What is a Barrel Lock?

The world of locks can be quite complex for those unfamiliar with them. There are several types of locks, and even though they can be similar, each is unique. One of the locks that people often know about but doesn’t understand what it actually is is the barrel lock. Let’s understand what it is and how it works.

What is a Barrel Lock?

The barrel lock is a locking system usually used by utility companies to secure hardware, such as cabinets. It is known for being safe and solid, and although it has been used for decades, it is still a secure type. 

Various types of barrel locks are available in the market since each company makes a different type to ensure that their hardware is properly protected. Yet, all of them have some mechanisms in common.

How the Barrel Lock Works

You can identify a barrel lock by its shape since it truly looks like a barrel. Its key usually looks like a large nail or a screw, and you insert it into a circular keyway. Therefore, even though there are different types of barrel locks, all of them look pretty much the same. 

The locks are inside of their designated housing and can only be removed if the ball bearing inside the device can be retracted. Usually, the barrel lock is designed to turn in the housing easily, and without resistance, so it is harder to lockpick it.

This lock is one of the most complex of all, so it is very hard to pick. Yet, it is still possible for it to get broken, lost or even stolen.

Where Can I Use a Barrel Lock?

It can seem complicated to use this lock, but it isn’t. The barrel lock is commonly used to secure utility field devices like enclosures, meters, and current transformers. It makes both the consumer and the company safe.

Have you ever seen a device that measures how much water or energy you’ve spent in a month? So, the barrel lock usually is used to secure this device.

How to Pick the Barrel Lock?

Although picking the barrel lock is hard, it isn’t impossible. Yet, it requires a professional locksmith or lockpicker. Also, it is necessary to have the right tools since a beginner’s lockpick doesn’t work for it. 

The problem with barrel lock is that the companies that use it have several keys distributed to all types of people, like meter readers, supervisors, independent contractors, and more. Therefore, this key will likely end up in the wrong hands someday. That’s how most cases of robbery with barrel locks happen.

You can upgrade this type of lock to try to make it even safer than it already is. Nowadays, manufacturers and companies are changing from the plunger-style barrel lock to the disk-style, which is quite an improvement. 

If you want to install barrel locks in your company’s devices or learn more about it, contact  S.O.S Locksmith Pro. We are a professional locksmith company with decades of experience, so we’ll be able to help you with all your needs.

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