22 Different Types of Keys

There are so many different keys available, and it can be hard to know which one is best for your needs.

Keys come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options you have when looking for a key.

We created this guide to help you find the perfect type of key for your needs. The guide includes information about every key, what they are used for, and how they work.

Types of Keys

1. Transponder Key

The transponder car key is the most popular because it’s easy to use and inexpensive.

By tapping an electronic device, usually attached to your vehicle via a visor or steering wheel, against the ignition lock cylinder, you will be able to start your car. This saves you from having to keep track of more than one key.

Most transponder keys are designed to use a tiny microchip that helps your car start. The microchip in the key is read by the car’s computer system when you insert it into the ignition.

The computer checks the code on the chip and then sends an unlocking signal to allow you to start your car.

2. Automatic Key

The automatic key is a key that comes with your car when you buy it new from the dealership or an authorized vendor.

It can be used to open and start your ignition without electronics, which means that in some cases if you lose them, they are impossible for a locksmith to copy.

These keys are complicated to replace, as the security chip embedded in the key’s blade is custom, and the code will change.

Because the code to the key can sometimes be so specific, the locksmith may not access it.

This means that while these keys are ideal if you want to have the most security possible from your keys, they are not great if you lose them, and they can be tough to replace.

3. Laser Cut Car Key

The laser-cut key is designed to be different from the automatic key so that it will be impossible for someone to copy yours.

Laser keys are perfect if you want an extra layer of security and don’t care about replacing your car’s original key.

These keys can be more expensive than the regular type, but the extra security is worth the cost.

These keys are made by putting metal into a machine, which then carves out a key.

Keys that are laser cut cannot be copied because they lack the security coding required to unlock your ignition and start your engine. If someone else tries to put one of these keys in their ignition, they will get nothing but an error message.

These keys are amazing because they will not start unless they are the correct key that has been issued to you, specifically.

While these keys have a couple of advantages, they also have some distinct disadvantages. Because your car’s computer system is constantly working with your transponder key, it’s possible for the system to become corrupt or for the chip in your key to stop working altogether.

If you experience issues with your laser cut key, you will need to take it back to the dealership so that an expert can repair any problems and get 

your car running again.

There may be a charge for this service, but it’s better than having to replace your whole ignition system.

4. Warded Key

Ward keys are different from the other keys mentioned on this list because they don’t use a small chip or computer device to start your car.

Instead, ward keys have slots that you need to align with the lock cylinders to turn and unlock.

These keys are the most traditional and cost less than any of the other types mentioned.

Ward keys can be a bit difficult to use, but they offer great security because you have to align them correctly for them to work.

If someone tries to put one of these keys into your ignition and it’s not correct, then they will not be able to start your car.

Because warded keys don’t have a chip or other electronic device in them, it means that they are much safer than laser keys, as anyone won’t be able to hack into the code with any type of modern technology.

They can also be copied by virtually anyone with the right equipment, which means that you can easily get a spare made or have your car’s key replaced if it ever breaks.

The price of warded keys is low, and they will not be difficult to replace. They are the best type of key for someone who wants good security at an affordable price.

If you lose your ward key, you will need a locksmith to break into your car and replace it. This can be expensive but is much less expensive than replacing the ignition system in your vehicle.

The best type of key for someone who wants a balance between security and affordability is the warded key.

5. Dimple Key

Dimple keys are the last type of key that we will talk about today. These keys have a small dimple cut into the blade, which is used to create a very strong lock with the tumblers inside your ignition.

These keys have an extra step because you need to turn them further than normal for them to work.

The dimple keys make it impossible for other people to bust into your car and steal valuables or possibly start the vehicle themselves.

Because these keys have an extra layer of security, you can be confident that they will keep your car safe from any intruders who try to take advantage of your absentmindedness.

Dimple keys cost more than warded keys, but they are still cheaper than laser-cut keys. They are not simple to replace if you lose them, so you must make sure that you never misplace them.

If you have a long driveway with multiple cars, it can be hard to track which key is supposed to be for which car.

The best types of keys for someone who wants extra security are dimple keys. They may be a little expensive, but they offer the best protection against theft and attempts to break into your vehicle.

