Magnetic lock

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Magnetic locks

The MIWA EC magnetic lock.

A magnetic lock is a lock design that uses magnetism to properly position locking components and prevent opening of the lock. Many magnetic locks use cylinders that require components to be positioned at the shear line, others interact directly with the bolt. Mechanical and electronic locks that use a magnetic component to secure a door strike are not typically classified as magnetic locks.

Though patents for magnetic locks stretch back to the 1800s, they were not historically popular due to their low number of differs, expense in manufacturing, and relative difficulty in mass-producing small, powerful magnets. Modern advances in these fields have generated a number of magnetic lock designs, some of which are included in modern high security locks.

Contents


History

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Principles of operation

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Vulnerabilities

Unlike traditional lock designs, most magnetic locks do not offer direct access to the locking components. This gives them defense against a variety of traditional attacks regardless of the design of the lock. For example, impressioning techniques are not possible with most magnetic locks. Decoding is the preferred method of attack against most magnetic locks. Magnetic locks may be vulnerable to one or more of the following:

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