Are Treadmill Keys Universal?

Woman running on a treadmill

Khakimullin Aleksandr/

By Simon Gould

Treadmill safety keys are probably the most useful, but underused, piece of treadmill equipment. Especially at home, these keys can prevent children from using the treadmill and injuring themselves. Of course they help the user from getting friction burns and other injuries if they fall. Unfortunately they’re easy to lose and sometimes they break, so you need a new one.

Maybe you want a new one because your treadmill has stopped working and not for the safety aspect. Whatever the case, they’re not universal and you need to find one that matches the input of your particular treadmill model. I’ve listed the two most common here and below them there’s a link to a large range. One way or another, we’ll get you using your treadmill again quickly.

They’re very cheap to buy

There are Youtube videos showing how to make one but they’re so cheap to buy, you may as well buy a new one. There are a few types so they are not universal as such, so it’s important to know which one will work for your treadmill. They are nearly all magnetic but some will fit certain treadmills and not others. The magnetic part creates a circuit which enables the treadmill to function.

The reason I say they’re not universal is that although they all work using a magnet, some have a slot that you put the key into. Others have a metal disc that you put the key onto. The metal disc is the most common and will work with a variety of treadmills. I will post a picture and a link to where they can be bought from. Amazon is the best place.

Round Magnetic Treadmill Safety Key*

The link goes to Amazon and the key is made by Treadmill Doctor. You can see when you look at the picture that there is a small magnetic disc underneath the red plastic. This will work with most treadmills and Treadmill Doctor are a trusted brand. The item is cheap and the reviews are good.

Safety Key For Proform And Weslo Treadmills*

Again the link goes to Amazon. I will warn you that the reviews are poor for this key but it does work ok for some. So it’s up to you if you wish to purchase it. It’s one of those keys that you are required to insert instead of the round one above where you place the magnet against the treadmill.

If the above safety keys don’t look like they’ll fit your treadmill. There is a big range of different types and models here on Amazon*. You may find your particular treadmill brand there. Some like Sole Fitness, have an unusual way of using the key to complete the electrical circuit. NordicTrack, one of the leading treadmill brands, have a safety key that can be found on that link too.

Buy from the manufacturer

If you want a treadmill safety key that will definitely work for your treadmill it may be best to¬†approach the manufacturer. You may pay a bit more and it may take slightly longer to deliver but you’re getting a key that will almost be guaranteed to work. If you bought a popular treadmill then the manufacturer will be used to selling further safety keys because they do often go missing.

So there you have it. Treadmill safety keys aren’t exactly universal but they nearly all have the same principle. A circuit is formed and is broken when they key is removed and the treadmill stops. In 2019 there were around 25,000 reported accidents from using a treadmill. But we don’t know how many injuries the safety key has prevented. A fast moving treadmill belt is not very kind to the skin.

I run on a treadmill in the gym and I can see by the people that run with me that the key is hardly ever used. But with pets and children at home I think they are an essential piece of kit for safety. You may want one just so your treadmill can work again. But do consider using it as you never know when you may really need it to protect you.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

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