All about cylinders
Cylinders are a crucial element when it comes to guaranteeing the security of our home or any type of property. In the event of a burglary attempt, we must bear in mind that the door is the only element that separates us from the outside and that the lock cylinder is the first point that thieves try to force. The cylinder, also known as barrel, is one of the most important parts of the locking system as it is the mechanism where we insert the key to open and close the doors.
There are lots of cylinders in the market. We will explain here what you need to know about cylinders, levels of security and the different aspects to take into account when choosing one that suits your needs.
How to choose the right cylinder
Firstly, we need to look at the shape of the cylinder. The most common is the europrofile or European profile cylinder, but there are also oval and round cylinders.
Not all cylinders are suitable for all doors and locks. The most sensible thing to do is always to choose the cylinder according to its intended use and the functions it has to fulfil. Given that a cylinder for a house, for a community door or for a shop on the street is not the same, the first tip when selecting the right one would be to think carefully about the function it will have to fulfil.
Another important tip to consider is that, when choosing the right cylinder, you should always bear in mind the thickness of your door. The cylinder should measure a little more than the total thickness of the door but, for security reasons, it should never protrude more than 3 millimetres to prevent burglars from being able to grab and break it.
You should also bear in mind that the cylinders are independent of the locks; they can even be of different brands: if you think you have lost the keys or need a more secure cylinder, you can simply replace it and install it in your door lock.
Parts of security cylinders
Cylinders are made up of different elements: their security is due to the robustness and quality of their design and the functioning of their different components.
The key is the element necessary to operate the cylinder and allow it to be locked and unlocked. It can be either a traditional key or a security reversible key. It can also be protected, that is to say, no-one can make a key copy without your permission.
The rotor or turning mechanism is the space in which the key is inserted.
The clutch is the inner element of the cylinder that controls the end from which the key is inserted and turned. In other words, when the key is inserted, it transmits the information to the cam to operate the cylinder. There are two types of cylinder depending on the type of clutch. On the one hand, single clutch cylinders are those that only allow a key to be inserted into the cylinder. In other words, the door cannot be opened from the outside if the key is placed on the inside.
On the other hand, cylinders with a double clutch system are those that allow the door to be opened, even if there is already a key inside one of the ends.
This is the lever or mechanical device that slides to one side when the key is turned. In other words, the cam is the element that operates the lock mechanism. Depending on the carpentry materials, we will use a different size cam. For wooden carpentry, long cam cylinders are used (15 millimetres). On the other hand, for metal carpentry, we will use a shorter cam (13.5 millimetres). Oval cylinders use a different cam size (10 millimetres).
The anti-drill pin
This is an element designed to make the cylinder more resistant to attack by a bore.
The pins, springs and tumblers
These mechanisms make up the combination of the key and are activated by a series of springs that slide according to the shape and relief of the key inserted. These in turn react to the characteristics of the key and allow the lock to be operated when the cam is turned. Consequently, the greater the number of pins, the more difficult it is to pick the barrel or to open it by bumping or impressioning.
Cylinders and protection against external attacks
At Lince we have a wide range of lock cylinders according to their characteristics and security levels. All our cylinders are Made In Spain to guarantee the quality and, therefore, the security. We have high security cylinders that incorporate innovative protection systems providing great peace of mind against possible attacks from the outside. We also have multipoint security cylinders, standard or traditional cylinders and even special devices that provide security solutions for all types of enclosures. The technology and quality of our cylinders will keep your door away from the most widespread burglary techniques such as bumping, impressioning, breaking and drilling.
The bumping burglary technique is one in which the thieves introduce a key into the lock to hit it in such a way that the energy is transmitted to the pins and springs, these start to move and finally, the door opens. In this way, the door can be opened with little effort. Thanks to the protection of the anti-bumping cylinders, C7, C6, C5 & CPLUS, we will avoid this type of danger.
Impressioning consists of placing deformable aluminium sheets or a key with a dotted key filled with wax inside the lock. When the person enters the house, these foils engrave the marks of the original key and allow burglars to obtain a copy with which they can enter the house unchallenged and without leaving any trace that the door has been forced. Thanks to the protection of the anti-impressioning cylinders, C7 and C6, we will avoid this type of technique.
Another of the techniques that thieves use to steal is snapping or cylinder breaking. This is a technique that does not require too much skill as it consists of breaking the cylinder in half by using simple domestic tools. The best way to prevent theft by cylinder snapping is to install a security shield or an anti-snap cylinder, such as our CPLUS, C6 and C7. The CPLUS cylinder with programmed breakage includes a pre-cut line as a mechanical fuse. Its purpose is to break the cylinder in that area and not in the middle of the cylinder. This way, we prevent the thief will not be able to enter in our house but the owner will be able to do it using his/her key. The protection of the C6 & C7 is different: they have a protection bar made in stainless steel that prevent the snapping.
Although it may sound strange, burglary by drill also happens in real life. There are occasions when intruders use a drill to break the rotor to gain access to the cam. Once the cylinder has been drilled, a simple screwdriver can be used to move the cam and open the door. Almost all LINCE cylinders have anti-drill protection.
As you will have seen, there are numerous threats from which you have to protect your home, business or any type of property or belongings. This is why the choice of cylinders is so important. From LINCE we provide you with a wide variety and types of cylinders to offer you greater security.