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The Pros and Cons of Lock Cylinders.

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The majority of entry door locksets for homes around the country rely on lock cylinders. The cylinders include pins that are manipulated into the correct position by a key cut to fit the lock. When the key is place in the lock, the pins line up correctly and the key can turn and open up the door.

Advantages of Lock Cylinders

  • Easy to rekey. Instead of having to remove the entire lock, the lock cylinder can be accessed with the removal of a couple of screws from the lock. That allows a locksmith or other expert to rekey the lock very quickly without needing to remove the entire lockset from the door.
  • Reconfigure lock quickly. The ease of access to the lock cylinder means the cylinder lock can be adapted quickly to become a wafer tumbler lock, disc tumbler lock or the more traditional pun tumbler lock.
  • Quickly create a master key. Let’s say you want all the doors in your home to be opened by the same key. That’s not a difficult task with a cylinder lock. The mechanism of each lock in the house can be quickly removed and all the locks can be set up to be opened by a single master key. Similarly, the doors can be set up to require different locks, as well.
  • Set up as single or double cylinder. A double cylinder lock is one that requires a key on either side of the door. This is preferred by many homeowners because a burglar who is someone able to reach into the home can open a door with a single cylinder lock by turning the inside knob. Be careful to check that your city allows double cylinder locks. Some do not, out of concern that the need to use a key even to exit the home could have disastrous results in the event of a fire or other emergency.

Disadvantages of Lock Cylinders

  • Cylinder locks can be opened by lock picks. Burglars with lock pick tools can manipulate the pins inside a cylinder lock to the same position as the key cut specifically for the lock.
  • Bump keys can defeat cylinder locks. Another favorite tool of burglars is a bump key. This specially cut key, which must be from the same manufacturer as the lockset for your door, can be used to quickly open the lock. Internet videos show pre-teens opening front door locks with bump keys in a matter of seconds.
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