How Do Skeleton Keys Work?

Skeleton keys are a fascinating form of security lock, which are now used as a form of anti-theft security in homes. They work by using an inserted key to make an impression in the lock, which is then used to open the lock, no matter what type of lock it is. The locks themselves can be made of any material, from wood to metal.

Skeleton keys generally consist of only two parts: a door lock and a key. They work on the principle that  the key has a different shape than the lock, and will not fit inside the lock. One way of achieving this is to create a key that looks nothing like the typical key, and use the lock to distort the image on the key and trick people into thinking it’s the correct key.

Skeleton keys are a special type of key that look like they should turn the lock on a door, but will only turn the key in the lock and unlock, but not turn the lock itself. How do they work? They work by pressing down on the key and turning the lock stem, but because they are not attached to the lock, the key will then move and unlock the lock. The key is not attached to the lock so it will move and turn in the lock. These keys are made from metal and are sometimes sold in a set with locks.

If you need to find a key or open a lock, you’ll need to pull out your trusty skeleton key. These old tools are used in many professions today, including locksmithing and law enforcement. But how do they work? In this article we will discuss the history and features of this handy door opener.

What is a spare key?

A master key is a type of lock key that some people use to open a door. Its name comes from the fact that it has on one side small metal pins or teeth which are inserted into all parts of the internal mechanism of the unknown lock and move on them when turned by hand. Master keys are usually made of steel or another metal that does not rust when exposed to moisture. They come in different sizes depending on the type of lock you want to open. Master keys can be used to bypass the locking system of different types of locks, which is why they are also called lock-picking tools. A skeleton key is a type of key with a uniquely shaped end to unlock locks or latches with obstacles inside. There is no real master key, but the term is often used to refer to three different types of keys:

  • Key – this key is a must for any professional locksmith. It has an axial shaft and can be used for different types of locks, as it comes with pre-cut bits that can be adapted to the specific needs of the customer. The sturdy edge of this tool also helps you open doors quickly when time is of the essence. Not only does this skeleton wrench look cool, its sturdy construction makes it ideal for professionals who need tools they can be sure won’t fall into their hands in case of an emergency on the construction site.
  • Bit Wrench – This wrench consists of a series of triangular metal pieces mounted on a shaft. It is not as flexible as the other types, but it can be used to open locks of different styles and sizes because you can interchange them. The wrench may seem like just another skeleton wrench in your collection, but its versatility makes it an excellent tool in your toolbox.
  • Cylinder keys – these keys are lighter because they contain less metal. They can slide over the pin or pin in the lock when you insert them into that hole, which means skeleton keys open locks more easily than other shapes, such as square or triangular keys.

How do dual key systems work?

Skeleton locks, also known as tubular locks or pin locks, are a type of cylinder lock whose parts open by turning the key. Their name comes from their long, thin shape, which resembles the rib cage and spine of the human skeleton. They have several pins on top of each other, which must be handled with skill to open. Master keys are only suitable for double bit locks and some types of bolt locks.

Crank locks

  • Padlocks are the most common type, they use a tubular key that can be turned to open or close.
  • Lever locks are an important security feature for gates, fences, balustrades and other vulnerable outdoor areas, as both hands are required to unlock the lock.
  • Use the skeleton key to raise the levers to the desired height to bypass the barriers. It doesn’t matter which lock you open, all that matters is that you have a token with two pins intact. If three or four of these holes are aligned in the order indicated and pressed simultaneously, access is granted.
  • Piston locks are complex and often intricate in design, making them difficult to break into. The key should be at the right height to push all the levers up, just enough to slide in without too much effort.
  • The key is inserted into the lock and must be turned at an angle to align each pin. Then, depending on the type, the three or four levers must be operated in a certain order – usually one on each side.

Armoured locks

  • Walnut locks are the most widely used type of lock today. The earliest known locks with deadbolt were found at Roman sites dating from the second century BC.
  • Fences are a series of vertical slots or notches that prevent access by anyone who does not have a key of the correct shape.
  • If you want to break open a lock with a latch, you need to find the right key with the right notches and guide it into place.
  • A deadbolt lock is a variation of this design where pins are also used as an additional security measure. The slots in the compartment are cut so that they can be raised when the correct key is applied, while the rest is locked in place.
  • The more complex the lock, the more picks it takes to find it.
  • Master keys are often used to open locks with deadbolts. Originally master keys contained most of the metal that did not interfere with all the security features of the lock, and were used primarily for… B. Porcelain cabinets, where they are an elegant solution, but also allow easy access when needed.
  • Over time, manufacturers have started adding more and more security features to the outside of locks, making these types of skeleton keys ineffective.
  • Nowadays, this type of key is rarely found, except for opening certain old objects or furniture, which have now been replaced by pin tumblers.


Master keys are now only used in cartoons and movies as an easy way to gain access to a building. In fact, it is still possible to buy mats, but they have little use other than as souvenirs. Thanks to technical advances, modern locks are more reliable and able to withstand more force than earlier models. Once you learn how skeleton keys work, you can use them as a mechanism in your own writing.Skeleton keys are extremely useful when it comes to opening locks and sticking keys into locks. You can think of a skeleton key as a key that is made of a skeleton. In the past, keys were made of metal so you could insert the key in the lock or turn the key to open the lock.. Read more about skeleton key guide and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will any skeleton key work?


Do houses still use skeleton keys?

No, skeleton keys are no longer used.

How do you unlock a door with a skeleton key?

You don’t.

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