It’s true, “…you never know what you,re gonna get!”. Seriously, locks have a variety of users, environments and required levels of security. The first pin tumbler locks were developed in ancient Egypt and have evolved differently over time around the world. Indeed, two locks of the same type from the same manufacturer and keyed alike can have distinctly different character. This is most apparent when an experienced locksmith picks them. No matter what makes locks different, they all have the same goal, to protect inside stuff from outside stuff.




Examples of Different Lock Types and Uses

Early locks like this lever padlock, so named because their locking state is accomplished by several internal “levers” whose “gates” (openings) align at their various positions to allow the lock to open. When the proper key is turned, the gates lift to their assigned positions and the bolt is rotated to release a shackle, bolt or latch. These style locks are used even today in Europe and lever padlocks are required to meet insurance security standards in the UK.


Some locking devices seek to safeguard ethereal things like this medieval chastity belt. Note the keyway indicating that it is a simple lever lock, probably using only a single lever. Single lever locks such as this one are still used for interior doors in parts of the US to this day in older homes.

Here in America, our locking devices have evolved to find a balance between efficacy and affordability. The bored lockset gets its name from the crossbore in which it is installed through the door. It’s a simple design, quickly installed, replaced, repaired or rekeyed easily. Similarly, the typical residential deadbolt whose bolt resists end pressure in the unlocking direction is installed in a like manner to the bored knobset. The installation dimensions and hardware specifications have been standardized over time and is consistent with most major lock manufacturers. The latest evolution of residential locks use a electronic keypad. Another popular lock type is the “smart lock”  that can be remotely operated via bluetooth and web connection from a mobile phone using an app. Notice that there is still a keyway as a backup to the electronic mechanism. Some argue that these innovations are a complication rather than an improvement.  



Clearly, the pantheon of locking devices is as different as their users, their operating environment, what they secure and even the era of their use and we haven’t even scratched the surface! We could spend days talking about high security pins, master key systems, key cutting and duplications machines, the difference between residential and commercial mortise locks, dead bolts, swing bolts, deadlocking spring latches, lath bolts, ets! Pantheon or plethora, the variations are vast. However, all locks have some degree of weakness. This is what enables a skilled experienced locksmith to get you back inside your home, business, or car when you are locked out. Choosing the right company to install, repair or service your locks is critical. These days, can you be too safe? Please, leave a comment or ask us a question.