High Security Cylinders
The lock industry defines a high security lock
cylinder which offers a greater degree of resistance to any or all of the
following: picking, impressioning, key duplication, drilling or other forms of
While most pin tumbler cylinders have the
capability of at least 100,000 different combinations to as many as 1,000,000,
only around 30,000 or so are actually used by most lock manufacturers for the
keyed different locks you can buy off the shelf. Since a particular brand of
lock is usually very popular in a particular geographic area and the population
usually exceeds 30,000........... Yes, most likely there are at
least two houses that have the same key.
In the late 1960's a new type of cylinder
came on the market. It was a cylinder which represented a new design that wasn't
susceptible to the same method of attack as the pin tumbler cylinder in use
since 1858. Most of these cylinders still used pin tumblers but they also had
another secondary locking mechanism which couldn't be picked or impressioned
with any ease and they offered millions of different usable combinations. This
type of cylinder was able to offer another feature that had been missing since
around the beginning of the century, patent protected keys.
Because the keys were part of the new lock
design they could be protected regarding duplication capabilities. Blanks were
not available except from the original manufacturer and special techniques and
sometimes machinery were required to duplicate them.
Manufacturers of these high security cylinders
have entered into contractual agreements with certain locksmiths who have
duplicating capability and have been certified for service. While those original
patents from the 1960's have expired, there are new ones available now. Most of
these cylinders are listed as high security devices by Underwriters Laboratories
and offer genuine key control as well as resistance to physical attack.