Key Rescue Seattle Blog

Essential Lock and Key Terms

Published on 3 months ago
Essential Lock and Key Terms
Locksmithing isn’t just a professional service - it’s a technical art, with tons of variable details, unique skill sets, and complicated technical procedures involved. When receiving locksmith service, it’s best to understand some basics about the range of available services and their unique and specific terminology; in this blog entry, the expert Seattle locksmith team Key Rescue Seattle will detail some of the main terms to know before you receive your locksmith service so that you can be better prepared and informed.


Rekeying is a process that involves the changing of a lock’s code or inner core so that it can be operated with a different set of keys. These can be a set of existing, but differing keys, or a replacement set of keys. When locks are rekeyed, the previous set of keys will no longer be able to operate it. Rekeying is advisable when there’s new tenants in a unit, or if keys are misplaced. When you move into a new property, you can always rekey all the locks instead of replacing them. Businesses should rekey when employees leave. 

Master Keying

Master keying is a process that makes it possible to use a single key for all of the locks in a single home or orifice. Master keying can be customizable, with certain keys operating most but not all of a property’s locks, or all of them at one. The grand master key can open all locks - and each lock will also have its individual key that will only work for it, but not the other locks. This is ideal for properties where different areas have different levels of access privileges or security clearances. 

Key Copying

This simply means duplication of an existing key. This is necessary to provide independent access to guests, visitors, or office staff members. This is a service that should be performed after rekeying service to provide you with spare keys. 

Lock Bumping

This process is when locks are picked with a uniquely carved bump key. Bump proof locks offer pick resistance with their double sets of tumblers. 


This process involves the arrangement of different bits of the key that hit particular areas of the lock - and is the code that the locksmith uses when they create duplicate keys. 

Cylinder Locks

This lock has a cylinder at the doorknob’s center - and comes in single or double cylinder varieties that, respectively, operate with a cylinder key on a single side and a knob on the other - or with keys on both sides. These locks are also known as cylinder pin tumbler locks. 

Lever Locks

These locks carry a series of levers that are pushed to variable heights to allow the bolt to unlock - usually 3-5 levers - and operate with flat bitted keys. 

Deadbolt Locks

A common and popular form of high security locks that use heavy bolts as the main protective aspect. The bolt pushes directly into the doorframe by - at least - one inch (ideally more.) Deadbolt locks cannot be opened by force. 

Mortise Locks

A popular commercial lock, mortise locks are recessed within the door’s frame and carry a knob on each side. Mortise locks can be locked from the inside using a doorknob - but is considered somewhat low security due to the door frame recess allowing for the possibility of physical and bruce force entry.