Learn more about ABUS key systems in our glossary © ABUS

Key systems Security from A to Z

Terms relating to key systems explained in a nutshell - that's what our glossary offers you. Find out about everything from ‘breakaway protection’ to ‘cylinder extension’.


Active tumbler

see pin tumbler

Additional lock

An additional lock is any type of additional, often retrofittable security lock for windows, French doors and doors.

Adjusting piece

Calibration stone for measuring and testing devices.

Adjusting spanner set

also: Set of space and depth keys

Key whose notches are all cut in one notch value. The keys of all notch values are compiled into a set. They are used to cut the key by code.

Anti-drilling protection

also: Drill protection

In the cylinder core and/or housing there are additional elements made of hardened special steel or carbide to make it more difficult to bore out the cylinder.

These elements can be rigidly mounted or used in the form of core and top pins.

Asymmetric cylinder

This means lock cylinders whose inner and outer sides have different lengths.

Attack resistance

The attack resistance according to DIN EN 1303 indicates how resistant a lock cylinder is against rough mechanical attack variants that leave marks. The cylinders are ranked in classes 0 to 2. Types of attack include drilling, chiselling, turning or pulling out the cylinder and twisting the cylinder core. Testing is carried out by an accredited testing institute, which must confirm the class sought by the manufacturer.



Distance measurement for door mortice locks. The backset is determined by the front edge of the mortice lock to the centre of the follower or keyhole.

Basic length

The basic length of the cylinder describes the system-dependent minimum length from the centre of the forend screw bore hole to the left or right end face of the housing. The ABUS Pfaffenhain factory standard distinguishes between 5-pin and 6-pin products. The basic length of a 5-pin system is 26.5 mm/26.5 mm and for a 6-pin system, 30.5 mm/30.5 mm.


Bundesverband der Hersteller und Einrichterfirmen für Sicherheitssysteme e. V. with headquarters in Dittweiler.

Blocking mechanism

Blocking mechanisms are registered single-differ locks for one or more cylinders with security card

Blocking ball

Security element in the form of a steel ball located in the cylinder core, which checks for a raised locking rib in the key. If this rib is missing, e.g. in the case of defective key copies, the spring-loaded top pin displaces the blocking ball when turned by 135 degrees and the housing pin engages permanently.


A bolt is the locking element of the lock that locks the door when it is closed.

Breakage protection

Constructive measure that prevents the cylinder from breaking off in the area of the screw hole (e.g. with knockout tube) or makes it considerably more difficult. These measures can be, for example, predetermined breaking points which allow the cylinder to break in a controlled manner at a different point.

Breakaway protection

Breakaway protection is the protection of the lock cylinder from being pulled out or torn off by special tools. The cylinder can be protected by its own design features or by a protective fitting.



also: Locking lug, driver

The cam is the part of a cylinder which, after engaging with the cylinder core, actuates the bolt mechanism of the lock when the key is turned

Cam cylinder

also: Lever lock, letterbox cylinder

Cam cylinders are lock cylinders for locking sheet metal doors, e.g. for letterboxes or steel cabinets. The lever is located on the cylinder and is moved into the open and closed positions by the key’s turning movement and acts directly as a bolt. As a rule, the key can only be removed in the locking position (forced locking).

Can be locked on both sides

see emergency function

Cam position

also: Locking lug position

As standard, the profile double cylinders are delivered with the cam turned 32° from the 6 o'clock position. When installing, always make sure that the cam is facing the hinges of the door. The turned position means that the cylinder can only be removed with the matching key.

On profile half cylinders, the cam is at 6 o'clock as standard, but can be adjusted in 45° increments


Comité Européen de Normalisation, European Committee for Standardisation based in Brussels.

Central key system (C system)

Key system in which several different single keys lock one or more central lock cylinders.

For example, all the flat entrance doors of a block of flats are fitted with lock cylinders with different key codes and their own keys. Locks with lock cylinders that are usually keyed alike are installed in the doors that are shared by all residents of the house - the front door, the courtyard door, the entrance door to the attic and the cellar door. Each resident then uses his or her flat key to lock not only his or her flat entrance door, but also the shared doors equipped with central lock cylinders. However, no resident can use his or her key to get into someone else's flat. It is possible to include e.g. the garage, cellar room and the resident's letterbox in the central locking system. (wording from DIN 18252)

Charging thorn

The charging thorn is a special tool made of steel or brass for filling the cylinder housing with top pins and pressure springs.

Clamping aid

Special form clamping device which enables the milling of key cuts for keys with complex profile cross-section or incisions on both sides which cannot be clamped in a defined manner by plane-parallel jaws. When copy milling, 2 clamping aids are always required.

Clip escutcheon

Profile cylinder-shaped plastic escutcheon for fitting on the end pieces of the universal blind cylinder. Available in twelve colours.

