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  • The most common kind of lock and the one a lot of you have heard of is the pin and tumbler lock.  The pins within a lock prevent it from turning when the correct key isn't present.  When the correct key is slid into the lock, the cuts on the key move all the pins into exactly the correct place, and when this happens there is nothing to hold that lock from turning.  A key has to be cut exactly to the right size, so much as the thickness of a hair off and the lock may not open.