Breaking a key in the lock of your door or window can be an incredibly frustrating experience.

It’s essential to know how to safely remove a broken key from a lock so you can get on with the rest of your day.

This step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to do it, so you don’t end up damaging the lock and having to replace it.

Read on to learn how to safely remove a broken key from your lock! By Locksmith Los Angeles!


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Gather The Necessary Tools

Gathering the necessary tools is the first step to safely removing a broken key from a lock.

You’ll need a pair of needle-nose pliers, a small flathead screwdriver, and some lubricating oil such as WD-40.

Make sure you have all of these items on hand before you begin.

Once you’ve gathered your tools, carefully insert the tip of the needle-nose pliers into the keyhole and attempt to extract any visible pieces of the broken key.

If there are any stubborn pieces left behind, use the small flathead screwdriver to gently pry them out while spraying lubricant oil around the keyhole to loosen them up.

With patience and care, all remaining pieces of the broken key should be removed.

Inspect The Lock

Before attempting to safely remove a broken key from your lock, it’s important to inspect the lock.

Start by checking the outside of the lock for any visible pieces of the broken key that may still be intact.

If you spot any pieces, carefully remove them with tweezers or needle-nose pliers.

Next, use a flashlight to check inside the lock for any additional pieces of the broken key and remove those as well.

If all the pieces have been removed, you can then proceed with removing the broken key from your lock.

It’s important to remember that if you are unable to locate all of the pieces, you may need professional assistance to safely remove the broken key from your lock and avoid further damage.

Remove The Retaining Screw

The next step is to remove the retaining screw. If you don’t have a Phillips head screwdriver, you can use a flat-head one instead. Make sure to turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen it and remove it from the lock.

Once the screw is removed, the broken key should be able to come out of the lock.

Now that you’ve removed the retaining screw and taken out the broken key, you can either replace it with a new one or take your lock to a professional locksmith for help.

Keep in mind that if you’re feeling uneasy about removing the broken key yourself, it’s best not to attempt it and call a locksmith instead.

Push The Cylinder Out

Next, you will need to push the cylinder out of the lock. This is often done with a flathead screwdriver. If your broken key is sticking out from the cylinder, press down gently on it as you insert the screwdriver into the lock. Turn the screwdriver slightly to push against the broken key and remove it from its slot in the cylinder. Be careful not to damage any other components of your lock during this process or else you may risk further damage.

Once you have removed the broken key, use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to take it out of the cylinder completely and discard it safely.

You can then reinsert a new key into your lock. Make sure that all components are securely in place before using your lock again.

Insert A Broken Key Extractor

If the broken key is still inserted in the lock, you will need to use a broken key extractor to remove it.

To insert the extractor, first slide it into the keyway with its curved end facing downwards. Once inserted, you should feel it click into place as it slips under the broken part of the key.

Then, using your other hand, turn the extractor in an anticlockwise direction until it grabs onto the broken part of the key and pulls it out.

After you have successfully removed the broken part of the key from your lock, you can inspect it to see how much damage has been done. If there is extensive damage, then you may need to replace your lock altogether. Otherwise, any remaining pieces can be discarded and you can proceed to rekey or replace your existing lockset.

Rotate The Extractor Clockwise

It’s time to take matters into your own hands. You’re going to have to remove the broken key from your lock, and you don’t want to do any further damage.

With a steady hand and some patience, it’s possible to safely remove a broken key from your lock without causing any further damage.

Grab the extractor tool and line up the U-shaped end with the broken key. Make sure it is positioned correctly and gently rotate it clockwise until you hear a click.

The extractor has now grabbed hold of the key and can be slowly pulled out of the lock. Carefully inspect the remaining pieces of key in the lock, ensuring that none are left behind before closing up your lock.

Pull Out The Broken Key

Once you have rotated the extractor clockwise, the next step is to pull out the broken key.

You will need to use a pair of needle nose pliers for this task. Make sure you are careful when using these tools, as they can be sharp and cause injury.

Gently grip the broken key with the pliers and firmly pull it away from the lock. You may need to wiggle it slightly if it is stuck in place.

Once it is removed from the lock, inspect both pieces of the key for any debris or dirt that was left behind. If necessary, clean them off with a damp cloth before discarding them properly.

Reassemble The Lock

Now that the broken key is safely removed, you’re ready to reassemble the lock.

Start by locating all the pieces of the lock, including the screws and any other parts that may have fallen out while taking it apart. Make sure to identify each piece correctly and place them in order so they can be put back together.

If you need help with this step, refer to the manual or schematics provided by your lock manufacturer.

Once all pieces are in place, use a screwdriver or other necessary tool to firmly secure each piece together. Double-check that everything is securely fastened before testing it out on your door or cabinet.

With a little patience and attention to detail, you should have your lock working properly again in no time!


I hope this guide has been useful in helping you remove a broken key from your lock. It’s not an easy task and can be daunting, but with the right tools and instructions it can be done.

It’s important to remember to always stay safe when attempting any sort of DIY project like this one. Make sure that you take all necessary precautions, such as wearing gloves and eye protection, to ensure that you don’t injure yourself during the process.

Once you’ve removed the broken key, make sure to reassemble the lock properly so that it is secure and functioning properly.

With these steps in mind, I’m sure you’ll have no problem removing a broken key from your lock!