Different Types of Keys

differnt types of keys

While the word “key” conjures the same shape of a traditional key in many people’s minds, there’s actually quite a bit of variance in the shape, structure, and function of keys. This small blog entry will help you differentiate between the different types of keys that can be used in different situations.

Transponder Key

This key, used for cars, has a chip that disarms the car’s immobilizer once the engine starts running. It’s activated by a radio signal in the car when it’s placed in the ignition. It’s designed to prevent theft and are incredibly hard to duplicate.

Double/Four Sided Key

These keys are usually used in home locks, and have two or four sets of teeth in them, which make a more lasting and durable key. The extra sets of teeth make the lock much harder to pick, increasing security,

Abloy Key

These keys are impossible to pick and are used in disc tumbler locks. The locks use a special key that rotates the disc like a tumbler, aligning everything into place so they can unlock.

Dimple Key

This key uses matching cone shaped dimples that match up with two sets of pins in the lock, they are aligned the same way on either side, so the key doesn’t need to be inserted a certain way for it to work, it can work from either side,

Tubular Key

This key, also known as a barrel key, is used in tubular pin tumbler locks. It’s known for it’s cylindrical and hollow shaft much shorter than the typical key. This key is used on bicycles, vending machines, laptop locks, and alarm systems.

Change Key

This is a kind of master key – that can only open one or two locks. This type of key is often given to employees who are allowed access to some – but not all – rooms in a facility or business.

Bump Key

This is different than regular keys – it’s only similar to the right key for a lock, but can unlock it using a bumping technique.

Berlin Key

This kind of key is notable for it’s double-ended pair of blades at either end. The key must be pushed through the other end of the door in order to retrieve it – and you can’t take it out unless the door is locked.

Smart Key

This key is commonly used in cars, but can also be used in residential or commercial settings. They allow individuals to remotely automatically lock or unlock doors with a push button or electronic key code. These keys don’t require contact or physical insertion to work.

Master Key

These keys are often used in large houses or business facilities – they can’t open every kind of lock. Rather, with Master Keys, a set of locks are created specifically for the key, which can open all these locks – while each of the locks also get a “change key” which can be given to others, that only open that particular lock.

Skeleton Key

This is a type of master key – it’s often known as a pass key, since the serrated edges are removed leaving only the essential components of the key – it can unlock many locks, and is a useful tool for thieves.

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