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Locksmith Glossary

Code Cut Key
A series of letters or numbers found on some locks. In the case of office furniture and some padlocks, the number is stamped or printed right on the face of the lock. Some automobile manufacturers also stamp or print this number somewhere on the vehicle. Others vehicle manufacturers keep the key code on file and can look it up for the owner by the VIN number. With a valid key code, one can originate a key using books or software and special key-cutting equipment.

The lock component where the key is inserted. Also known as a "Cylinder" or a "Keyhole".

A locking device that, once fully extended, cannot be retracted except by operating the locking device (usually a key cylinder or thumb-turn knob). It cannot be "jimmied," "shimmed" or pushed back.

Double Sided
A lock that has cylinders on both sides of the lock --as opposed to a single sided lock that has a thumbturn on one side of the lock.

Any door handle lock with a key operated cylinder in one or more knobs.
Also known as a "Key-In-Knob", "Knobset", "Door Knob", or "Knob Lock".

High Security
Generally any lock that uses patented or unconventional design features to thwart the most common types of attacks on locks -picking, drilling, key duplication, and force. Most High-security locks are especially resistant to vandalism and conventional means of fitting a key. Some, but not all high-security locks also come with restricted keys.

Key Blank
The uncut keys that are kept instock before they are cut into a working key.

Master Key System
An organized set of locks typically where each lock opens with it's own different key, yet one key will also open all the locks, allowing selective entry to doors to certain users.

Pertaining to a method of installation in which only the face plate and trim is exposed. The lock case is installed in a pocket in the door or drawer.

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

Generally entails disassembling a lock to replace the pins or tumblers inside. Once completed, the lock requires a different key to operate than before.

Single Sided
A lock that has a cylinder on one side of the lock and a thumbturn on the other.

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

Grade 1, 2, or 3
This is a durability and security rating that is issued by ANSI. Specific security features and the durability of the product (the expected number of "cycles" or operations the product endures before wearing out) determine its grade. Grade 1 locks are very heavy-duty and are the only ones suitable for high-traffic public areas. Think of Grade 1 locks as "industrial strength." Grade 2 locks are "commercial strength." They are suitable for areas with moderate traffic, such as the employee-only areas of an office. Grade 3 locks are suitable only for residential applications. They will only last in a low-traffic area where people are not likely to abuse the product or treat it roughly.

A method of locking a cylinder as opposed to a pin. It is generally a lower security than pin locks and are usually found in desk locks or other small furniture locks.
Also known as a "Disc".

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