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24/7 Phoenix Emergency Locksmith

the most trusted phoenix locksmith – 602.734.5528

1125 East Van Buren Street | Suite 2 | Phoenix, AZ 85006  |  License Number: 20166761
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“the well-known Yale lock emerged in America as the
Industrial Revolution gave rise to many new inventions”

Understanding Locksmith Terminology

The science of creating and operating locks and other security devices is thought to have originated with the Egyptians around the year 2000 B.C. Wooden locks with pegs that dropped into matching holes kept their doors adequately secured until the Romans later invented locks using keys. By the 1700's, lock and key security systems had two levers to protect the bolt, as well as bolts being turned only when lever has been elevated to a certain height. In the middle 1800's, the well-known Yale lock emerged in America as the Industrial Revolution gave rise to many new inventions. Modern locksmithing rapidly developed soon afterward, with combination, padlock and deadbolt lock technology advancing the way security systems were implemented in both business and residential buildings.

With technology enhancing the locksmith industry during the past several decades, a distinct list of new terms has been added to basic locksmith technology. Here are some of the more useful ones.

Key Codes

Locksmiths today are capable of making a key according to a code number imprinted on the lock. Lost keys no longer necessitate cutting a lock off or replacing the lock, as in car ignitions. However, individuals wanting a key made using a code number will have to show proof of ownership, whether it is an automobile, filing cabinet or safe.


This refers to the grooves carved along the key blade. Keyways can have corresponding locks or can represent the groove configuration associated with a set of locks. A keyway capable of opening several locks is called a "master" key.

Lock Rekey

When a locksmith rekeys a lock, this means he replaces the tumblers (pins and pin tumblers) comprising the cylinder of a lock with tumblers of varying measurements. Once this is done, the old key will no longer operate the lock and a new key is required to open the lock. This process avoids having to purchase and install a new lock. Rekeying is predominantly used in circumstances where someone has moved into a new home or has lost a set of keys. Rekeying is generally less expensive than replacing locks.


I nside a lock lies parts that have been precisely arranged to allow a specific keyway to manipulate them and open a lock. Combination locks have tumblers which align when the correct set of numbers are entered.

Digital or Electronic Locks

Becoming extremely popular in the past twenty years, digital locks represent the latest in security systems, offering keyless security involving authentication of the person attempting to gain access to a building, safe or other secured place or item. Examples of digital locks include remote access, biometric and smart card security systems.

Lock Picking

G enerally though of as something criminal do, lock picking is also a skill important to professional locksmiths. Knowing how to pick a lock when no key exists with which to open it means the lock does not have to be cut off and can be rekeyed for future use. Lock picking may also lessen the amount of damage to the item that has the lock attached to it if hydraulic jacks or drills are needed to break the lock.

Deadbolt Locks

Deadbolts offer more security than regular locks because they provide a solid metal bar that slides from the door into a door frame crevice which prevent the door from being opened quickly. In fact, doors secured with deadbolt locks have been proven to deter illegal entrance by as much as 15 minutes. Often this is enough time to dissuade a would-be burglar from continuing his attempt to break-in. When used in conjunction with metal doors, deadbolts offer an extremely effective security system for any home or business.

Chip Key / Transponder Key

A chip key is a key equipped with a computer chip corresponding to a specific lock containing codes placed onto the chip. Transponder keys are also known as chip keys.

Keypad Locks

This type of lock uses an electronic key pad that needs to be manually inputted with a specific linear combination of numbers, letters or symbols in order to "tell" it to open a door or other entranceway. Keypad locks are convenient to use when a large number of people use this security system because the necessity for individual keys does not exist.

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