Complete Guide on 7 Parts of a Key: Names, Functions & Diagram

A key is a device used to operate a lock. A typical key is a small piece of metal consisting of two parts: the bit or blade. The blade slides into the lock’s keyway and distinguishes between different keys and the bow, which is left protruding so the user can apply that torque. Other parts of a key, like bitting, tip, and cuts engraved on the blade. We can say the key is a solution to the question, like a lock. Its size and shape differ as per the locks.

Parts of a Key Diagram

Parts of a Key, Names & Diagram

Key Parts Names

  • Blade
  • Bow
  • Shoulder
  • Tip
  • Cuts
  • Bitting
  • Code

Parts of a Key & their Functions


The blade is part of a key that we insert into the plug of the locks. It comes with notches, bitting, warding, contours, and tips, which are the information to open the lock.

These parameters change per the keys, and the opening or closing of the lock depends on these parameters only. We can find these cuts on both sides of the key. It may vary as per the type and manufacturer.


The bow is a big portion of the key we hold from our fingers while using. It can be round or rectangular and varies as per the manufacturer. It contains information about the manufacturer’s name, code, and type.


The shoulder is the portion where the head transit into the blade. It is the limit of the blade to go inside the lock. Further to this limit blade does not allow it to go inside the lock.

Without this part of the blade, we will not know how far to push the key inside the lock groove. It ensures the proper positioning of the blade into the groove of the lock to open and close it.


It is the opposite part of the bow, which we first insert into the lock. Tip guide the blade to go inside the lock. Cuts and notches start from the tip and end near the shoulder.


These are the slots on the blade of various depths per the locking code. Its shape and sizes vary as per the type of lock. Every lock comes with different cuts on the blade.


These are the cavities cut into the blade. When we insert the key into the lock, bitting interacts with the lock and helps to unlock or lock.


Code is the information about the manufacturer, logo, type of keyway, and serial no. This information is engraved on the bow.

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