6. Valet Key

When you need to give your car over to someone else to look after for a few days, you might want to have some kind of extra protection.

The best type of key for this is known as a valet key. These keys look very similar to the others on this list, but they will not work unless the person using them knows the special code.

If someone who doesn’t know what they are doing tries to use a valet key, they won’t be able to start the car because they will not know the right sequence of steps to get it going.

The lock and ignition system in your vehicle will prevent this type of key from working until the code is entered, so people won’t be able to take advantage of you by stealing your car.

This extra layer of security makes valet keys perfect for anyone who wants to make sure that their vehicle is safe no matter what. It will prevent anyone from getting into your car without permission until they know the right password.

It will cost you more to get a valet key than it would cost for any other keys on this list. Also, if you lose your car, you will need to have it replaced to make sure that no one else can use it.

7. Keycard Key

The keycards are a lesser-known option for keys that you might not be familiar with. These types of keys have a special card on them that can be used to open the door and start the engine in your vehicle.

These cards will only operate if they are close enough to the ignition, which means that anyone who tries to steal it won’t be able to use it without getting inside the car first.

The major downside of keycard keys is that they can only work in a single-vehicle, so you might need to get more than one if you have many different cars or trucks.

These types of keys are best for people who just want something simple and inexpensive. They are one of the least expensive options on this list, and they almost always come with two keys so that you don’t have to worry about losing them.

You probably won’t need a valet key if all you ever do is drive your vehicle yourself, but there might be other times when you want to give someone else access to your car. If you are only going to use one vehicle or truck at a time, then keycard keys might be the best option for you.

8. Keyless Entry

You don’t have to use keys to start some of the newer vehicles on the market today because most of them come with keyless entry systems.

The biggest benefit of keyless entry is that it frees you from having to worry about losing your keys. You will never have to worry about breaking a lock trying to get into your vehicle again because the system responds only if you carry a special device on your person. You can also use this device as an alarm for your vehicle, which means that if someone tries to steal it, they will have a very bad time.

One of the biggest reasons a keyless entry is so popular with everyone, from car owners to manufacturers, is that you can pick them up for less than a hundred dollars. It’s not as expensive as dimple keys or valet keys, but it offers the same extra layer of protection that you would get from using keys.

You might be surprised to learn just how many vehicles and trucks on the market today come with keyless entry systems. It’s not just a few advanced models are available, which means that it can be hard to find something affordable if you drive an older car or truck.

More modern vehicles come with these systems because they are cheaper to build and more convenient for the people driving them. They also seem safer because you can’t get into your vehicle if you forget your key. An alarm system attached to the keyless entry devices will go off if someone tries to hotwire your vehicle.

Keyless entry devices for keyless entry systems typically have a small, square form factor that makes them easy to carry around with you at all times. It’s no bigger than a smartphone or music player, which means that it can easily fit into any pocket.

9. Tubular Key

Some of the older vehicles on the market today will come with tubular keys about half an inch long. You probably won’t have to worry about getting one of these for a new vehicle, but it could be good to know where they came from if you ever come across them in the future.

These keys might look like they are made from metal, but they are a special kind of plastic. That means that they won’t break when you put them in a lock or if you step on one by accident.

Tubular keys were popular for many years because they can lock and unlock almost every type of vehicle in existence. They can fit into vertical or horizontal locks, so they can replace traditional keys in just about every situation.

Dimple keys and key cards have phased out tubular keys, but you still might run into them in your local locksmith shop. They are a bit rarer now than they used to be, but people will still use them when they need to quickly unlock something.

You shouldn’t have any problems selling a tubular key for about the same price as you would get from selling an ordinary key. They are still useful items that can help people who don’t want to spend money on more expensive alternatives, such as dimple keys or valet keys.

10. Primary Key

The primary key would be what you get when you order a car or truck from the manufacturer. Most of these will be dimple keys because it is possible to lock and unlock both doors with them, but they could be valet keys if your vehicle has that capability instead.

You will usually see a primary key in a case along with a remote key for the vehicle. This is a nice feature because it means that you can lock and unlock your doors with one device instead of two separate devices.

11. Slim Key

You will get the slim key when you buy a replacement key card from most locksmith shops in your area. These cards are usually no more than half an inch long, making them very easy to carry around with you at all times.

