Locksmith Reference Needs Your Help!

The Exit Device ID Tool is almost here! The Exit Device ID Tool will allow locksmiths to identify unknown exit devices simply by answering 4 to 5 picture-based questions. At launch, 324 unique models will be represented across 39 different brands and manufacturers. Here are a few screenshots from the tool:


We are entering the final stretch but we need your help to get us across the finish line! Catalog and brochure pictures are great but they don’t always paint the best picture, no pun intended. We need your photo of exit devices from the field. These pictures will be added to galleries for each unique model to allow other locksmiths to confirm the exit device they are trying to identify. Any exit device pictures you may have (preferably of the device and not the trim) can be emailed to tyler@lockreference.com.
Thank you for your continued support of LockReference.com.


By |2019-12-02T09:00:52+00:00December 2nd, 2019|All, Tools Update|0 Comments

Door Closer Footprint Comparison Chart Version 6.0 Released

We have updated the Door Closer Footprint Comparison Chart in the Tools Section. We’re now at Version 6.0 with 42 manufacturers/brands represented across 34 unique footprints and 301 unique models.
As always, footprints are organized by horizontal center-to-center measurements, smallest to largest. If multiple footprints exist with the same horizontal center-to-center measurements, they are further organized by vertical center-to-center measurements, smallest to largest. Manufacturers/brands are organized alphabetically. Column A is freeze paned for the included footprints. Row 1 is freeze paned for the included manufacturer/brands. This means that as you narrow down a specific model/models or manufacturer/brands, this information stays locked in your screen. This allows you to quickly find information.

By |2021-10-18T04:25:12+00:00October 21st, 2019|All, Door Closers, Tools Update|0 Comments

Door Closer Footprint Comparison Version 5.0 Released

We have updated the Door Closer Footprint Comparison Chart in the Tools Section. We’re now at Version 5.0 with 41 manufacturers/brands represented across 34 unique footprints and 296 unique models.
As always, footprints are organized by horizontal center-to-center measurements, smallest to largest. If multiple footprints exist with the same horizontal center-to-center measurements, they are further organized by vertical center-to-center measurements, smallest to largest. Manufacturers/brands are organized alphabetically. Column A is freeze paned for the included footprints. Row 1 is freeze paned for the included manufacturer/brands. This means that as you narrow down a specific model/models or manufacturer/brands, this information stays locked in your screen. This allows you to quickly find information.

By |2019-08-27T09:00:18+00:00August 27th, 2019|All, Door Closers, Tools Update|0 Comments

The Professional Locksmith Dictionary Updated

We have updated The Professional Locksmith Dictionary in the Tools section using the terms and definition approved via the last peer review. These include:

