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Broken Key Removal: How to Extract a Broken Key with the HPC EZ-5 Key Extractor

The Spiral Key Extractor by HPC part number EZ-5 has metal bar spirals on it that help grip the key and also have the pattern set up that when to twist, the extractor will pull whatever it's up against.


The second part is the press brass handle, which is great when you do need to get a little aggressive; you can always clamp on a pair of vise-grips or something.



There are typically two reasons that a lock has a broken key in it.

  • Over time, the key has gotten worn right around the shoulder area. Maybe there's a deep cut, the lock doesn't turn over very good making it sticky, or the lock is frozen or gummed up. And over time, as you turn it, it's just going to break off in it.
  • The other typical lock that has a key broken off in it will be when a wrong key has been jammed into the lock and tried to be forced over, then breaks.

Typically, using a key extractor is ideal for when the keys have just broken off and not when a key has been jammed. It is because the jammed key will require quite a bit of force to get it out.

What I got here is a typical situation, a camlock with a broken key and a little under the flush that can't be pulled out using needle nose, pliers, or tweezers.



Start by examining the keyway. This Camlock has a Y11 keyway, then try to find the grooves of the key. Since this one is learning to the right when broken off, the groove is hard to see on the left. But on the bottom right, it looks pretty open.


So, we're going to try to attack it on the bottom right groove by sticking the spiral extractor as far as you can. Then, gently bend the extractor on the side to get some leverage on the key. Once you have the grip, start twisting the extractor. Get some angle until the broken key starts coming out.


Sometimes they're not always that easy. The important part is to put pressure against the key with the spiral while you're twisting it. If it gets jammed up, give it a yank or two to see if it might come out or get it unloosened, then start over.


That's how you extract a basic key that stuck into or broke off into the lock. Thanks, and we'll see you next time!

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