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What are barrel locks used for

There are so many different lock types out on the market today for all kinds of purposes. Most people are familiar with the most common locks that are used for doors in residential and commercial buildings. However, there's a variety of other locks that are used to secure other items, like mailboxes, lockers, cabinets, hardware, etc. Barrel locks are one of them. You probably have seen them somewhere at some point in your life, but you didn't know what it is exactly.

Sure Lock & Key has years of experience in the locksmith industry and we've worked with all the locks you can find on the market. Today, we want to share our knowledge of barrel locks with you.

What is a barrel lock

First of all, let's define what barrel locks are and how they look. This type of lock is pretty unique and it doesn't look like the regular locks we're used to. It is mostly used for industrial buildings to secure hardware and different devices. It can be installed on electricity and gas meters, cabinets and field devices. The ones that are used for utility meters are usually shaped like a circle hasp that you put around the meter and lock it.
Some people use these locks in their homes, but it's not as common, as it's not likely someone would want to mess with your individual utility meters.
barrel lock
barrel lock

How do barrel locks work

The working principle of barrel lock is quite different from the one regular pin-tumblers have. The key used to operate it differs from other keys. In general, barrel locks use different types of keys depending on the type of barrel lock.
The keyhole is circular in shape and the locking mechanism can be activated either with a screw-type key or a key shaped like a plunger. The second type of key requires a handle in order to be operated. When you insert the key inside, it grasps the barrel and releases the catch. The mechanism starts moving and all the other parts get released. Then at this point you can take out the lock cylinder.

How to pick a barrel lock

No matter how reliable and secure your lock is, it can't be 100% resistant to lockpicking and barrel locks are no exception. However, these types of locks can't be picked easily. In order to pick them, you'll need a special lockpicking set or a bumping key. You'll have to insert the tool inside your keyhole and ensure that it goes in tightly. Otherwise, it won't work. While moving your tool, you must try to release the catch and the ball bearings. This whole progression of actions needs to be performed very carefully so that one does not accidentally damage the lock. In the event that you lost your key or broke it, it's always better not to pick the lock yourself but to use professional emergency locksmith services.
barrel lock with keys
barrel lock with keys

Summing up

Besides the most common locks that we use to protect our front doors, there are other ones we use to protect other assets. Barrel locks are the best way to secure your hardware, utility meters and cabinets. If you need assistance with the installation of that lock type, Sure Lock & Key will gladly help you. Just give us a call.

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