The slim key is also a lot safer than an ordinary key because it can’t get stuck in the lock or break when you step on it by accident. It also acts as an alarm that goes off if someone tries to steal your vehicle and hotwire it.

Slim keys are very versatile because they can fit into the locks of just about any type of vehicle on the road today. They will work with most cars and trucks without much hassle, which is why most people don’t have to worry about what kind of lock or car they have when they go to get a replacement key card.

Slim keys are a special kind of key card with holes on each side for extra storage. These cards will only work if you put them in the lock correctly, so they need to be kept safe at all times. You wouldn’t want someone else accidentally stealing your vehicle because they happened to find an old slim key card that you lost.

12. Paracentric Key

The paracentric key is a kind of slim key that has its security system. The lock on the side of the key will pop up if you put it in incorrectly, allowing you to know right away if something went wrong with your car or truck recently.

Paracentric keys are very popular because they can alert you when something is wrong with your vehicle. They can also tell you if someone tried to steal your car but couldn’t get it started because of the extra security system.

The paracentric key is one of the most popular keys on the market today because it gives drivers a lot more control over their vehicles than they ever had in the past. Its main selling point is its security system, but it also gives drivers peace of mind on the road.

13. Abloy Key

The Abloy key is one of the most secure keys on the market today because it uses software-based security to lock and unlock vehicles. Drivers will have to type in a code before they can drive off with their car, which means they won’t be able to get inside if someone steals the physical key card.

14. Skeleton Key

The skeleton key is a special kind of slim key usually attached to some type of lanyard. You could throw this lanyard over your neck and wear it around your body whenever you leave your vehicle, which means that you will always have an easy way to get inside the car.

These lanyards are a great way to prevent you from accidentally locking your keys inside of your vehicle. They also help with burglaries because the skeleton key won’t unlock the door if it gets stolen out of your hand by a malicious person.

The skeleton keys will usually have a little tag on them so that people can see them dangling around your neck. This tag will also say that the key is the property of the vehicle’s owner, so it should stop anyone who tries to take it from you without your permission.

Some skeleton keys can also be attached to a keychain, which means that they can attach to just about any ring or other type of object on your body. They can be carried around at all times, which means that they’ll always be ready for use whenever you need them.

The skeleton key is a great type of slim key to having with you at all times because it gives you the option of keeping your keys on a lanyard or hanging from a standard keychain. They can also come with optional LED lights that will flash when they need to be used, which makes them a lot easier to control while you’re on the road.

15. Bolt Key

The bolt key is a special type of slim key because it has some bolts coming out of the side. These bolts are meant for use in factories and warehouses where people need to lock and unlock heavy boxes.

The bolt key is meant for industrial purposes, but they’re also sold to the public so that drivers can use them with their vehicles when needed. You should only get a bolt key if you know what you’re doing or have someone who knows what they’re doing with it.

Bolt keys are a great way to keep your vehicle safe because you can lock and unlock the door from the outside of the car using this key. The bolts on either side of it will screw into your door handle or frame, which means that they will be very difficult to remove without a special toolkit.

This kind of key also has a lot of weight behind it, which means that the bolt key can be used to scare off any would-be car thieves who try to steal your vehicle.

The bolt key will usually be made out of heavy metal, so it won’t break or bend when someone uses it under pressure. They’re also made to be strong enough to screw into the door handle or frame, which means it will take a lot of force and a very long time to get them out.

16. Cruciform Key

The cruciform key is a special type of slim key meant to be used with vehicles and other types of machinery in factories. It doesn’t have any bolts on it, but four corners are meant for use with the corner hole found on most locking mechanisms.

If you ever need to get into a vehicle or piece of machinery that’s locked, you can use the cruciform key to open it without having to break anything. The bolts on the side of this key will fit into the corners of most types of locking mechanisms, which means that it won’t be able to come undone without a special kind of wrench.

The cruciform key can be used to start your vehicle or boat, unlock a door for entry, and even lock up sensitive machinery.

The cruciform key comes at an extra cost because it isn’t quite as common as the standard skeleton key found in most vehicles. Even though it’s rarer, the cruciform key is worth the investment because it can be used in many different situations.

