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Feature: The key to keys
March 7, 2023
Keys are essential for being able to lock and unlock locks. And like locks, there are also many different types of keys. The 10 main key types are the skeleton key, double sided and four sided key, transponder key, tubular key, padlock key, dimple key, magnetic key, paracentric key, VAT key, and abloy key.
Abloy keys are the types of keys that are mainly used in factories, apartment complexes, and office buildings. The abloy key uses a unique abloy cylinder mechanism where instead of using traditional pins and springs, it uses rotating disks which makes it almost impossible to pick. They were invented in 1907 by Emil Henriksson.
Dimple keys have rectangular blades with multiple cone-shaped dimples drilled into the face of the blade at different depths. Having all these dimples allow the key to get inserted into the lock in any orientation. They are mainly used in European Type cylinders.
Double sided and four sided keys are like normal keys but they can be double sided or four sided. The four sided key is more durable and makes the lock very difficult to pick. The key was introduced in 1965 by Ford Motors. These keys are most commonly used as house locks.
Magnetic keys use magnets to lock and unlock the mechanism. They were invented in Nanchang, China by an engineer. To lock and unlock, the magnets must be aligned correctly to cause a magnetic force that will push or pull inside the lock.
Padlock key can be small and are used on padlocks. Padlocks have a main body that can be in the shape of a half cylinder or cube. They consist of a lock combo and most include a key. If the key is lost, you can duplicate it according to the brand’s instruction or just use the lock combo if it has it. The padlock key we use today was invented by Linus Yale Sr..
Paracetric keys have one or more of the sides stick out past the key-way’s vertical center-line. The reason for this is to make it harder to maneuver the lock pick and reach its pins.They are mainly used for high security situations like in prisons.
Skeleton keys were used to to open many different locks but mainly warded locks. Skeleton keys have been found to be used in Ancient Egypt 4,000 years ago. The Romans developed these keys too but in sturdier materials like iron and bronze. Today, these keys are no longer really used but are kept in antique collections.
Transponder keys have a RFID or radio frequency identification inside its plastic head. It transmits a low level signal from the key to the receiver located in the car. They are mainly used with modern car locks and home security systems but are also used to open garage doors and gates.
Tubular keys are also known as barrel keys or radial locks. They are commonly used in bike locks and vending machines. Notches are cut around the outer or inner edge of the cylinder shaped tubular key. The Chicago Lock Company fist marketed them in 1933.
VAT keys are mainly used to make a vehicle more secure. VAT stands for Vehicle Anti-Theft. They where introduced in 1968 by General Motors Co.