Clutch carrier

also: Coupling rod

The clutch carrier is a component that is mounted on the back of special lock cylinders. The clutch carrier transmits the locking movement of the key to the bolt.

Code bar

The code bar is a tool for setting the various notch depths for key cutting machines.


Requirements for design and functional safety make it necessary to coat the surfaces of the manufactured raw parts. Different materials require different technologies:

- Standard colouring for brass: galvanic nickel

- Special colours for brass: galvanic chrome, brass-coloured (electropolished, with tarnish protection), bright gold, matt gold, antique bronze

- Standard colouring for aluminium: F2 (anodized silver)

- Special colours for aluminium: anodized F1 (natural), F3 (gold-coloured), F4 (anodized bronze)

Construction cylinders

Profile double or half cylinder with latching position, which is used in the construction phase and serves to close cylinder openings. These cylinders can usually be locked with any available key, regardless of the brand.

Construction key feature

If security is to be maintained after a key is lost without replacing cylinders, e.g. in private homes, etc.

The cylinders are supplied with two different sets of keys.

After the cylinder has been delivered, only the keys of the first set are used. The keys of the second set must be kept in a safe place and must not be mixed with the first set. If keys from the first set are lost, the locking permutation must be changed. This is done by locking the cylinder with a key from the second set. The key must complete a rotation of 360°. From this point on, no key from the first set can be used to lock the cylinder. If the lost key was authorised for multiple cylinders, all these cylinders, if equipped with a construction key feature, must also be locked with the key from the second set

Contour profile

Multi-paracentric patented special profile for a vertical key guide, notched on one side. The key shaft has an angled profile contour that results in effective picking resistance.

Conventional locking systems

see cylinder core

Core extension

also: Cylinder core extension

To construct profile cylinders extending beyond the basic length, the cylinder cores are extended to the required dimension with a core extension.

Core pin

Pins located in the cylinder core, usually with a truncated cone-shaped head, in various lengths and materials. In combination with the cuts in the key, the locking level is created after the key has been fully inserted in the cylinder and the core is able to be turned. The core pins, can have specially shaped features such as chamfers or constrictions.

Corrosion protection
Corrosion resistance

Component in a profile cylinder that connects the lock cylinder operated by the key with the cam in a rotationally fixed manner (wording from DIN 18252)

Coupling rod

Flat sheet steel rod on the back of special cylinders which are mounted in conjunction with locks prepared for this purpose. The coupling rod transmits the locking movement of the key to the lock mechanism.


see reinforced door bar

Cutaway model

A cutaway model is a sample cylinder that shows the function and mode of operation of the individual parts inside the cylinder with the help of elongated cutouts on the sides.

Cutter for drilled recesses

This is a truncated cone-shaped cutter for milling the drill recesses.

Cylinder dimension

The distance from the centre of the forend screw to the outside of the door fitting is measured to determine the optimum length of the lock cylinder.

Attention! See cylinder protrusion!

Cylinder colouring

Coloured version of a profile cylinder, see colouring.

Cylinder core

also: Core, roll

Lock cylinder part that moves when the corresponding key is operated. (wording from EN 1303)

Cylinder core extension

see core extension

Cylinder core head groove

The core head groove is the vertical milling of the cylinder core head to hold the key shaft and serves to improve the transmission of the torque.

Cylinder cover

Additional security element with door fitting. Protects the outside (= attack side) of the lock cylinder against drilling and breaking off.

Cylinder extension

This means the gradual adjustment (in 5 mm increments) of the cylinder lengths to the respective door thicknesses in connection with the fittings.

Cylinder housing

The cylinder housing is the enclosing part of a lock cylinder for holding the cylinder core and all associated components.

Cylinder insert

see lock insert

Cylinder length

The cylinder length is the extension from the outside (face) to the inside (face) for profile cylinders.

Cylinder protrusion

Dimension by which the outside of the cylinder protrudes over the door fitting. The permissible projection according to DIN 18252 is +/- 3 mm.

By using the normal extension spacing of 5 mm, this requirement can be met without any problems.

Cylinder system

System with specific attributes to cover a defined security requirement. The systems differ in profile shapes, the number of locking rows, the number of tumblers, patent features and in ease of assembly.


Deadbolt lock

see oval cylinder deadbolt lock

Dial gauge for drilled recess depths

The dial gauge for drilled recess depths is a device for measuring the dome depth on the key.

Dial gauge for bitting depth

The dial gauge for bitting depth is a device for measuring the exact notch depth on the key. The dial gauge is calibrated by means of an adjusting piece. Using the comparative values on the table provided, it is possible to quickly check whether the notch has been manufactured within the permissible tolerance limits. However, the notch cannot be fully measured, as the distance to the key stop cannot be determined.


German Institute for Standardisation, based in Berlin.

