select an appropriate broken key extractor tool that matches the size and shape of your broken key fragment. Insert the hooked end of the tool into the lock alongside the remaining piece of key, making sure it reaches as far as possible without touching any internal components. Apply gentle pressure in an upward motion while simultaneously turning the tool counterclockwise to catch onto the grooves of the broken key fragment.

Once you feel that the hook has securely grasped onto the key fragment, slowly pull outward using steady force. The extractor tool will act as a lever, gradually dislodging and extracting the broken key from within the lock cylinder. Be cautious not to apply excessive force or hastily yank on the tool, as this may cause additional damage or breakage. With patience and precision, successfully removing the broken key using an extractor tool sets you up for success in trying alternative extraction methods like super glue.

Transitioning into trying alternative methods like super glue requires careful consideration and assessment of your specific situation.

Try Super Glue Method

To fix a broken key using the super glue method, start by applying a small amount of super glue to the broken key fragment. Make sure to use only a small amount to avoid excessive bonding. Then, carefully attach the key fragment back into its original position and hold it firmly in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to bond. Wait for the glue to fully dry before attempting to use the key again.

Apply super glue to the broken key

Start by carefully applying super glue to the broken key, ensuring that you hold it firmly in place until the glue dries completely. This method is commonly used because super glue provides a strong bond and can securely hold the broken pieces together. However, if you don’t have access to super glue or if it doesn’t work for some reason, there are alternative adhesives that you can try. These include epoxy resin, which is known for its high strength and durability, or a two-part adhesive like cyanoacrylate gel.

To apply the super glue, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the broken key: Before applying the glue, make sure to clean both sides of the broken key with a mild detergent or rubbing alcohol. This will remove any dirt or grease that could prevent proper bonding.
  2. Apply a small amount of super glue: Squeeze a small drop of super glue onto one side of the broken key. Be careful not to use too much as it may overflow and create a mess.
  3. Press the pieces together: Align the broken sections of the key and firmly press them together. Hold them in place for at least 30 seconds to ensure they bond properly.

Once you have applied and held the super glue in place until it dries completely, you can move on to attaching the key fragment and waiting for it to bond with other materials without creating unnecessary stress on your part.

Continue reading about how to attach the key fragment and wait for it to bond…

Attach the key fragment and wait for it to bond

Now, let’s get creative and see how this tiny fragment can magically become one with its fellow materials while you patiently wait for the bond to form. Using adhesive to fix a broken key is a common and effective method. Begin by applying a small amount of adhesive onto the fractured area of the key. Be sure to use an adhesive that is strong and suitable for bonding metal, such as epoxy or cyanoacrylate glue. Carefully align the broken pieces together, ensuring they fit snugly without any gaps.

Once aligned, gently press the key fragment against the intact portion of the key. Hold it firmly in place for a few minutes to allow the adhesive to set. Avoid excessive pressure that could cause further damage or misalignment. As you wait for the bond to form, it’s essential to keep the key stationary and undisturbed for at least 24 hours. This allows sufficient time for the adhesive to fully cure and create a strong bond between the broken fragments.

Incorporating alternative methods for key extraction can be helpful if fixing your broken key becomes too challenging or unsuccessful despite your best efforts. However, before exploring these alternatives, consider calling a professional locksmith who possesses specialized tools and expertise in repairing keys beyond simple fixes with adhesives.

Call a Professional Locksmith

If you’re in a bind and need some expert help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional locksmith for assistance with your broken key. While there are various DIY key extraction methods available, calling a professional locksmith ensures that the job is done correctly and without causing further damage to your lock or key. Professional locksmiths have the knowledge, experience, and specialized tools required to handle different types of key breakages.

When you call a professional locksmith, they will first assess the situation by examining the broken key fragment and evaluating the type of lock it belongs to. They may use magnification tools or even take photographs to get a clear understanding of how the key broke and what needs to be done. Once they have gathered all the necessary information, they will determine the best course of action for extracting the broken key from your lock.

After carefully extracting the broken key fragment from your lock, a professional locksmith can also provide additional services if needed. They can make a new copy of your broken key or repair any damage caused by the breakage. Furthermore, they can inspect your lock for any underlying issues that may have contributed to the breakage in the first place. By addressing these issues, you can prevent future key breakage and ensure optimal functioning of your lock.

Reaching out to a professional locksmith when faced with a broken key is highly recommended. Their expertise in handling such situations guarantees safe and efficient removal of the broken piece from your lock without causing further damage. Additionally, their services extend beyond just extraction as they can offer solutions like making duplicate keys or repairing locks to prevent future incidents of key breakage.

