23 Distinct Types of Keys You Can Get on the Market

Since 6000 years ago the locking system has been initiated by people in the ancient Babylonian and Egypt era. Even at that time, they already design various types of keys.

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Of course, the materials used are also quite simple, such as wood or animal parts.

Over time, other nations also developed this system and increasingly create different types of keys for locks. The quality displayed is also getting better with more efficient use.

The following are some that we are familiar with today.

Primary Key to Open Everything

Genes: The lock and key to our destiny | BUDDIES FOR LIFE MAGAZINE

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All locking systems are made based on the principle of uniqueness. None of the types of keys have the same shape, pattern, and curve.

However, there is one who does not apply this notion, namely the primary.

These types of keys are the most different because they intend to open multiple locks at once. Its function is as emergency access when the real one is lost, damaged, or unavailable for some reason.

Primary keys are usually not made in large quantities and used by important people, for example, the owner of a house or building.

But of course, you need special expertise to design it because you have to combine all the key-shapes in a building into one item.

Types of Keys for Car

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As a valuable symbol of luxury, people impose fairly strict security on cars. It leads to a complicated locking system and involves many tools that are sometimes difficult to remember.

The following explanation will help a little to identify the key type for cars:

Traditional Key

Traditional Key Fob (Style 4) | RFID Key Blank - CloneMyKey

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When compared with the types of keys that are currently developing, the traditional seems old-fashioned. It is the most basic type commonly found on older cars.

There is no encoding system in it. Use it by putting it in the locks to open it.

The low level of security is also one reason why this model is unpopular right now. Traditional keys are easy to make and fake.

However, this locking system is still used to secure buildings, rooms, or other possible things.

Master Key

Toyota Genuine steel master key 90999-00186 | MK5031 | Emirates Keys

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Besides the traditional type, master keys are also one of the early technologies in the locking system.

Old cars were equipped with this feature as prints when making copies and replacements. However, they are not for daily use.

If those sorts types of keys are missing, then it will be difficult to substitute. Apart from spending a lot of money, the car owner may have to replace the entire engine management system.

Because it is considered impractical, this method has begun to be unpopular.

Just a suggestion, if you buy an old car, make sure you do the double-checking to make sure the types of keys you get.

In addition, if you get the master key, make sure the system is working, and you also have backups.

Switchblade Key

Switchblade key Fob? - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

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There’s nothing special about these types of keys. It’s just that the switchblade model is unique as it is foldable like a penknife. These variants have a button that allows them to appear and sink.

The way to use it is standard as an ordinary key. Also, this system is considered safe because it will protect the main parts of a key from damage due to friction, fracture, or other things.

Transponder/Chip Key

Transponder car key Peugeot Expert Alfa Romeo - car keys png download - 1500*1111 - Free Transparent Car png Download. - Clip Art Library

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Transponders, also known as chips, are the popular model today. This tool has a microchip that operates upon the wireless sign.

When the ignition code is correct, the car will start. Today, they are known as the most reliable types of keys.

Along with the sophisticated system that keeps thieves away, these tools are also not easily counterfeited.

The duplication and replacement of this key will be expensive. Even if the code is hacked successfully, the owner can easily replace it with a new one.

Mechanically Cut Key

Car Key Replacement Types | Six Most Common Types of Car Keys

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This model is quite popular because it is one of the earliest types made. Mechanically cut is very easy to use, not only for cars but the concept is also used for locking systems in buildings.

Unfortunately, these types of keys have a low level of security. Its simple structure is easy to recreate. If you have a car with a mechanically cut model, be careful not to lose it or misuse it.

Laser Cut Car Key

24/7 Mobile Services For Laser Cut Car Keys - Laredo Locksmith Pros

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The laser-cut has many similarities to the mechanically cut model. However, these types of keys are preferable because of their higher accuracy and complexity. Hence, they also have a greater extent of protection.

Certain types of keys are known as the sidewinder too. The two sides of the lock have a unique cut pattern and ridges. Thus, the laser cut models become a unique unduplicatable tool in a locking system.

Smart Car Key

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These types of keys are a technology that is one level more sophisticated than the transponder or chip model.

The basic concept is the same, namely using a signal-receiving microchip, but smart cars have undergone various improvements that make it even harder to fake them.

