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Lock and Key Types

There are hundreds of different lock and key types. There’s a good reason for that; they work! Locks and locking mechanisms have been successfully used for thousands of years. Bronze Age civilizations used locks to keep unwanted intruders, burglars and the religious uninitiated out of temples, palaces, tombs and treasure buildings. Ancient Romans used to lock their shops at night and on holidays much like shop keepers today. Even children today know that locks are for protecting our valuables. Reading this post from our Reliable Locksmith & Safe staff won’t make you an expert but it will increase your appreciation for these needed and ever valuable tools that we use to secure our own treasures.

Auto locks and keys

We learn at from an early age that our cars, trucks, and SUVs can lock and keep out those that shouldn’t be using them. Auto locks can secure our ignitions, trunks, doors; even our glove compartments. We use the keys to gain entrance and also to make the car engine turn on and off. Older cars use the traditional car key while cars made after 1995 mainly use transponder chip keys to prevent car theft. Many cars use keyless entry locks and systems to open, lock and even drive the car.

Pin tumbler locks

Think of the work “key” and the image you most likely see in your mind is the traditional key with one end larger (for holding) while the main body of the key is the blade which has a series of grooves in it. Keys like this are used in modern day traditional locks. The grooves in the key blade engage the pins in the lock so that if they key matches, they cause the lock to open. Keys and locks like these can be used in a huge variety of ways and you literally see them everywhere. You can have duplicate keys made just about anywhere. You don’t need a locksmith in Downtown Miami, FL to have one cut; you can easily go to any mail center, home improvement store, gas station or even convenience store and have it done for a very small charge.

Tubular locks and keys

Read our Reliable Locksmith & Safe description and you’ll instantly recognize these all over the place! They are also known as radial locks and circle pin tumbler locks. These are round locks with round keys. Inside the lock are 6 to 8 pins arranged in a circular pattern. That’s why the key that is inserted is tubular or circular in shape. You often see these unusual locks on elevators, bicycle locks, coin operated washing machines, vending machines and even on slot machines in Las Vegas!

Keyless entry systems

We briefly touched on these earlier. Just like the name says; keyless entry systems allow us to access vehicles, ignitions, buildings and other property without the use of keys, per se. The user simply enters a series of numbers into a keypad in order to open the lock. This system is perfect for cutting down on theft as no one can simply steal your key or have a copy made and then drive off with your car. Even your auto remote can be used to alarm, start and even turn off your car. A built-in mechanism shuts down the process and even sounds an alarm if someone was to enter too many number sequences in an effort to “guess” the right combination.

Master key systems

This is a very practical method of rekeying locks so that they fit one key. Using a master key, you can access several locks without having to use multiple keys. It isn’t useful in most everyday situations like at home or for your car. It IS useful in places like schools, universities, hospitals, apartment complexes, office buildings and so forth where multiple rooms, closets, storage facilities and offices all have a different key (for the users) but can be accessed by one master key that the owner or manager has access to. We’ve all seen that poor janitor that has the very ponderous key ring with dozens of jangling keys hanging from it. Master key conversions are useful in many situations and here at Reliable Locksmith & Safe we can help you decide if it’s also right for you.

Transponder keys

Post 1995 most cars use the transponder key system. These specialty keys have drastically cut down on car theft. That’s the good part. What’s the bad? They can be (usually) expensive to duplicate or program if they are lost, broken or stolen. Transponder keys have an embedded chip located in the head or handle of the key. When you insert this key into the ignition and turn it, a signal is sent from this chip to your car’s computer. If the signal matches; presto – your car starts! Car theft is cut down by not being able to copy these keys at your local convenience store.

Key cards

These handy cards are becoming more and more prevalent as they are so easy to implement and track. These key cards are made of plastic and look much like credit cards. They even have a magnetic strip down the back. This strip is encoded with numbers and characters. When the card is swiped, the internal reader in the lock either recognizes the sequence or it doesn’t. Key cards can be used in residential applications like luxury apartments as well as in commercial uses like high end hotels, office buildings, hospital rooms, retirement homes, retail stores and even institutional uses.

Find out more!

Do you need something that needs to be locked? It could be anything from a bedroom trunk to a new commercial building. Different locks do different tasks. Some are low security like the tiny lock on a diary and others can involve more advanced measures like video surveillance and or high security locks. For best results, check with your favorite Downtown Miami locksmith shop or call Reliable Locksmith & Safe for free consultations and no-cost, no-obligation additional details!