Warded locks and their design have been in use since the earliest times of locks. Many variations of this type of lock are still present and in use today for a variety of functional scenarios that have kept this lock in demand through the ages.
Being one of the most ancient lock designs still in use today the warded lock is a fixed projection intended to block unauthorized keys from operating or entering the lock. The older version of warded locks would be comparable to the large metal casing types, complete with a big keyhole and they are most commonly associated with the skeleton key, which brings to mind those big old locks they use in scary movies, haunted houses and treasure chests from folklore past.
Warded locks still in use today range such lower security application locks such as padlocks, closet doors and cabinet locks. The key that is used for warded locks have slots that match to the notches in the lock which allow it to rotate unimpeded in the lock. Since any skeleton type key that is properly cut can defeat a variety of these locks they are not used for higher security needs in many places such as front door and indoor entry doors, however in the United Kingdom they are still in use for this function.
A set of obstructions are present in the most frequent types of warded locks which are usually consisting of concentric plates that are facing upwards. While the standard remains the same, depending on the lock, a warded lock can either have several complex wards with protrusions in them or also just a single, easy one. In order for the lock to turn the slots or notches must correspond to the wards in the lock, otherwise the key will hit an impediment and prevent the lock from turning. Provided the correct key is inserted, clearing the wards the key will revolve at the center post. When the key comes in contact with a lever that might push against a level or a bolt and trigger a sliding bolt or latch.
Warded locks are also called the bit key lock and can be identified by square cut keys and their wide, saw tooth like keyway, hence the skeleton key, resembling the skull on the larger, more antiquated versions of the warded lock key.
If you are needing to purchase locks for various circumstances and are trying to decide the best and correct lock for your situation always try to perform as much research as needed or consult your local Kansas City locksmith in order to have the best and most up to date information for the work with which you are needing a lock.
As stated, warded locks provide little in the way of security in comparison to many other locks on the market and when considering what type of lock a person may use for their specific need and the protection of ones more important or personal holdings, be sure when deciding to utilize these type of locks to choose intelligently and accordingly for all of your needs.