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Different types of keys

Why Does My Key Look Like This?

Have you ever noticed that some of your keys look different? One may look like the ones you always saw in pictures while the other looks a bit more unique. You may have also accidentally used the wrong key in your lock to find that your key won’t even go into the keyhole!

So What's the Deal?

It turns out there there are two very popular and widely used keyways that standard locks can use. One is a Kwikset keyway, and the other is a Schlage. The odds are that your home or business has one of these keyways. Now there are few exceptions out there, but it’s not very common to see a different keyway. Schlage has been around since 1920 and has been making high-quality lock products ever since. Kwikset was founded in 1946 a little over 25 years later. These two companies have been setting the standard for a while now, and that’s why they are the two most popular keyways.

You can tell which one you have by the look of your key. Refer to the diagram below to determine your lock brand. Sometimes the locks or keys have the brand names on them as well.

Does it Make a Difference?

Whether you have a Schlage or Kwikset brand lock will not generally affect your daily life. However, it’s important to know which brand you have when rekeying a home or buying a new lock. As mentioned earlier, you may have accidentally tried to put the wrong key in a lock to find that the key won’t even go into the keyway. This is because Schlage and Kwikset locks are not compatible with the same type of key. Their keyways are made differently, therefore you will either want to have all Schlage locks or all Kwikset locks.

When you’re at home, you don’t want to use different keys for each lock you own. You would probably want all the locks to be keyed the same so you don’t have to keep track of multiple keys. If you’re a business owner, you may not want all of the locks keyed the same, but you may want the manager to have a master key that can open all the doors. These are conveniences you can only have when you have all matching keyways. To have matching keyways, you need to pick one brand of locks.

Which One Should I Get?

The odds are high that whatever location you moved into is already equipped with one or the other. If this is the case, we recommend selecting the brand that you already have most of as that can save a lot of money in lock installations. However, if you are in the position to choose which brand you want to go with, there are factors to consider!

Schlage is known for its longstanding reputation and high-quality parts. They have evolved and modernized to offer stylish and secure options that can work for anyone. The main advantage of a Schlage is that they are made of higher quality parts and materials. This results in a lock that has higher security and longevity but can also come with a high price tag.
Kwikset also has a longstanding reputation, and are known for their stylish and modern options. In my opinion, the look and style of a Kwikset lock is the main advantage of this option. However, Kwikset locks are easier to pick, bump, and break down. Kwikset does have a line of locks called “Kwikset SmartKey” that offers a lock that is more difficult to pick and bump, but they are still very susceptible to forced entry. All that said, you can get a stylish lock for a lower price with Kwikset!

If you need any assistance selecting, purchasing, or installing either brand of lock, we are here to help! We have been a locksmith in Dallas for over a decade, and are eager to help!

What About the Other Keyways?

While significantly less common, other keyways do exist. The most common instance we see another type of keyway is when we encounter a high-security lock. High-Security lock brands have a variety of specialized and advanced keyways that result in elevated security. These locks have very unique-looking keys called dimple keys.

Multilock high security key

These keys accommodate an advanced 10 pin secure lock cylinder that is pick and bump resistant. These locks are also made of the highest quality parts and are more equipped to handle forced entry methods. While these are by far the most secure locks, they come with a higher price tag in exchange. All that said, the peace of mind these locks can provide have no price. Here a 911 locksmith and security, we can order and install these for your location! 

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