ASL Locksmith Term Dictionary     Give us a try! We work hard to satisfy!     ASL Locksmith Term Dictionary

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     ASL Locksmith Term Dictionary    

ratchet lock

n. any lock which incorporates a ratchet device allowing locking in more than one position


v. to decode a lock combination visually without disassembly of the lock or cylinder

remote release

n. a mechanism for permitting the unlocking of any lock device at a distance from the device

removable shackle

adj. referring to a type of padlock which is unlocked by removing the shackle from the case


n. a component which is clipped or staked in place to maintain the working relationship of other components


adj. pertaining to hardware which is manufactured in a way which allows field assembly or adjustment to accommodate installation on doors with different orientations


abb. right hand


abb. (right hand reverse bevel)

rim lock

n. a lock or latch typically mounted on the surface of a door or drawer

ring key

n. a key attached to a ring to be worn on the finger


abb. The title “Registered Locksmith” as awarded by ALOA

round back

adj. pertaining to a rim cabinet lock whose mounting flanges and case form the general shape of a circle when viewed from the back

sally port

n. an access control area with doors or gates secured by interlocks such that only one may be opened at a time


abb. Southern Building Code Congress International

Scandinavian padlock

n. a cast case padlock with an elliptical cross section. The locking mechanism is a set of rotating disc tumblers which engage notches in the cast shackle and may be rotated by the angled cuts cast on the key.

screen door lock

n. a lock designed for the thin stiles typically found on screen and storm doors

screwless knob

n. a mortise lock knob assembly secured to the spindle without screws

screwless rose

n. a mortise lock rose installed without screws

secondary key

n. a key which operates certain locks on a vehicle, but not the ignition lock

secret gate latch

n. a small keyless rim latch, which when properly installed, is operated by pressing a concealed actuator


n. 1. the part of a padlock which passes through an opening in an object or fits around an object and is ultimately locked into the case

2. the portion of a restraint which fits around the wrist, ankle, neck, waist or thumb

shackle retaining pin

n. a pin which keeps an unlocked shackle heel in the case

shackle spring

n. a spring which pushes the shackle into the open position when the padlock is unlocked


n. the part of a bit key between the bow and the stop; or, if there is no shoulder stop, the part between the bow and the near side of the bit


n. 1. a bracket which attaches the arm of a door closer to the door or frame

2. the surface mounted case and guide components of an exit device

3. a mortise lock component which transfers pivoting motion of a thumbpiece to linear movement of the latch bolt

showcase lock

n. normally a ratchet lock or plunger lock used on by passing doors

shrouded shackle

n. a shackle which is protected from cutting or tampering by design or by the use of secondary shields

shunt switch

n. a maintained contact switch, often key operated


n. a spring loaded device which closes upon the removal of a cylinder tailpiece, protecting a locking device from being manipulated. See appendix

sickle key

n. a key in the form of a sickle inserted through a hole in a door to actuate a bolt on the opposite side of the door

side ward

n. a ward which prevents entry of an incorrect key into a non cylinder lock

side ward cut

n. a cut made into a key to bypass a side ward


n. a cylinder component which enters gate(s) in tumbler(s) to allow plug rotation

sidebar lock

n. a lock mechanism which incorporates a sidebar

single cylinder

adj. pertaining to a lock with key operation from only one side

simple latch

n. a non deadlocking latch

simultaneous retraction

n. a feature which allows retraction of both the deadbolt and latchbolt in the same operation

single acting lever tumbler

n. a lever tumbler which must be moved a minimum distance to allow travel of a bolt, but cannot be moved so far as to restrict travel of the bolt

skeleton key

n. any non cylinder key whose bit, blade, and/or post is cut away enough to allow it to enter and turn in locks with different ward arrangements


n. a tumbler which is normally flat, has a gate and moves with a linear or lateral motion instead of pivoting like a lever tumbler

slim jim

n. a narrow strip of spring steel used to bypass the cylinder and unlock vehicle doors

spare tire lock

n. a lock designed to prevent removal of a vehicle's spare tire


n. a component which transfers rotary motion from outside a lock or latch case to an inner mechanism

split spindle

n. a multi piece spindle which allows a knob or lever to be installed on only one side of a door

spring seat

n. the point at which a spring is anchored, located or attached and at which (from which) it exerts force

square back

adj. pertaining to a rim cabinet lock whose mounting flanges and case form the general shape of a square

stop works

n. a button or toggle mechanism which prevents operation of a knob, lever or thumbpiece in a non bored lock

stop works button(s)

n. a one or two piece stop works activator

stop (of a door)

n. the projecting portion of a door frame upon which the door rests when closed

store door function

n. a lockset function such that either: a) a deadbolt is operated by key from either side and a latch is operated by working trim from either side; or b) a deadlocking latch can be withdrawn by working trim from either side except when both sides are locked by key from either side.

substitution code

n. a code whose individual characters are converted to individual key cuts or combination numbers by means of a reference table

swing clear hinge

n. a hinge that allows the door to swing far enough away from the jamb to fully clear the opening at 90 degrees open

switch lock

n. 1. a lock which incorporates an electrical switch as an integral part of its construction

2. a large padlock designed for use on railroad switches

swivel spindle

n. normally a two piece spindle assembly whose two halves are designed to turn independently

T handle

n. a T shaped handle assembly which may be lockable

telescoping column

n. a steering column adjustable for length


n. a pattern used to mark cutout locations for hardware installation

template hinge

n. a hinge with dimensions, hole locations and tolerances which conform to ANSI standard A156.7

threaded rose

n. a rose with an internally threaded ferrule

three point latch

n. a self latching device designed to latch a door at the top, bottom and edge

throat cut

n. the cut made into a key to bypass a throat ward

throat ward

n. an obstruction formed in a lock's case or horn at the point of key entry which prevents key rotation


n. the distance a bolt or latch projects from the faceplate or case of a lock in the extended position

throw member

n. an intermediate actuator which engages the rear of the plug to transfer motion to a cam, tailpiece or other actuator


n. a generally flat, projecting latch actuator found above a grip handle and depressed by the thumb

tilt column

n. a steering column design which permits vertical adjustment of the steering wheel


abb. top master key

toe (of a shackle)

n. that part of the shackle which may be removed from the padlock body


n. a pivoting one piece stop works activator

top jamb mount

n. surface application of a door closer body directly to the header

touch bar

n. a type of exit device actuator which typically does not pivot and retracts the bolt with a

minimum of pressure

touch pad

n. 1. an exit device actuator with a paddle shape

2. a remote door opener activator, typically electric or electronic, which facilitates handicap access


n. exposed components of a lockset or latchset which allow operation, enhance appearance or provide protection

trim panel

n. the decorative and functional assembly which covers the inside surface of a vehicle door

triplex spindle

n. a spindle with three wedge shaped bars which spread to grip the inside of the knob shank when the knob set screw is tightened

tubular key cylinder

n. a cylinder whose tumblers are arranged in a circle and which is operated by a tubular key

tubular lockset

n. a bored lockset whose latch or bolt locking mechanism is contained in the component installed into the edge bore

turn disk

n. a disk shaped component with a cam actuated by a thumb turn, normally used in a mortise lock