Call Us:
Dispatch Office:
1601 Constitution Ave NW Washington, DC 20002
We'are Open:
Mon - Sun, 24 Hour
Different types of keys

We use keys every single day. Whether it’s car keys or some other type of key, it does play a massive role in keeping our homes safe with the help of a lock. Keys are fundamental in our daily life. Even though keys play an essential role in our lives, most don’t know much about keys.

Most of us are not aware of how many types of keys there are. We view the keys as car keys, house keys, and appliance keys, but we don’t take the time to acknowledge the difference between each key. We don’t know that there are so many types of keys.

To most of us, information about keys seems pointless; but it suddenly becomes crucial during emergencies, and we are left fumbling around trying to gather some information regarding keys. So, today we will talk about types of keys, a few types of locks, and all you need to know about keys.

How Many Types Of Keys Are There?

Different exotic key types

There are many different types of keys. Most people are not aware of this, but there are many types of keys. These keys are not the only keys globally, as locksmiths can make tons of duplicate keys similar to these keys.

These types of keys are :

1)Double-Sided Key

Double-sided keys have become incredibly popular over the years. They have springs on both sides, so they are called double-sided keys. Keys with springs cannot be used on anything with a sidebar; however, when it comes to wardrobe drawer locks, cabinet locks, or anything of that sort, a double-sided key is the go-to.

Even though double-sided keys have their flaws, they are still widely famous for their excellent qualities. They can’t be used for vaults or high-quality locks as they don’t provide high-level security.

2)Transponder Keys / Car Key

A Transponder key is a key with Radio Frequency Identification or RFI. The chip that detects the radio frequency is at the top of the key, making it perfect for cars. Transponder keys are also known as car keys.

Transponder keys are incredibly safe because they provide an extra layer of safety for your car. They are technologically advanced keys, and it is also smart car key. It takes pre-programmed codes to make this key. This key has vehicle anti-theft qualities.

3)Flat Keys

Flat keys are no longer as popular as they used to be. Flat keys are used on pin tumbler locks. These keys are flat and thin. They are also rectangular.

The key is usually attached to a ring or a keychain to ensure that you can carry it around without a problem.

Flat keys are made by locksmiths who cut them according to their wishes. This key is not a mechanically cut key. They are given to the locksmith as blank keys, and then the locksmith cuts the key the way he wants.

Flat keys are usually used on padlocks, doors, and cabinet locks. These keys are traditionally known for their cuts on the blade of the key. The cuts on these keys line up with every individual tumbler to ensure the key turns and opens the lock.

This type of key is known as a primary key, and sometimes, they are also known as a padlock key. A self-service key cutter is necessary when it comes to this key. These keys work on vending machines as well.

4)Tubular Keys / Barrel Keys

A Barrel key is popularly known for its antique look. It has an angular yet thin shape. A barrel key matches the form of a cylinder. It is primarily seen in the usage of homes and doors. Sometimes the locks for this key are seen on vintage cabinets.

Barrel keys provide safety and help prevent vandalism along with theft. It is incredibly budget-friendly and can keep you, your belongings, and your family safe. So, if you are looking for the perfect key and lock for your household, then this is the perfect one.

The tubular key is round with a circle-shaped hole and a metal barrel around the middle of the key. The pins of the key are placed in a horizontal manner. The keys then get pushed inside the lock horizontally. The lock hole fits around the key perfectly, which helps it open the lock without a struggle.

A lock and key of this sort are perfect because it ensures quick emergency access and exit, which is crucial for a house key. Barrel keys are used explicitly for tubular pin tumbler locks. They can also be used on padlocks.

5)Skeleton Keys / Jagged Keys / Primary keys

The shape of the skeleton key is out of the ordinary. It doesn’t seem like the rest of the keys. It has jagged edges. The jagged edges of the key can be used on all sorts of locks.

The reason behind Skeleton keys being universal is the jagged edges of the keys. The jagged edges ensure that the key can be positioned in multiple ways. The double-sided edges help a lot in this case.

Skeleton keys can be on multiple locks. It can open numerous locks.

6)Dimple Key

Dimple keys are widely popular types of keys. They don’t differ much from your typical Flat keys. Like Flat keys, they have that flat shape; however, the only thing that’s different is the dimple on the key.

The dimple on the key is what sets the flat key and the dimple key apart.

7)Corrugated Keys

A common name for the corrugated key is a jagged key. These keys are mainly used on old-fashioned padlocks and appliances with small lock holes. They are also referred to as furniture keys.

Corrugated keys can don’t have any cuts on them at all; however, each part is well known through the depth or the lack of depth. For the key to turn inside the lock properly, the key needs to have the depth or lack of depth.

Trying to use corrugated keys in random locks will not help at all.

8)Sidebar Keys

Sidebar keys don’t work both ways like many other double-sided keys. They can only go one way. This happens due to the sidebar that only allows it to turn in one specific direction.

9)Mixed Key/Combination key

A mixed or a combination key is almost identical to the double-sided keys we see in the market on a regular basis. This sort of key can be used on different locks. You can determine if you have a mixed key or not by looking at the edge of the key.

Combination keys are usually referred to as universal keys. These keys have the capability to open multiple locks. They are different from other keys. Mixed keys can be used as door keys or padlock keys.

10) Spool Keys

Spool keys are known for being used with disc tumbler locks. Spool keys are usually double-sided. It comes in an oblong shape which helps it slide inside the lock without an effort.

11)Valet Keys

A valet key is specifically designed in a way that ensures that only the person who has the key can start the vehicle. This key is crucial for all car owners as it protects their cars effortlessly.

12) Magnetic Keys

A magnetic key is different from all other keys. It is different because, unlike most keys, it uses magnetic forces to operate.

13) Paracentric Key

Paracentric keys make it very difficult to pick locks. These keys are perfect for your house doors. They can’t be used with warded locks.

14)Key Cards

key cards are mostly used in hotels or industrial settings. This key works on multiple doors. A keycard key is also known as a master key in hotels. It is not a four-sided key. Key cards don’t work with lever locks


Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding keys:

Are Four-Sided Keys Also Called Sidewinder Keys?

answer: Four-sided keys are not called sidewinder keys. They are entirely different things.

What Is A Chip Key?

answer: Transponder keys are known as chip keys.

Is Abloy key Difficult?

Answer: Abloy keys are complicated.

Is A Spare Key Necessary?

answer: Often, we see people losing their house keys, cars key, and even appliance keys. Having a spare pair of keys can be of help when you lose the key.

Which Key Can Open X Shaped Locks?

Answer: A bump key can open X-shaped locks.

Hire The Best Locksmith

Different types of keys

If you need a service to help you with your lock and key problems, you can always check out ASAP locksmith services. They provide locksmith services all around DC. They even have a wide range of services, including car lockout service, creating transponder keys, house lockouts, and even residential and commercial repairments along with lock changes.

To reach out to them, dial 202-292-4848. They can provide you with a matching lock and upgrade your home’s security system as well.


Knowing about keys is really important as they are a big part of our lives. So, make sure you know about all types of keys and every bit of information there is about them because you never know when they might come in handy.

Jimmy Bainter
Article Written By Jimmy Bainter
Call Us Now