Locksmith Terms

Alarm system
n. a system of electrical and/or electronic components which detect and report dangers, such as fire or intrusion

Automatic closing
adj. pertaining to a door which is equipped with a door closer, or other device to close it without manual intervention. Frequently found in Life Safety and fire code requirements.

Automatic deadbolt
n. a deadbolt designed to extend itself fully when the door is closed.

Back plate
a thin piece of metal, usually with a concave portion, used with machine screws to fasten certain types of cylinders to a door

n. the distance between the center of a cross-bore and the bolt edge of a door or drawer

Barrel key
n. a type of bit key with a hole drilled into the shank from the tip

n. (of a door) the pitch on the leading edge of a door which allows clearance for closing

Bicycle padlock
n. a padlock with sufficient shackle clearance to secure a bicycle

n. the portion of a key which may contain the cuts and/or millings

adj. uncut, see also "key blank"

bump key
n. a lock picking key with uniform steeples between cuts that is forced further into the lock via impact

burglar alarm
n. a system designed to detect and report conditions, which may indicate intrusion or attempted intrusion

Burglar resistant
adj. of or pertaining to a security container designed to resist forcible entry for a specified period of time

Bypass key
n. the key which operates a key override cylinder

Cam lock
n. a complete locking assembly in the form of a cylinder whose cam is the actual locking bolt

Combination lock
n. a lock which is operated by local input of a specific series or sequence of numbers or letters

Control key
n. 1. a key whose only purpose is to remove and/or install an interchangeable or removable core 2. a bypass key used to operate and/or reset some combination type locks 3. a key which allows disassembly of some removable cylinder locks

n. a complete unit, often with a "figure eight" shape, which usually consists of the plug, shell, tumblers, springs, plug retainer and spring cover(s). It is primarily used in removable and interchangeable core cylinders and locks.

n. a complete operating unit which usually consists of the plug shell, tumblers, springs, plug retainer, a cam/tailpiece or other actuating device, and all other necessary operating parts

Cylinder guard
n. a protective cylinder mounting device

Cylinder lock
n. any lock that is operated by a cylinder key

n. a bolt, which requires a deliberate action to extend, and which resists end pressure in the unlocking direction when fully extended

n. a lock which incorporates a deadbolt

v. to determine a key combination by physical measurement of a key and/or cylinder parts

1. n. the typically rotatable member of a combination lock that may be used to differentiate locations on the combination wheels and cause operation of the lock, 2. v. the act of turning or rotating a dial

Digital dial
n. a rotatable dial that causes a separate readable index, (typically digital), to change

Double cylinder deadlock
n. a deadbolt lock whose bolt may be operated by a key from either side

Drill point
n. the exact measurement of the location used to drill a locked up container to effect an opening

adj. pertaining to a latch or bolt with a round face

Duplicate key
n. any key reproduced from a pattern key

Electric strike
n. an electro-mechanical strike, which secures or releases the latch via applied current

Exit alarm
n. an annunciator that signals the opening of an exit door

Exit device
n. a door lock/latch mechanism which releases in the direction of exit travel via a bar or panel extending across the major width of the door

Exit door
n. 1. a door which has no provision for ingress, 2. a door which fills some or all the code requirement for safe egress of the occupant load from a building or portion of a building

Face cap
n. a finished cover, that may retain a dust cover or serve as a plug retainer, affixed to the face of some lock cylinders

Face plate
n. the finished, removable plate which covers the front of some locks

File cabinet lock
n. 1. any lock used on a file cabinet 2. a plunger lock cylinder for a gang lock normally used in a file cabinet

Gang lock
n. a locking mechanism with multiple bolts which locks different openings simultaneously by a single action

Garage door lock
n. a rim lock mechanism designed for use on an overhead door, which mechanism has a spring loaded bolt which automatically locks the door's bolt mechanism

n. a notch cut into the edge of a tumbler to accept a fence or sidebar

adj. pertaining to hardware which is manufactured only for application on doors with a specific orientation

n. a complete lock or latch assembly which incorporates a pitcher handle

n. a hinged metal strap designed to be passed over a staple and secured in place

Helmet lock
n. auxiliary lock on motorcycles used to secure a helmet

High security key
n. a key for a high security cylinder

Ignition key release
n. a button or other actuator which must be pushed before a vehicle's ignition key may be turned to the withdrawal position

Ignition lock
n. the lock assembly associated with a vehicle's engine on-off switch and starter

Individual key
n. an operating key for a lock or cylinder which is not part of a keying system, see also "change key" #1

n. a properly combinated device which is, or most closely resembles, the device specifically intended by the lock manufacturer to operate the corresponding lock

Key cabinet
n. a cabinet with hooks, velcro, or other means designed to store keys systematically

Key lock
adj. pertaining to a device operated by a mechanical key, as opposed to combination, electonics, etc.

