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Understanding Lock Parts: A Comprehensive Guide


From old civilizations to today, locks have been an important way to keep our things safe and give us peace of mind. Yet, behind their tough exteriors are complex systems of many parts that work together perfectly. Have you ever thought about what a lock looks like on the inside? In this feature, our locksmith Pittsburgh experts discuss lock parts that make these devices both safe and amazing feats of engineering.

Key Components of Locks

Locks have parts that work together to keep a door or other item safe. Here are the main parts of a standard pin tumbler lock, which is one of the most popular types of locks:

Cylinder: The cylinder is the lock’s main body. It is usually metal and holds all the parts and systems inside.

Plug: This is the part of the cylinder that turns when you put in the right key. It has a keyway, the opening where you put in the key.
Key Pins: These are small metal pins inside the plug that fit into slots on the key. They stop the plug from turning until you put the right key in.

A disassembled lock part

Driver Pins: These are above the key pins and sit in the cylinder’s housing. They will not let the plug turn until you use the right key.

Springs: Between the key pins and the driver pins are these small coiled springs. They move the driver pins down and help keep them in the right place.

Shear Line: This is the imaginary line where the tops of the key pins and driver pins meet when you insert the right key. When you align the pins with the shear line, the plug can easily turn.

Cam: A small, rotating part attached to the plug and works with the door’s latch or bolt to lock or unlock the door.  

Latch/Bolt: The part of the lock that sticks out from the door and goes into the strike plate to keep the door closed. Most of the time, you turn the key or turn the cam to make it work.

Note that locks, like combination or electronic ones, are a bit more complicated. Depending on their design and functionality, they may have different lock parts or additional features. 

Upgrading Lock Parts for Enhanced Security

Upgrades to lock parts can vary for each type and style of lock. Here are a few popular parts that you can upgrade to make your locks safer and more useful:

High-security lock cylinders: These types of lock cylinders use advanced locking mechanisms to protect you and your property from intruders. With cutting-edge technology and durable materials, these cylinders are tamper-proof. Their complicated keyways and locking systems are almost impossible to break into.

Disassembled lock parts

Reinforced strike plates: Strike plates strengthen the door latch areas to keep people from forcing their way in. Made of strong metal or steel, you may attach these plates to the door frame to make it more secure and last longer. Reinforced strike plates have longer screws and go deeper into the door jamb. That makes the connection more secure, and kicking the door down is less likely.

Electronic locking systems: This upgrade allows access to authorized people only. From keypads and card readers to biometric scanners, these systems make sure only the right people get through. Thus, electronic locking systems are more secure than traditional locks and keys. Plus, they have features like audit trails, online access control, and the ability to set security levels for different users.

Lock Replacement Near Me

Are your locks leaving you feeling uneasy? When it comes to your security and peace of mind, none can be trusted more than Sherlock’s Locksmith. We fully understand that every part of the lock is important to how it works to provide you with security. So if you have a problem with lock parts and need a door lock repair service, you can rely on our locksmith Pittsburgh experts. Our team is ready to help you with lock repair, system upgrades, or anything related to rekeying locks. Plus, we offer you a change door lock price you can afford and meet your needs. 

So if you want to change or upgrade the locks on your doors, give Sherlock’s Locksmith a call. See why we are a trusted service provider in Pittsburgh