10578 safe deposit key images, stock photos & vectors

Safe deposit locks are a special type of security lock mainly used on safe deposit boxes. These two-key locks require the box renter and ngân hàng staff khổng lồ be present at the same time to xuất hiện the lock with each of their own keys. The dual access control ensures the highest possible cấp độ of security protection of the valuables and assets stored in the box.

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This guide covers all major aspects of safe deposit locks, from what they are, how they work, the common types & the active aftermarket for replacement locks. Whether you are building a new safe deposit locker project for commercial or private safe deposit box suppliers or offering maintenance services for banks, this guide includes all the essential information you might need.

In this article, you will learn:

What Is a Safe Deposit Lock

A safe deposit lock is a dual controlled two-key lock that requires two separate keys to unlock at the same time. These locks usually have two individual locks in one lock case, requiring both a guard key from the bank employee và a renter key from the box’s renter to open the lock simultaneously. As these locks are mostly used on bank safe deposit boxes, they are commonly referred khổng lồ as a safe deposit lock, safe deposit box lock, safety deposit lock, SD lock or SDB lock.

Diebold 175-70 changeable fence lock. Image Credit:Steve Young

To reset the lock, first we need to mở cửa the lock using the valid old keys và use the change tool khổng lồ loosen the changeable fences so the fences are free to move up & down to lớn adapt lớn a new key pattern. Then we insert the new key, turn it lớn the xuất hiện position và tighten the fence again.

The advantage of the changeable fence mechanism is that it’s more stable & reliable than changeable lever locks and the levers are không tính phí from misalignment problems. What’s more, the changeable fences for renter or guard key are completely independent so users can choose lớn have either key changeable or fixed where a changeable lever lock is usually only double-changeable available due lớn the symmetrical design. For example, some banks prefer khổng lồ only have the renter key changeable but the guard key fixed because it can reduce the possibility of accidentally changing the guard key.

To change the key on a changeable fence lock:

Unlock the lock with both correct renter và guard keysUse the change tool khổng lồ loosen the change screw(3 ½ counterclockwise)Remove the current key that needs to lớn be changedInsert the new key & turn it lớn the opening positionUse the change tool lớn tighten the change screwThe new key is set and test a few times with the door open

After a box is surrendered, the returned renter keys should be changed before the box can be rented to a new lessee again because anyone can mở cửa the same box with a key copy if the lock is not changed or rekeyed. With a changeable safe deposit lock, the rekeying process is very easy & can be done by the bank staff without the need to hotline a locksmith.

Left Hand, Right Hand và Non Hand

Safe deposit locks are available in handed locks and non handed locks:

Left Hand (LH) locks are installed on a left hand door where the door hinged is at the left sideRight Hand (RH) locks are installed on a right hand door where the hinged is at the right sideNon-handed locks can be installed on either left hand or right hand door by flipping the lock over because the nose is at the central line

How to lớn identify the hand type of a safe deposit lock?

Face the noses of the lock and the nose will be located below the centerline when it’s a handed lock:

If the lock bolt points khổng lồ the left, it’s a right-handed lockIf the lock bolt points lớn the right, it’s a left-handed lockIf the nose is at the centerline, it’s a non-handed lock

Most of the safe deposit locks that we use are right hand(RH) locks. The left hand(LH) locks are generally used on the last row of boxes near the wall where the right hand door cannot fully open.

Nose Type

A safe deposit lock can have a diverse nose design with a combination of different nose sizes, nose heights and number of noses.

Big Nose và Small Nose

Normally, there are two types of nose sizes(diameter of the plug): the big nose: 0.672” (17.1mm) & the small nose: 0.840” (21.3mm).

Nose Height

Normally, there are two types of nose heights: ½” (12.7mm) và ⅜” ( 9.5mm).

Double Nose and Single Nose

Normally, a safe deposit lock can have either two noses or only one nose, which is called a double nose or single nose lock.

The double nose safe deposit lock is the standard lock. A double nose safe deposit lock can be double changeable, double fixed, or one changeable one fixed lock according khổng lồ the actual needs.

A single nose safe deposit lock can be either a double nose lock by simply removing the guard nose so users can use only their renter key lớn unlock OR a single nose lock that still requires a guard key & renter key to unlock the same as a regular safe deposit lock.

Combination Safe Deposit Lock

Combination safe deposit locks utilize combination locking systems instead of regular key locks. Usually, there are three combination dials on the lock surface that allow users to input đầu vào their renter code.

Electronic Safe Deposit Lock

Electronic safe deposit locks are getting popular with the growing trend of automated self-service safe deposit lockers provided by private commercial suppliers so that customers can visit their box anytime they want with their renter keys. Many banks integrate electronic safe lock systems for the purpose of audit và management such as installing electronic safe deposit locks with ordinary key lock for renters but with the guard side controlled by an electronic locking system without the necessity of a physical guard key.

