Your Key Combination Is More Important Than You Know

by | Nov 18, 2022 | Keys, Security Tips

When it comes to physical keys, there are two main aspects that define them: key cut and key type. The key cut ensures that the key blade can properly engage with the lock’s internal mechanism, while the key type ensures that the key blade fits correctly into the keyway and can be inserted into the lock.

Both the key cut and key type are the two main aspects of a key that determine its ability to open a specific lock.

How Keys Work

When it comes to physical keys, there are two main aspects that define them: key cut and key type. The key cut ensures that the key blade can properly engage with the lock’s internal mechanism, while the key type ensures that the key blade fits correctly into the keyway and can be inserted into the lock.

Together, the key cut and key type are the two main aspects of a key that determine its ability to open a specific lock.

Key Cut

Key cuts are determined by the specific pattern of grooves, or notches, made on the blade of a key that correspond to the pins and tumblers inside a lock. The cuts control the position and depth of each pin, allowing or preventing the lock from opening. The deeper the cuts, the deeper the corresponding pin must be set to the correct position in order to line up with the shear line and allow the lock to turn.

The specific pattern of cuts is determined by the type of lock and the desired level of security, and is usually indicated by a key code or keyway. The depth, spacing, and pattern of the grooves vary depending on the specific lock the key is designed to operate.

Key duplication services typically use specialized machines to replicate the key cut pattern, creating a new key that can operate the same lock as the original key

Key Type

The key type refers to the physical shape, size, and profile of the key blade. Different types of keys are designed to fit different types of locks, such as door locks, padlocks, car ignitions, and safe locks. The specific pattern of cuts is determined by the type of lock and the desired level of security, and is usually indicated by a key code or keyway.

Key types can vary widely in terms of their overall shape, the length and width of the blade, the size and position of the keyway (the slot that the key slides into), and the presence of any additional features, such as a plastic or rubber grip, a remote or transponder, or a specialized tip or notch.

Difficulty of Unlocking

Key combinations can refer to various types of locks, such as physical locks, digital locks, or even cognitive locks, such as remembering passwords or passphrases. The ease of unlocking a key combination depends on several factors, including complexity, repetition and familiarity.

Complexity

Complexity: The complexity of the key combination can make it more difficult to unlock. For example, a combination lock with more digits or a longer password may be more challenging to unlock than one with fewer digits or a shorter password.

Repetition

Repetitive key combinations, such as 1111, 1234, or 0000, are easier to unlock because they are commonly used and therefore easier to guess or remember.

Familiarity

If the key is for a lock that is more common than others, it will almost always be easier to unlock. Standard locks like Kwikset and Schlage are easier to unlock using pick tools because locksmiths have had more practice with those specific mechanisms.

If you need an emergency unlock, reach out to us ASAP! We can help you regain access.

What different types of keyways are used for locks? How do they differ in implementation?

A keyway is a specific shape cut into a lock cylinder or key that matches the profile of a particular key. This shape ensures that only the correct key can be inserted and turned to unlock the lock. There are several different types of keyways used in locks, and they differ in their shape and size.

Pin Tumbler Keyway

This is the most common type of keyway used in locks, and it has a rectangular shape. It consists of a series of pins that align with the grooves in the key, allowing it to turn the lock. Pin-tumbler keyways are used in most residential and commercial locks.

Tubular Keyway

Tubular keyways have a circular shape and are commonly used in vending machines, arcade games, and other types of equipment. They are more difficult to pick than pin-tumbler keyways and offer better security.

Wafer Keyway

Wafer keyways are similar to pin tumbler keyways, but they use flat wafers instead of pins. They are commonly used in car door locks and ignitions and are less secure than pin-tumbler keyways.

Dimple Keyway

Dimple keyways have small indentations or dimples on the key that correspond to the pins inside the lock. They are commonly used in high-security locks and are more difficult to pick than other keyways.

Abloy Keyway

Abloy keyways use rotating disks instead of pins or wafers. The key has grooves on its side that align with the disks, allowing it to turn the lock. Abloy keyways are commonly used in high-security locks, such as those found in banks and government buildings.

The choice of keyway depends on the level of security required, the type of lock, and the application. High-security locks, such as those used in banks and government buildings, require more complex and unique keyways to prevent unauthorized access.

On the other hand, standard residential locks use pin-tumbler keyways, which offer a reasonable level of security at an affordable price.

The main features of a key, and why they are important

A key is a small, usually metal object that is used to unlock or lock a mechanism such as a lock or a door.

key features

The main features of a key are as follows:

Shape

A key has a unique shape that corresponds to the specific lock it is designed to open. This shape is important because it ensures that only the person with the correct key can access the locked mechanism.

Size

The size of a key is also an important feature, as it must fit precisely into the lock in order to work properly. A key that is too small or too large will not be able to turn the lock mechanism.

Teeth

The teeth of a key are the ridges and grooves that are cut into the blade of the key. These teeth are designed to align with the pins in the lock, allowing the key to turn the lock and unlock the mechanism.

Material

Keys are typically made of metal, such as brass or steel, because these materials are strong and durable. The material is important because a key that is made of a weaker material may break or wear down over time.

The main importance of these features is that they provide a high level of security, preventing unauthorized access to locked areas or items. The unique shape and teeth of a key ensure that only the person with the correct key can access the lock, and the size and material of the key ensure that it is strong enough to withstand regular use without breaking or wearing down easily.

The features of a key are designed to provide a reliable and secure way to control access to locked mechanisms. If you have questions about your key combination, contact us today!

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Jordan Matan Shoham is a locksmith technician with over a decade of experience installing locks, rekeying doors, helping folks in need with building and auto lockouts, and much more. He is the owner and chief operator of Level Up Lock.

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