Display device for bitting depth

Testing device to determine the notch depth of an undocumented key. It is not possible to measure the exact notch depth with the display device.


see drilled recesses

Door dimensions

It is the third digit of the eight-digit coding scheme of classification according to EN 1303. There are no requirements for door dimensions. Therefore, only one class is defined for door dimensions: class 0.

Door directions

Left out and right in = DIN left

Right out and left in = DIN right

Door fitting

A door fitting according to DIN 18257 protects the lock cylinder from violent attacks.

Door fitting for fire doors

This means a door fitting for fire doors tested according to DIN 18273 (fire test) and DIN 18257 (burglary test).

double cylinder

They are the most common - they can be closed from both sides with the matching keys. Available in different housing profile variants.

Draw-off position

This is the position of the cylinder core in which the key can be pulled out. In the case of special cylinders, multiple draw-off positions are possible, but restrictions in locking systems are to be expected here if necessary.

Drill protection

See anti-drill protection

Drilling protection bridge

also: Carbide bridge, drilling protection plate

The drilling protection bridge is a U-shaped carbide bridge integrated into the cylinder core. It provides optimal anti-drill protection.

Drill recesses

also: Dome, side bore

Drill recesses are truncated cone-shaped recesses, usually on the key face, which are scanned in the same way as the key cuts of movable tumblers.

Drill recess system

Type of lock cylinder whose associated keys are primarily equipped with drilled recesses.

Dummy cylinder

Dummy cylinders are profile cylinders for locking door openings with a uniform design.

Dummy core

The dummy core is a cylinder core without profiling. This is used in our express service cylinders. It is used to hold the semi-assembled parts (core and key extensions, coupling, cam as well as housing pin) in place in the cylinder housing. When the user assembles the cylinder, the dummy core is replaced by a profiled core.


It is the second digit of the eight-digit coding scheme of classification according to DIN EN 1303.

After a certain number of test locking cycles, the lock cylinders must be able to be operated again with a new original key, with a torque no higher than 1.5 Nm.

Dust cap

see rain cover escutcheon


Effective key differs

Variation between lock cylinders of the same design based only on moving tumblers, the purpose of which is that each lock cylinder can only be locked with the associated key. The number of effective dissimilarities is equal to the number of theoretical dissimilarities minus the dissimilarities deducted by the manufacturer for technical reasons taking into account the requirements of this standard, and minus the dissimilarities deducted in accordance with the limitations of DIN EN 1303 - 4.8.4. (wording from DIN EN 1303)

Emergency feature with freewheel

Combination of freewheel function and emergency feature

Emergency function

also: Emergency function

Function that ensures that in the case of a profile double cylinder, it can also be locked from the opposite side with a second corresponding key despite the key being inserted with one end turned. (wording from DIN 18252)

Emergency function

see emergency feature

Emergency key function

Function that ensures that if a key is inserted from the opposite side and turned on one side, the profile double cylinder can only be locked with the emergency key. (wording from DIN 18252)

Escutcheon plate

An escutcheon plate is used to bridge dimensional differences and to cover the door opening when installing the cylinder. It is available for lever, furniture, push button and rim cylinders.

Espagnolette lock

Furniture lock that locks the furniture door by rotating rods at at least two points. An espagnolette lock consists of the lock case, the espagnolette rods and the locking hooks (gripping hooks). The locking hooks are attached to the upper and lower ends of the espagnolette rod. They reach behind the locking bolts. These are screwed into the top and bottom of the piece of furniture.

Express - Service cylinder

These profile cylinders contain all the essential parts required for self-assembly of a lock/locking system cylinder of the Standard, Z14, V14, Y14 and W14 systems. The lock cylinders are equipped with a dummy core that has no profiling. To convert to a special locking system, the dummy core must be replaced with a profiled cylinder core. Individual parts such as the core and key extension, coupling, cam and housing pin are already semi-assembled at the factory. Only the core pin and spring washers need to be added.


see core extension or key extension

Extension module

The extension module is a component in the cylinder of the modular design. It contains the housing and core extension and comes in 5 mm increments.


Factory profile

Key profiles reserved exclusively for factory-made key systems.

In the case of key systems in the factory profile, no data (pin assignment, notch values, etc.) is sent to the customer; the manufacturer has the exclusive right to pin cylinders (such as for any locking system extensions) and to cut keys.

Key blanks are not available in these profiles for the specialised trade. (In contrast, see Proprietary profile)

Filling piece

The filling piece is a component of the modular cylinders. It is used to define the profile cylinder contour at the centre groove and is mounted on the module bar. It also has the job of securing the housing extension to prevent axial displacement.

Fire brigade triangle

The fire brigade triangle is a special knob according to DIN 3223, which can be mounted on profile cylinders and operated with a special triangular key.

Fire door

The fire door is a DIN-tested construction element that withstands a defined period without damage in the event of a fire. The doors are assigned to different fire resistance classes based on their load-bearing capacity.

