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Locksmith Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Appendix



n. the set of tumblers in a lever tumbler or combination lock
n. material used to provide sealing between chambers of a door closer
n. a detachable and portable lock with a shackle which locks into its case
padlock eye(s)
n. a fixture typically of flat material or material bent at a 90 degree angle, with a hole to receive the shackle of a padlock. Usually used in pairs.
page master key
n. the three-pin master key for all combinations listed on a page in the standard progression format
panic button
n. any switching device in an alarm system designed to be activated by a person in a panic situation. It creates an immediate alarm condition
adj. 1. of or pertaining to a keyway with one or more wards on each side projecting beyond the vertical center line of the keyway to hinder picking 2. of or pertaining to a key blank made to enter such a keyway
parallel arm
n. a type of door closer and/or closer mounting which leaves the arm generally parallel to the door face when closed 
n. the property of being either even or odd, as the depth number of a bitting in a combination, or the possible progressives in a given position of a two step progression
parity pattern
n. the collective description of the parities of a group of bitting positions in a two step progression, typically expressed in an even/odd sequence, e.g. EOOEEO
passage set
n. a latchset
passive relocking device
n. a device that places its bolts only upon attack to the safe or lock 
patented unrestricted keyway
n. a specific keyway which is sold without restriction by a lock maker, but which retains patent protection against non-original key blank makers
pattern key
n. 1. an original key kept on file to use in a key duplicating machine when additional keys are required, 2. any key which is used in a key duplicating machine to create a duplicate key
n. the cam of certain automotive cylinders
peanut cylinder
n. a mortise cylinder of 3/4" diameter
v. to destructively attack a safe by removing or partially removing the sheet metal of the door front or the outer surface of one of the other sides
peep hole
n. a small lens or opening which allows a limited view through a door
perforated tumbler
n. a combination wheel with multiple holes within its diameter for mounting the fly
personal identification number
n. a series of numbers and/or letters associated with a particular individual as a means of identification
n. 1. a tool or instrument, other than the specifically designed key, made for the purpose of manipulating tumblers in a lock or cylinder into the locked or unlocked position through the keyway, without obvious damage. 2. v. to manipulate tumblers in a keyed lock mechanism through the keyway, without obvious damage, by means other than the specifically designed key
pick gun
n. a machine designed to impact all of the bottom pins of a pin tumbler lock at exactly the same time and thereby bounce the top pins beyond the shear line
pick key
n. a type of manipulation key, cut or modified to operate a lock or cylinder
Pillar lock
n. 1. a lock mounted in a vertical support member, typically of a vehicle or furniture, 2. (obsolete) a lock mounted on a vehicle door
v. to install pin tumblers into a cylinder and/or cylinder plug, see also "pin tumbler"
abb. personal identification number
pin chamber
n. the corresponding hole drilled into the cylinder shell and/or plug to accept the pin(s) and spring
pin kit
n. a type of keying kit for a pin tumbler mechanism
pin stack
n. all the tumblers in a given pin chamber, see also"pin stack height"
pin stack height
n. the measurement of a pin stack, often expressed in units of the lock manufacturer’s increment or as an actual dimension
pin tray
n. see "layout tray"
pin tumbler
n. usually a cylindrical shaped tumbler. Three types are normally used: bottom pin, master pin and top pin.
pin tumbler push key (padlock)
n. a type of padlock that requires pushing the key inward to disengage the shackle after insertion of the key creates a shear line
pin tweezers
n. pl. a tool used in handling tumblers and springs
pinning block
n. a holding fixture which assists in the loading of tumblers into a cylinder or cylinder plug
pinning chart
n. a numerical diagram which indicates the sizes and order of installation of the various pins into a cylinder. The sizes are usually indicated by a manufacturer's reference number which equals the quantity of increments a tumbler represents.
pippin file
n. a file with a cross section that resembles a pip, or apple seed
abb. passive infra-red
pitcher handle
n. lock trim which serves as a pull and is generally perpendicular to the door at its top mount, then bends and tapers to its bottom mount 
n. a hinge with a fixed pin and knuckle, forming a single joint
plasma cutter
n. tool that uses electricity and air pressure to cut various metals
n. the part of a cylinder which contains the keyway, with tumbler chambers usually corresponding to those in the cylinder shell
plug follower
n. a tool used to allow removal of the cylinder plug while retaining the top pins, springs, and/or other components within the shell
