Locksmith Miramar: Lock and Key Types

Locksmith Miramar is dedicated to helping everyone understand the different security mechanisms they can install in their properties. Whether you live in Miramar, FL, or any other place in the world, we are taking the time to give you a full introduction to the different types of locks and keys you can get from your locally-based locksmith.

With this start guide, you will be able to get an idea of the type of protection that comes from various lock and key types – which will in turn help you when it’s time to make your decision about what locks to install in your home or office building.

Read through as we explain all of the basics. 

All about your keys

Since we will be talking about locks, it may be useful to touch on the different types of keys that come with them too. Here are the most common types of keys that you will encounter on a daily basis.

Single bitted keys. “Bitting” is the name given to the part of the key that comes into contact with the internal components – the cuts of a key’s bitting are what make the inside parts move to different positions. Single bitted keys are the most common types of keys around and only include one set of these cuts. As such, you will find these keys being used in the most traditional lock types.

Multi bitted keys. Different to single bitted, these have more than one cut and most commonly found in high security locks and sidebars.

Convenience key. These contain duplicate cuts but one bitting surface, enabling them to be functional no matter what orientation you insert these into a lock.

Cruciform key. Comprising four bittings, these have a star-shaped tip that allows for multiple functionality. Similar to a convenience key, not all bittings need to be used at once when accessing a lock.

Transponder key. Most commonly used for cars, these have a transponder chip in the bow (or the “head”) of the key that transmit a coded signal to a lock’s transmitter. Because these are electronically programmed, special equipment is needed to create or duplicate them.

Valet key. A special type of car key which is especially designed to be used by a valet driver. These enable drivers to operate the doors and ignition, but not the trunk or glove compartment.

Blank key. As the name suggests, these are keys which are yet to be cut into a lock. These are kept by locksmiths for duplication – if hear a lock and key professional talking about “Blanks”, this is what they are referring to.  

Different lock types

With those types of keys in mind, here are some of the popular lock variations.

Padlocks

Typically, these are not attached to any foundations, making them the only type of portable locks you may encounter in a property. These can come in different sizes, and are comprised of 3 primary parts: the shackle, the body, and a locking mechanism.

There are two main types of padlocks: keyed and combination. Keyed padlocks undo the locking apparatus, and can come in either key-retaining or non-key-retaining options. Key-retaining padlocks will keep a key locked into place while the padlock is open, whereas non-key-retaining provides more flexibility in that regard. As for combination padlocks, these can only be opened using a numbered code.    

Knob Locks

These usually can be seen in residential properties. They have a key cylinder on one side and a rotating knob on the other. We don’t recommend you use these as a standalone protection – because they are very easy to break into by brute force, a secondary lock like a deadbolt will serve to enhance the protection that these provide. 

Deadbolts

Commonly found in a home’s main entrance doors, deadbolts are the usual accompaniment for your traditional knob lock. Deadbolts can come in single lock, double lock, keyless entry, and lockable thumb turn variations.
Single cylinder deadbolts are the most common, and are comprised of a key cylinder on one side and a rotating thumb turn on the other. Double cylinders are more complex, using a key cylinder of both sides of the lock. Keyless entry deadbolts are activated by a code, while thumb turn deadbolts are like single cylinders but with an added lock for its inner turning mechanism.     

Lever handle locks

These are very common in commercial properties. As the name suggests, these locks rely on a lever that releases a bolt once swung up or down. The lever is especially designed to open and close easily, which is crucial for areas with a higher influx of people. Just like residential knob locks, lever handle locks have a key cylinder on one side and a rotating door knob on the other. 

Cam locks

These are latches that are commonly used to lock up lock boxes, filing cabinets, and similar devices. The “cam” is a flat metal tailpiece that requires a key to rotate into and out of its slot. 

Mortise locks

Mortise locks combine two locking mechanisms into one component. They are comprised of a non-locking spring latch that can be controlled by a handled lever, and a deadbolt for additional security. With this dual action, mortise locks act as a knob lock-deadbolt hybrid, making them a bit harder to install in a property but significantly stronger than most locks.  

Choosing the best lock and key services for your property

Now you know about the most common types of locks and keys, it’s time to focus our attention on how a locksmith will help you keep your property secure.

All types of locks and keys come with their pros and cons. We briefly touched on some of those here, but a licensed and insured locksmith will be able to explain everything in full detail. Usually, locally based locksmiths don’t charge for an initial consultation – so if you are considering changing or upgrading the locks and security in your property, then make some time to talk to a qualified professional.

Once you and your locksmith have talked through some options, you can request a full price quote for your installation requests. If you are happy with everything thus far, you just need to schedule a time for the installation and it should be all set to go within a few minutes.

We hope this has served as a starting point. Now that you know a bit about the basic facets of lock and key protection, you can start thinking about improving your property’s security.