For most people when thinking of the word tumbler they conjure thoughts of acrobats and gymnasts. Some might think of a tumbler that is used in nightclubs and drinking establishments that are found behind the bar, especially if a person has experience as a bartender. As we have touched on some forms of what a tumbler is, as those are all definitions of a tumbler, we also can find how the word applies to locks and locksmithing.
The tumbler or in the case of a lock, tumblers, move inside of a locks cylinder in a manner that impedes a locks process until the proper combination or primary key puts them into alignment. Tumblers are small items that are usually, in modern times, made of metal. In use of added protection to a ward lock the tumbler generally proves more secure. Most of the locks in popular use today have some type of tumbler arrangement in them.
Within most basic key operated cylinders, and locks can come with more than one cylinder, there is the housing (cylinder case), springs, the plug, which is the where the keyway is, and tumblers. When the primary key for a tumbler lock is inserted into the keyway that key then positions the tumblers to an arrangement which frees the plug to turn. The springs of a tumbler lock are set in a manner that forces them to apply force to the tumblers. Those tumblers are laid in a way so that if a wrong key is inserted or no key is present the pressure from the springs forces one or more of the tumblers into a position that stops the plug from being able to be turned.
Tumbler locks, also known as cylinder locks in some cases have a single, key operated cylinder based on one side of a door which allows no need for a key to be used to activate it from the other side. The double cylinder key operated locks do, on the other hand, require a key on both sides in order for it to work.
In their most basic form the cylinder lock is based on design from ancient Egypt, made of a wooden post attached to a door and a parallel bolt that would slide into place in the post. This bolt, which possessed an upright opening with a set of pins, was able to be lifted to the necessary height and unlocked by use of a key to move the bolt.
The plug of a tumbler lock has a straight formed slot for a keyway which lets the key enter the plug. The keyway of a tumbler lock has protruding ledges which help in preventing the pins from falling into the plug therefore making it quite a bit more resistant to lock picking.
Be sure to check with all applicable fire and building codes before installing double cylinder locks as they are restricted when blocking access to the outdoors in case of emergencies arises where a quick exit is required.
If you'd like to know more then contact your local Minneapolis Locksmith.