No Call Out Fee
Fast Response
DBS Checked
Logo of the uk locksmiths association featuring a key overlaying the union jack on a blue square background.
Logo of fsb with stylized letters inside a laurel wreath, featuring a shield with a book and sword at the bottom, set against a dark green background.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Removing a Stuck or Broken Key from a Lock

Removing a Stuck or Broken Key from a Lock
Written by :



Table of Contents


Having a key stuck or broken in a lock can be quite frustrating. But, don’t worry! With the right tools and a little patience, you can resolve this issue yourself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this challenge.

Tools You’ll Need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Broken key extractor tool (optional)
  • Lubricant (graphite-based preferred)

Method 1: Using Pliers or Tweezers

Inspect the Keyway: Check if a part of the broken key is protruding from the lock. If it is, you may be able to grip it with needle-nose pliers or tweezers.
Grip and Pull: Carefully grip the protruding piece of key and pull it out gently. Avoid yanking it as this could cause further damage.

Method 2: Using a Broken Key Extractor Tool

If the key isn’t protruding or if the above method didn’t work, you might need to use a broken key extractor tool.

Insert the Extractor: Insert the extractor tool into the keyway, alongside the stuck key. Angle it in such a way that the hook or barb can reach the teeth of the key.
Hook and Pull: Once you feel the extractor tool latch onto the key, gently pull it out.

Method 3: Using Lubricant

If the key is not moving because it’s jammed, a lubricant can help.

Apply Lubricant: Spray a graphite-based lubricant into the keyway. This will help the key slide out more easily.
Wait and Pull: Let the lubricant sit for a few minutes. Then, try using pliers, tweezers, or an extractor tool to pull the key out.

Preventive Measures

To prevent keys from breaking or getting stuck:

Regular Maintenance: Regularly lubricate your locks with a graphite-based lubricant to keep them functioning smoothly.
Key Inspection: Inspect your keys regularly for wear and tear. If a key is bent or showing signs of wear, get a replacement.
Gentle Use: Avoid using force when turning keys in locks. If a lock is resistant, it may need maintenance.


While removing a stuck or broken key can be a DIY task, don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith if you’re unsure or if these methods don’t work. Remember, forcing a key can cause further damage to the lock.

Contact Info


11 Evesham Road Pittville Cheltenham GL52 2AA

Send Us a Message

Get in touch with us