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3 Ways to Remove a Broken Key
secondary August 19

3 Ways to Remove a Broken Key

Have you ever broken a key? It happens more often, and sometimes it occurs right in your car's ignition lock!

When your key snaps off inside the lock, that unsettling sound can make you feel helpless and worried. Fortunately, you can remove the broken pieces without needing to contact a locksmith in Belleville.

Finding alternative ways to remove a broken key is possible without seeking outside help. The right method for removing a broken key will vary based on the lock, key depth, and available time.

It's worth noting that trying to force tools into the lock could cause extra damage. In some cases, it might be wiser to seek assistance from a professional locksmith.

To offer some assistance, we've outlined three different methods you can try at home! Feel free to test out the three strategies to determine which one works well for your situation.

Why Do Keys Break in Locks?

Dealing with a broken key in a lock requires prompt action, especially for home, business, or vehicle doors.

Here are the main causes:

  • Force beyond the norm can cause keys to break when used rapidly.
  • Wear and tear is typically responsible for keys getting stuck in locks. As time passes, the teeth of the key wear down, resulting in difficulty locking.
  • Key breakage is often a sign of deteriorating lock and tumbler mechanisms, requiring regular maintenance.

Tips For Removing Broken Keys

  • Using Super Glue

Use this strategy only if a portion of the key is visible and when all other options have been exhausted. Naturally, you would attach a small item, like a wooden match, to the exposed end of the key using super glue. Once a strong bond has formed, attempt to pull out the remaining broken piece from the keyhole.

  • Utilizing Tweezers

Tweezers work well for smaller keys but not for larger ones. Using tweezers, the key can be extracted from the lock by grasping its broken end. This approach is less complicated than others since you can visually locate the key and avoid any potential harm to your vehicle or residential door.

  • Using a Jigsaw Blade

A jigsaw blade simplifies the process of cutting through a broken key to remove it from your car or house door lock. To avoid cutting your hands, be extra careful.

This strategy requires both hands: one to hold the saw at an angle over the key's shaft while cutting, and the other hand to press down on whatever material you're cutting through (like a piece of wood). Always wear safety glasses when using tools like this to protect against flying debris or likely pieces breaking off during cutting.

What You Should Never Do

  • Avoid Using Pliers

It's not recommended to use pliers to extract a broken key from a lock, as this could harm the lock itself. This holds especially true when dealing with a broken key in a car door lock. If the key snaps entirely within the lock, your fairest course of action is to contact a trusted locksmith or a tow truck service for assistance.

  • Refrain from Applying Force

If the key is firmly lodged, using excessive force, such as attempting to pry it out with a screwdriver, might cause damage to the lock.


Now you should be all set to extract a broken key from any lock! And keep in mind, if you're having trouble, it is always a good idea to reach out to a professional at

Top St. Louis Locksmith for assistance instead of damaging the lock.