There are many forms of electronic deposit locks or locking systems that we will not be fully into discussing here because lock manufacturers usually have their own designs for the electronic part. These locks are more lượt thích a locking system rather than a standalone lock that we are not able khổng lồ thoroughly cover in this article.

Safe Deposit Lock Key

Most safe deposit lock keys are flat keys with small key bows. Here is some useful information regarding the safe deposit keys.

Renter Key

The renter key is the key held by the renter of the box. Usually, there are two renter keys lớn a lock in case one of the renter keys is lost.

Guard Key

The guard key is the key held by the ngân hàng employee. Usually, for all the locks located in one bank vault, the guard keys are the same for every lock. So only a few guard keys are needed for opening all the boxes and not every lock is provided with a guard key when shipping from the manufacturer.

Key Blank

A key blank is a blank key that has not been cut lớn a specific bitting. A key blank can be used to cut new keys or duplicate existing keys. Key blanks are often stamped ‘Do not duplicate’ and securely stocked by banks, often stored in a safe deposit box especially used for keeping guard keys và key blanks. Key duplication is fine as long as it’s under the bank’s control và the lock is also changed afterward so that the duplicated key cannot mở cửa the former box.

Routing Number

Many safe deposit lock keys would have the bank’s routing number printed on the key bows so that customers can identify và recognize the ngân hàng of your safe deposit boxes. It’s not mandatory by federal laws but it might be required by states such as Texas.

Key Duplication

Most of the time, safe deposit keys are prohibited from duplication because it can significantly increase the risk of the box being opened by unauthorized people who have a key copy. Normally, there is a “Do Not Duplicate” sign on the keys so that most locksmiths won’t duplicate them.

But there is no law against key duplication so it’s totally legal lớn duplicate the deposit keys in most states, and many locksmiths & companies bởi vì offer key duplication services.

When you chiến bại one of your keys, bởi not even think about duplicating another key. Your key might get stolen by one of your relatives who knows about your box. The only thing you should vì is go to lớn the ngân hàng and ask for a lock change or rekeying.

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Change Locks Between Renters

There is no federal law or regulation that mandatorily requires the safe deposit locks khổng lồ be changed between renters, but it’s strongly recommended to vày so khổng lồ guarantee the new box renters are receiving the only two keys that can open the box.

After the old renter gives up the box & the box is surrendered, even when the bank receives both two keys, it’s possible that a key copy has been made in secret. If the former lessee had a copy of the renter key, he could still access the old box if the lock is not changed after leasing khổng lồ a new renter.

Things happened that customers claimed a large amount of cash and assets were stolen from the box and it turned out that it was the prior customer that opened the current customer’s box with a copy of the renter key after the box was surrendered.

It’s a high risk for the ngân hàng to not change locks before leasing the box lớn a new customer & it can reduce ngân hàng liability if a renter claims for items disappearance or lost in his box. So, the locks must be changed after the box is surrendered before they can be rented again.

Usually, there are three ways to lớn change locks between renters:

Replace With a New Lock

Whether it’s a changeable or fixed lock, you can simply replace the old lock with a new lock if you have some stocking of the locks for replacement.

Swap Locks Between Boxes

You can also swap the locks from the surrendered box with one from unrented boxes.

Rekey the Lock

For a changeable safe deposit lock, you can rekey the lock và set a new renter key, as long as it’s done under dual control with at least two ngân hàng staff và well documented.

Service, Maintenance & Aftermarket

The service & maintenance of the safe deposit locks are usually done by ngân hàng equipment services companies và sometimes by independent locksmiths. Aftermarket safe deposit locks are in great demand in many scenarios.

When a customer loses his key, locks can’t xuất hiện or fail while changing keys, or the boxes are required for an opening by a court order or upon the death of the owner, service companies và locksmiths are needed to technically xuất hiện the lock.

When a customer loses one of the two assigned renter keys, most banks bởi vì not allow a duplicate key to be made. It’s too much risk for the ngân hàng because the lost key might still be able to xuất hiện the same box if the lock is not changed. Any person with the lost key can mở cửa the box, especially when the person is familiar with the renter and knows which box belongs lớn the key.

In such a case, the bank might ask a locksmith khổng lồ replace the lock và keys or sometimes rekey the lock in the company of the box holder & two ngân hàng employees, which would cost the renter about $150. A quick solution is lớn close the box, move the items to a new box using the remaining renter key, & sign a new lease contract. In this way, the bank does not need to gọi the locksmith immediately and can wait till there are multiple locks khổng lồ be serviced together later.

