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Locksmith Terminology

Locksmith Terminology

Locksmith Terminology

There is a growing market in the locksmith tool industry for two items, space and depth keys as well as another tool called a bump key. The terminology for these two products can be confusing for those new to the locksmith market. When ordering a product, especially online, it is good for the buyer to receive the correct item, the first time. This discussion can be useful to familiarize new buyers with the difference between these two items.


Space and depth keys can be used for determining the key code (sometimes called lock/key bitting) of a lock. This is done with the lock disassembled so that the lock pins can be seen. Space and depth keys are stamped and organized from most shallow to deepest depth. Space and depth keys are also used for cutting keys by the lock code or lock bitting. By inserting the space and depth keys into the tracing side of a key duplication machine and a blank on the cutting side, a technician can insert the correct depth key for each desired space, and generate a new key.


Bump keys are intended to open a lock without the use of a key or lock pick. There is a growing trend for the general public to purchase these keys, but locksmiths have been using these tools for many decades.

It is very good to know the difference between these two products so when ordering, because there has been much confusion in terms. The usage of the correct terminology can help both the seller and the purchaser of space and depth keys or bump keys.

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