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How to remove a broken key from a lock without needing a locksmith

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Clean break

Do you still see a piece of the key sticking out of the lock? Then you’re in luck. Use a little bit of oil or WD-40 to grease the lock. We like to use WD-40 as it comes with the long, thin spout which makes it easier to spray inside the lock. Be generous with the oil and try to spray it between the key and the cylinder. After your lock is thoroughly oiled, use a pair of pliers to pull out the key.

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Deep

Is your key stuck in the lock where you can’t reach it? That’s okay, there might still be a solution. If possible use a strong magnet to try and pull out the remnant of the key. The downfall of this trick is, not everyone owns a magnet like this, and if you do, the key might still remain stuck. Another trick is to put a little glue on the other half of the key and to stick it back in. Wait for a bit and try to pull out the remnant.

If these tricks do not work, do not despair. We have one last and foolproof method, which you can read on the next page.

Saw

For this method, you will need a small saw blade from jigsaw, as shown in the picture below. Be sure to use a fine metal blade with very fine teeth. Use a pair of pliers to cut the saw in such a way that the end has teeth and isn’t smooth. Make sure that at the end of the saw, there’s a large tooth to use as a hook.

How it works

Push the blade into the lock with the teeth facing your way as if they’re little hooks. This makes the saw an angling rod to try and angle the key out of the lock. Move the saw blade up and down to try and pry out the key. It might take a while, but once you’ve got the right grip the key will pop right out.

Fixed

Did the key pop out of the lock? Great! Now you just need to grab a spare key and open the lock. If you don’t have an extra key, a locksmith may be able to replicate your broken key, but only if it snapped in half clean. If that’s not the case, you probably need to replace the lock anyway.

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