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Key Retaining vs Non-Retaining

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HallisChalmers

Lord Emeritus of Keypicking HallisChalmers

Posts: 2070

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:46 pm

Location: Hell

Post Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:41 am

Key Retaining vs Non-Retaining

So here is my question for all the "Big Brains" in the audience:

What makes a key retaining lock different than a non-retaining lock?

Please don’t give me the smart-ass - ”Well one lock retains the key, dummy, and the other one doesn’t” - answer.

What I’m looking for is a brief technical description as to how the two systems differ mechanically.

The other question: Are key-retaining locks inherently harder to pick?

I know that probably 70% of the difficulty in picking a lock has to do with the types of pins, (i.e. mushrooms, spools, serrated, hybrids, etc.) and the skill of the lock picker, but does the fact that a lock is key retaining add to the difficulty factor – even slightly?

In my limited experience, it seems to make no difference. But I’m just wondering if the experts out there with actual work experience can shed some light on this.
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Houndour

Familiar Face

Posts: 72

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:26 am

Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:18 am

Re: Key Retaining vs Non-Retaining

All I can contribute is that if a manufacturer has gone to the effort of installing a key retaining mechanism in the lock... there must be a SMALL chance that they wont skim on the extra securities or extra anythings in the lock in other departments.

So I would wager that if a lock had a key retaining mechanism within... then the chances are higher that the picking would be harder, be it due to security pins or tight tolerances or whatever, added by a manufacturer who cares more about his products moreso than your average two buck shop.

My two cents. ;P
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GutterClown

Post Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:41 am

Re: Key Retaining vs Non-Retaining

Sorry mate, but it really does come down to "one retains the key, one doesn't"

What makes a key retaining lock different than a non-retaining lock?

Well that depends one the type of lock. I can't really think of any key-retaining locks that effect picking, infact most pin-tumbler padlocks with retaining systems are good, because if you've got the shackle open, you can decode the pins without holding constant pressure.

Then you get into key retaining wafer cam locks, retaining lever locks (ie: gun safes), and vestibule sets (which are key-in-knob, but you must have a key in them to open, and when you remove the key it's locked. also available for mortice locks, using a bolt-retract cam)

So it depends what you mean. But no, they don't make the lock any harder to pick, other than the odd time where you might have to hold constant turning pressure.
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HallisChalmers

Lord Emeritus of Keypicking HallisChalmers

Posts: 2070

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:46 pm

Location: Hell

Post Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:48 pm

Re: Key Retaining vs Non-Retaining

Thanks guys. I ask a serious question and get straightforward answers. :)

I appreciate it.

Frank

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