Also called barrel key, the purpose of a tubular key is to unlock a tubular pin tumbler lock. It possesses a shaft that is described as cylindrical and hollow. Compared to conventional keys, this one is generally shorter but with a larger diameter. Vintage-style or antique barrel keys are quite similar to skeleton keys especially in terms of design. In addition to these highly interesting facts, it is also good to know the dimensions of a tubular key.
The Dimensions of a Tubular Key
The average length of a tubular key is 1.319 to 1.398 inches or 33.5 to 35.5 millimeters. Meanwhile, the diameter of each key is approximately .378 to .413 inch or 9.6 to 10.5 millimeters. Somewhere at the shaft’s end, a number of parallel grooves can be found with different lengths. At the outer surface, there is a small tab, the purpose of which is to stop the pins inside the lock from pushing out the key. Furthermore, this part also contains a hollow center, which guides the key while it is slowly turned.
Additional Facts and Other Interesting Details
Nowadays, a modern version of the tubular key is available. Compared to older models, this specific type of key is more difficult to duplicate because it is less common. Furthermore, this key also needs a different duplicating machine from the one commonly used for conventional keys. In the United States, this kind of key is used for bicycle locks, vending machines as well as home alarm systems.
Two methods are used for key duplication, namely keypunching and key cutting. The origin of keys and wooden locks can be traced back to Egypt as early as 4,000 years ago. In the 6th century B.C., an individual named Theodore of Samos is believed to have invented the key. A key symbolizes power all the way back to the colonial times in the United States. One of the highly interesting and important aspects involving the use of keys is key management, the main purpose of which is to improve operations efficiency and security.
The use of flat metal keys blossomed during the early years of the 20th century. This happened right after the development of duplicators for mechanical keys. The basic components of a key are the blade and the bow. The common types of keys include the master key, car key and house key. In addition to these keys, you can also encounter the four-sided key, double-sided key as well as transponder key. Other notable types of keys include the internal cut key, paracentric key and skeleton key.