Key locking dial
n. a combination lock dial which can be disabled by a keyed lock cylinder

adj. 1. combinated 2. having provision for operation by key

Keyed alike
adj. of or pertaining to two or more looks or cylinders which have or are to have the same combination. They may or may not be part of a keying system

Keyed different
adj. of or pertaining to a group of locks or cylinders, each of which is or is to be combinated differently from the others. They may or may not be part of a keying system.

n. the opening through which a non-cylinder key must pass to enter a lock

n. 1. the opening in a lock or cylinder which is shaped to accept key bit or blade of a proper configuration 2. the exact cross sectional configuration of a keyway as viewed from the front. It is not necessarily the same as the key section.

n. an L-shaped handle assembly which may be lockable

L-Handle loc
n. a cabinet lock with an L-shaped handle

1. n. a mechanical or magnetic door fastener which can automatically keep a door, gate, etc., closed, 2. v. engagement of a latch when a door, gate, etc. is pushed or pulled closed

Latch guard
n. a plate or combination of interlocking pieces designed to block access to the edge of a latch when the door is shut

Left hand
adj. (man door)pertaining to an inward swinging door with hinges on the left side, using the outside of the door as reference

n. any device which prevents access or use by requiring special knowledge or equipment

Lock bumping
n. a picking technique that utilizes a configured key forcefully impacted into the keyway

Lockdown bar
n. an assembly which permits a laptop computer to be used, opened, closed, but not removed from a premises, often secured by a padlock

Locked open
adj. of or pertaining to a condition wherein the bolt(s) are engaged and lock(s) are not restricting access

n. any situation in which the normal operation of a lock or cylinder is prevented

n. a locking device, complete with trim, mounting hardware and strike

n. a person with the knowledge and ability to select, install, service and bypass all the components of an electrical or mechanical lock

Manual dogging
n. 1. an exit device that requires a physical action to dog it, v. 2. using a wrench or a special key to dog an exit device

Master key system
n. 1. any keying arrangement which has two or more levels of keying 2. a keying arrangement which has exactly two levels of keying

Metal desk lock
n. a cabinet lock with a vertically sliding bolt located at the rear of the cylinder

v. to prepare by removing stock material from the edge of a door, drawer, frame or opening to create a recess which allows the flush fit or insetting of relevant lock or other hardware, 2. n. the cavity prepared by mortising, 3. adj. of or pertaining to a locking device designed to fit in a mortise preparation

Mortise cylinder
n. a threaded cylinder typically used in mortise locks of American manufacture

Mortise exit device
n. an exit device designed for mortise installation

Mortise lockset
n. a lockset the case of which is designed to fit in a mortise in the edge of a door or drawer

Night latch
n. a rim mounted auxiliary latch bolt

Open face dial
n. a combination lock actuator designed to have all the numbers visible at once

Operating key
n. any key which will properly operate a lock or cylinder to lock or unlock the lock mechanism and is not a control key or reset key, see also "change key"

Override code
n. in an electronic lock, a factory-set or user-set combination that will always open the lock

Override combination
n. in certain locks with a user changeable combination, a second combination which allows access at all times. It is usually factory set and may not be field changeable.

n. a detachable and portable lock with a shackle which locks into its case

Passage set
n. a latchset

Peep hole
n. a small lens or opening which allows a limited view through a door

Pocket door
n. a door which opens by sliding into a hollow wall

Power locks
n. electrically or electro-pneumatically operated locks

Pull bump key
n. a lock picking key that must be pulled from the lock one space position between impacts

Pull handle
n. trim for gripping to apply pulling force to a door

Push button lock
n. a self contained lock with controls that must be pressed in a specific pattern or sequence to open the lock

v. to change the existing combination of a cylinder or lock

Removable core
n. a key removable core which can only be installed in one type of cylinder housing; e.g., rim cylinder or mortise cylinder or key-in-knob lock

