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What to Do If Your Key Breaks inside the Lock?

It’s a situation that many of us have experienced at some point – you insert your key into a lock, and with a sudden twist, it breaks off inside. Panic sets in as you realize that you’re now locked out of your home or car. But fear not! In this article, we will discuss what steps you can take if your key breaks inside a lock, ensuring that you can regain access without causing further damage.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

First and foremost, it’s important to stay calm and composed when faced with a broken key. Panicking will only cloud your judgment and potentially lead to hasty decisions. Take a deep breath, and carefully assess the situation. Is the broken key visible and reachable? Is there any part of the key sticking out? Understanding the extent of the problem will help you determine the best course of action.

Try to Remove the Key Fragment

If the broken key is still visible and accessible, you can attempt to remove it using a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. Gently grip the key fragment and slowly pull it out. Be cautious not to exert too much force, as this may cause the key to break further or damage the lock. If you’re unable to extract the key fragment yourself, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

Call a Locksmith

If your attempts to remove the broken key are unsuccessful, it’s time to call a professional locksmith. Locksmiths are trained experts who specialize in dealing with lock-related issues. They have the necessary tools and expertise to safely extract the broken key from the lock without causing any damage. It’s important to choose a reputable locksmith with positive reviews and reasonable rates. Research local locksmiths in your area and keep their contact information handy for emergencies.

Consider Lubricating the Lock

In some cases, a broken key can become stuck due to friction or lack of lubrication. If you’re unable to remove the key fragment, you may try applying a small amount of lubricant, such as graphite powder or silicon spray, to the lock. These lubricants can help reduce friction and make it easier to extract the broken key. However, exercise caution and avoid using excessive amounts of lubricant, as this may cause the lock to become clogged.

Replace the Key and Lock

Once the broken key has been successfully removed, it’s important to consider replacing both the key and the lock. A broken key is often a sign of wear and tear, indicating that the lock may be compromised. Replacing the lock will ensure that you have a secure and functional lock system in place. Additionally, obtaining a new key will prevent any future mishaps or frustrations.


While a broken key inside a lock can be a stressful situation, it’s important to remain calm and take the necessary steps to resolve the issue. Try removing the key fragment yourself if possible, but don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith for assistance. Lubricating the lock may also help in certain cases. Finally, consider replacing the key and lock to prevent future incidents. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to handle the situation if your key ever breaks inside a lock.