Most Popular Keys in Vancouver

While there are literally thousands of different keyways and several different types of keys in North America, there is only a small handful that Vancouverites will encounter on a daily basis.

This is our quick guide to identifying the most popular keys in Vancouver that you are likely to find on your keychain. We hope this will help you identify which keys will be easy to duplicate and which locks can be more readily rekeyed.

Why is this important? The more exotic your key and locks are, the more they will cost to maintain. Not only may keys copies cost more, but so may the rekeys.

The Five Most Common Keys in Vancouver

Here is the list of the most common house keys we encounter as a mobile locksmith and at our key shop in Downtown Vancouver:

  • Weiser WR5: The 5 pin Weiser is one of the three kings of residential keyways. It can usually be identified by its square head and rather thick blade. Due to its rather large keyhole, it’s one of the thickest residential grade keys. Also makes it vulnerable to lockpicking. It is also known as the WR1, WR2, and WR3. The WR3 version normally has a triangular head. The less common WR4 also typically has a triangular head but is a 6 pin key, so it’s slightly longer.
  • Kwikset KW1: Also known as the WR6, the second of the three kings looks almost identical to the Weiser key, but it’s thinner. Judging from the naming style, you can probably guess that Weiser owns the Kwikset brand. Kwikset keys are most commonly associated with the Smarkey system which is sold in every Home Depot and DIY hardware store. It’s fairly thin, so it’s not uncommon for them to break at the deepest cut. On a positive note, key blanks are cheap and easy to find.
  • Schlage SC1: The third king of residential keyways is also one of the most popular commercial keys in Vancouver. You will find this keyway everywhere. In fact, there is a very good chance you have one or more of these on your key ring right now.
  • Schlage SC4: This is the 6 pin version of the SC1 and is considered slightly more suited for commercial use. For us, there is really no difference between the security or the quality of a SC1 vs a SC4. The 6th pin can make it a bit harder to lockpick, but only just a bit.
  • Corbin CO106: The CO106 is the most popular mailbox key in Vancouver. I would say upwards of 90% of mailboxes in Vancouver use this key. It is also known as the 1003M key.

Identifying Keyways by Brand

Sometimes it can be difficult for our clients to identify the keyway. A lot of brands use the one of 5 most popular keys, but do not stamp the keyway type onto the key. Your key may just have the brand name on the head of the key. Or sometimes the keyway stamping is obscured or worn down so it’s hard to see.

So here’s a short list of lock brands we commonly see in Vancouver and their most popular keyway(s):

  • Defiant/Facto/Titan: You see these a lot in DIY hardware stores. They usually use a KW1 or WR5 keyway.
  • Yale: The most common Yale keyway uses their Y1 key. If it is not, then you have a problem as Yale is a very old lock company with hundreds of legacy keys. We carry a large selection of them at our Vancouver key store.
  • CMC/Riopel: These two very popular mailbox brands typically use the CO106 keyway.
  • Master: They make padlocks and other auxiliary locks. Their most popular keyway is the M1.
  • Sargent: This company focuses on the commercial market but you will also find their locks on higher end residential projects. Sargent’s default keyway is the LA keyway. Knock-off versions sometimes refer to it as the S22 keyway.

This is not a comprehensive list by any means. However, we hope this can help you identify which keys or locks will be easy to copy or rekey.

If your key or lock is not on this list, please call or text us at 604-363-2760 or email It would be our pleasure to chat with you.

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