How to remove a broken key from a door lock

Written by carolyn barton
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to remove a broken key from a door lock
Older keys have weakened spots that cause breakage. (lock image by Alison Bowden from

It's a frustrating experience. You're in a hurry and turn the key too hard when locking the door. Suddenly you're standing there with half the key in your hand and the other half stuck in the lock. Don't panic. You can extract the key yourself by following a basic procedure. Once you remove the broken key, the door lock should be in working condition again.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Spray lubricant
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Jigsaw blade

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Squirt spray lubricant into the lock to help grease the key. This will make the key easier to remove.

  2. 2

    Stick the tips of a pair of needle nose pliers into the keyway and attempt to grasp the key. Pull slowly, wiggling the key slightly when you feel resistance. If the key will not budge, continue to the next step.

  3. 3

    Slide in a small jigsaw blade or other narrow metal object that is capable of latching onto the cuts of the key. Pull the blade down and toward you. When you feel the blade snag the key, pull it out slowly. If the key won't budge, turn the blade in the lock to move the tumblers, then try again to draw out the blade and key piece.

Tips and warnings

  • Keys become weak with continued use, so have at least one spare key for each lock.
  • Keep the pieces of the broken key in case all other keys are lost and you need a replacement.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.