Keys wear out, the metal fatigues, and keys break with time. When rotating the key, a break might occur inside the lock cylinder. How do you pull the key out of the lock when this happens? 

The good news is that there are some easy ways to pull out a broken key from a lock. 

In this blog, we will discuss how to tackle such problems efficiently. Read on to learn more!

1. Key Extractor

A broken key extraction device is the expert solution to this issue. If the locksmith you employ does not build their tools (which is likely), this will be the instrument used. Insert this instrument into the key’s keyway along the bitting. 

To be more precise, you will attempt to hook the teeth on the key with the extractor’s hook(s). Turn and pull along the biting once, and the key should be extracted. This may necessitate numerous attempts.

2. Hacksaw Disc

You can create a broken key extractor using a little hacksaw blade if you wish to save money on something other than a specialised tool. You need a tiny metal piece and a broken key that fits your keyway. Thus the smaller, the better. If required, break the blade using needle-tip pliers so the serrated edge can be put into the lock.

3. Superglue

Apply superglue to the end of a thin wire or a match. Before placing this near the keyway, remove any extra adhesive or add glue if there isn’t enough. Too much can cause lock damage. Inadequate quantities will prevent the bond from adhering. Hold the match or wire against the key’s shattered edge. 

Ensure that you are not driving the broken key further into the lock by applying pressure. Wait the specified amount of time for the chemicals to bind, then remove the match from the lock as if it were the key’s bow.

4. Activating the Cylinder

The keyway must be pointed down towards the ground to tap the cylinder. If you have a padlock or can remove a cylinder, you can use this method. Using a hammer, strike the lock while it is positioned with the keyhole facing down. 

This would be wonderful if you could strike a solid surface by smashing the cylinder. It would be best to strike the keyway side of the lock over hitting the back of the lock, but if this is going to work, it should work either way.

5. Search and Pull

With two thin pieces of metal, you can probe the keyway and pull out the key. Align a metal piece on both sides of the key. When we say both sides, we mean the sides that interact with the lock’s warding, not the biting and smooth sides. 

You do not have to put your tools in very far. Just place them in enough to be able to apply pressure firmly. Then pull the broken key towards you. This will only move the key out.


Retrieving a broken key from a lock can be challenging, especially if you need the right tools. However, with the methods mentioned in this guide, you should be able to get the job done quickly and easily. If you’re still having a hard time getting a broken key inside a lock, then it would be best to call a locksmith.

Coasts to Country Locksmiths Service offers 24/7 locksmith service that provides residential and commercial lock services. Our mobile locksmiths are fully qualified, insured and police-checked, giving peace of mind to our customers. We remain committed to providing fast, reliable, affordable services to all our customers. Contact us immediately!