Door keyhole (or known as escutcheon tube[1]) is an elevator device used to unlock the landing doors interlock in elevator maintenance or in the event of an emergency like entrapment, and it can only be done by an elevator engineer.

Most elevators have their door keyhole located on one door panel and aligned to the edge of the door, while some others may be located on the upper door jamb (like modern day Schindler (mainly Sematic Group), Kone (including Wittur Group) and thyssenkrupp elevators).

Different elevator manufacturers have their own keyhole type. Except all are triangle-shaped or drop key for some country code.

This information is for educational purposes only. DO NOT enter elevator shafts unless you are the skilled elevator technicians or you have permission from an elevator technician.

List of door keyhole shape by elevator manufacturers

  • C-shaped - used in 1980s and sometimes 1990s Hyundai elevators.
  • L-shaped - used in most Sigma (before 2012) and LG-OTIS elevators (from 2000 to 2005).
  • S-shaped - used in some 1970s Mitsubishi elevators.
  • T-shaped - used in most Mitsubishi elevators from the 1970s to present day.
  • U-shaped - used in older Express Lift (or GAL) and GEC-branded elevators.
  • Square U-Shaped - Used in O&K and Keighley lifts in the UK, and very few 1990s LG elevators.
  • V-shaped - used in some 1960s and 1970s Otis elevators in the UK. This keyhole has a small rectangular metal plate.

List of standard escutcheon key

Drop key

Drop key is one of the industrial standard in North America.


Triangle-shaped escutcheon key is a industrial standard in Hong Kong, China since late-1970s[2]. This is now the standard elevator door keyhole for many countries, including the UK and New Zealand. All Elevators in the countries that were built after a certain time are required to have triangle keyholes for all landing doors. Interestingly, however, Elevator manufacturing/maintenance companies are not required to replace the door locks/keyholes as part of modernization - even when the doors themselves are replaced.


Mrmattandmrchay- Movie about lift keys especially for Urban Harvey Exploration13:27

Mrmattandmrchay- Movie about lift keys especially for Urban Harvey Exploration

Notes and references

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