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The Ultimate Guide to the Many Types of Keys


Keys have been around for thousands of years. Since ancient times, they have been playing an important role in our daily lives.

We need to keep our homes and vehicles safe and locked. Keys protect your home and car and are a necessity that you simply can’t do without.

Since burglars and car thieves are getting smarter with each passing day, keys also became smarter to adequately battle new threats.

With that in mind, here is a table followed by a short guide that will introduce you to some of the basic types of home and car keys.

Key Type of Key Features
Abloy Key Home Difficult to pick. Used in disc tumbler locks.
Double or four-sided key Home Most common home key. Have two or four sets of teeth depending on the lock. Four sets of teeth offer more security.
Cruciform Key Home Difficult to pick. Three sets of teeth located at 90-degree angles with four flattened sides. Often used for industrial purposes.
Mechanically Cut Key Car Most common form of manual car key
Transponder Code Car Key Car Automatic remote car key
Laser Cut Car Key Car “Sidewinder” keys that provide increased security
Valet Key Car Car key that provides limited access to your vehicle for valet purposes.
Smart Car Key Car Advanced key with no traditional input. Can start car by having this key on your person and pressing your car’s ignition or start button.

Home Keys


If you want to get into your home, you will most definitely need a key for that. Since this is a necessity that you can’t do without, most people don’t even think about what happens if they lose their home keys. Well, if it does happen, you need to know what type of lock you have. If it’s a normal key and lock, it’s easy to copy such keys.

In most cases, normal home keys and locks are most recommended as this is the best way to keep your home secure. Normal home keys are easy to duplicate. This can be a problem, but you can choose a lock with patented keyways. That is the best way to ensure that your home is safe. The most recommended types of home keys that are difficult to copy or duplicate are:

  1. Abloy key
    Incredible difficult to pick. Great for high-security and used often in disc tumbler locks
  2. Double or four-sided key
    The most standard key used in home locks. These keys have either four or two sets of teeth. Keys with four sets are hard to pick and are higher in security.
  3. Cruciform key
    These keys feature an X-shape profile and are often used for industrial purposes. This key has 3 sets of teeth at 90-degree angles with four flattened sides.

Car Keys


You can’t open or start your car without a proper car key. Car keys come in a wide variety of different styles and types. It all depends on the type of vehicle you possess and how old your car is. And if you lose your car key, some car keys are easier to replace than others.

If it’s a very basic key such as a mechanically cut key, it will be very easy to replace. In case you went a step further and got an advanced key that contains a microchip or an anti-theft code, you’ll be facing some difficulties with duplication.

If you have misplaced your car key be sure to reach out to a local locksmith service to get it replaced immediately. Knowing what kind of key your vehicle uses can be extremely helpful to make the duplication experience less painful.

There are a few different types of car keys:

  1. Commoner or mechanically cut key
    This is the oldest and most common type of car key
  2. Transponder code car key
    This key is equipped with a microchip. This microchip is what allows you to unlock your car remotely.
  3. Laser cut car keys
    Commonly referred to as “sidewinder” keys these key models are more complex and provide increased security.
  4. Valet key These keys are a normal set of keys, but they only allow the driver access to unlocking the door and starting the ignition
  5. Smart car key
    This is an advanced set of keys for remote door opening and ignition. These keys do not have a traditional insertable key attached. All you have to do is have the key on your person and click the start button within your vehicle.

For more information about keys or if you’re looking for help replacing your lost or stolen keys, reach out to 24/7 London Locksmith today!