The Raleigh Locksmith Group team encounters keys broken in locks often. There are a few different reasons why keys people end up in this situation. We’ll review these reasons, what you should do if your key breaks off inside a lock. We will also tell you how to prevent broken keys and give you some tips on how you may be able to fix the situation yourself. Remember, if your key is broken or stuck inside a lock, we can quickly create a replacement key for you or rekey your lock! You can call us at 919-372-3667.

broken key

Image Source: Andew Wieser


So, why do keys break off inside locks?

Image Source: Steve Bowbrick

Here are some common reasons why keys break inside locks, or get stuck in locks:

  • The key is old, and daily use has resulted in a lot of “wear and tear.”
  • The lock itself faulty or malfunctioning.
  • The lock has not been properly maintained with lubricant.
  • If you used a lot of force, and the soft metal of the key snapped under pressure.
  • The key or lock was made by a low-quality manufacturer.

What to do if your key has broken inside a lock, or is stuck in a lock:

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Act quickly if you break your key off inside a lock. If the key broke off while the door was unlocked, your vehicle, home, or office is no longer secure and is at risk of theft. On the other hand, if the key broke off while the door was locked, you are now locked out of your property. Regardless of whether or not the door was locked when the key broke, leaving the broken key in the door can cause permanent damage to the lock.

We would love to be your trusted emergency locksmith if you break a key in a lock.

If you live in Raleigh or the surrounding area, call Raleigh Locksmith Group at (919)372–3667. Our customer-focused locksmith company is licensed and bonded, and we have a team of highly-trained technicians. We’re affordable, reliable, and highly rated!

That being said, it may be possible for you to remove the broken key yourself.

We would like to share some unbiased tips about how you may try to remove the broken lock.

  1. Check to see if part of the key is sticking out of the lock. Even if only a small portion of the broken key is protruding, consider yourself lucky!
  2. If a large portion of the key is sticking out, try pinching the key between two fingers to withdraw it. Please be careful if you choose to do this and consider your safety. You do not want to cut your fingers on a broken key. A pair of leather gloves may come in handy.
  3. If a smaller portion of the key is visible outside the lock, you may be able to withdraw it using needle nose pliers. This method also has drawbacks. Be very gentle. You do not want to snap off the protruding portion of the key and leave part of the key inside the lock.
  4. If the key is not protruding from the lock, some individuals recommend inserting a tiny flathead screwdriver into the lock to try to remove the key. In our experience, this method tends to do more harm than good, often damaging the lock. For this reason, we recommend calling Raleigh Locksmith Group at (919)372-3667 if the broken key is not sticking out from the lock.

Get replacement locks and keys:

If your key breaks off in your lock, you will likely need a replacement key. Raleigh Locksmith Group will quickly and affordably perform this service for you. Whether you need to replace a key to your home, or an electronic transponder key to your vehicle, we are here to help. Raleigh Locksmith Group can also check your lock for damage, and we conveniently and professionally install, repair, and rekey locks and deadbolts.

new keys

Image Source: Florian Berger


Prevent broken keys:

  • If your key appears to be damaged, it’s time to get rid of it. Make sure that you have at least one reliable key and one reliable spare. Throw out any key looks bent or otherwise seems to be problematic.
  • You should also apply a silicone-based lubricant spray to the keyhole once every 6 months. This maintenance step should also be taken if you notice a friction, sticking, or grinding when you try to use the lock.
  • Don’t try to force keys into locks if the lock feels “stuck.” If you do this, you are likely to damage your lock or key. Hint: call us for help!

Get in touch with a professional Raleigh locksmith

We recommend saving the Raleigh Locksmith Group number now: 919-372-3667. Add us to your contact list before you have an emergency so that you can reach us immediately and receive peace of mind. For more information about our top-rated services and solutions, visit our About page. Raleigh Locksmith Group has provided highly recommended service to Raleigh and the surrounding area for over a decade. Let us impress you!

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