What is A Keyway – Lock Keyway Types, Designs & Schlage vs Kwikset | CNCLATHING


How to identify your lock key and which type you should buy? Check out the lock keyway types and designs, as well as what is a keyway. If you still have questions about your key type, please feel free to contact us. 

What is A Keyway (Lock Keyway)?

The keyway refers to a hole or slot in a lock for receiving and guiding the key, it is characterized by its unique shape. Keyway is usually indicated by a letter, like B, E, F, H, J, etc. The set of the key of each lock comes in a distinctive design, which prevents the lock from being opened by the wrong key and ensure security. Lock cylinders are fabricated to suit the specific key. This means a lock cylinder with a particular keyway can only work with a key with a matching keyway. The keyway is not related to the pinning and cutting of the teeth on top of the key. In mechanical engineering, a keyway is also a long slot cut into a component to accept a key that engages with a similar slot on a mating component so that the two components do not move against each other.

Types of Keyway - Lock Keyway Types and Designs

Most keys work in the same way, but with specific shapes. Each brand of lock manufacturer has its own set of keyway designs. When you look at the front of a lock, you can see the shape of the slot. But for compatibility, the same keyways as common ones are often manufactured. There are lots of popular lock manufacturers on the market, we introduce the most common choices like Best, Schlage, and Kwikset. It’s very likely your key is one of them.

1. Best Keyway Types

Please note that, even though all the listed keyways are available in theory, but some of them are highly limited.

2. Schlage Keyway Types

Schlage uses CNC milling complex keyway shapes to mechanically prevent some non-OEM keys from entering or operating a lock. Schlage keyway types including Primus/Primus XP, Everest, Obverse, Reverse, Numbered or Paracentric, and Quad. The Reverse, numbered, Primus, Everest, and Quad key blanks are no longer protected by patents now.

3. More Keyway Types

Schlage vs Kwikset - Difference Between Schlage and Kwikset

How to identify your lock key? Here we compare the two most classic key types: Kwikset and Schlage.

1. Head

To identify the key, the first thing you need to do is to identify the shape of the key, which helps you find the brand. Match the head of your keys with one of these two types.

2. Engraving

Most lock manufacturers use some distinctive markings on the key, such as SC1 and KW1, if your key looks different than the two examples, check out the engravings, or if your keys are marked with a number or letter on them. If your key has KW1, KW10, 6, 65, 66, 5, WR5, or WR3 engraved on the head, it should be the Kwikset. While if the engraved numbers are SC1, 68, or C, it should be the Schlage. 

3. Grooves

Lay down your key with the teeth facing up, the Kwikset key should have two grooves while the Schlage only has one.

Lock Cylinder Machining Services at Junying

As a precision machining company, Junying (CNCLATHING) has been specialized in lock cylinder machining and lock parts manufacturing for more than 15 years, we are capable of producing custom and standard lock cylinder with different keyway types, 6-pin or 7-pin options for SFIC core, cam core, IC core, and other types of locks. Tight tolerances and strong materials ensure a high level of security.