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How to get snapped key out of lock

How to get snapped key out of lock

Dealing with a snapped key stuck in a lock can be frustrating and inconvenient. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the process of removing a snapped key from a lock, offering practical solutions and expert advice to tackle this issue with confidence.


Accidents happen, and a snapped key lodged in a lock can be a real hassle. Whether it’s your home, office, or car lock, knowing how to handle this situation can save you time and money. By following the steps outlined below, you can effectively retrieve the broken key and restore access without the need for professional assistance.

How to Get a Snapped Key Out of a Lock

Follow these steps to safely and successfully remove a snapped key from a lock:

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Examine the lock and assess the position of the snapped key fragment. Ensure you have a clear view of the key’s location within the lock.

Step 2: Lubricate the Lock

Apply a lubricant, such as graphite powder or a silicone-based spray, to the lock. This can help reduce friction and make it easier to manipulate the key fragment.

Step 3: Use Needle-Nose Pliers

Gently insert needle-nose pliers into the lock, positioning them around the key fragment. Carefully grip the key and slowly pull it out.

Step 4: Jiggle the Key

If the key is resistant to being pulled out, gently jiggle it while maintaining a firm grip with the pliers. The movement can help dislodge the key from any obstructions.

Step 5: Use a Broken Key Extractor

If the key is deeply embedded in the lock, consider using a broken key extractor tool. Insert the tool’s hooked end into the lock, hook onto the key fragment, and gently pull it out.

Step 6: Call a Professional

If your attempts to remove the key are unsuccessful or if the lock mechanism is damaged, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a professional locksmith.

Useful Resources

Enhance your understanding of key extraction with these resources:

  1. Locksmith Association: Gain insights from locksmith experts and find professionals near you.
  2. Lock Lubrication Guide: Learn about the importance of lock lubrication and how to do it correctly.
  3. Broken Key Extractor Tools: Explore a variety of broken key extractor tools available for purchase.


Can I remove a snapped key myself?

Yes, you can attempt to remove a snapped key using the steps provided in this guide. However, if you encounter difficulties, it’s best to consult a professional locksmith.

What if the key is stuck in a car ignition?

In such cases, it’s recommended to contact an automotive locksmith for specialized assistance.

Is it possible to prevent a key from snapping?

Regular maintenance and lubrication of locks can help prevent keys from snapping. Avoid using excessive force when turning the key.

What should I do if the lock is damaged during key extraction?

If the lock is damaged, it’s advisable to consult a locksmith to repair or replace the lock.

Can I use household tools for key extraction?

While household tools like needle-nose pliers can be useful, specialized broken key extractor tools are designed for this purpose and may offer better results.

How much does professional key extraction cost?

Costs vary depending on factors such as location and the complexity of the situation. Contact local locksmiths for estimates.


Knowing how to remove a snapped key from a lock can save you from unnecessary stress and expenses. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the recommended resources, you can handle this common issue confidently and efficiently.

Keyword: How to get snapped key out of lock

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