Fire resistance

Lock cylinders must have successfully passed the test according to DIN EN 1634-1 (complete door). It is not necessary that the lock cylinder can still be operated after the fire test has been carried out. Brass profile cylinders can generally be classified in class 1. This number corresponds to the fourth digit of the eight-digit coding scheme of the classification according to DIN EN 1303.

Fixing screw

Fastening means with which a profile cylinder can be fastened in a lock case. (wording from DIN 18252)

Flat profile

The flat profile designates a multi-paracentric, patented special profile for a vertical key guide, notched on one side and with optional domes. Flat profiles are used in the Standard system.

Forced locking

The key can only be removed from the lock cylinder (push cylinder, cam cylinder, padlock) when in the locked position. Padlocks can be supplied with or without the positive locking option.


The forend is the visible part of the mortice lock when the door is opened. The forend shows the bolt, latch and forend screw.

Free-turning function

Function which ensures that both cylinder cores of the profile double cylinder are not connected to the cam in a non-rotating manner when the keys are removed. (wording from DIN 18252)

Furniture cylinder

A furniture cylinder is a rim cylinder for special deadbolt and espagnolette locks, which is used in office furniture and in cabinets.


Gauge key
General master key

A general master key (GMS key) is the key at the top hierarchical level of a general master key system. It closes all cylinders in such a key system.

In contrast to the master key system, however, there are still one or more different group keys here.

General master key system (GMS system)

Locking system whose functions are extended compared to a master key system with the aid of general master keys, main group keys and/or group keys.

The lock cylinders of a general master key system are combined to form several groups. Each group is locked by a group key. It is possible to combine two or more groups into one main group. All lock cylinders in a main group can then be opened by one main group master key. In general, the general master key operates all lock cylinders in this system; each door may have a lock cylinder with its own key code and keys installed.

It is possible to combine central key systems and master key systems/general master key systems. (wording from DIN 18252)

Group key

A group key (GK) is a superordinate key of a general master key system. It locks all cylinders in the group assigned to it.



The half cylinder is a lock cylinder with only one locking side. For the ABUS Pfaffenhain factory standard, the basic length of a 5-pin system is 26.5/9.8 mm and for a 6-pin system, 30.5/9.8 mm.

Hard metal bridge

see drilling protection bridge


see key head

High-strength drill protection

Anti-drill protection class for profile cylinders defined according to the ABUS Pfaffenhain factory standard. In addition to the standard anti-drill protection, two hardened steel pins are used in the cylinder core and in the housing on each locking side, as well as an additional 1mm thick carbide needle pin on the front side of the housing to protect the pin tumbler springs.


see cylinder housing


Increased drill protection

Anti-drill protection class defined according to the ABUS Pfaffenhain factory standard. In addition to the standard drill protection, two hardened steel pins are used in the cylinder core and in the housing on each locking side.

Inlet dome

see run-up and lift-out surfaces

Inside dead stop

also: Inside stop

Patent-protected feature of some high-quality key systems in which the key no longer hits against the cylinder core head, but against a dead stop hidden inside the cylinder. The special groove, which is required to create the dead stop inside the key, also means technical copy protection.


International Organization for Standardization, based in Geneva.



The jaw, which usually has clamping surfaces with parallel faces, fixes the key in place while milling the key cuts. However, some systems require jaws with specially profiled clamping surfaces.



Separate device corresponding to the lock cylinder which mechanically operates the lock cylinder. (wording from DIN EN 1303)

Keyed alike cylinders

Keyed alike cylinders are a set of cylinders and keys that lock together but all have the same structure or coding. Cylinders of different construction types are possible.

Key blank

Key blanks are keys that are already equipped with a key profile but do not yet have key cuts

Key catch

also: Spherical countersink, conical countersink

This is the name given to the funnel-shaped milling on the cylinder core head to facilitate the key’s insertion into the cylinder core

Key cap

A key cap is a plastic head attached to the key that serves to help tell keys apart. They are available in different shapes and colours and make the keys easier to handle.

Key cross-section

See key profile

Key cut

see steps

Key depot

Device to support organisation within key systems, e.g. to prevent key loss within the key system. A certain key locks a mechanism and enables the removal of a second key, but cannot itself be removed until this second key is returned via the mechanism. The mechanism can be designed, for example, in the form of two cam cylinders that are coupled to each other via cog wheels rotating in opposite directions.

Key extension

The key extension is a component for bridging the distance between the key tip and the clutch on extended profile cylinders.

