A broken key in a lock can feel like an emergency, and your first instinct might be to call a locksmith. Actually, you can save some cash and solve the problem yourself in most cases with just a few simple tools.
Depending on how much of the key is stuck in the lock, you should be able to either pull or rake it out. Locksmiths use narrow, barbed tools designed specifically for raking out keys, but the blade of a scroll saw or jig saw is equally effective.The following entails how to remove a broken key from a lock
1. Spray a penetrating oil into the keyhole to loosen up the works. This is particularly helpful if the lock has been difficult to operate recently.
2. Look at how much of the key has broken free of the lock. If the key broke in the middle and the part you're holding includes some of the key cuts, the lock is probably still aligned to allow the key in and out. If the part you're holding includes only the key head and none of the cuts, you may have turned the key part of the way before it broke. Insert a screwdriver into the lock, and turn it back to its default vertical position.
3. Insert the tip of a pair of needle-nosed pliers into the keyhole. Try to grip the broken key and pull it out. This technique is most likely to work if the key broke at its head and all the cuts are inside the lock. If you can't pull the key out, remove the pliers and set them aside.
4. Slide the blade of a scroll saw or jig saw into the keyhole, with the teeth pointing downward. Push it in until you feel the teeth of the blade grab one of the cuts on the key. Pull the saw blade out of the keyhole. It should bring the broken key with it.
Things You Will Need
*Scroll saw or jig saw blade
If you don't have access to the tools you need because they're inside and you're locked outside, look at where the key snapped. If only half the key is stuck in the lock and the rest is in your hand, no one will be able to pick the lock while you're out finding tools. If all the key cuts are still in the lock, anyone can turn it with a screwdriver, so have someone you trust stand guard while you get the things you need or find something narrow and flat and use it to turn the lock yourself, so you can get inside and access your tools.
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