What is a skeleton key?

What is a skeleton key featured

What is a Skeleton Key?

Have you ever heard the term ‘skeleton key’ and wondered what it means? A skeleton key, also known as a passkey, is a type of key that can open multiple locks. While most keys are designed to fit a specific lock, a skeleton key has a unique shape that allows it to open various locks that require a similar key shape.

The History of Skeleton Keys

Skeleton keys have been around for centuries and were commonly used in the past as master keys for mansions, castles, and other large buildings. The keys were usually made by blacksmiths, who would craft them to fit multiple locks for the convenience of the building’s owner or caretaker. Skeleton keys were also used by locksmiths to create new keys for customers when the original key was lost or damaged.

How a Skeleton Key Works

A skeleton key works by using a simple mechanism called a ‘lever lock’. When the key is inserted into the lock, the key’s blade lifts the levers inside the lock to the correct height, allowing the lock to turn. Since many locks use a similar lever lock mechanism, a skeleton key can open multiple locks by fitting the levers inside the lock in the right way.

Modern Uses of Skeleton Keys

While skeleton keys aren’t as commonly used today as they were in the past, they still have some modern-day uses. Some antique furniture, such as old cabinets and dressers, may have locks that can be opened with a skeleton key. Additionally, some escape rooms and puzzle games may use skeleton keys as part of the game mechanics.

The Security Concerns of Skeleton Keys

While skeleton keys can be useful, they also pose a security concern if they fall into the wrong hands. Since a single skeleton key can open multiple locks, someone with access to a skeleton key could gain entry to many different places. For this reason, skeleton keys should always be kept in a secure location and should only be used by authorized individuals.

Jump to section