Key head

also: Key head

The key head is the part of the key that you hold in your hand during the locking process.


see jaw

Key notch

see drilled recesses

Key notch

see steps

Key profile

also: Key cross-section

Cross-sectional shape of the key shaft that is inserted into the keyway of the cylinder core. Key profile series in locking systems allow different key profiles to be inserted into the keyway of a profile cylinder as well as the insertion of a key profile into the keyways of different profile cylinders. (wording from DIN EN 1303)

Key shank

The key shaft refers to the part of the key on which the profile and key cuts are located

Key stopper

see cylinder core head groove

Key strength

Specification of the minimum key load capacity according to DIN EN 1303. The key is inserted all the way into the cylinder core and loaded with a torque of 2.5 Nm +/- 0.1 Nm for a duration of 5 s when the cam is locked. After that, the key must load the cylinder with a maximum torque of 1.5 Nm.

Key strongbox

The key strongbox is a small, lockable safe that is firmly installed and anchored in the masonry. The key strongbox is used to hold a property key, e.g. for surveillance companies or fire brigades.

Key switch

A key switch is a special cylinder containing one or more switches with solder connections on the back. The number of key removal positions usually corresponds to the number of switch positions

Key switch

A key switch is a special cylinder that contains one or more switches with solder connections on the back and usually only has one key removal position. As long as the key is turned against the dead stop in the cylinder, the button remains actuated.

Key tag

A key tag is a plastic plate with an inscription field connected to a single key by means of a key ring.

Key tip

The key tip is the end of the key shaft. The tip of the key is usually used to operate the clutch. Additional features for technical copy protection, such as the internal stopper, can be positioned on the key tip.


The keyway is the opening in the lock cylinder core for receiving the key.

The keyway has a profiled cross-section to guide the key securely into position. Different profiles prevent unauthorised keys from being inserted.

Knob cylinder
Knob cylinder with lockable knob
Knob cylinder with slip clutch

see slip clutch

Knob shaft



The latch is a component of the mortice lock, which is retracted from the forend by the locking process and releases the door lock.


The term ‘cam’ is used to describe the driver of a mortice cylinder. The latches are available in different variants.


The lever is a part of the cam cylinder that acts as a bolt (e.g. letterbox).

Lever style

Thanks to a variety of different applications, the lever (in the case of the cam cylinder) can be adapted to different lengths, sizes, offsets and shapes.


Lockbase is a software for creating, calculating and managing key systems.

Lift cylinders

Profile half or rim cylinders especially for installation in lifts.

Lock cylinder

Mechanism usually separate from the associated lock and operated by a key.

Lock cylinder function

When the matching key is inserted into the keyway of the cylinder core, the lock cylinder's locking elements, the pin tumblers (consisting of bottom pins, top pins and pressure springs), are pressed onto one level and then release a parting plane between the cylinder core and cylinder housing. This allows the cylinder core to be turned with the inserted key. The cam of the cylinder actuates the bolt mechanism of the lock in question and thus unlocks the door, window, etc. When the key is removed, the pin tumblers are pressed by the pressure springs to the end of the bore of the cylinder core, so that they lock the cylinder core and the cylinder housing, and therefore the cylinder core cannot be rotated - and in turn, the locking mechanism cannot be operated.

Locking mechanism

The key code is an arrangement of key cuts or key notches designed for a particular lock cylinder to align its tumblers.

Locking row

Level on which several tumblers of the same design are located in the longitudinal direction. Depending on the design, there can be multiple tumbler levels per locking system.

Locking security

When evaluating the locking security, a representative lock cylinder of its type is tested and classified according to six different aspects, including the minimum number of moveable tumblers, the minimum number of effective key differs and post-locking security. Classification 1 to 6 is the seventh digit of the eight-digit coding scheme of the EN 1303 classification.

Locking system

A locking system is a combination of different lock cylinders that are in a certain relationship to each other. Depending on the type of system, the locking functions can be bundled and precisely assigned. There are different types of key systems: Central key systems, master key systems and general master key systems


Management programme for key systems

see Lockbase

Manipulation protection
Master key

The master key locks all the different lock cylinders within a master key system.

Master key system (MK system)

Locking system in which one master key can lock all lock cylinders present in the locking system.

The lock cylinders of a master key system are set up in such a way that all lock cylinders of this system can be opened and closed with a single master key. Lock cylinders with different key codes and their own keys can be located on all doors. These single keys only fit one lock cylinder or several lock cylinders keyed alike.

Master pin

also: Small plate, HS pin

Additional locking element inserted in a pin tumbler which allows more than one associated key to be assigned to the profile cylinder (wording from EN 1303).

Cylinders with mounting pins are used in master key systems to enable the function of superordinate keys as well as the central cylinder. These cylinders can have multiple body pins.

Mechatronic lock cylinder (MC)

Device with an integrated or a separately located electronic system to be used together with a lock for operating this lock after verification of a user's authorisation, and which can be replaced by a mechanical lock cylinder according to EN1303 without replacing door fittings.

Minimum quantity surcharge

The minimum quantity surcharge is levied for locking system extensions for small orders of less than eleven cylinders.

