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Keys are complicated. How could they not be? Their job is to keep people and property safe and provide a way for friends and family to access shelter. They can’t be one size fits all, even when it’s frustrating, when locks stick, or when you just can’t seem to find the right set of keys.

What are the different types of keys and how do they work?

Knowing the types of keys, how they work, and what they’re best for will help you make a decision ahead of time and allow you to have a little bit more sure footing when it comes to your keys and locks.

You may be surprised to find just how many different types of keys there are out there. While you’ll recognize staples like skeleton keys, laser or mechanical cut keys, there are some interesting ones out there that can be used for cars, homes, lock boxes, and plenty of other pieces of property you want to keep safe.

Below are some examples of common keys and how they can be best used to keep you and your property safe.

Mechanically Cut Keys

This is the most common type of key you’ll come across. These are the keys that are common house keys and even car door keys. They’re simple, fairly easy to replicate, and fairly bland and nondescript in their design. These keys have precise ridges cut into one side which makes them easy to make copies of, which can be both good and bad, depending on your situation. Their sturdy and tried and true, but they also are easy to replicate, which can be trouble for some.

Cruciform Keys

This is another common key, though it’s used less in private homes and is more common in commercial usage and more industrial locking. Ultimately, they can be used in any dwelling or building where you want to make sure you have a secure lock on the entrances. This key, like the mechanical cut key, is fairly easy to cut and duplicate, but the lock the key goes to is very hard to pick for those without a key.

Four-Sided Key

This is a key that comes in the form of a double or even four-sided cut that allows for extra security. Again, these can be used in virtually any dwelling or building, though are more common on commercial properties than private homes. The draw here is that the additional sides and cuts make the lock very hard to pick and, the more the sides, the harder it is to duplicate the key.

Related Questions

What Tech Options Do I Have?

Not all keys are small metal objects to be carried in your pocket. You’ve probably noticed that virtually every car has a fob of some sort as a key. There’s also magnetic keys and your typical hotel style key card. These are ideal for commercial properties where keys need to constantly be changed or, at least, monitored and controlled.

What Are Options for Non-Dwelling Locks?

It’s not just buildings and cars that need to be locked. Lockboxes, lockers, sheds, and plenty of other things that keep sensitive property need to be protected. Tubular keys are common in lockboxes and metal filing cabinets, as are dimple keys. Paracentric keys are common in locks for lockers as well. Any of these keys are very hard to duplicate and harder to pick.

Picking your ideal level of security is going to be what decides your lock and key situation for your home, car, or other property. A trusted local locksmith is a great resource to help you learn more about different types of keys and how they can benefit your home or business.

If you live in Michigan and are having issues with keys, locks, doors or overall security, Action Locksmith can help. In business for over 30 years and experience in virtually all facets of locksmithing, Action Locksmith is one of the best locksmith companies in Michigan. Helping residents throughout the state with re-keying, door repair and installation, emergency lockout service, access control and camera systems, home safes and much more!

Call us today to learn more about how a locksmith service can help your home or business with a security consultation!