SPIRAL STYLE KEY EXTRACTOR - A basic tool every locksmith needs
Most locksmith tools are a bit pricey but the exception to this rule is the basic spiral-style broken key extractor. Generally, they are very easy on the wallet. The EZ-5 from HPC is just such a tool.
It's no secret that broken key extractor tools are easily broken. Even the high priced stainless steel models that cost 2-3 times that of this little tool. I suggest you stock up on a few of the two most commonly used styles (saw tooth and spiral) -- and the EZ-1 (along with EZ-5) is priced right for the purpose. Both are made by HPC, arguably the oldest locksmith tool manufacturer in the U.S.
The spiral design is the first extractor I generally reach for, especially in cases where I can see a clear path along the side of a broken key blade where I can work the spiral blade down one of the grooves in the blade. The spiral teeth eat into the soft metal of the key fragment, making it unnecessary to use much more than a quarter of the length of the extractor and still get a good purchase on the key blade. Twist the extractor as though you were screwing it into the key. Once you feel you've gotten hold of the fragment, pull the extractor out of the keyway with a decisive, straight-back motion. This tool works very well in automotive ignition keyways since there is usually just enough space along the side of the blade to work the spiral extractor into a key groove. Buy several of these as they are definitely life savers and you'll want back ups in case you break one or two.