  • blade height n. 1. in a cylinder key, the distance from the bottom of the blade to the top of the uncut surface, 2. in a multiply bitted key, the distance from a registration point to the top of the uncut surface
  • blade length n. in a cylinder key, the distance from the tip of the key to the bow stop or the bow
  • blade width n. in a cylinder key, the distance from one non-bitted surface to the opposite non-bitted surface
  • burglar chest n. a small safe, typically with a UL rating, designed to resist burglary attempts
  • buzzer plate n. an automotive ignition component that triggers an alarm when the key is in the ignition and a door is open without the engine running
  • CAI abb. the title ‘Certified ACE Instructor’ as awarded by ALOA
  • CAL abb. the title ‘Certified Automotive Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • CEL abb. the title ‘Certified Electronics Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • CFDI abb. the title ‘Certified Fire Door Inspector’ as awarded by ALOA
  • CFL abb. the title ‘Certified Forensic Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA, may be followed by a specialty name
  • CHI abb. the title ‘Certified Hardware Installer’ as awarded by ALOA
  • chip key n. one which incorporates or includes an electronic component that communicates with another vehicle component to allow or deny starting; see also, Vehicle Anti-Theft System, transponder key, remote head key, integrated head key
  • CLL abb. the title ‘Certified Licensed Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA for specific states, state name typically can follow the initials
  • clone key n. one that has a transponder that replicates another transponder code
  • cloner n. a device that may be used to replicate an electronic copy of a transponder
  • CMEL abb. the title ‘Certified Master Electronics Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • CMAL abb. the title ‘Certified Master Automotive Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • direct communication n. an access control system which relies solely on information provided at that time from the central computer to grant or deny access
  • distributed intelligence n. an online access control system which is capable of maintaining authorization data locally in case of communication delays or failure
  • ECM abb. Electronic Control Module
  • electronic key n. any key that has an electronic component
  • electronic control module n. an automobile computer that controls all electronic functions of the vehicle
  • flash v. to program an ECM
  • fob n. an object or remote, other than a key, which attaches to a key ring, key or key chain
  • fob key n. a vehicle remote with an attached key blade, and/or other electronic features, which allows the user to start the engine and drive the vehicle
  • grid chart n. a matrix based layout for organizing access points and their corresponding access needs, used primarily in master keying and access control
  • ICML abb. the title ‘Institutional Certified Master Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • ICPL abb. the title ‘Institutional Certified Professional Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • ICRL abb. the title ‘Institutional Certified Registered Locksmith’ as awarded by ALOA
  • immobilizer n. an anti-theft device in an automobile, which prevents starting or driving the vehicle unless an appropriate electronic credential is present
  • incidental master key n. a key combination which operates a cylinder combinated to two or more keys from different levels in a master key system
  • integrated head key n. a remote head fob key that contains a transponder
  • key changes n. the number of different combinations available to use as individual keys for a particular cylinder/lock
  • LH Horizontal v. safe lock mounting when the lock is mounted with the lock bolt pointing to the left when viewed from inside the safe or vault
  • local code precedence see Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
  • *locksmith n. a person with the knowledge and ability to select, install, service and/or bypass the components of electrical or mechanical locks
  • mocksmith n. an individual who falsely presents himself as a locksmith
  • money chest n. a small safe, typically with a UL rating, designed to resist burglary attempts
  • on-line system n. an access control layout in which a central computer communicates with panels near the openings using either distributed intelligence or direct communication
  • open bottom combination lock n. a combination lock with an opening in the bottom to allow direct entry of a gravity, or pressure, operated lever when the correct combination is dialed
  • precut position n. a specific depth of cut on a key blank that causes otherwise properly cut keys to operate a specific secondary device within the lock, such as a control lug
  • pressure system n. a bolt system that consists of one or more bars that apply closing force to the door as they are rotated into a curved strike
  • relock pin n. a typically spring loaded bolt, designed to engage a safe’s boltwork, when the safe lock is disturbed, and prevent the boltwork from operating
  • remote n. a device for permitting the control of functions, of a lock device or alarm, at a distance
  • remote head key n. a mechanical fob key that has a remote as the bow
  • RH Horizontal v. safe lock mounting when the lock is mounted with the lock bolt pointing to the right when viewed from inside the safe or vault
  • selective change key n. an incidental key whose combination is taken from an individual key and the unique bitting of a selective master key
  • sliding guard tumbler n. a guard tumbler in a single nose safe deposit lock that allows an operating key to unlock after the guard key is turned and removed
  • smart key adj. a key that has a proximity device function to operate a lock
  • sounding device n. an audible annunciator that, when activated, indicates a situation requiring action
  • theoretical master key n. an incidental master key combination that can be cut to operate more than one lock keyed to a MK and a CK in a system
  • time zone n. an access control or alarm condition or authorization rendered at, and limited to, specific regularly occurring periods
  • timing mark n. a mark, usually center punched, on two separate gears or parts to identify correct alignment of those parts
  • turtle prep n. a door preparation using six smaller holes around the face bore, intended to provide for many cylindrical Lever Lock installation layouts, so named because it resembles a creature of the same name
  • ultrasonic motion detector n. a device which utilizes disturbances in sound patterns outside the audible range to determine movement in a protected area
  • valet cut n. a precut position of an automotive key blank, usually at the tip , that causes a properly cut key to operate only the ignition and door

We have also included a link to the 2019 Peer Review.

By |2019-08-07T09:00:40+00:00August 7th, 2019|All, Locksmith Terminology, Tools Update|0 Comments

Cores and Cylinders Library Update

We have updated the Cores and Cylinders page in the Library using our new format.  We have new literature and manuals for the following manufacturers:

  • Arrow Lock & Door Hardware
  • ASSA High Security Locks
  • BEST Access Systems
  • Corbin Russwin
  • DORMA Americas
  • Falcon
  • GMS Industries, Inc.
  • Hager Companies
  • Kaba Ilco Corporation
  • Killeen Security Products (KSP)
  • Kwikset Corporation
  • SARGENT Manufacturing Company
  • Schlage
  • Yale

In the Resources tab we have the following documents:

  • BEST Pin Measurements
  • Creating Pinning Charts for Sargent 6300 LFICs
  • Introductory Locksmithing: Extracting A Broken Key
  • Shimming Cylinders
  • Small Format Interchangeable Cores Video Tutorials
By |2019-08-02T09:00:48+00:00August 2nd, 2019|All, Cores and Cylinders, Tools Update|0 Comments

A3 SFIC Decoding Worksheet Added to Tools

We’ve added a decoding worksheet for A3 small format interchangeable cores (SFIC) to our Pinning and Decoding Worksheets page in the Tools section. You can use this worksheet when removing pins to decode an SFIC using an A3 system. The worksheet allows you to plot each pin position and has all measurements for A3 pins to reference. It also has a formula built in to help you quickly decode the control key.

Walter Best applied for a patent for what would become the A3 system in 1968. Granted in 1971, this patent was BEST’s first venture into a single step progression system. Unfortunately, the increment size was too small. Worn cores were especially vulnerable to key interchange and jamming (due to the small size of a #1 master pin). Eventually the A3 system was replaced in favor of A4, which utilized a larger increment size while still allowing for single step progression. There are still some A3 systems out there and at least one manufacturer was still generating new A3 systems as late as the early 21st century. Suffice to say, this worksheet is still useful!

By |2019-07-26T09:00:05+00:00July 26th, 2019|All, Tools Update|0 Comments
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