12 Different Types of Keys – Quick Guide By Blue Sky Locksmith

12 Different Types of Keys

Keys are an essential component of our daily lives. They keep our homes, offices, and vehicles secure, and ensure that we have access to the places and things we need. But did you know that there are 12 different types of keys? Each type of key has its own unique features and functions that make it suitable for specific purposes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unlock the mystery of the 12 different types of keys and provide you with the information you need to choose the right one for your needs. So let’s get into it! 

1. Double-sided or Four-sided Key

Double-sided or four-sided keys are the most common types of keys. They have teeth on both sides or on all four sides of the key. They are used for a variety of applications, including home and office locks, padlocks, and car ignitions. Double-sided keys are more secure than single-sided keys, as they require a specific key to open the lock.

2. VAT Keys

Vehicle Anti-Theft (VAT) keys are used in newer cars to prevent theft. They have a computer chip in the head of the key that communicates with the car’s security system. If the chip is not recognized by the car, it will not start. VAT keys are more secure than traditional car keys, as they are difficult to duplicate.

3. Skeleton Key

Skeleton keys are an older type of key that were used in older homes and buildings. They have a simple design and can be used to open a variety of locks. Skeleton keys are no longer in use in modern homes and buildings, as they are not secure.

4. Valet Key

Valet keys are used in cars to give someone limited access to the car. They are often used by valets at hotels or restaurants. Valet keys usually only allow the car to be driven a short distance and cannot open the trunk or glove compartment.

5. Keycard Key

Keycard keys are used in hotels and businesses to grant access to specific areas. The keycard is swiped through a reader, and the door unlocks if the keycard is authorized. Keycard keys are more secure than traditional keys, as they can be programmed to only allow access to specific areas.

6. Tubular Key

Tubular keys are used in vending machines and coin-operated devices. They have a cylindrical shape with teeth on the end of the key. Tubular keys are more secure than traditional keys, as they are difficult to duplicate.

7. Padlock Key

Padlock keys are used to open padlocks. They are usually small and simple in design. Padlock keys are more secure than combination padlocks, as they require a specific key to open.

8. Paracentric Key

Paracentric keys are used in high-security locks. They have a unique shape that makes them difficult to duplicate. Paracentric keys are often used in prisons, government buildings, and other high-security areas.

9. Abloy Key

Abloy keys are used in high-security locks. They have a unique design that makes them difficult to duplicate. Abloy keys are often used in government buildings, banks, and other high-security areas.

10. Magnetic Key

Magnetic keys, also known as magnetic stripe keys, are commonly used for hotel rooms and other similar applications. These keys have a magnetic stripe on them that is used to activate the lock mechanism. Magnetic keys are easy to use and are relatively secure since they cannot be duplicated without proper equipment. However, they can be vulnerable to demagnetization, which can render them useless.

11. Smart Car Key

Smart car keys, also known as transponder keys, are used to start and unlock modern vehicles. These keys are equipped with a microchip that communicates with the vehicle’s immobilizer system to allow the engine to start. Smart car keys are secure and cannot be easily duplicated. However, they can be expensive to replace if lost or damaged.

12. Diary Key

Diary keys are small, decorative keys that are used to lock diaries, journals, and other small boxes. These keys are often made of brass and have intricate designs on them. Diary keys are not very secure and can be easily picked or opened with other tools. They are mainly used for aesthetic purposes and to add a sense of privacy to personal belongings.

Bonus: Coin-operated Key

Coin-operated keys are used to activate coin-operated machines, such as vending machines and arcade games. These keys are usually flat and have a unique shape that fits into the coin slot of the machine. Coin-operated keys are not very secure and can be easily duplicated or picked. However, they are convenient for businesses that want to control access to their machines.


In conclusion, there are many different types of keys available for various purposes. Each key has its unique features and level of security. It is important to choose the right key for the intended purpose and to use it responsibly to ensure maximum security. If you are in need of a new key or are experiencing issues with your locks then call Blue Sky Locksmith in Seattle. 

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