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HomeHomeHome SecurityFunctional And Decorative Aspects Of Locks And Locksmithing:

Functional And Decorative Aspects Of Locks And Locksmithing:

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The world of locks and locksmithing is mysterious, secretive, and intriguing. The locksmith profession is one of the most challenging and rewarding at the same time. Very few things in life are dearer to anyone than the security of their family and material possessions. Locksmithing is all about having the knowledge and ability to incorporate security and eliminate the helpless sense of vulnerability from people’s life.

Types of locks and keys:

Getting a clear and precise definition of lock is not easy because of the broad spectrum of use of these tools. However, the International Association of Home Safety and Security Professionals gives a precise definition of lock:

“A device that incorporates a bolt, cam, shackle or switch to secure an object — such as a door, drawer or machine — to a closed, opened, locked, off, or on position, and that provides a restricted means of releasing the object from that position.”

Most common people have a general understanding of what a lock is, but that understanding is often limited. Few people know about the wide variety of locks that exist throughout the world or how locking technology has changed over the years. It is important for a locksmith to know what a lock really is and is not.

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Most locks found in the world can be categorized into four basic types:

  • Warded locks: these are the oldest known locks that are still commonly used. Simple in design and have a straightforward internal structure. It is usually cheaper to replace them hence warded locks are not repaired.
  • Tumbler Locks: have used in light security roles. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some can be repaired and some are cheaper to replace.
  • Combination locks: these locks are without a key and a sequence of numbers or symbols is used to open them.
  • Electronic Locks: these locks operate by electric current and are used to hi-tech home security equipments.


There are six basic types of keys:

  • Bit
  • Barrel
  • Flat
  • Corrugated,
  • Tubular and
  • Cylinder

Common tools used by Locksmiths:

To create a name for yourself in locksmithing, you have to work quickly and professionally, which requires using proper tools and supplies. Locksmiths use a variety of special tools depending on the type of jobs they perform. Some common tools used by the locksmiths are:

  • Allen wrench set
  • A bench grinder with the wire wheel
  • Bolt cutters, 16-inch
  • C-clamps
  • Center punch set
  • Codebooks, general set
  • Combination square
  • Coping saw and blades
  • Dent puller
  • Disc grinder

ANSI standards:

The American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) determines manufacturing standards for locks, a wide variety of building hardware and other products used in the United States. Lock manufacturers make sure their products meet ANSI standards because architects, homebuilders, and locksmiths specifically ask for products based on these standards. Hardware not fulfilling the criteria set by ANSI can be a liability.

What makes a lock secure?

To be considered high security a lock should have features that offer strong resistance against picking, impressioning, drilling, wrenching, and other common forms of burglary. The most secure locks also provide a high level of key control that is; there is a restriction on who can make a copy of the key. For locks, quality is often more important than quantity. A lock that breaks bends, or stops working at the wrong time can cause a locksmith to lose a lot of money. It can also damage your customer’s property (and your credibility). On the other hand, a lock that is designed to last a lifetime will pay for itself.

Home and Business Services Provided by Locksmiths:

Knowledge, skill, and expertise of any true professional locksmith can be gauged by the quality of services he/she provides. Services of locksmiths for our homes and businesses are more prevailing than just fixing the lockout situations. As a professional dealing with security, you must be aware of what is available to meet a variety of locksmithing situations, both in the home and the general business environment.

  • Removing and installing the locksets
  • Tightening the locksets
  • Safe Installation
  • Security checks

Are all part of the services locksmiths provide.

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Early Examples of the use of Locks for Interior Design:

The earliest known uses of locks as decorative hardware can be traced back to 14th  when locksmith’s guilds came into prominence. These Guilds required journeymen locksmiths to create and submit a working lock and key before being accepted as a master locksmith. These locks and keys were not made to be installed, but to be displayed in the guildhall. The guild’s work resulted in some beautiful locks and keys.

Types of interior designs and locks as decorative hardware:

  • Modern Architecture and Minimalistic stainless steel/aluminum door locks
  • Luxury Architecture and Designer door locks
  • Victorian Architecture and antique door locks

Modern Architecture and Minimalistic stainless steel/aluminum door locks

Minimalistic and futuristic architectural designs require simple and clean designed locks. An example of futuristic interior design is narrow stile glass doors. They require a more secure type of locking device than used in other applications. The architectural trend for such doors will continue for a number of years to come and it requires sleek double knobbed locks (made of aluminum or stainless steel) to compliment the minimalistic design.

Luxury Architecture and Designer door locks:

This genre of architecture requires quality and security combined in hardware. Designer security hardware products include electronic Locks, Barn Door Hardware, and Mortise Knob/Lever Entry Sets amongst others. High-quality finish with high functionality is the specialty of this type of hardware.

Victorian Architecture and antique door locks

The antique door locks industry is mostly about restoration and reproduction of Victorian-era antique locks and keys. These locks are not necessarily functional but are used primarily as decorative hardware. Colonial, mid-century and Victorian are some of the more dominant architectural designs in Sacramento. To be a successful locksmith in Sacramento one must be fluent in hardware styles related to this genre of interior designs.


Locks and home security have become so much more than just basic tools for security and locksmiths must adapt to demands of modern trends in architecture. (Phillips)

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