When a customer loses both the two renter keys, a locksmith is required to lớn technically open the box without keys. The box opening procedure usually falls into three categories:

Lock Picking

Lock picking is the traditional và non-destructive way lớn technically get the lock mở cửa without keys. It can be very fast to xuất hiện some of the lock models with the right lock pick tools such as the Diebold 175-70 locks. But the lock picking method is not very commonly used for two reasons:

Lock picking might be time-consuming compared lớn other methods like nose pulling. Some tricky antique deposit locks vày take time lớn pick.Banks want customers to lớn think the lock is high security & hard to pick so they’d rather destroy the lock. Anyway, these locks are inexpensive lớn replace compared lớn their reputation for the safe custody of millions of valuables in the vault.

Nose Pulling

The nose pulling method is to mở cửa a safe deposit lock by pulling the renter plug with a nose puller. In brief, after removing the renter’s nose by either drilling or using a nose puller, the lever packs inside the renter plug will naturally drop, allowing the lock bolt to move past them.

In most cases, the guard key is well kept by the ngân hàng so we need to only pull the renter nose and use the guard key khổng lồ unlock the entire lock. In rare cases, the guard key can be lost as well, such as in an abandoned ngân hàng vault or when the safe deposit lock is installed on the inner compartment of safes as a dual controlled lock. We can vì chưng the same on the guard nose, & then we can retract the lock bolt with some additional manual work by retracting the lock bolt from the outside.

Nearly all fixed lever safe deposit locks and some of the changeable locks can be opened by the nose pulling method. They share a similar mechanism kiến thiết that the levers will drop enough for the lock bolt lớn retract after the nose has been removed.

Door Pulling

The door pulling method is khổng lồ pull the door xuất hiện with a door puller, completely destroying the lock without retracting the lock bolt. In brief, after pulling the renter’s nose, we insert the door puller via the renter plug & forcibly pull the entire door out.

Some locks cannot be unlocked by the nose pulling method, such as some LeFebure lock models, because the levers inside still block the lock bolt from retracting after nose removed. In this case, the door pulling method is the best and only way lớn get the door open.


There have been many different companies supplying safe deposit locks over the years. Some brands are still active today such as Sargent và Greenleaf and Diebold(now Diebold Nixdorf) và some are defunct or acquired such as Moser Safe và LeFebure.

Active Brands

Diebold: Diebold 175-05 series fixed lock, Diebold 175-70 series changeable lockGuardian: Guardian 6832 changeable safe deposit lockKumahira: KD-73 series, KD-76 seriesSargent & Greenleaf: S&G 4440 series fixed lock, S&G 4500 series changeable lockBlueGrass: Major brand replacement locksBullseye: Major brand replacement locksCarl Wittkopp: European style SD locksKaba Mauer: European style SD locksAssa Abloy: European style SD locks

Defunct Companies

Ilco: Ilco 5400 series, Ilco a400 seriesLeFebure: LeFebure7300 series, LeFebure 7700 seriesMiles-Osbourne: Miles x-4 seriesMosler: Mosler 5700 series, Mosler 3175 rapid phối seriesPrecision: Precision 5400 seriesYale: Yale 3300 series, Yale 3600 series, Yale 4500 series, Yale B200 seriesYork: York 145 series, York 245 series

Replacement Locks

Though these defunct companies discontinued producing safe deposit locks, their locks are still widely installed, used & serviced in many big bank vaults such as the well-known Mosler and LeFebure locks. When servicing these discontinued locks, some locks get destroyed when getting drilled out or damaged due to normal wear and tear.

Replacement locks for these discontinued lock models are in great demand for keeping offering ordinary maintenance services for the big banks. For the active brands và lock models, aftermarket deposit locks are also in need for quick và cost-effective lock replacements.

Generally, the safe deposit replacement locks mô tả the same footprint as the original locks so they can be installed directly on the same door plate with identical mounting dimensions. The inner mechanism of the locks & the keys are not necessarily the same as the original.


In the US, the safe deposit lock is tested and certified under UL 437. The UL 437 is the standard và certification for safety key locks, also covering the two-key lock which is the safe deposit lock. In UL 437, the two-key lock is defined as a two-key, plate tumbler type lock constructed for use on safe deposit boxes, collection safes, & the like to resist unauthorized opening by picking, impressioning, lock bumping, or forcing methods. There is only one grade for safe deposit lock, any lock that passes the UL 437 demo is certified as a UL Listed safe deposit lock.

A UL-listed safe deposit lock should resist attacks against picking, lock bumping, impression for at least 45 minutes and forcing for at least 5 minutes. UL 437 does not have a requirement for safe deposit locks against attacks including drilling, sawing, prying, pulling or driving.

UL 437 also has a requirement for key changes: there shall be at least 64 guard key changes and at least 15,000 customer key changes for a design.

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