How Do Locker Locks Work?

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At Manutan, we supply a wide range of different styles of lockers and locker locks; from combination locks, to coin-operated locks most often found in places like changing rooms and schools. In this short article we will go through what some of the different styles of locker locks there are and how they all work.

How does a Cam Lock Work?:

  1. A cam lock is a common type of lock seen on lockers. Inside the lock is a metal plate known as a cam, which is attached to the core of the locking device.
  2. When the cam is turned one way, it rotates as the key is turned. The cam rotates between 90 to 180 degrees, locking and unlocking the locker door.
  3. Cam locks can also be opened with a master key, making them one of the most convenient types of lock to deal with in the case of an emergency, like someone losing their key.

How does a Combination Lock work?:

  1. Most combination locks use what’s known as a wheel pack, which is a set of wheels that work in conjunction with each other to know the right combination; one wheel for each number. The number of wheels is determined by the amount of numbers in the combination.
  2. The typical combination lock also has a combination dial that is connected to a spindle. Inside the lock, the spindle runs through the wheels and a drive cam.
  3. When the dial on the lock is turned, the spindle turns the drive cam, which in turn rotates the drive pin; which makes contact with a small tab on the adjacent wheel called a wheel fly.
  4. Each wheel has a wheel fly on each of its sides and a notch cut into it, so when the right combination is dialled, the wheels and the notches line up perfectly.
  5. Another part of the combination lock is the fence, which is a small metal bar attached to a lever that prevents the lock from being opened without the proper combination.
  6. When all the wheels in the wheel pack are in the correct position, their notches align to form a gap. Under the force of its own weight, the fence falls into the gap allowing the safe to be opened.

How does a Coin-Operated Lock work?

  1. There are two different types of coin-operated locks that are most often used in lockers; coin return locks and coin retainer locks.
  2. Coin return locks require a pound coin (or similar) be inserted into the lock, in order to be able to lock the locker and extract the key. Upon return, you simply unlock the lock with the key provided, which returns the coin and opens the locker for you to take out your belongings.
  3. Coin return locks are useful for encouraging users to take better care of the provided key, with the incentive of getting back the deposited coin, which can help prevent any issues that may arise when the key is lost.
  4. Coin retainer locks also require a pound coin be deposited to lock the locker and retrieve the key; the only difference being that you cannot retrieve the pound coin upon returning.
  5. Coin retainer locks are useful as an additional, small form of revenue for the businesses that use them, by allowing you to keep the pound coins.

That concludes this article on how some of the most common locker lock types work, that you are most likely to come across. If you’re interested in buying lockers for your business, you can view our full range of lockers here.

Kirsty Rogers