How can I open a lock if half of a key broke into the lock?

The majority of house keys are made out of a combination of nickel and silver, or brass. Keys are strong and can be used thousands of times before it really needs replacement. However, there are times when the key just can’t hold anymore and started bending and brakes inside a lock.

Since half of the key that broke inside is already authorized by all pins, therefore, allowing the cylinder to turn, you can easily complete the turn cycle with a flathead screwdriver or even with other keys. If you already were able to turn the key even a bit before it broke in half, then there is a 99% success chance of unlocking your door lock.

How to extract a broken key out of the lock?

In order to extract a broken key out of your lock, you don’t have to take a lock apart or call a locksmith.

First, you need to make sure the key and cylinder are facing the vertical position (the way you usually see a lock before inserting a key).

Second, you need something sharp or better with a hook on top of it. With that sharp item, you can scratch the broken key out of the keyway. You can start pulling the key from the hole either from the bottom or top cleft until you see the key moving towards you. Finally, when the key is just enough outside the cylinder, you can either pull it gently with your fingers or better if you find a plier.

How do I know if my house key will brake in half soon?

The key is literally a long shaft made of soft materials, yet just enough to turn the lock left and right. The place you grab a key is bigger so that you can hold the key while the part with cuts (mountains that goes up and down) is positioned inside the cylinder.

You need to check right in the intersection of the bigger part and where cuts generally start. If there is any even tiny crack or indentation then the key bending process has started.

Can my half-broken house key be restored by a locksmith?

Yes, locksmith professionals can restore your half-broken key. Either you can call a mobile locksmith that can extract the broken key from the cylinder and recreate exactly the same key it was before.

Or if you want to save money and can extract the key yourself, then take two broken halves (overall the half that was stuck inside the cylinder is enough to recreate a key) to the local shop and they will make you a brand new key for several bucks.


I am Rauan, I have over 4 years of experience as a locksmith tech and then as the owner of my own company. I live in Houston, TX, and love to provide valuable insights related to locks. Enjoy reading

Recent Posts