Peer review – 2017


The LIST Council has been asked by ALOA and others to complete what would amount to a Dictionary for Locksmiths. We have begun that work and are pleased to submit this installment of the remaining terms that have been identified as specific to our industry.  Terms in this listing marked with an asterisk indicate current terms from the Locksmith Dictionary that have a revised definition proposed.

When making a definition of a term, we applied the following rules to the term:

1. Is the term listed in "Webster"?
2. Is the definition there the same meaning used in our industry?

To us, "Webster", means a typical pocket dictionary, which could be obtained easily, and on short notice, from any grocery store which has a pocket book display. If the answer to either of the questions above was no, we felt the term must be in our dictionary, otherwise it was common usage which anyone could define.

Because there is generally more than one term in use from one geographic area to another, we established the most popular term that most closely describes what it means as the "primary" term to be defined, unless it has different opposing definitions.  All other terms with the same meaning become secondary terms and are only listed in the appendix. With that established, the definitions have to meet the following rules:

1. It must describe the subject of the term without graphics.
2. It must describe ONLY the subject of the term.
3. The term should not be used in the definition.

 If you have a technical objection to any definition, please bring it to the attention of the publisher of this listing, or a member of the LIST Council for review before November 30, 2017.


blade height
n. 1. in a cylinder key, the distance from the bottom of the blade to the top of the uncut surface, 2. in a multiply bitted key, the distance from a registration point to the top of the uncut surface

blade length
n. in a cylinder key, the distance from the tip of the key to the bow stop or the bow

blade width
n. in a cylinder key, the distance from one non-bitted surface to the opposite non-bitted surface

burglar chest
n. a small safe, typically with a UL rating, designed to resist burglary attempts
buzzer plate
n. an automotive ignition component that triggers an alarm when the key is in the ignition and a door is open without the engine running
abb. the title ‘Certified ACE Instructor' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Certified Automotive Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Certified Electronics Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Certified Fire Door Inspector' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Certified Forensic Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA, may be followed by a specialty name
abb. the title 'Certified Hardware Installer' as awarded by ALOA
chip key
n. one which incorporates or includes an electronic component that communicates with another vehicle component to allow or deny starting; see also, Vehicle Anti-Theft System, transponder key, remote head key, integrated head key
abb. the title 'Certified Licensed Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA for specific states, state name typically can follow the initials
clone key
n. one that has a transponder that replicates another transponder code
n. a device that may be used to replicate an electronic copy of a transponder
abb. the title 'Certified Master Electronics Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Certified Master Automotive Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA
direct communication
n. an access control system which relies solely on information provided at that time from the central computer to grant or deny access
distributed intelligence
n. an online access control system which is capable of maintaining authorization data locally in case of communication delays or failure
abb. Electronic Control Module

electronic key
n. any key that has an electronic component

electronic control module
n. an automobile computer that controls all electronic functions of the vehicle
v. to program an ECM
n. an object or remote, other than a key, which attaches to a key ring, key or key chain
fob key
n. a vehicle remote with an attached key blade, and/or other electronic features, which allows the user to start the engine and drive the vehicle
grid chart
n. a matrix based layout for organizing access points and their corresponding access needs, used primarily in master keying and access control
abb. the title 'Institutional Certified Master Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Institutional Certified Professional Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA
abb. the title 'Institutional Certified Registered Locksmith' as awarded by ALOA

n. an anti-theft device in an automobile, which prevents starting or driving the vehicle unless an appropriate electronic credential is present

incidental master key
n. a key combination which operates a cylinder combinated to two or more keys from different levels in a master key system

integrated head key
n. a remote head fob key that contains a transponder
key changes
n. the number of different combinations available to use as individual keys for a particular cylinder/lock
LH Horizontal
v. safe lock mounting when the lock is mounted with the lock bolt pointing to the left when viewed from inside the safe or vault
local code precedence
see Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)
n. a person with the knowledge and ability to select, install, service and/or bypass the components of electrical or mechanical locks
n. an individual who falsely presents himself as a locksmith
money chest
n. a small safe, typically with a UL rating, designed to resist burglary attempts
on-line system
n. an access control layout in which a central computer communicates with panels near the openings using either distributed intelligence or direct communication
open bottom combination lock
n. a combination lock with an opening in the bottom to allow direct entry of a gravity, or pressure, operated lever when the correct combination is dialed
precut position
n. a specific depth of cut on a key blank that causes otherwise properly cut keys to operate a specific secondary device within the lock, such as a control lug
pressure system
n. a bolt system that consists of one or more bars that apply closing force to the door as they are rotated into a curved strike
relock pin
n. a typically spring loaded bolt, designed to engage a safe’s boltwork, when the safe lock is disturbed, and prevent the boltwork from operating
n. a device for permitting the control of functions, of a lock device or alarm, at a distance
remote head key
n. a mechanical fob key that has a remote as the bow

RH Horizontal
v. safe lock mounting when the lock is mounted with the lock bolt pointing to the right when viewed from inside the safe or vault

selective change key
n. an incidental key whose combination is taken from an individual key and the unique bitting of a selective master key
sliding guard tumbler
n. a guard tumbler in a single nose safe deposit lock that allows an operating key to unlock after the guard key is turned and removed
smart key
adj. a key that has a proximity device function to operate a lock
sounding device
n. an audible annunciator that, when activated, indicates a situation requiring action

theoretical master key
n. an incidental master key combination that can be cut to operate more than one lock keyed to a MK and a CK in a system

time zone
n. an access control or alarm condition or authorization rendered at, and limited to, specific regularly occurring periods
timing mark
n. a mark, usually center punched, on two separate gears or parts to identify correct alignment of those parts
turtle prep
n. a door preparation using six smaller holes around the face bore, intended to provide for many cylindrical Lever Lock installation layouts, so named because it resembles a creature of the same name
ultrasonic motion detector
n. a device which utilizes disturbances in sound patterns outside the audible range to determine movement in a protected area
valet cut
n. a precut position of an automotive key blank, usually at the tip , that causes a properly cut key to operate only the ignition and door



FOR                                                    SEE

core key                                             Control Key
internal release                                emergency escape mechanism
on-board computer                          ECM
drop bottom combination lock        open bottom combination lock
powered head key                           remote head key
pressure bar(s)                                 pressure system
pull key                                              Control Key
relock hold down pin                       shipping pin
relock stud                                         relock pin
remote release                                  remote