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Cylinder Lock Explained

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A cylinder lock has a rounded body or cylinder that fits into a large hole bored in the door face. This piece connects to the latch bolt, which inserts into another hole drilled into the edge of the door. The other main component of a cylinder lock is the locking mechanism found inside. The locking mechanism may be comprised of a pin tumbler lock, a wafer tumbler lock or a disc tumbler lock. Regardless of the type of tumbler locking mechanism that is inside, the idea is the same - each separate part or disc of the internal mechanism must be lined up to match the notches in the key that is inserted into the lock in order for the device to open. Since cylinder lock set don't include a security deadbolt, a separate installation of one above the cylinder locks will be required for added security.

There are several advantages to using a cylinder lock system. This type of lock can be changed without altering the boltwork; it can usually be removed with a simple screwdriver. Another advantage is that cylinders can be obtained in different formats that all use the same type of key. This way you can have the locks keyed-alike, as well as installing master-keyed systems that each use different types of locks.

Options for cylinder lock systems:

1) In an individually keyed cylinder lock system, each cylinder has its own key. This would be good for a closet, one-door office, or storefront entrance.

2) A keyed-alike system means that multiple cylinder locks can be opened using the same key. A common use for this is within a residential setting, where the front and back door of the house use the same key for multiple locks.

3) In a master-keyed setup, each lock has its own key, but there is also a single master key that can open all of them. This works well in a business setting, so the office manager can access all areas but each individual office is uniquely keyed for its occupant only.

4) Then there is the grand master-keyed system. It is just like a master keyed system, but the cylinder locks are divided into groups. Each group has a master key, and the entire system is operated by a grand master key. An apartment complex or group of buildings in a campus or business park may be a setting that uses this type of system.

Related topics: Rekey Your Lock, Replace Your Lock, Deadbolt

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