Magnetic Keys And Locks: The Ins And Outs

magnetic keys

Find out all about magnetic keys and locks and what are the advantages of using them.

Magnetic keyed locks are locking mechanisms that rely on keys that use magnets in order to lock and unlock doors. These special types of locks are comprised of a wide array of applications, including deadbolt locks, cylinder locks, lever and knob locks. Thanks to their anti-picking and anti-bumping features and enhanced key control, these options make for a good alternative in the detriment of other types of locks on the market. Interested to learn more about them and their characteristics and benefits in use? These next few lines should fill in all the blanks for you and help you get more familiar with magnetic keyed locks.

How Are Magnetic Keys And Locks Designed?

The very first magnetic lock was invented by a Chinese engineer, with a few different Chinese patents that have been pulled out of the original technology. The superior versions are pending their patent status by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Magnetic keys rely on one or several tiny magnets that are directed toward the North and South Poles. This approach is required in order to push/pull the tumblers inside the lock, resulting in the release of the respective lock. This system is entirely passive and it does not rely on a single ounce of electricity or any additional electronics to work. The simple use of magnetic pins placed at various polarities inside keys and plugs enable the creation of thousands of different combos per a single key.

When a magnetic key that perfectly matches the pins inside the lock is inserted, all the mechanical pins will be pushed into the right positions. Plus, the magnetic pins will also be sent to the correct level because of the magnetic force present in the key. All of the magnetic pins are manufactured with the help of permanent magnets, which means they will remain permanently magnetized. Plus, these lock systems are not affected by the magnetic field or the repetitive use factor.

How Safe Are Magnetic Keys And Locks?

There are three different criteria that need to be met in order for a magnetic lock to open. This automatically makes these systems sturdier in face of threat.

First, the poles of the magnetic pins need to be oriented in the right direction in order for the lock to work. Secondly, the teething on the key need to be correctly aligned. Thirdly, the location of the magnetic pins also needs to match.

In case any of these conditions are not met, it will be impossible to operate the lock.

Any regular lock picking attempt/procedure will be rendered useless since the tumblers are controlled by magnets, and not by a physical up and down motion. It is also nearly impossible for a magnetic key to be copied, which turns these systems into some of the most reliable options out there.

magnet keys and locksThe Main Benefits Of Using Magnetic-Keyed Locks

  • Magnetic-keyed locks have important anti-bumping characteristics. Thanks to the kinetic energy that runs from the magnetic key to the drive pins, there is no need for any physical contact between them.

  • These systems also feature anti-picking characteristics due to the fact that the embedded magnetic pins never get exposed to the actual keyway. In other words, there is no need for any lifting force to be used in order to make the pins move. It is possible to prevent the most standard types of lock picking.

  • The manufacturing costs are significantly lower for these systems. Since the pin and tumbler mechanisms are cheaper to create compared to high-security locks, these locks are much more affordable.

  • Key control is significantly enhanced thanks to the magnetic cylinder elements that are part of the key. Key duplication is very difficult since key blanks for these locks are extremely limited. Plus, the one-of-a-kind magnetic coding in each of these keys is almost impossible to determine by simply looking at a lock.

Drawbacks Of Magnetic Keys And Locks

  • As helpful as it might be for these lock systems to have a limited supply of blanks for security reasons, it can also prove to be a nuisance when you have lost a key. Replacement will be more difficult and cost more.

  • The manufacturing process is more complex since it requires the use of special tools and techniques for embedding magnets inside the key and lock. You may need to wait for a while longer for a professional locksmith to design and create the magnetic lock and key you need.

Magnetic VS Standard Locks

Depending on your particular security needs, you will need to figure out what are the best types of locks that will fit your needs. The more functional and reliable the lock, the higher the degree of security. For example, if you need to secure a fire exit that should remain locked during regular operations, magnetic locks are better than regular locks that rely on pins and tumblers.

These locks are also easy to hide, and this should protect your property against potential burglars. As a higher degree of security, you should combine several security solutions. Do not put all of your trust in a lock that is more difficult to pick. Instead, harness the power of magnetic locks and keys with the standard deadbolt locks and you should keep more threats at a distance.

Get in touch with us and let us recommend the most reliable types of locks that will match your residential or commercial security needs.

What Customers Say About Us

W. 29th street
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Dave is great! He was punctual and professional. And after installing the new locks on all of our doors, he cleaned up after himself! The same cannot be said for the last service I hired… would definitely recommend and use again!

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S Kenton Ave
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We live not too far from Chicago and I spend about a hour and a half to get to my office. Mornings are always in a hurry for me and a broken door would be the worst I could expect. However, this was exactly what happened. I had no time to lose and so I called 247 Ontime Locksmiths. The expert guy from Locksmiths could fix the problem and I could go to work.

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E Van Buren St
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My car door didn’t open at all. Just a phone call to 24/7 Local Locksmiths and in less than 15 minutes I could drive my car again! Good job!

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