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Mobile Locksmith Winnetka: Lock and Key Types

Locks and keys are much more diverse and complicated than most people think they are - similar to the locksmith profession itself. Most people's knowledge of locks goes no further than the basic locks they have on their doors at home, and the keys on their cars. Technological advances have become widespread over the last few decades in a wide variety of areas, and the lock industry is no exception. The lock industry today contains many different types of locks, ranging from the most basic of door locks to intricately complicated electronic access systems.

Mobile Locksmith Winnetka in Winnetka, Illinois, offers all sorts of residential and commercial lock systems, and uses only the finest brands to install them. They are available 24 hours a day for any of your security-related needs. Let's take a closer look at some of your options in the lock department - not only at our specific company, but also in the industry as a whole. You are sure to be impressed at all that is available.

Locks with Physical Keys

1. Warded Lock: This is what most often comes to mind when people think of a lock. It is also one of the oldest lock designs in the world. This type of lock contains a series of obstructions that correspond exactly to the key created for them. Thus, if the key does not match up, it will not be able to rotate freely inside the lock and unlock the door. These are most commonly used in areas with a lower need for security, such as homes in safe areas. These can often be opened by skeleton keys - keys that have been reduced only to their most essential parts, and thus can open a wide variety of locks. Because of this, warded locks should not be used in cases where high security is necessary.

2. Pin Tumbler Lock: Another lock with its roots in ancient history, this type goes back to Egypt in 4000 B.C. It has a similar basic principle to the warded lock, but with pins instead of obstructions. Unless the correct key is inserted, the lock will not open. Unlike the warded lock, the keys for these locks contain a series of grooves that don't allow them to be inserted into every lock. When the correct key is inserted, the pins form a straight line, allowing the door to open. Pin tumbler locks are more secure than warded locks because a limited amount of keys are able to enter the lock's cylinder - skeleton keys are not as effective.

3. Wafer Tumbler Lock - This is quite similar in form to the pin tumbler lock, but as its name suggests it uses wafers instead of pins. One key difference is that the pins in pin locks contain two or more pieces, while wafers consist of only a single piece. The wafers fit into a cylinder and are spring-loaded for when a key is entered, which once again causes them to form a straight line and unlocks the door. Like the pin tumbler and warded locks, this is a fairly cheap lock to produce while also being quite effective. Wafer locks are not often seen in regular doors, but rather in car or cabinet doors.

4. Disc Tumbler Lock - This is also known as an Abloy lock, named after the company that popularized them. Disc tumbler locks consist of a series of discs, all with a differently sized section cut out of them. Unlike the pin and wafer locks, these are not spring-loaded, which means they are better suited for harsh conditions. Disc locks are considerably safer than other types. They are considered almost impossible to pick because picking the lock takes much longer and often requires professional tools. Because of this, they are often marketed and sold as “high-security” locks. This means they typically also cost a good amount more than the lower quality types; however, it is likely worth it if security is a high priority.

Locks with Electronic Keys

1. Electronic Lock - The most basic lock on the higher end electronic spectrum, electronic locks operate by means of an electric current. These are seen in a variety of ways; the most common include numeric passcodes and switches for apartment intercoms. However, they can also be as complicated as an access control system, such as those seen when entering restricted areas such as military compounds. In these cases, the key is either a password or another person who allows you access, meaning they are quite secure.

2. Keycard Lock - This is a special type of electronic lock that can only be triggered by a specially configured keycard. If the physical or digital signature on the keycard matches the door's electronic mechanism, the lock disengages and the card bearer is given access. These are also quite safe, but share a similar disadvantage with regular keys in that the key can be stolen and used for access by someone else.

3. Smart Lock - This is the newest and most technologically advanced lock that is commonly available. Smart locks are able to lock and unlock doors using cryptographic keys and a wireless signal, typically from an electronic device such as a smart phone. As smart phones continue to become even more prevalent, these types of locks are becoming increasingly popular in residential neighborhoods.

In short, there is a wide range of different lock systems available to suit a variety of different needs and desires. The lock industry is a complicated field, and there are not necessarily right and wrong answers when it comes to choosing a lock for your home. Luckily, Mobile Locksmith Winnetka is there to help if you are in the local area. They have trained professionals available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you in case you get locked out, or if you have any questions about home security. The lock industry can be quite complicated; luckily, you don't have to figure it out on your own.