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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.