Modular cylinder
Module bar

The module bar is a component in profile cylinders of the modular design and consists of a high-strength beryllium bronze alloy. It is available in different lengths - depending on the length of the profile cylinder. The module bar is used to connect the two cylinder halves.

Mortice cylinder

A mortice cylinder is a half cylinder with an external thread that is screwed into a special lock with its external thread.

Mortice lock

A mortice lock is a lock that is inserted into the prefabricated lock bag of a door and is usually installed together with a lock cylinder. Available for timber, steel and tubular frame doors (= tubular frame lock).

Mounting clip
Mounting hook for charging thorn
Movable tumblers

Part of a lock cylinder that must first be moved to a suitable position by the associated key before the key and/or lock cylinder core can be turned (wording from DIN EN 1303)

Multifunctional key

A multifunctional key is a measuring instrument with additional functions that can be used to both determine the cylinder length and to operate the lock without an installed cylinder.

Multiple locking systems

A multiple locking system is a special door lock that locks not only at one point (classic: bolt on the forend), but at multiple points. Special cam variants may be required for this device.

Mushroom pins

also: Dumbbell pins

Designation for housing pins with a special shape, which simulate a locking level by tilting sideways when picking occurs. According to DIN 18252, two pins with these properties must be used per locking side. The pins resemble a dumbbell in shape.


Nickel silver key

Key made of a special nickel silver alloy (62% copper, 24% zinc, 13% nickel and 1% lead) developed primarily for lock cylinder manufacturers.

Notch depth

also: Steps, notch value

Depth of the cuts on the surface of a key bit or key shaft.

Notch value

see notch depth


Old plant surcharge

The old system surcharge is a surcharge on the final prices for repeat orders for existing locking systems. It is added due to the greater effort required for the documentation, archiving and storage of the tools/blanks.


Olive is the technical term for a window handle. The knob-shaped handle on cupboards or office furniture is also called an olive.

Operational safety

It is the fifth digit of the eight-digit coding scheme of classification according to DIN EN 1303. Only one class of operational safety is specified: Class 0: no requirements for operational safety.

Oval cylinder

Oval cylinders are cylinders with an oval-shaped outer contour.

Oval cylinder deadbolt lock

This is a one-piece lock cylinder with integrated round bolt (various lengths), which is operated via a toothed gear. Oval cylinders do not require a separate lock case. They are available as double and half cylinders.



This is the term used for locks with shackles or bolts for locking, e.g. doors, roller shutters, containers with corresponding eyelets for holding the shackles or bolts.

Panic function

see freewheel function

Paracentric keyway

This is the term used for key profiles whose longitudinal profiles meet or exceed the central axis of the key at least twice.

Partner key

The partner key system refers to a special feature for special cylinders,

where the locking lever position required for unlocking can only be achieved by a combined use of keys from two key sets, which would not be possible if only one type of key was used (e.g. customer/bank employee).

Passive tumbler

A passive tumbler is also called an unsprung tumbler.

Passive tumblers primarily serve, similar to the profile variation elements, to increase the number of effective key differs

Patent protection

Patent protection is the patent owner’s right of protection against the economic use of their invention by third parties during the patent term. The patent term is 20 years, starting from the date of application.


Picking is the term used to describe the ‘intelligent opening’ of locking mechanisms with special tools. In the process, the pin tumblers are pressed down one after the other by means of needle-like tools into a position that enables the cylinder core to be rotated.

Pin spring

Part of the pin tumbler

Pin tumblers

Tumbler consisting of core pin, housing pin and pin spring, which is designed to allow rotation of the cylinder core in the cylinder housing only when the associated key is inserted all the way into the keyway.

Pin tumblers in single and multiple row arrangements are common. (wording from DIN 18252)

Pin tumbler spring

see pressure spring


see cam/locking lug

Post-locking security

Post-locking security describes the degree of difficulty with which lock cylinders can be operated with a key other than the associated key.

Pressure piece

The pressure piece is a component of the half cylinder with 8 cam positions. It is used to adjust the position of the cam.

Pressure spring

also: Pin spring, pin tumbler spring

Part of the pin tumbler. Presses the pin pair core pin - top pin into a position defined by the key or completely into the cylinder core.

Profile - double cylinder

see double cylinder

Proprietary profile

Proprietary profiles are profiles that are subject to special contractual requirements between the manufacturer and the specialist dealer. Proprietary profiles are reserved with territory protection. This means that within a defined radius (usually 50 km), the manufacturer guarantees that no other dealer will sell these profiles. With these profiles, the dealer has the ability to pin cylinders, notch keys and manufacture locking systems themselves. However, proprietary profiles are also subject to restrictions, e.g. they are not approved for the construction of lock cylinders with VdS certificate.

Pulling protection

Additional feature on cylinders to effectively prevent a cylinder from being pulled out, e.g. with the ‘corkscrew method’. This pulling protection is often already implemented in the security fittings with complete cylinder cover.

