21 Types of Keys You Never Knew Existed

Types of Keys - Love Home Designs

Keys hold significant importance in our lives. It is almost unimaginable to spend a single day without using keys. Be it a cupboard, cabinet, car, room, or house, we need keys to open or close them. Lock and keys play an important role in preventing your valuables from getting robbed. They ensure your privacy and safety.

A person comes across many keys throughout his lifetime. In a single day, a person uses at least two keys. Therefore it is important to know the various keys that are available to us.

The type of key depends upon the lock that you are using it for. For example, the car keys are different from the house keys. Similarly, the clock keys would be different from the diary keys. Here are the most common types of keys used by people frequently.

1. Brass Keys

Brass Keys

These types of keys possess an antique and vintage look. They have been used since ancient times for doors, almirahs, cabinets, etc. These keys are highly durable, therefore; the locks that have brass keys can be used for years without the brass keys getting tarnished. In addition to this, many brass keys are designed to give them a unique look. The brass keys have an attractive appearance that draws everyone’s attention toward them.

2. Skeleton Keys

Skeleton Key

Skeleton keys are the type of keys that are used to open a variety of locks effortlessly. Therefore they are used in places where you can open multiple doors with a single key. Basically, they are three types of skeleton keys that are used for door locks. The main material used to make the skeleton keys are either brass or iron. The size of the keys may vary depending on the purpose for which they are used.

3. Dimple Keys

Dimple Keys

Dimple keys are made of alloys, and their design has played an important role in their popularity. They have received the name dimple keys because they have grooves on the surface of the blade that assist in opening and closing the locks. Dimple keys are also used as security keys because they are believed to be a more secure option than conventional keys, although there is no strong proof in favor of the argument.

4. Padlock Keys

Padlock Keys

These types of keys are distinguishable from other keys easily as they are small in size. For every different kind of padlock, there is a different kind of key. The material used to make padlock keys varies from aluminum, zinc, and stainless steel to plastic also; surprisingly. While purchasing a padlock, there are certain features that should be checked to ensure that the lock is safe to be used for houses.

5. Double-Sided Keys

Double-Sided Keys

These keys are highly recommendable for houses because of their durability and the design that they possess. It is known as a double-sided key because it is cut from both sides of the shaft. Therefore, the locks that have these types of keys confer more security to keep your belongings safe. These types of keys are also available in different shapes and sizes. Double-sided locks offer more security than single-sided locks; that’s why these types of keys are also in demand.

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6. Primary Key

Primary Key

This name is not given to the key depending upon the material it is made up of, the shape of the key, or the size of the key. The primary key refers to the key that is used to open multiple doors mainly; of the same house. There is no particular design or shape for a primary key; the only purpose is to open many locks using a single key. It is ideal for multi-storeyed houses as in case a person misplaces the key of the room; then it can be opened using the primary key.

7. Mechanical Cut Key

Mechanical Cut Key

Mechanical cut keys can be easily made within a fraction of the time as compared to other keys. These types of keys are one of the oldest keys used for homes, cabinets, offices, almirahs, lockers, etc. These keys were made using mechanical cutting machines. Since these can be easily duplicated, they are not popular now. Hence, you need to be very careful while getting mechanical keys for your locks. Medeco 4 (M4) offers the highest security against any duplicity or theft attacks.

8. Magnetic Keys

Magnetic Keys

These keys are used to open the most secure locks in today’s world, i.e., magnetic locks. These locks can’t be opened easily unless you don’t have a magnetic key. Magnetic keys have certain magnetic chips fit in them so that you can open or close the magnetic locks easily. Magnetic keys can’t be replicated easily, which is why they ensure high security for the customers. Since magnetic key design has no role in their work, therefore; the design can also be customized.

9. Flat Keys

Flat Keys

Flat keys are another type of key that has been used for many years. These keys are made by the locksmiths. They can be distinguished from other keys because of the cuts that are on the blade of the keys. The two flat keys can be distinguished from each other by the different patterns of cuts they have on their blades. These patterns of the keys depend on the pattern of the lock these keys are designed to open. These keys can be used for any kind of lock and are favorable for entry doors of houses.

10. Paddle Keys

Paddle Keys

Also known as corrugated keys, the mechanism of these keys is different from the other keys. These keys are known as corrugated keys as they have a series of corrugations that assist in the opening of the lock. To open the lock, you need to move the keys in a backward and forward motion. They can be available in various shapes and sizes. The material can also vary from one key to another.

