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  • Writer's picture24 Hour Lock and Key

What are the different types of keys?

Updated: Oct 22, 2023

The type of key you choose plays an essential role in protecting your home, businesses, and belongings. Our experienced Portland Locksmiths will help you determine which physical key type is right for you.


1. Pin Tumbler Keys

The Pin Tumbler key is one of the most common lock design in the world. The lock is designed with a series of movable pins that prevent the the cylindrical plug from rotating. They key is used to properly elevate the pins and allow the plug to rotate which retracts the locking bolt.


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2. Double-Sided & Four-Sided Keys

These types of keys either have 2 or 4 sets of teeth at the end of the key. While double-sided locks are more common for residential and commercial use, four-sided locks are preferred in high-security situations due to their complex designs.


3. Tubular Keys

Tubular keys, also known as barrel keys, have a cylindrical shaft that is used to unlock circular pin tumbler locks. You will commonly find tubular keys in vending machines, bicycle locks, and some types of residential locks.

tubular keys at portland locksmith

4. Skeleton Keys

Skeleton keys, although no longer in use today, were historically used to open warded locks. They have a thin cylindrical shaft with a simple set of teeth at the end. Many people like to collect skeleton keys for their antique value.



skeleton key


5. Dimple Keys

Dimple keys have a pattern of concave dimples at varying depths along both sides of the key to match the pins inside the lock. The unique dimple cut design makes these keys secure and harder to duplicate without authorization.


6. Abloy Keys

Instead of traditional springs or pin tumblers, Abloy keys utilize a rotating disc-detainer. These keys are gaining popularity because they are virtually impossible to pick. You will most commonly find them in padlocks, vending machines, and other high-security applications.

7. Transponder Keys

Transponder keys are outfitted with a microchip that emits a radio frequency signal containing a unique serial number. The receiver located in your car will use RFID to detect that signal and unlock when it identifies the correct serial number. This is the most common type of key in modern vehicles.



new car key in portland


Lost your car keys? Locked out of your car? Need a car key replacement? Call our automotive locksmiths today and get help ASAP.


What kind of keys do locksmiths make?

Our professional locksmiths are trained and certified to make almost any key that will fit your requirements. Whether you are locked out of your car or need help rekeying a commercial building in Portland, 24 Hour Lock & Key is here to help! Fill out our contact form or call us today at 971-720-9939.





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1 Comment


Eran Y
Eran Y
Dec 11, 2023

This post provides a comprehensive overview of different key types, helping readers understand the choices available for securing their homes and businesses. Thanks for sharing this.

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