plug holder
n. a holding fixture which assists in the loading of tumblers into a cylinder plug
plug retainer
n. the cylinder component which secures the plug in the shell
plug spinner
n. a tool which rotates a picked cylinder plug so quickly in the desired direction that it cannot lock during its rotation
plunger lock
n. any of various spring-loaded locks or cylinders which move in or out to accomplish a locking function
pocket door
n. a door which opens by sliding into a hollow wall
pocket strike
n. an electric strike which does not require a face cut in the door jam, yet allows operation of the boltwork of the door lock, often by manipulating the locking and deadlatching portions via end pressure
poke hole
n. a hole designed to allow tools to poke into or through it, generally for accessing a retainer
pop out lock
n. a plunger lock usually used on vending machines to prevent operation of a T-handle
positive latching
n. the condition of a door being secured such that manual operation of the latch or bolt mechanism must occur before it may be opened
positive locking
n. the condition brought about when a key cut which is too high forces its tumbler into the locking position. This type of locking does not rely on gravity or spring pressure.
positional master keying
n. a method of master keying typical of certain binary type disc tumbler key-in-knob looks and of magnetic and dimple key cylinders. Of all possible tumbler positions within a cylinder, only a limited number contain active tumblers. The locations of these active tumblers are rotated among all possible positions to generate key changes. Higher level keys must have more cuts or magnets than lower level keys.
post (of a key)
n. the portion of a bit key between the tip and the shoulder, to which the bit(s) is attached
post (of a lock)
n. 1. a part of a lock that serves as a guide for a drilled key and prevents entry of a non-drilled key, 2. the center bearing surface of a mechanical combination lock that the wheels turn on
power locks
n. electrically or electro-pneumatically operated locks
power pack
n. a battery with a special configuration designed for use in a specific product 
practical key changes
n. pl. the total number of usable different combinations available for a specific cylinder or lock mechanism
pre-assembled lockset
n. a lock designed to be installed into a cutout in the edge of a door. The lock body and most or all of its trim need no further assembly other than securing it to the door.
n. 1. the location and dimensions of the cut out(s) and reinforcing in a door or frame required to accept a piece of hardware. 2. v. to prepare a door or frame for installation of a lock or other hardware
prep key
n. a type of guard key for a safe deposit box lock with only one keyway. It must be turned once and withdrawn before the renter's key will unlock the unit.
primary key
n. a key, which operates the ignition, lock on a vehicle. It may or may not also operate some or all the other locks on the vehicle.
privacy key
n. a key which operates an SKD cylinder, see also "emergency key"
profile cylinder
n. a cylinder with a usually uniform cross section, which slides into place and usually is held by a mounting screw. It is typically used in mortise locks of non-U.S. manufacture.
profile pin
n. a stationary pin placed in the plug of a pin tumbler lock to act as a ward to produce a keyway
v. to select possible key bittings, usually in numerical order, from the key bitting array
n. a logical sequence of selecting possible key bittings, usually in numerical order from the key bitting array
progression column
n. a listing of the key bitting possibilities available in one bitting position as displayed in a column of the key bitting array
progression list
n. a bitting list of change keys and master keys arranged in sequence of progression
n. any bitting position which is progressed rather than held constant
adj. of or pertaining to a keyway and key section assigned exclusively to one end user by the lock manufacturer. It may also be protected by law from duplication.
public way
n. any parcel of land essentially open to the outside air and permanently appropriated to the public for public use and having a clear width and height of not less than 10 ft.
Pullman keeper
n. a type of keeper which is shaped to operate with the radiused contour of a Pullman latch
Pullman latch
n. a type of latch which pivots like a hinge and whose locking side is radiused
pulse dialer
n. a telephone communication device, normally activated by an alarm, that uses electrical pulses to dial a predetermined number
punch proof spindle
n. a spindle that is shouldered or tapered inward to prevent it from being driven into or through the mechanism
push button lock
n. a self contained lock with controls that must be pressed in a specific pattern or sequence to open the lock
push key padlock
n. a padlock whose shackle is released by full insertion of the key into the lock


Copyright 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002 LIST Council

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Appendix
link to the Home Page