How Locks & Keys Work

July 07 / 2020

How Locks & Keys Work

Colorado Springs Locksmith is all about sharing the knowledge. A lot of our clients like to watch our certified locksmiths and are often interested in learning about how locks and keys work. We have put this article together to quickly summarize how locks and keys work. This mechanism is hundreds of years old and though there are newer models and electric models, the way they work are similar. In this article, however, we will go over the mechanical version. If you have any questions or need to hire a locksmith to install, repair, or replace your locks, then call Colorado Springs Locksmith to speak with a friendly representative and schedule your flexible appointment. Our courteous professionals are ready to take your call.

What Are Locks?

In the broadest sense, a lock is something that prevents a gate from being accessed by someone who is not authorized. A lock can be as primitive as a wire that is bent and tied or one that is based on intricate mechanisms made of levers, wheels, and gears. In the modern age, more sophisticated locks are electronic and involve electrical signals and long numerical codes. In the information age, locks protect computers and software using encryption – a way of securing information by using complex mathematical processes.

Types of Locks

The oldest type of locks are the ward locks. From the outside, they look like our modern locks that we will describe later, but inside they have pieces of metal that jut out. Its corresponding key has holes that line up with the metal inside the lock. Tumbler locks are newer models of locks that use cylinders and pin tumblers that correspond with a specific key. Finally, electronic locks require magnetic strips or passwords to decode the lock.

What Are Keys?

Keys are the solutions to locks. A lock can be opened without a key, but a key greatly reduces the effort required to open the lock. A key can be a process such as a certain way to unwind the wire or a piece of metal that fits just right into a lock and unlocks the “gate.” In the information age, keys are specific codes also called passwords.

How Do Locks and Keys Work?

One of the most common types of mechanical locks in today’s age is the cylinder pin-tumbler lock. In this system, the lock has a series of metal pins in a cylinder that drop from top to bottom, locking the cylinder in place. A key with a specific profile of jagged edges that push the pins in the cylinder up out of the housing, allowing the key to turn. The wrong key may fit in the cylinder but it wont turn. Trying to force the key will either damage the key or the inner mechanism of the lock.

Need Help with A Lock?

If you are having issues with your lock and key system, then call Colorado Springs Locksmith to hire a certified locksmith. We are happy to arrange an urgent dispatch or schedule a flexible appointment. Our friendly staff are ready to take your call.

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