Types of Locks
To begin this piece which will become a number of articles about locks we must begin with ideas of what a lock is as well as the names of the various locks we intend to write about and explain. While it serves a very large purpose for the locksmith or general handyman to have a diverse and learned knowledge of locks and what they do there are also those out there who find this information to be useful for the purpose of general comprehension and understanding of subjects that interest or fascinate them. Whereas this article and the series on Types of Locks to follow are geared to the layperson it is perhaps also useful to those in the commercial locksmith and repair businesses.
For most, their knowledge of and about locks starts and stops at the very base, general level and usually revolves solely on what they have known or experienced from childhood to the present. The front door of their home, car locks, locks on drawers and cabinets and even the locks on the lockers they've used at school. To go further one might find a few people outside of the emergency locksmith industry with a familiarity of other places locks are present but I am sure we can draw the line at the ones already mentioned.
So to begin, why not ask a very simple question: what is a lock and what is a locks purpose?
We will start with the last half of the question, what is a locks purpose. Most would answer to keep things in, to protect belongings and keep homes or businesses secure. While not getting too technical or learned these answers are completely correct! As the series continues we will possibly find more purposes of a lock and its role.
We find that the definition of a lock in the dictionary is "a fastening, as for a door, operated by a key or a combination." While this definition is rather bland and dry, it is also a brief but correct explanation and view of what a lock is to others. To better understand what a lock is from the viewpoint of those without experience as a professional locksmith or repairperson the author performed an investigation of five friends and their answers are as follows:
Friend Number One: "A lock is something that keeps a door safely closed when needed."
Friend Number Two: "A lock prevents someone from opening something unless they have a key to open it."
Friend Number Three: "Well, a few things can be a lock. A fastener around two clips, when shoes are tied aren't they locked? People put things inside lockets and most of the time the idea of the word lock is used to represent the device that locks in order to securely keep valuables and homes safe." ****Authors note: friend number three likes to elaborate****
Friend Number Four: "A lock? It keeps out burglars! It's not always safe out there, people try and break in and hurt people or steal their things and locks are the way we deal with that."
And Friend Number Five: "Locks protect our cars, homes and any other important items we own."
What is evident is that two questions, when asked, elicit the same response for the average person. No matter who was correct or if the answers given were accurate, there is no right or wrong. A lock and its purpose(s), while described or thought of differently for numbers of people, represents one thing to all - protection.