The cruciform key may look like a simple piece of metal, but they’re able to do a lot more than you might think. They’re one of the most useful types of keys available on the market today because there’s always something that needs to be locked up, opened, or both.

17. Magnetic Key

The magnetic key is another special type of slim key that’s meant for industrial purposes. This particular kind of key can be locked into place by using a bolt from a nearby machine or device, which means that it will never get lost while you’re working.

Many people like to keep the magnetic key attached to their belt or their pants pocket, which makes it easy for them to use whenever they need it. They’re also used inside vehicles because the magnetic key can be locked into place using a nearby metal bar.

The magnetic key is made out of very strong metal that will never bend or break when people use force against it. This powerful metal is enough to keep it locked into place without using a bolt from another machine or device.

Because this kind of key is so easy to hang onto, you won’t have to worry about losing it unless someone steals it out of your pocket. You can also walk around with the magnetic key in your hand without ever having to worry about dropping it onto the floor.

The magnetic key is often used for industrial purposes, but it can also be used on an everyday basis to keep your door locked when you’re not in the room. Many people like to use this type of key because it’s very easy to carry around without taking up a lot of space in your pocket.

Magnetic keys are often the fastest kind of key to open because they don’t have any bolts or screws on them whatsoever. They’re very easy to hang onto, and you can use them anywhere with a nearby machine that uses metal bars for a locking mechanism.

18. Double or Four-Sided Key

The four-sided key is another special kind of key meant for use in factories or other industrial areas. This particular kind of key can be attached to a metal bar as soon as it’s inserted into the locking mechanism, so nobody will be able to take it away from you when they come up behind you and try to take it.

The four-sided key is meant for use on the corner of a body or device that’s been locked up, which means that you can use it to start your vehicle whenever you need to get away in a hurry. These keys are often used by mechanics who work inside factories because they want the ability to leave at any time without having to deal with the repercussions of losing their keys.

The four-sided key comes at a higher price than most other types of keys, but it’s well worth the investment because it’ll never get stuck in your pocket or anywhere else within reach of a thief. The long and sturdy metal on this kind of key is a big advantage because it will never bend or break, which means you’ll be able to use the same key for years on end.

The four-sided key is very easy to carry around without taking up too much space in your pocket, and you’ll also be able to attach it directly onto your pants without worrying about it falling off. This type of key is popular with mechanics because they can hook it onto their belt when they’re working in a factory and then quickly attach it to the corner of a vehicle once they get outside.

19. Mechanically Cut Key

The mechanically cut key is another special type of key that’s meant for use on the corner of a vehicle, or at least in some other place where it will open up something. This kind of key is made out of very sturdy metal that can stand up against a lot of force without bending or breaking at all.

Many people like to use the mechanically cut kind of key because it’s very easy to hang onto, and you won’t have to worry about anyone stealing it right out of your hand. The metal on this type of key is also strong enough to hold up against a lot of force without having to bend or break, which means you’ll be able to use the same key for several years before needing to invest in a new one.

The mechanically cut kind of key is perfect for use on your car because it’s very easy to hang onto, and you won’t have to worry about bending or breaking it whenever someone tries to take it away from you. This key is also very easy to carry around without taking up any extra space in your pocket.

Mechanically cut keys sometimes come with a chain that can be used to attach them onto something, so you won’t have to worry about losing the key as soon as you turn it over in your hand. The firm metal on this type of key is meant for use on the corner of a vehicle, but it’s also great for holding up against force when you need to open something with just one hand.

20. Cylinder Key

The cylinder kind of key comes in many sizes and shapes, but they all share one main thing in common: they have thick metal surrounding them that makes them difficult to break apart. The cylinder key is very easy to carry around because you can place it in your pocket without worrying about it getting stuck on anything else, and the metal won’t bend or break if someone happens to try forcing it open.

The cylinder key is made out of very sturdy metal that allows you to use it as a makeshift weapon when you’re in danger. The metal on this type of key is tough enough to hold up against a lot of force without having to bend or break, which means it will be with you for years on end.

