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Glossary of Locksmith Terminology & Slang

Texan Lock and Key supply local commercial business owners, residential homeowners, and automobile owners with a plethora of locksmith services in the Greater Killeen, Texas area. We are fully licensed and insured to deliver professional quality services at affordable prices. Our experts are trained, experienced, and skilled to apply their expertise in any situation and are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week in the event you are in need of an emergency locksmith service.

Glossary of Locksmith Terminology & Slang

There are many terms and words that get thrown around in the locksmith industry, and we at Texan Lock and Key have compiled a glossary of common locksmith words and phrases to help you better understand their meanings.
Access Control: Physically regulating traffic to a specific given area.
Angularly Bitted Key: A type of key bit that is commonly found in specific manufactured locks.
Anti-Passback: A system designed to prevent the same credentials from using an access control multiple times in a row.
Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA): ALOA is the largest organization of locksmiths in the world; advances training and education in the industry.
Bait and Switch: This is a practice that unprofessional locksmiths use to charge higher prices by first quoting a low price on the phone and then significantly increase the price after the completion of services.
Berlin Key: A type of key 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 used to secure some cylinder and lock assemblies.
Bible: A bible is a portion of the cylinder shell which normally houses the pin chambers.
Biometric Lock: The type of lock requires a physical input such as a finger print input to unlock.
Blade: The part of the key that is inserted into the lock cylinder.
Bump Key: A 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: A series of characters needed to properly determine the cuts that need to be made on a specific car key.
Chamber: Holes in the cylinder where the springs and pins are located when the lock is in the unlocked position.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTC): Is a security camera system which transmits recordings through an internal circuit.
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: Cutting a key is the act of making a new key from scratch in order to replace a missing key.
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: A completely cut and finished key that the manufacturer creates for a specified 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: Ignition switch or ignition starter is a switch that actives the main electrical system of your vehicle
Immobilizer: A security device installed inside of automobiles that eliminates the threat of hot wiring for that vehicle.
Jamb: The vertical inside component 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: 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.
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
Re-locker: 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 craft 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): The 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: An additional 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 right combination is entered.
Torsion Spring: A 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: A lock picking tool used to apply torque to a lock’s pins.
Transponder Key: An automotive key which sends an electronic frequency to the cars main computer which only enables that key to start the car.
Tumbler: A mechanism which must be lifted before the bolt of the lock will move.
Uncontrolled Cross Keying: A set-up in which two or more keys are purposely designed to open and close the same lock.
VIN: VIN is 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.

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