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A Yale brand rotary combination dial.

A combination lock (or permutation lock, word lock) is a keyless lock that uses a sequence of letters, numbers, or symbols to open the lock. Unlike keyed locks, combination locks require that a user know the proper sequence of characters to open the lock, much like knowing a password for a computer login. A combination lock works by correctly positioning internal components as the sequence is entered, usually through the use of one or more dials.

Combination locks are most commonly associated with safes, but are also popular in low security applications in the form of padlocks. Because they do not have keyholes through which to manipulate internal components, most combination locks are compromised through decoding or bypass rather than picking.



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Rotary Combination Locks

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Pushbutton Locks

Pushbutton locks are a form of mechanical combination lock that uses numbered buttons to properly align internal components. Generally, pushing each button on the face of the lock rotates one or more wheels inside the lock. A user who knows the correct sequence of pushes can properly align all wheels and open the lock.

Pushbutton locks are popular as standard door locks and padlocks. Pushbutton padlocks are the most common type of lock boxes.

Electronic Combination Locks

See Electronic Locks

See also

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