The lock cylinders and the key are the heart of security and access control. This is why Windowo offers you safe and reliable lock cylinders.
How does a lock cylinder work?
Despite the great variety of lock cylinders, the operating principle is always the same.
In the central part there is a dark tab ( cam or wrench ). The size of a cylinder is given first of all by its total length and the position of the cam. Usually this component mechanically touches the lock mechanism and regulates its opening or closing.
Inside the main body of the lock cylinder there are pins which slide on some seats. The number of pins ranges from 5 to 36, guaranteeing up to 100,000 bits.
The greater the number of pins , the higher the combinations and, therefore, the less likely the cylinder will open.
When the key is inserted, the pins (or pistons) are brought into the correct position and the locking mechanism is unlocked, causing the cam to rotate.
Types of lock cylinders
There are many types of lock cylinders on the market, which differ in shape, material, size, level of protection and much more.
Profile or silhouette
A cylinder is characterized by a section, which can be:
Shaped cylinders with European profile (or for Yale bore), which is the most common;
Round profile , when the shape is a circumference;
Faceted round profile , when the shape is a circumference with straight lines;
Double cylinder : when the key can be inserted from both sides of the cylinder;
Half cylinder (or semi-cylinder): when the key slot is present only on a single side;
Cylinder with knob .
Lock cylinder classification: Safety, reliability and durability
There are various regulations that regulate the classification of cylinders for locks from the point of view of the characteristics of reliability, durability and above all safety.
In Europe, reference is made to the EN 1303: 15 standard , which defines the classification of a lock cylinder according to these parameters:
Use category : always Grade 1, to avoid cases of improper use;
Durability : it is measured with three degrees with a scale from 4 to 6 based on how much the cylinder has been tested. Grade 6 means 100,000 cycles;
Mass of the door : always Grade 0, the only degree foreseen and no test required;
Fire resistance : Grade 0 not suitable for fire and smoke doors, Grade A suitable for fire doors, Grade B suitable for fire and smoke doors;
Security : Grade 0, only grade expected and no proof required;
Corrosion resistance : measured in four degrees (0, A, B, C). To obtain the maximum degree C, the cylinder is tested for temperature changes from -25 ° C to + 65 ° C and 96 hours in salt spray;
Security related to the key : six degrees with a scale from 1 to 6, where 6 is the maximum; they evaluate the number of combinations and their safety;
Resistance to attack : five degrees with a scale from 0 to D; they measure the capacity of the cylinder to resist break-in attempts such as drilling, attachment with chisel, twisting, extraction;
Picking resistance: resistance to handling with the picking technique;
Resistance to bumping : four levels (1, 2, 3, X). Level 1 involves a 5 minute bumping resistance, level 2 10 minutes, 3 15 minutes. Level X, on the other hand, is the bumping test.
Lock cylinders and key type
As cylinders become more reliable, the type of key ranges from the normal serrated key (with 4, 5 or 6 pins) to the flat punched key (with small holes in the surface).
Mechanical lock cylinders, electronic or motorized cylinders
The advancement of technology has introduced some important innovations. Today, through the smartphone, it is possible to control the opening or closing of the cylinder.
The electronic cylinders are controlled by Bluetooth or by specific Android and IOS applications for each manufacturing company.
An example is the Libra Iseo electronic cylinder : this European profile cylinder is perfectly compatible with all existing locks with this hole. We point out that it can be easily configured because the application does not require any wiring.
How to open multiple cylinders with the same key?
Burning is a term that indicates the characteristic of a cylinder to open several cylinders with the same key. The advantage is that the number of keys in the bunch is reduced.
Burning can be of 2 types:
The KA type is mainly used in the home or for small businesses;
The MK type is used to guarantee different levels of access in the company environment.
Ways of breaking a lock cylinder
Lock cylinders can be tampered with through some techniques.
Picking : is the opening of the cylinder by manipulation using 2 suitably shaped irons;
Bumping : is a technique that consists in opening the cylinder through a special worked key;
Drilling : the cylinder is generally drilled with a drill so that the outer half can be extracted.
The cylinders of the locks can be protected by additional systems applied to the outside, such as a sort of shield. An example is the Mottura defender system : a steel body covering the shape of the cylinder.
How to pick a lock?
How to open a lock without a key? The disassembly of the lock is not a preregative of the bad guys. Let's see how to proceed in this situation.
With the door open, remove the screw that secures the cylinder to the lock, which is located on the front of the lock itself.
With the door closed, the cylinder will have to be drilled with a drill , extracted one half and activated the lock mechanism as in the third breaking method explained above.
The third step is to identify and purchase a new replacement cylinder for the previous one.
There are 2 ways to do this:
Go to a hardware store with the old cylinder and ask the technician;
Identify and purchase the new cylinder online.
The new cylinder can now be mounted on the door by applying the supplied fixing screw.
How to choose a lock cylinder in 10 steps
Let's see how to choose the cylinder of a lock through 10 steps.
Motorization : manual or electronic;
Type of profile and cylinder : understand the type of cylinder profile between European, oval, round, faceted, double or half;
Cylinder length : measure the total length of the cylinder;
Centering : determine the position of the cam and define the partial measurements;
Brand : it is usually written on the two front parts of the cylinder (those in view) or on the keys;
Degree of protection : there are many cylinders on the market with different degrees of protection and prices;
Color and finish : generally the cylinders for locks are available in brass or nickel-plated finishes;
Number of keys : the keys supplied with a new cylinder are usually 3;
Burning : if you want to reduce the number of keys to be used, it is advisable to request burning;
Optional accessories : to increase safety, a Defender system can be purchased.