How does a pin and tumbler lock work?

The most common type of lock in the world is the pin and tumbler style. It is a classic design but is very popular because it offers pretty good security. Generally it is only possible to open the lock by inserting a key with the right teeth cut in it. However, a skilled lockpicker with the right tools may be able to also open one. As a leading locksmith Northampton clients rely on, we want to take a closer look at how these locks work and the kind of issues you may experience with one.

How does it work?

These locks have a cylinders containing spring-loaded pins that vary in length. The lock will only open when the pins line up properly with the shear line. This is why you generally need a key that has teeth cut so the pins are held in the right position. That way, when you insert it the pins will all align so the cylinder can turn and you can open the lock. When you use the wrong key, one or more of the pins will remain in the way so the cylinder cannot turn.

What issues can you have?

Locksmith NorthamptonAs you may have guessed, the biggest concern with these locks is that over time a key may wear down or become misshapen. If this happens it may no longer be able to hold the pins so they align with the shear line. As a result the lock won’t open. The solution will be to cut new keys.

Another issue is that dirt and moisture can get into the mechanism. This can cause lots of problems, including making the pins stick or preventing them from aligning. This can leave you with a lock that won’t open, even if you are using the right key. The solution here is to have a locksmith look to see if they can repair the lock. If not, a replacement will be the best option.

A final issue some people have is their keys are old or the lock is a bit stiff and they end up breaking a key. This is a problem because it can leave it so you can’t unlock the door or secure it again behind you. The solution is to call a locksmith. They will try to remove the broken key, doing so carefully to avoid damaging the pins, springs, or cylinder.

Call a reliable locksmith in Northampton

TMN is a team you can trust all around the clock, every day of the week. Our locksmiths are professionals and have a huge amount of experience with different types of lock. They can take a look to see what is causing the issue and offer the best a solution. This may be a simple repair or a replacement for a new model. We can even provide the latter if you want to choose higher security locks.

Whenever you need the best locksmith Northampton can offer, call us. We can be with you quickly, generally in as little as half an hour.