We use keys every single day for almost everything we do, whether we are locking the front door, checking the mailbox, starting the car, locking up at work or locking the back gate, we use keys every day. Not all keys are created equal and you may be surprised at what material your keys are actually made out of. While most common keys are made from brass, there are other materials that are becoming more prominent in the manufacturing of keys. Some keys are made from nickel, silver, aluminum, or other combinations of metals. The type of metal your keys are made from have a direct correlation on their longevity, the effect they have on locks and the chances they have of breaking off in a lock.
Vintage Brass Keys
There is a reason why brass keys are so popular and the majority of keys are cut from brass. Brass is a softer material, which makes it much easier for key cutters to cut them out of and brass is best for locksmiths who are making hand-made keys. Brass is a much gentler metal when it comes to the effects a key has on the internal structure of a lock. Because brass is a softer metal, it will not wear down the interior mechanics of a lock as fast as other keys which are made from a harder material. However, because brass is so soft, it can shed off small particle of brass into the lock, sometimes causing it to jam. Brass keys wear down much faster which results in a lock wearing much slower. Because brass keys are so soft, they tend to bend and twist a lot easier than a key made form a stronger harder metal material. Brass keys are most popular is the United Kingdom and the United States. Brass keys have been found to last much longer when they match a brass lock, however brass on brass must be cleaned properly and regularly to produce the most positive and long lasting results.
Steel keys are gaining popularity due to their strength and hardness. Steel keys are not usually handmade by locksmiths due to the hardness of the material. Because steel keys are so hard and strong, they tend to wear a lock down much faster than that of a brass key. While the steel key will last a very long time, the lock that it goes to can be worn down quite a bit. The benefits of having a steel key are that it will not bend, twist or break easily, eliminating the possibility of a key getting broke off into a lock.
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If you are in need of new keys or your locks have been worn down and need repair, contact Texan Lock and Key today.