Apart from having a high degree of accuracy, the smart car key also allows the owner to open the lock from anywhere.

The unique code in it aims to minimize error code so that errors cannot occur.

Unfortunately, it is still very limited in number. The manufacturing and duplication process is also complicated and expensive.

However, these types of keys will be promising future technology to improve.

Valet Key

What is a Valet Key and Why You Should Worry About It | Family Handyman

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You should be familiar with the valet service that many car owners use when they come to a prestigious place.

No need to park the car yourself as you can hand over the car keys to the officers and they will help to park and retrieve them while you are away.

Unfortunately, this kind of system worries many people. Who can guarantee that the officer does not do anything forbidden in the car?

Fortunately, there is a valet key that will answer that anxiety.

Even though they provide access to open the door and start the engine, not everyone can get full access.

Other people won’t be able to open parts like trunks, boxes, or things that you think shouldn’t be opened just anywhere. Thus, you can calmly leave the car.

VAT Keys

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VAT is none other than the acronym for Vehicle Anti-Theft. As the name implies, these types of keys have a high level of security to prevent anybody steals your car.

The trick is to add a safety chip to the blade. This section contains some code that only certain people can access.

These are the most complicated types to fake right now. The level of security is very high but it is alterable according to your necessities.

If it is damaged or lost, the owner must create a new VAT key with a different chip. Therefore, the replacement process will require a large amount of money.

Types of House Keys

Collection Of Different House Keys Isolated On White Background Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 26153011.

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Compared to others, including cars, the locking system for buildings is much more complicated. Homes, offices, etc. contain more rooms and sections that need safety.

Here are different types of keys for doors you should know.

Skeleton Key

Vintage Skeleton Keys, S/7 - White x White - Antique and Fine Decor for the Home.

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Everyone will probably shiver with horror when they hear this name. But the key, also known as the passkey, is not at all terrible.

For those who don’t know, this model is part of the primary type that enables them to open multiple doors at once.

The term skeleton refers to the omitted parts of this key to leave only the necessary sides.

Usually, the center will be hollow so that the tool can open multiple locks, such as handcuffs. Their use is a useful breakthrough.

Abloy Key


Source: https://www.abloy.com.au/Local/AU/Product%20Images/Abloy/Keying%20Platforms/ABLOY%20Sentry.jpg

The Abloy is an option for a locking system with a high level of security. These types of keys are popular on disc tumbler locks, which are easily rotated and unlocked once they matched.

It is the right choice for those who want their home away from intruders.

Dimple Key

China 19mm UL Certified Switch Lock with Dimple Keys - China Key Switch Lock, Dimple Lock

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As the name suggests, these types of keys rely on dimples on their surface. This part has a crucial role as an opening tool. Generally, the cavities are conical in shape and will match those in the locks.

Dimple keys themselves are one of the most preferred choices for people. The reason is, it has a simple form and is very easy to use.

Not only at home, but the principles carried out in this locking system are also suitable for other things, such as cars.

Also, these tools usually have parallel cavities that are the same on both sides. Therefore, you don’t have to bother making sure that it is in the correct position of insertion.

Nevertheless, there are also few dimple types of keys that not implement this.

Paracentric Key

Southern Folger 1-1500 1/1500 Tumbler Locks Paracentric Key Blank | Craftmaster Hardware

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If you want convincing security, then these types of keys are the way to go. Each design has a unique, unusual shape, and can only open paracentric locks.

They are known to have unique curves to ensure safety.

Most of the paracentric has contort-shaped blades at the ends, featured with small teeth.

Apart from that, these types of keys also have such complexity that they are difficult to duplicate. On the plus side, objects that use these locks will be more secure.

However, most people have never used this key in their entire life.

In addition, these types of keys is common to be use in prisons or locations that demand an additional extent of safety.

Anything that uses these locks generally won’t be able to be opened easily.


Access Control | Pillar Innovations

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This one key is unique because it has a shape like a credit card. However, its function is no less sophisticated than other models.

Inside is a chip with magnetic strips. If paired with the correct code on the door, the lock will open easily.

One of the locations uses these types of keys the most is hotels. Its use will be practical because managers can easily change the settings in it via a computer.