The cylinder kind of key comes in many different sizes and shapes, but they all share one main thing in common: the metal on them is very thick and sturdy, which means it will hold up against a lot of force without having to bend or break. These keys are often used as self-defense weapons because they’re easy to carry around and can take a lot of punishment before breaking apart.

21. Smart Car Key

The smart key is the kind of key you’ll find on some popular cars today. This type of key has a microchip engraved inside that allows it to do several things, such as unlock and lock the doors, start up your ride with just one push of a button, and even activate all or certain parts of the vehicle’s security system.

The smart key is very easy to carry around because it’s small and compact, and you can easily slip it into your pocket without having to worry about getting stuck on anything else. This type of key often comes with a microchip that allows it to do several different things, such as unlock the doors without using a physical key, start up your vehicle with a push of a button and even activate all or certain parts of your car’s security system. 

The smart key is perfect for use under extreme weather conditions because the microchip inside won’t crack or break apart no matter what you put it through.

The smart key is the type of key that’s often found on newer vehicles today. This type of key has a microchip engraved inside that allows it to do several things, such as unlock and lock the doors, start up your ride with just one push of a button, and even activate all or certain parts of the vehicle’s security system.

The smart key is made out of very sturdy metal that allows you to use it as a makeshift weapon when you’re in danger. The metal on this type of key is tough enough to hold up against a lot of force without having to bend or break, which means it will be with you for years on end.

22. VAT Keys

The VAT key is the type of key you’ll find on many European cars, especially in Germany. This type of key uses a barcode to unlock any vehicle with just one swipe across the car door.

This type of key can be used regardless of what kind of weather conditions you happen to be in because its barcode will never crack or break apart no matter what happens. This particular type of key is very easy to carry around because it’s small and compact, and you can easily slip it into your pocket without having to worry about getting stuck on anything else.

Uses for Keys

There are many different uses for keys, including for your car, home or office, padlock, or even your puzzles.

Car Keys

Car keys are very important because you won’t be able to drive your car without them. The key is what allows you to start up and stop your engine, unlock the doors and access certain features inside the vehicle. Keys also allow you to use any extra security systems that come with newer vehicles. For example, many vehicles today have an alarm feature and a tracking device to monitor the vehicle’s whereabouts at all times.

Many people carry around car keys in their pocket or purse because they need them regularly, and many of these individuals also have spare car keys that can be used in case one breaks or gets lost.

Home or Office Keys

Home and office keys are very important because they allow you to enter your home or office without having to break in. Keys are also a great way of keeping unwanted visitors out because they can damage your property if they have access to your house or apartment.

Home and office keys come in many different designs, including the common metal key that most people are accustomed to. They also come in many different shapes and sizes, such as the rectangular-shaped key or one that’s shaped like a dog bone. Keys are often made out of sturdy metal, so they don’t break easily when you use them on your door locks, and they come with a decorative design at the end for easy identification.

Padlocks

Keyless Entry Padlocks are very popular with people who don’t like to carry around many keys on their keychains. They come in handy for storing tools and other important items that you may need access to from time to time because they can be opened with just one press of a button, which only you will have access to.

Keyless Entry Padlocks also come in handy for safety because they can be used to keep people out of certain rooms or areas that you don’t want them entering, such as a locker room at the gym or even your private office space at work. Not only are these padlocks great for keeping people out, but they come with special features that allow you to record your voice, which means anyone using the lock will have to listen to you whenever they want to access.

Battery-operated padlocks are also very popular because they don’t require keys or a keyhole for operation. This type of padlock doesn’t need a keyhole because you can simply use your finger to unlock and lock the shackle.

Puzzle Keys

These are great for keeping all of your secrets a secret, making them ideal for diaries or even filing cabinets at work. You will have multiple ways of opening this type of padlock depending on your knowledge level, but most of them will require you to solve a puzzle or answer a question.

Some of these padlocks also feature a combination lock rather than having several different ways of opening the shackle. A keyless entry padlock is ideal if you don’t want people accessing your diary because it will take some time for someone to figure out how to unlock the shackle.

Conclusion

We created this guide to help you find the perfect type of key for your needs. The guide includes information about each type of key and what they are used for and how they work. Be sure to check it out if you’re looking for a new set of keys or just want more information on which one is best suited to meet your specific requirements.