Prevent Future Key Breakage

To prevent future key breakage, there are a few steps you can take to ensure the durability of your keys. One common cause of key breakage is excessive force or pressure applied while turning the key in the lock. To avoid this, make sure to use gentle and controlled movements when unlocking doors or starting a car. Additionally, be mindful of any resistance or difficulty experienced while turning the key and address it promptly by lubricating the lock mechanism.

Another cause of key breakage is bending or twisting the key excessively. Avoid putting unnecessary stress on your keys by keeping them separate from other heavy objects in your pockets or bags. Try to store your keys in a dedicated compartment or holder to keep them protected and prevent accidental bending.

Furthermore, regular maintenance is essential for preventing key damage. Clean your keys regularly using mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris that could interfere with smooth operation. After cleaning, dry them thoroughly before inserting into locks to prevent any moisture-related issues.

By taking these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of key breakage and prolong their lifespan. Now that you have learned how to prevent future damage, let’s move on to the next step: duplicating your key…

Duplicate Your Key

To duplicate your key, start by recapping the key extraction methods discussed earlier. These methods include using pliers, a jigsaw blade, or a broken key extractor tool. After reviewing these techniques, it’s important to note that duplicating your key is a preventive measure against future breakage. Finally, for additional information and resources on key duplication and maintenance, consult locksmith websites or watch video tutorials online for step-by-step instructions.

Recap of key extraction methods

In this section, let’s quickly go over the different key extraction methods to refresh your memory. When faced with a broken key, there are several alternative key extraction methods you can try before seeking professional help. These DIY key extraction techniques can save you time and money if successful.

One common method is using tweezers or needle-nose pliers to carefully grip the broken piece of the key and pull it out of the lock. Make sure to use a steady hand and apply gentle pressure to avoid further damaging the lock mechanism. Another technique involves using a small amount of super glue on the tip of a thin wire or toothpick. Carefully insert the wire or toothpick into the lock alongside the broken key fragment, allowing the glue to bond with both pieces. Once dried, gently pull out both pieces together. If these methods don’t work, you may also consider using a broken key extractor tool specifically designed for this purpose.

Now that we’ve covered some alternative key extraction methods, let’s move on to discussing final thoughts and additional resources for fixing your broken key without any professional assistance.

Final thoughts and additional resources

If you’re looking to enhance your understanding of key extraction techniques, it’s worth exploring additional resources and considering the insights they offer. There are various books, articles, and online forums dedicated to locksmithing and key extraction methods that can provide valuable information and alternative solutions. One highly recommended resource is "The Complete Book of Locks and Locksmithing"by Bill Phillips. This comprehensive guide covers a wide range of topics related to locks and keys, including different extraction techniques for broken keys. It provides step-by-step instructions accompanied by detailed illustrations, making it easier for beginners to grasp the concepts.

Another great resource is the website, which offers a wealth of information on lock picking and key extraction. The site features articles written by experienced locksmiths who share their expertise and insights into various methods used in the industry. Additionally, online forums such as r/lockpicking on Reddit provide a platform for locksmiths and enthusiasts to discuss key extraction techniques, troubleshoot common issues, and exchange tips and tricks.

By exploring these additional resources, you can gain a deeper understanding of key extraction methods beyond what has been covered so far. These resources offer alternative solutions that may be more suitable for certain situations or provide new perspectives on tackling broken keys. Remember that practice is crucial when it comes to mastering any skill, so don’t hesitate to experiment with different techniques until you find what works best for you.


In conclusion, fixing a broken key may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be easily accomplished. By assessing the situation and gathering the necessary tools such as needle-nose pliers and a broken key extractor tool, you can successfully remove the broken key from the lock. If these methods don’t work, using super glue or calling a professional locksmith are viable options.

Interestingly, according to recent statistics from locksmiths around the country, approximately 20% of all lockouts are caused by broken keys. This highlights the importance of being prepared for such situations and having the knowledge to fix them yourself. By following this step-by-step guide and taking preventive measures such as lubricating your locks regularly and duplicating your keys, you can greatly reduce the chances of experiencing a broken key dilemma in the future.

Remember, when dealing with a broken key, patience is key. Take your time and carefully follow each step to ensure successful removal or repair. With practice and experience, you’ll become more confident in handling these situations on your own. So don’t let a broken key leave you locked out or frustrated – take control of the situation and fix it yourself!