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How To Get A Stuck Key Out Of A Lock (Easy Steps)

How To Get A Stuck Key Out Of A Lock (Easy Steps)

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve inserted your key into the lock, but it won’t turn – and then gets stuck? This can be a frustrating experience, especially if you’re in a hurry.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to get a stuck key out of a lock. We will cover the different methods that can be used, as well as the tools that you will need. We will also provide some extra tips and tricks that can help make the process easier and prevent your key from getting stuck in the first place.

So, if you are stuck with a key and don’t know what to do, keep reading!

Tools You Will Need

When trying to get a stuck key out of a lock, there are some tools that you will need. Depending on the type of lock, the tools may vary. Generally, you will need:

  • Spray lubricant such as WD-40 or graphite powder
  • A pair of needle-nose pliers (optional)

Instructions for How to Get a Stuck Key Out of a Lock

Now that you have the right tools at your disposal, let’s look at the steps you can follow to get your stuck key out of a lock.

Step 1: Inspect the Lock

Take a few moments to inspect the lock and see if there are any visible signs of damage or dirt. If you notice any broken parts, sharp edges, or loose components, you may need to consult with a professional locksmith before doing anything on your own.

Step 2: Apply Lubricant

Apply Lubricant

Once you have inspected your lock, you will want to spray lubricant such as WD-40 on the keyhole plug and around the cylinder slot. This can help loosen up any dirt or grime that is preventing your key from turning and getting stuck in the lock.

After spraying the keyhole, try jiggling your key (carefully) in an upward-downward motion to see if it will loosen up and come out. Always be gentle and don’t force your key because it could easily break if you are too rough.

Step 3: Use Graphite Powder

If the WD-40 doesn’t work, or you do not have any, you can also put some graphite powder into the lock’s keyhole. The powder can give the stuck key extra grip and reduce friction between the pins in the locking mechanism, which can help you get the key out.

Step 4: Use A Pair of Needle-Nose Pliers

Use A Pair of Needle-Nose Pliers

What if your key already broke in the lock and there is not much to grab onto? Then you will need to locate and use a pair of needle-nose pliers.

A pair of pliers can reach in where human fingers cannot, and it can grip onto the portion of the key sticking out. Once you have done that, you can try to turn it and wiggle it in order to get it out, or at the very least, try to use the key stub to unlock the door.

Just like in step #2, try not to apply too much force as this could damage your lock or break your key further.

Step 5: Push Plug Method

This method is used more frequently on pin tumbler locks, which you often find in deadbolt locks and locks that are within the doorknob itself. (This is different from other types of locks, such as car locks.) In these types of locks, take your stuck key and push it into the keyhole plug as far as you can, then twist the key (gently) back to the position where the key is upright (in the position it was when you inserted the key in the first place).

Once you do that, you can press the fingers of your free hand on the plug (where your key is inserted) so that it doesn’t shift, and while doing that, pull the key back out of the lock. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but this method usually does make it easier to remove the key.

Step 6: Professional Help

If all else fails, you may need to call in a professional locksmith for assistance. They have more tools, experience, and expertise that can help get your stuck key out of the lock quickly and safely.

Additional Tips & Tricks for Getting a Stuck Key Out of a Lock

So now that you know how to get your stuck key out of a lock, here are some tips and tricks to help prevent it from happening again in the future:

Additional Tips & Tricks for Getting a Stuck Key Out of a Lock

Inspect Your Key

It may sound silly, but make sure you are using the right key. Using the wrong key could cause it to jam or break off inside the lock.

Also, be sure to check for any dirt or burrs on the teeth of the key before inserting it into the lock. A buildup of dirt, grime, and rust can cause a key to get stuck in a lock.

Inspect Your Locks

Be sure to inspect your locks regularly for damage and dirt buildup that could cause your key to get stuck in the future. You may also want to invest in a better quality lock that has more robust locking mechanisms, if needed.

Hide a Spare Key

If you are indeed able to get your broken key out, you will need a second key in order to get into the house. Therefore, it may be wise to hide a spare key somewhere on your property in case you ever experience this issue again.


Getting a stuck key out of a lock can be a difficult task, but it is possible if you have the right tools and know-how. And if all else fails, do not hesitate to call in a professional locksmith who can help remove the key safely and quickly.

The bottom line is that getting a stuck key out of a lock is almost always achievable as long as you take proper precautions and use the right tools. With some patience and understanding of the locking mechanisms and type of lock, you should be able to get your door unlocked in no time. So remember all these tips and tricks next time you find yourself dealing with a stuck key!

Have you ever had a stuck key? Let us know in the comments below.