You might know that most keys, whether they are house keys, car keys etc, are generally made out of metal. However, you might be wondering what kind of metal is used to make keys and whether this differs depending on the type of key.
If you want to learn more about what materials are used to make keys, please feel free to continue reading below.
What Are Keys Made Of?
Back in ancient times, keys were made of bronze, iron, or precious metals. These keys were designed to lift the tumblers that held the beam in place, pushing it in or out of position from the door frame. This was common by ancient Romans who actually came up with metal pin-tumbler locks.
However, if we are talking in the context of modern house keys, house keys are generally made from a combination of nickel and silver or brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc. Most keys are usually coloured silver or brown, but they can also be plated in an assortment of colours as well.
In a process called milling which is when the key is manufactured, it is also possible to emboss a company’s brand or logo onto the head of the key.
Typically, key stock can be made from carbon steel or stainless steel, but other materials with varying material grades include aluminium, brass, copper, and even nylon. Nickel silver, in particular, is one of the strongest materials used for keys as it can prevent key breakage.
You might be wondering: are car keys made out of the same material as house keys? The answer is yes! Generally, car keys are commonly made from nickel, aluminium, zinc, and silver. The more popular materials for car keys, however, are steel or brass.
It is also worth noting that the commonality of the metal that is used depends on the location. While steel is commonly used for keys, brass is more widespread in Australia. Iron is also common; in fact, wrought iron has been around for years, with most of the very first keys being made of this metal.
Why Are There Various Metals?
From wrought iron as once being the primary material for keys to having a wide range of metals nowadays, keys can be made from all sorts of materials. However, why are there so many?
There are several practical factors to consider when it comes to the type of metal used for a key. The main factor is cost. Most keys that are made out of steel usually cost less than, say, brass.
Workability and aesthetics are also considered. To some, keys aren’t just used to open doors; they are also accessories. Therefore, some metals such as aluminium are the preferred type of material for a key.
Additionally, some metals are easier to customise. For example, aluminium is much easier to customise as it can be painted on. Meanwhile, keys made out of brass are considered “fancy.” As such, the material of the key can depend on the desired cost, workability, and aesthetics.
Although there are many different types of keys out there, some of them are made of similar materials. Keys are typically made out of metals that come in varying grades. The commonality of the material depends on the location; for example, in Australia, brass keys are more common.
There are many materials for keys, whose factors depend on cost, workability, and aesthetic. All of these are considered when it comes to choosing the right material for your key.
If you need advice on the best locking system for you, please contact us at Solid Lock Locksmiths. We have adjusted the way we do business to adapt to the new normal. Just like the quality of our service, we make sure that your health takes top priority.
For a fast, reliable locksmith in your area, please call us today on 0401 073 756 or leave an inquiry.