Key Broken in The Lock? Don't Panic! Here's What You Need to Do...

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Kelly's Keys, Locks and Safes Blog: Tips, Ideas and Strategies

Welcome. My name is Kelly. I know a lot about keys, locks and safes, and I want to share that information with you. My father was a locksmith, and as a single dad, he ended up taking me to work with him a lot. Later, I learned more about safes in particular when I studied criminal justice briefly. Ultimately, I decided to take my professional life in a different direction, but I love these topics, reading about them and writing about them. If the info in these blogs helps you -- and I certainly hope it does -- please share these posts with your friends. Enjoy!

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Key Broken in The Lock? Don't Panic! Here's What You Need to Do...

7 June 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If your key has snapped in the lock of your front door, your first reaction may be to panic. Don't worry; you can quickly get back into your home if you follow these steps.

Remove the Broken Key

The first thing you need to do is knock on your neighbour's door and ask to borrow a tool kit. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to grab the part of the broken key that is sticking out of the lock. Rotate the pliers to turn the key to the vertical position and then try to pull it out. It may help to press or pull the door handle to release the pressure from the lock bolt to allow the key to turn.

Use a Spare Key to Get Inside

If you manage to get the key out without damaging the lock, you may be able to use a spare key to get inside your house. If you can reliably open the lock using another key, all you need to do is get a new key cut to replace the one that broke, which is a service that many hardware stores offer. Give this key to a trusted neighbour or friend in case you have any more problems with your keys.

What if the Key is Stuck?

If no part of the key is sticking out of the lock, try inserting a flat head screwdriver into the key slot and using it to turn the lock. This may allow you to unlock the lock and get inside the house. You can use the screwdriver to lock and unlock the door until you can drill out and replace the lock. If you don't have a screwdriver, a butter knife or even the corner of a credit card may work instead, but be aware that you could break your card by trying to use it to open the lock.

When to Get Professional Help

If you can't get the door open, don't have access to tools, or don't feel confident about replacing the lock yourself, you need to call a locksmith to help you regain secure access to your property. Locksmiths can use a range of specialist tools and skills to open locks and retrieve stuck keys. An emergency locksmith can help you get back into your home and replace the lock if it is not possible to retrieve the key that is stuck inside it.