How to Remove a Key Broken Off in a Deadbolt Lock

Written by annneu
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How to Remove a Key Broken Off in a Deadbolt Lock
Check your keys often for signs of weakening. (hand opening lock image by patrimonio designs from

Most keys will eventually weaken over time from normal wear and tear. You can look for tiny cracks forming near one of the cuts and replace the key to avoid having it break inside of a lock. However, removing a broken key from your deadbolt is cheap to repair yourself and easy to do.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Sturdy metal key removal tool
  • Spray lubricant

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  1. 1

    Spray the keyway, the area inside the lock where the key is stuck into, with lubricant.

  2. 2

    Slide the key removal tool into the keyway so that the teeth can reach the jagged edges of the broken key piece inside. You should be able to guess how far to insert it based on the amount of the key piece that you still have left.

  3. 3

    Let the teeth catch onto one of the jagged incisions on the key and quickly yank the tool toward you. The piece should come out.

Tips and warnings

  • The key removal tool should be slim to adequately enter the keyway and have teeth for grasping onto the broken key. A key removal tool can be purchased as part of a broken key extractor set.

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