The Locksmith’s Glossary

Access Control – physically being able to regulate traffic to a given area
Angularly Bitted Key – type of key bitting that is found most commonly in Medeco and Emhart locks
Anti-passback – system designed to prevent the same credential from using an access control multiple times in a row
Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) – the largest organization of locksmiths in the world, drives industry wide advancements through training and education
Bait and Switch – the practice that shady unprofessional locksmiths use to charge higher prices by first quoting a low price on the phone and then increasing the price dramatically when they have completed the service
Berlin key – key type in which both ends of the key are bitted, after unlocking the door from one side the key must be pushed all the way through the locking mechanism and locked from the inside before is released
Bezel – a collar use secure some cylinder and lock assemblies
Bible – that portion of the cylinder shell which normally house the pin chambers
Biometric lock – requires a physical input such as a finger print input to unlock
Blade – the part of the key inserted into the lock cylinder
Bump key – type of key, different for each set of locks, that allows for easily opening a pin tumbler lock
Bored cylindrical lock – a lock that is drilled using two holes perpendicular to each other one through the face of the door frame and one through the edge of the door frame, most common type of residential lock and is thought of as a standard lock type
Car key code – series of characters needed to properly determine the cuts that need to be made on a specific car key
Chamber – the holes in the cylinder where the springs and pins are located when the lock is in the unlocked position
Closed circuit television – security camera system which transmits recordings through an internal circuit, otherwise known as CCTV
Control key – a key that can be used to remove the inner part of a lock cylinder that can be then be used to re-key
Cutting a key – making a new key from scratch to replace a missing one
Deadbolt – a lock that is engaged through turning a key or knob rather than by spring action
Deflector cover – metal shield, possibly removable, that is in place to prevent the drilling of a safe
En suite – refers to a lock that is in a master lock system
Factory original key – completely cut and finished key that the manufacturer creates for the lock
Grand master key – when a master key system is installed and there are more than two access keys, the key which can open every lock in the system is the grand master key
Ignition switch – otherwise known as the ignition starter is a switch that actives the main electrical system of your vehicle
Immobiliser – security device installed inside of automobiles that eliminates the threat of hot wiring for that vehicle
Jamb – the vertical inside part of the door
Key blank -an uncut key that can be cut by a locksmith to fit a specific lock
Key code – alphanumeric code used by a locksmith to identify the unique cuts needed for a specific key
Key duplication – making a copy of an existing key
Key relevance – the relative difference between the original and duplicate key
Key shoulder – edge sticking up towards the handle of the key that prevents the key from being shoved too far into the lock cylinder
Key way – the area of the lock cylinder where the key is inserted
Lock pick set – set of tools used to pick a standard lock includes a torsion wrench as well as the lock pick itself
Master key system – system of locks which can be opened by one key on an individual basis and a “master key” which can open all of the locks
MLA – Master Locksmith Association; the largest association of locksmiths in the United Kingdom
Mortise – a hole cut into the side of the door in order to place a mortise lock or latch
Mortise lock – a mortise lock is used by drilling a single hole on the edge of the door frame which the lock is then placed and installed into, slightly more secure than bored cylindrical lock but also requires specialized drilling tools…More on mortise locks
NLSA – National Locksmith Suppliers Association
One-way action – a lock where the follower will only turn in one direction
Plug follower – tool used to replace the extract the pin house from the cylinder
Plug spinner – tools used to attempt to spin the cylinder in order to make the bolt retract
Re-key – resetting the tumbler of a lock so that it is controlled by a different key
Relocker – a lock mechanism within a safe that will automatically re-lock the bolt work in the case that there is an attempted forced entry
Safe-cracking – the practice of opening a safe without a combination or key
Sash lock – a mortise lock which has a key operated bolt as well as a latch
Shoulder (or bow stop) – edge of the key that sticks out and determines how far the key is inserted into the lock
Smart key – wireless access dives which can be used to open a car door and start the ignition without having to insert a key, most cars equipped with this technology also have a back up spare key which operates in a traditional fashion
Sub master key – a key within the master key system that can open an entire set of locks within a complex but not all of the locks in the complex
Throw – the distance that a bolt travels when it moves from the unlocked to locked position or vice versa
Time lock – addition lock normally found in banks and other high security locations which only allows a lock to only be opened during a pre-programmed time even if the write combination is entered
Torsion spring – garage door spring which is in the shape of a helix, provides the balance force that allows you to easily raise your garage doors
Torsion wrench – lock picking tool used to apply torque to a lock’s pins
Transponder key – automotive key which sends sends an electronic frequency to the cars main computer which only enables that key to start the car
Tumbler – mechanism which must be lifted before the bolt of the lock will move
Uncontrolled cross keying – set-up in which two or more keys are purposely designed to open and close the same lock
VIN – short for vehicle identification number, this information can be used by a locksmith to find the right code to cut a car key for that specific model
We Are Constantly Adding New Terms To Our Locksmith Glossary Through Our Locksmith Terms Blog Posts!

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