When it comes to door locks, one of the most important parts to understand is the cylinder, the set of hardware which controls the lock and prevents unauthorized entry. Often referred to as a cylinder lock, it contains the tumblers, pistons and lock pins which can be engaged or disengaged to open or close the door. Understanding the principles behind a cylinder lock and how it works is an imperative part of lock maintenance and repair.
At Locksmith Columbus, we are the leading experts on lock cylinder systems. We offer a wide selection of residential and commercial locks to repair, upgrade and replace door locks. Whether you are looking for a simple manual cylinder lock, an advanced digital system or a more secure electronic lock, our experienced technicians can assess your current locks and make recommendation.
A door lock cylinder comprises several components. The main components are a key cylinder, cam, tailpiece and locking mechanism. Inside the cylinder are pins and tumblers. We will begin by discussing the pins in more detail.
Pins: As the key is inserted into the cylinder lock, the pins move up and down to create an interlocking pattern. Each pin has a height measured in thousandths of an inch which is listed on the key. Such heights are identified as “K1”, “K2”, “K3” and so on. When the proper key is inserted into the cylinder lock, the pins match up perfectly with depth of the key.
Tumblers: When the correctly coded key is inserted into the lock, the tumblers are released allowing free rotation of the key and opening of the door. The tumblers act as a gatekeeper to the locking mechanism and are placed in the door jam. A correctly coded key will cause the correct pins to move in response, and if they are the right size and match the corresponding indents, the door will unlock.
Cam: This is the part of the cylinder which rotates when the key is inserted and turned. The cam is located in the back or side of the cylinder. Depending on the lock design, it may turn up, down, left or right, and can also swing open outwards, which is known as a thumb turn.
Tailpiece: This part of the cylinder locks connects the cam to the locking mechanism. The tailpiece is an extension of the key, its sits inside the mechanism and bridges the gap between the rotating cam and the locking mechanism. It can fit multiple different shapes and is usually composed of brass or steel.
Locking Mechanism: This is what locks and unlocks the door when the correct key or combination is used. Depending on the kind of lock being used, the locking mechanism can be activated by keys, card swipes, punch codes, fingerprints or even facial recognition.
At Locksmith Columbus, we are experts on lock cylinder systems and can provide a consultative assessment to recommend the best system for your home or office. We have experience working with a range of locks including manual, digital and electronic systems to ensure that your premises remain secure. Give us a call at (614) 585-8955 so we can discuss and analyze the unique safety needs for your facility.
Understanding Door Lock Cylinders and Their Functionality
When it comes to security and safety, your exterior door locks are an integral part of your daily life. Door lock cylinders are the components that allow you to unlock and lock them with a key. Here at Locksmith Columbus, we understand the importance of security and safety for all of our customers, which is why today, we will be giving you a better understanding of what door lock cylinders are and how they function.
What is a Door Lock Cylinder?
A door lock cylinder is a device made up of a metal cylinder with a series of pins, springs, and other components that allow a key to open or close the cylinder in order to lock or unlock a door or window. A door cylinder often extends from a door knob or lever handle. It is usually where the key is inserted in order to open the lock.
Parts of the Door Lock Cylinder
There are several key components that make up a door lock cylinder. Typically, the cylinder is made up of a number of small parts that work together to secure a door. Some of the main parts of a door cylinder include:
- Plug – The plug is the hollow cylinder body that the key enters in order to lock or unlock the door.
- Warding – Wards are the divots or grooves in the cylinder that the key must fit into in order to turn the cylinder.
- Pins – The pins are the springs inside the cylinder that the key slides over when you insert it in order to lock or unlock the cylinder.
- Retainers – The retainers are the small pieces of metal that the pins rest in to move up and down as the key turns.
- Cam – The cam is the flat piece of metal inside the bolt that allows the bolt to move when the cylinder is turned.
How Does a Door Lock Cylinder Work?
Now that we’ve gone over the parts of the door lock cylinder, you may be wondering just how the cylinder works. It’s actually quite simple!
When the correct key is inserted into the cylinder, the warding and the pins will match up and allow the key to turn the cylinder. The turning of the cylinder will then activate the pins to move upwards, so the bolt can be moved, allowing the door to be opened or closed.
When the key is turned in the opposite direction, the pins will move back down, resetting the cylinder and preventing the door from being opened until the correct key is inserted again.
Advantages of Door Lock Cylinders
Door lock cylinders are an essential security component for any home or business. They offer several advantages, including:
- Durability – Door lock cylinders are highly durable and reliable. They are made of metal and designed to withstand weather conditions, wear-and-tear, and corrosion.
- Easy to Install – Door lock cylinders are relatively easy to install and require very little maintenance.
- Security – With the right key, door lock cylinders are nearly impossible to break into. This ensures the safety and security of your property.
- Options – Door lock cylinders come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors, so you can find one to best suit your needs.
Choosing the Right Door Lock Cylinder
When selecting a door lock cylinder for your home or business, there are a few factors to consider, such as security level, size, finish, and type of lock.
- Security – The first factor to consider is the level of security you are looking for. Always choose the highest security lock for maximum protection.
- Size – The size of the cylinder will determine the size of the key. Make sure the key fits easily into the cylinder.
- Finish – The finish of the door lock cylinder will determine the look. Most locks come in chrome, brass, nickel, or bronze.
- Type – There are several types of door lock cylinders available, such as key-in-knob, double-cylinder, single-cylinder, and deadbolt.
At Locksmith Columbus, we offer a wide variety of door lock cylinders to meet your security and aesthetic needs. If you’re looking for door lock cylinder installation or repair services, our experienced professionals are here to help. Give us a call at (614) 585-8955 for more information or to request a free quote. We look forward to serving you!