Push button cylinder

This refers to special cylinders which contain a locking insert with a locking bolt on the back, which in turn can perform a defined axial movement. The locking bolt on the back locks sliding doors, for example.

Push pin

A pressure pin serves as a coupling element for torque transmission between the cylinder core and the cam, which is activated when the key is inserted. The push pins are used for knob cylinders and for cylinders with emergency function or freewheel function.


Rain cover escutcheon

The rain cover escutcheon is a protective cover for profile cylinders to protect their pin tumblers from moisture and dust. The shape of the cover cap resembles a hinged lid

Reinforced door bar/reinforced door bar lock

The reinforced door bar lock is a double deadbolt lock that extends across the entire width of the door on the inside. It closes on the right and left into lock boxes anchored in the masonry.

It is an effective protective measure for doors. Both the opening and hinge sides of the door are heavily protected. Reinforced door bars have a high deterrent effect.

Retaining bolt

see retaining pin

Retaining pin

also: Retaining bolt

The retaining pin fixes the cylinder core in the housing of the padlock, cam cylinder or rim cylinder and serves to limit the locking distance.

Retaining washer

see spring washer

Reversible key systems

Locking systems whose keys are equipped with a rotationally symmetrical key profile and key cuts so that the key can also be inserted in a position rotated by 180 degrees.

Reversible profile

Profile series whose keys are equipped with a rotationally symmetrical key profile so that the key can also be inserted in a position rotated by 180 degrees.

Rim cylinder

Rim cylinders are cylinders with a round outer contour. They can be used in conjunction with mortice locks or additional locks prepared for this purpose, either individually or in pairs (inside and outside cylinder).

Rim cylinder with external thread

See mortice cylinder or cam cylinder

Rim lock

The rim lock is an additional door lock for front doors to houses or flats in which - depending on the design - various round cylinders are integrated.

Run-up and lift-out surfaces

also: Inlet drill hole, inlet dome

Run-up and lift-out surfaces on the key optimise the stroke movements of all pin tumblers in the cylinder and improve locking convenience.


Scandinavian cylinder

The Scandinavian cylinder is a cylinder with an oval cross-section. It is primarily used in Scandinavian countries in conjunction with mortice locks designed for it. There are external, internal and internal knob cylinders in this design.

Screw hole

also: Forend screw bore hole

The screw hole is located in the centre of the cylinder housing underneath the cam. Fitted with the standardised nominal thread M5, it serves to hold a forend screw for the purpose of fastening the profile cylinder to the forend.

Seawater resistance

Special profile cylinder feature for use under the influence of corrosive media. The housing and the cylinder cores always come in a chrome-plated finish. The cam is made of a high-quality sintered material with a zinc-nickel coating or chrome-plated brass. The spring washer also has a zinc-nickel coating. Brass and nickel-silver pins are used, steel pins for standard drill protection are replaced by nickel-silver coated steel pins. The forend screws come in chrome-nickel steel or yellow chromated steel. This special feature has been tested for corrosion resistance in the spray mist and climatic test according to DIN 50021-SS

Security card

A credit-card-sized security card is provided for each key system or blocking mechanism. This is the proof of identity that entitles the owner to reorder equipment for this key system

Separate interchangeable locking mechanism

The separate interchangeable locking mechanism is used where certain key sets are only granted a limited locking function. This is implemented using two different sets of keys. The second key set can only travel a limited distance in the profile cylinder to operate only the latch. This key cannot move the bolt, nor open nor close it. The first key set, on the other hand, can perform the full locking function, i.e. move both the interchangeable mechanism and the dead bolt to the full extent

Shackle diameter

The shackle diameter is the diameter of the shackle on the padlock.

Shackle height

The shackle height is the clear dimension between the upper edge of the housing and the lower edge of the inner shackle arch.

The shackle height may vary depending on the intended use of the padlock.

Shift cylinder

They are rim cylinders for switching electrical devices by means of a special driver.

Shaft contour

The key cuts are not V-shaped, but the support points of the bottom pins are connected by tangential circular arc sections with variable radii, creating a wave-shaped contour.

Short cylinder with triangle

Profile short cylinder one side blind, other side external triangular 7 mm with dimensions 9.8/9.8 mm.

Side core pins

Core pins of the pin tumblers of the second locking row in the K-systems. In contrast to conventional core pins, the side core pins are not positioned directly by the key cuts, but are controlled indirectly via spheres

Skuni key cap

The Skuni key cap is a universal key cap. The black plastic head with metal reinforcement is firmly welded to the key at the factory and is available with or without transponder

Sliding coupling

see standard function of the clutch

Slip clutch

The slip clutch allows unlocking even when the knob is held in place. The slip clutch integrated in the knob triggers when the torque of 1.5 Nm is exceeded and thus ensures the priority locking function of the key

Snap gauge for core pin lengths

The snap gauge is a tool for determining the length of core pins. However, it does not show the length dimension, only the type designation for the core pin.