Removable cylinder
n. a cylinder which can be removed from a locking device by a key and/or tool

v. to replace pin tumblers, with or without changing the existing combination

Reset code
n. in an electronic lock, a factory-set or user-set code or combination that will restore all factory default settings except the current reset code and the audit trail

adj. of or pertaining to a keyway and corresponding key blank whose sale and/or distribution is limited by the lock manufacturer in order to reduce unauthorized key proliferation

n. a substantial, secure container with varying degrees of security and/or fire resistance, used to store valuables against fire or theft

Safe door
n. that portion of a safe used to gain access to the contents of the safe in a normal day to day manner

Screen door lock
n. a lock designed for the thin stiles typically found on screen and storm doors

n. 1. the part of a padlock, which passes through an opening in an object or fits around an object and is ultimately locked into the case 2. the portion of a restraint which fits around the wrist, ankle, neck, waist or thumb

n. a projection from a key that can be any key stop other than a tip stop, see also "bow stop". Some shoulders on keys serve no functional purpose.

Showcase lock
n. normally a ratchet lock or plunger lock used on bypassing doors

n. a cylinder locking member mounted longitudinally in a plug, which engages multiple tumblers

Simple latch
n. a non-deadlocking latch

Single cylinder
adj. pertaining to a lock with key operation from only one side

Skeleton key
n. any non-cylinder key whose bit, blade, and/or post is cut away enough to allow it to enter and turn in locks with different ward arrangements

n. a tumbler which is normally flat, has a gate and moves with a linear or lateral motion instead of pivoting like a lever tumbler

Spring latch
n. a latch operated under spring pressure, having no deadlatching feature

Switch lock
n. 1. a lock which incorporates an electrical switch as an integral part of its construction 2. a large padlock designed for use on railroad switches

n. a T-shaped handle assembly which may be lockable

n. a pattern used to mark cutout locations for hardware installation

n. the distance a bolt or latch projects from the faceplate or case of a lock in the extended position

Thumb latch
n. a lock with a thumbpiece to actuate the latch

Thumb turn
n. a actuator which can be turned by thumb and forefinger

n. a generally flat, projecting latch actuator found above a grip handle and depressed by the thumb

n. the deviation allowed from a given dimension

Touch pad
n. 1. an exit device actuator with a paddle shape 2. a remote door opener activator, typically electric or electronic, which facilitates handicap access

Transponder key
n. a key with an electronic component which can convert a radio signal into an electrical current enabling the key to transmit a unique code back in return

n. exposed components of a lockset or latchset, which allow operation, enhance appearance or provide protection

Trunk lock
n. 1. a hinged strap with a staple or a lock at the end that mates with a receptacle in the trunk, 2. a lock designed to secure the trunk of an automobile

Tubular key
n. a key with a tubular blade. The key cuts are made into the end of the blade, around its circumference.

Class 125
n. a group of UL classifications for containers that maintain inside temperatures less than 125 degrees Fahrenheit when exposed to a fire of specific temperature and duration. The times and fire temperatures are: ½ hour 1700 degrees F. 1 hour 1700 degrees F. 2 hour 1850 degrees F. 3 hour 1925 degrees F. 4 hour 2000 degrees F.

Class 150
n. a group of UL classifications for containers that maintain inside temperatures less than 150 degrees Fahrenheit when exposed to a fire of specific temperature and duration. The times and fire temperatures are: ½ hour 1700 degrees F. 1 hour 1700 degrees F. 2 hour 1850 degrees F. 3 hour 1925 degrees F. 4 hour 2000 degrees F.

Class 350~
n. a group of UL classifications for containers that maintain inside temperatures less than 350 degrees Fahrenheit when exposed to a fire of specific temperature and duration. The times and fire temperatures are: ½ hour 1700 degrees F. 1 hour 1700 degrees F. 2 hour 1850 degrees F. 3 hour 1925 degrees F. 4 hour 2000 degrees F.

UL listed
adj. listed in a directory as having passed specific Underwriters Laboratories testing

Valet key
n. an automotive key that operates all locks except storage compartments, on a vehicle where there is also a master key to operate all locks

abb. Vehicle Anti-Theft System

VATS key
n. a key for some General Motors vehicles which contains a resistor chip that must be qualified by the vehicle in order to run

n. a secure room in which objects of value are stored

Vehicle Anti-Theft System
n. an electronic system in some General Motors vehicles which uses a resistor pellet of varying value imbedded in a mechanical ignition key

Walk-in vault
n. a vault with a man door and open floor space inside

Wall safe
n. a safe installed in a wall so that only the door and a frame is visible