Magnetic Key Locks

Magnetic key locks have good anti-pick features and offer excellent key control

Electromagnetic locks with magnetic keys are locking devices that consist of an armature plate and an electromagnet and they can be fail-safe or fail secure. They come with many different advantages, including the fact that they can be built with electrical signaling features such as swipe cards and biometrics. Here are a few of the most important pros and cons of magnetic key locks, as well as some details on their mechanisms.

How Does A Magnetic Key Lock Work?magnetic keys

Magnetic key locks use electricity to make metal temporarily magnetic. A magnetic keyed lock uses variations in the pushing and pulling of a magnetic key in order for the pins to be properly set. Magnetic coded locks are a mix of magnetic key locks and standard locks.

The magnetic part of a lock with magnetic keys is connected to the frame of a door. It is also necessary for an armature plate to be attached to the same door in order for the system to work. These parts need to be in direct contact when the door is closed. When electrical current passes through the magnet, it triggers a magnetic flux that brings the magnet together with the armature, resulting in the locking of the door.

A magnetic key lock that is fail-secure is one that remains locked during a power outage. A fail-safe device will keep a door unlocked when there is no power. Fail-safe magnetic locks need electrical power to stay locked and they are not well-suitable for ensuring high levels of security on buildings. This lock is automatically disabled when the power is out. Burglars can take advantage of this aspect and cut the power from the electrical power before making their way into a house or a building. Nevertheless, it is possible to add a sensor for magnetic bonds and rely on backup generators and batteries to ensure more security. Magnetic key locks are suitable for emergency exit doors since there are no moving parts that could cause them to fail. This usually happens to electric strikes.

Plus, these locks also come with several other hardware components. There is no doorknob or lever interaction when using a magnetic key lock, which means that there is a need to fit a separate button to release the power supply. The button is installed near the door it will serve and it features a timer that maintains the lock in its unlocked position for up to 30 seconds. These are the NFPA fire code requirements building managers and owners need to take into consideration. Plus, an additional release is also part of the same fire codes. There is the possibility to use a motion sensor or a crash bar that features a switch to unlock a door on the exiting side of the door.

Benefits Of Magnetic Key Locks

  • Electromagnetic keyed locks open a door during an emergency when people need to immediately exit a building or a room.

  • These locks can rely on the entire range of signaling procedures that use electrical power, including key codes, motion sensors, fingerprint and biometrics, and swiping cards.

  • Magnetic locks are extremely sturdy and reliable, as they can withstand a force of 1,200 pounds. They have similar levels of strength as regular locks, but the operating costs are lower compared to conventional light bulbs.

  • The more current passes through the lock, the greater the magnet's holding force becomes.

  • Magnetic keys are known not to degrade over time. In case the magnetic key is missing, the lock can still be decoded in order to open the respective door. Magnetic key locks can be effectively concealed.

  • There is no keyway present that can be used to insert picking tools or tension wrenches, which makes these locks excellent deterrents against potential burglars and intruders.

Drawbacks Of Magnetic Keyed Locks

  • During power outages, there is an increased threat of security breaches inside a building.

  • Burglars can pry open a door with a magnetic lock on it. The risk is higher if the space between the door and its frame is bigger.

  • It is possible to buy magnetic doors that featureless powerful holding forces, depending on the models you will opt for and your budget.

  • The complexity of the magnetic key will also determine the level of security the lock can ultimately provide.

Magnetic Keys VS Standard Keys

The functionality of a certain lock will ultimately depend on the user's necessities in terms of security and protection. Magnetic key locks are more useful when it comes to fire exit doors you would like to keep locked during regular operations, compared to the standard locks that feature pins and tumblers. They also come with better features compared to locks that offer lower security locks, since most burglars will not expect to have to pick an electromagnetic keyed lock. These locks can be accurately hidden from plain sight, as opposed to deadbolt and mortise locks that are constantly visible. Of course, there are lots of different types of security locks to choose from today, ranging from electric, wireless and keyless locks to the entire array of commercial-grade locks. Get in touch with us if you need advice and counseling by choosing the best solutions for your custom needs.

Final Thoughts

Magnetic key locks are an excellent alternative to the less secure security solutions out on the market. They are able to offer enhanced protection compared to older technologies, but they do come with their own cons and drawbacks. They are not impenetrable, but they can provide users with higher levels of security in their homes and commercial spaces. With a growing number of security threats and a more burning need to feel safe at home or at work, magnetic locks seem to be a good choice worth taking into consideration. The 24/7 ASAP Locksmith team can assist you every step of the way; we offer specialized installation and repair services at affordable locksmith rates. Schedule an appointment and get a free estimate today!


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Crockett Blvd

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Wilshire Blvd

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98th Street

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