Spare key

A spare key is a copy of a key.

Special feature

Special feature refers to special features of lock cylinders that deviate from the standard item supplied, e.g. emergency function. Special features are available at extra cost

Spring washer

also: Snap ring, spring washer, securing ring, clamping ring, retaining washer

Spring washers are components used to secure the axial position of the cylinder core or knob shaft in the housing. They are mounted in an annular groove of the component to be secured and can also be used with materials of different thicknesses to compensate for axial play.

Standard drill protection

Anti-drill protection class defined according to the ABUS Pfaffenhain factory standard. The top and bottom pins of the first and third pin tumblers are made of hardened, coated special steel. Minimum drill protection class for all cylinders that leave the factory fully assembled.

Standard function of the clutch

also: Sliding coupling

Function with the effect that if a key is inserted from the opposite cylinder side and turned on one side, the profile double cylinder cannot be operated by a second, associated key. (wording from DIN 18252)

Station plate

A station plate is a metal plate with customer data (address and customer number) embossed on it for a standard proof of identity. The plate is used to transfer special data to an order document via an imprinter (dispenser).

Step jump

Smallest nominal dimension difference between different key cuts.


also: Key notches, notches, cuts

Cuts in the surface of a key bit or key shaft which locate the movable tumblers. (wording from DIN 18252)

Swiss profile cylinder

also: Rim cylinder in Swiss profile, offset profile cylinder Ø22

Swiss profile cylinders have a profile shape that deviates from DIN 18252 and are offset in the area of the pin tumblers. In this area, the cross-section of the cylinder is round. They are used as double, half and knob cylinders in mortice locks designed for this purpose


Technical master key

The technical master key allows external services to enter only the corresponding technical rooms (heating cellar, waste disposal areas, etc.). It does not allow access to other rooms or flats within the building.

Tightening spiral pin

Pin for fastening the knob to the knob shaft on profile knob cylinders.

Tightening pin

See tightening spiral pin

Top pin

Pins of various materials, shapes and sizes located in the cylinder housing. They block the locking level when the key is removed.

Torsional strength

Torsional strength is the resistance of a cylinder when an appropriately shaped tool attempts to twist the cylinder core with a defined torque. The cylinder must be able to withstand this. Test according to EN 1303.

Trademark protection

Trademark protection is protection of registered trademarks under civil and criminal law. The protection lasts for ten years and can be extended for another ten years.


Radio communication device that picks up incoming signals and automatically answers or forwards them. The term ‘transponder’ is composed of the words ‘transmitter’ and ‘responder’. Transponders can be passive or active. Passive transponders are usually used for locking systems. Passive transponders are systems that draw the energy required for communication and for the execution of internal processes solely from the field of the read/write unit. Passive transponders therefore work without their own energy

Tube safe

The tube safe is a component of the key strongbox embedded in the masonry. It is available in lengths of 120 mm or 160 mm.


Part that must first be moved to a predetermined position by the associated key before the key can be turned to operate the lock. (wording from DIN EN 1303)


Universal dummy cylinder

For closing door openings when the locking function is not intended. With coloured clip escutcheons for a uniform design within the key system. Variable profile cylinder length thanks to sliding mechanism.

Unlocking security

Unlocking security is the degree to which it is difficult to overcome the locking elements of a lock cylinder without using force and without knowing the associated key.

Unlocking technology

Unlocking technology refers to methods of manipulating locks in such a way that they can be opened without the associated key. There are destructive and non-destructive methods:

destructive methods include core pulling and boring

non-destructive methods include picking

Utility class

The use class is the first digit of the eight-digit coding scheme of the classification according to DIN EN 1303. Class 1 - generally applies for users who are highly motivated to be cautious and unlikely to misuse the equipment.



VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH, certification body. Is an association under private law with which most property insurers are affiliated.

VdS-certified cylinders

are manufactured according to special guidelines issued by VdS and have been tested and certified by VDS. They are used in doors that are subject to special requirements by insurance companies.

The cylinder housings are always marked on the side with the embossed stamp ‘VdS’ and the series designation.

Only profile double, half and knob cylinders manufactured in specific factory profiles were approved.


Warded lock

The warded lock is the classic room door mortise lock. It is operated by means of a simple cast key with cam.

WC cylinders

The WC cylinder is also known as a knob cylinder with an Occupied indicator and is fitted with a 90° locking path limitation. There is a knob on the inside of the cylinder and a groove marked in red on the outside. Depending on the position of the groove (vertical or horizontal), you can see whether the door is locked from the inside or not.

Wear reduction

By using high-quality components and coatings for the lock cylinder, the service life is increased by 100% in accordance with DIN 18252.

Wire mounting clip

see mounting clip


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