For example, if a guest forgets to return, access can be blocked so that nothing unwanted happens.

Double or Four-Sided Key

This round, four sided key : mildlyinteresting

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Locking systems with advanced technology do provide better security guarantees. However, those types of keys usually cost a lot of money and are therefore less economical.

But if you want a lower price, try this double or four-sided model.

Each lock has two or four teeth that will provide guaranteed safety to the building or object. The four-sided one has a higher level of locking than the double one.

In addition, the expense is considerably cheap than others.


Brass Custom-Combination Padlocks - Lee Valley Tools

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These types of keys are easy to recognize with a hinged loop detached around a locked object. Those keys appear in several dimensions, depending on the importance of the items.

Padlocks also have different quality and safety levels, depending on needs. Some have small and simple designs but are easy to dismantle and destroy.

However, some are from the best quality materials with a complicated locking system.

If you buy padlocks, there will usually be several spare keys in one package.

Its shape is easy to duplicate. But if it is completely lost or broken, then you will have to replace it with a new device.


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The deadbolts are also a mainstay in the security system. These types of keys have separate mechanisms from doorknobs, increasing the complexity of locking and unlocking things.

The combination of these types of keys with simple door handles will ensure that everything is lock tightly.

Thus, we can minimize the risk of strangers entering by force. Deadbolts consist of several designs, namely single and double cylinders.

Tubular Key

Tubular pin tumbler lock - Wikipedia

Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Tubular_Lock_and_Key.jpg

The function of these types of keys is to open the tubular pin tumblers. In general, this tool has a cylindrical shaft with a hollow part inside. They have a larger diameter larger than ordinary ones but shorter in size.

You can find most tubular keys on vending machines or motorbikes.

The advantage of using it is that it is hard to duplicate that you don’t have to worry about theft or other types of crime because people are almost impossible to make the duplication.

Cruciform Key

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Its X-shape is the most easily recognizable feature of the cruciform. Generally, these types of keys are popular in industrial areas that require tight security.

Many people find its use quite efficient as this locking system is quite hard to open without the right match.

In general, cruciform keys have three sets of teeth, each separated by a 90-degree angle. This model has four flat sides.

This key is easy to duplicate, but its duplication results usually cannot open the intended door.

Magnetic Key

Teltonika Magnetic Key for iButton (230-00012) | EuroDK

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The sophistication of technology has indeed led to various kinds of convenience. One clear evidence is the emergence of locking systems that rely on magnetic fields to open and close.

These types of keys do not involve electricity in their operation.

The use of a magnetic key is to put the push and pull parts together and then turn them. Besides, to increase security, you should enter a combination of numbers.

If everything is correct, the locks will open easily.

The magnetic system is currently one of the most preferred choices. In addition to easy operation, the combination number system will guarantee the level of safety.

Thus, unauthorized parties will find it very difficult to crack the code.


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Besides buildings or cars, one particular item that also often needs a key is a diary that stores information and privacy.

However, the locking system for this one item may not be as complex as other luxury items.

Therefore, you can use a simple padlock. Certain keys are using two hooks that attached to the face as well as end seals. After that, we need to insert the safety loop and lock it securely.

Moreover, the level of security applied will depends on the needs. Several books even receive extra tight locking system with the hardest padlock because their contents are confident and private.

Digital Locking System

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Among the many types of keys, the digital system is perhaps the most sophisticated. Instead of using patterns, shapes, or curves, the lock and unlocked things use information that has been available on the computer.

Keycards are an example of a digital type, but some don’t use tools at all. Instead, the system will look at fingerprints, corneas, or other biometric information.

Thus, security is also more guaranteed because only certain people can access it.

Digital lock systems are popular in buildings that require a high level of security, for example, government buildings, laboratories, and so on. But of course, this security costs a lot of money.

After reading the above review, now you have more knowledge about how to identify a key based on its form and function. Thus, you can use it accordingly.

Besides, we can conclude that parts of a key have a great impact. Each safety medium in the locking system, except the primary-type, is designed to have different patterns, shapes, and curves to guarantee security.

The complexity of the locking system has led to many types of keys used by the public to date. In the future, there may still be more variants with different functions and purposes following the developments and demands of the times.