11. Four-Sided Keys

Four-Sided Keys

These types of keys are used to open locks that have pins on four sides, and they have cuts on the four sides. The locks with four-sided keys are safer in comparison to the single or double-sided keys; hence, they are ideal for the front gate so that burglars can’t march into the house and steal belongings. It is almost impossible to break these locks or open them without the right keys.

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12. Paracentric Keys

Paracentric Keys

Paracentric keys are designed to open those locks which can’t be opened with any other kind of key or pin. The design of the keys can’t be copied, so they offer high security, and the locks are ideal for front doors. It is very difficult to replicate the pattern of paracentric keys. Therefore it won’t be an easy task to break these locks and cause theft. This also makes a lock with paracentric keys a worthy option to be used where a lot of valuable things are stored.

13. Iron Keys

Iron Keys

Iron keys are the strongest keys out of all the materials available. All the big locks, like the one put on the gate, have iron keys. If you want to find out whether the key is made of iron or not, use a magnet. If the key gets attracted to the magnet, then it is an iron key. Iron keys are available in various designs and sizes.

14. Long lever keys

Long lever keys

These keys are large in size as compared to the other keys. Since the pattern of these locks is not too complex, therefore used in places like shutters and godowns. These keys are also used in the locks of almirahs. However, these locks are not very complex, therefore; you should avoid using them at places where you have stored your valuables or at the front gate of your house.

15. Phonographic Keys

Phonographic Keys

Phonographic cabinet keys are antique keys used for cabinets and have a unique design that sometimes gives them a vintage look. They are mostly made of brass, but a few keys made of nickel, gold, or silver are also seen. There are various types of phonographic keys like Cheney, Columbia, Edison, Brunswick, etc. Each of these types of keys has a peculiar feature that makes them easily distinguishable from the others.

16. Valet Keys

Valet Keys

Valet keys are the additional keys provided to the owners of the cars. The main purpose why these keys are provided is to ensure easy parking and can also be used when the cars are sent for repair. These keys need to be kept safely as they are an easy target for thieves. The valet key reduces the speed of the car and also disables a few other features. Another thing that should be noted is that not all the cars have valet keys.

17. Smart Car Key

Smart Car Key

Smart car keys, as the name suggests, have some features in addition to the normal ones. For example, you can open or close the car with just the click of a button. They have a luxurious appearance and offer you safety in times of emergencies. They have gained more popularity than the traditional keys over the past few years. With the advent of technology, more features have been associated with these types of keys.

18. Keycards


When you hear about a keycard, the very first thing that comes to your mind is hotels. Yes, that’s correct; key cards are mostly used in hotels. Since these cards are used to open the door, the shape resembles a card; therefore, these types of keysare called key cards. These keycards work on the software mechanism; hence are the safest means to open the doors. Access to software mechanisms is not given to everyone, and this is how security is ensured using these keycards.

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19. Tubular Keys

Tubular Keys

These keys are mostly made of zinc alloys and can be distinguished among themselves by the spacing present in the keys. This spacing might not be visible to us, but the fact is that each key has a different spacing, and that’s what distinguishes them from each other. They can be easily used, cannot get corroded easily, and their replication is not easily possible, which makes them highly desirable among people to keep their valuables safe.

20. Clock Keys

Clock Keys

Many people have not seen or heard about these keys as digital clocks have taken over mechanical ones. Mechanical clocks used to run on the principle of winding, and for winding, they required a specific key known as a clock key. These keys are also available in various shapes and sizes. People who still have mechanical clocks use these keys to run the clocks. On the other hand, some people have preserved them to remember the memories associated with them.

21. Diary Keys

Diary Keys

If you ever find a cute key and are confused about which lock it might open, then; you should look for a diary, as these cute keys are generally used to open locks of diaries. Diary keys can be made of any material, including plastic, as they aren’t meant for high-security purposes. These keys are usually more creative than any other key. These types of keys are mostly used by people who prefer privacy and don’t like people reading their journals.


Keys might not sound very important, but they still play a very important role in our life. If you are wondering how, then; try to remember the moment when you either locked your house or car, your room, or any other cabinet. It is not possible to open them without keys.

This is how the key is important to us. Keys are also important from the point of safety. These keys are distinguished based on their purpose and the material.

With time, the patterns and types of keys have also changed a lot. For example, the key cards have changed the definition of the keys. Above are the few keys that are used in our day-to-day lives for security as well as decoration purposes.

The pattern of all the keys is different and depends on the locking technique of the locks. Still, the main purpose of all the keys is the same, to ensure safety and protection against unnecessary invasion.

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