How to Get the Broken End of a Key Out of a Keyhole


While keys can secure cars and homes from intruders, a broken key will keep even you from accessing your own vehicle or house. Whether the key was weak or you applied too much pressure, a broken key can delay you from an appointment as you seek out the nearest locksmith. However, if you have the right tools available, you won’t have to rely on a locksmith to extract the broken key.

Things You'll Need

  • Lubricant
  • Coping saw blade
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Stiff wire

Method 1

  • Spray a lubricant into the keyhole. This will allow the key fragment to slide out more easily.

  • Insert a coping saw blade into the keyhole. You can substitute the coping saw blade for another serrated blade or a fishing hook.

  • Lock the teeth of the coping saw with the teeth of the key fragment.

  • Pull the key fragment toward you until the edge of the key is visible. Proceed slowly to avoid further breaking.

  • Grip the visible end of the key with needle-nose pliers and drag the fragment free from the cylinder.

Method 2

  • Remove the screws around the cylinder with a screwdriver.

  • Place the cylinder on a flat surface and spray lubricant into the keyhole.

  • Insert a stiff wire or flat-head screwdriver into the back of the cylinder. This will push the key fragment out of the cylinder.

  • Grip the edge of the key with needle-nose pliers and extract the broken fragment.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can’t find a serrated blade around your home, you can purchase a key extractor from a local locksmith.
  • Take the fragments of the key to a locksmith for a replacement.
  • Examine your key for cracks on a regular basis. These cracks are a warning sign of future breakage.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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