Rim cylinders are the mechanical and functional parts of standard cylinder locks, which are constructed with cylinders that can be rekeyed by professional locksmiths. Rim cylinders can contain several different locking mechanisms, though the most common include the wafer tumbler lock, the pin tumbler lock and the disc tumbler lock.
The primary and perhaps the biggest benefit cylinder locks offer is the way in which the internal mechanism/cylinder can be removed and rekeyed without the need to remove or replace the entire lock as a whole. The rim cylinder itself can usually be removed simply with the loosening of a couple of screws, which then allows the cylinder to be unscrewed from the rest of the lock’s hardware.
In addition, lock manufacturers offer endless rim cylinders in various forms that operate using exactly the same key types. As such, this means that the installation of rim cylinder locks allow for the use of master-keyed systems which enable a single key to be used to operate any number of deadbolts, night latches and standard door locks.
In some instances, higher-end padlocks can also have their rim cylinders removed, changed or rekeyed.
There are dozens of different standardised types of rim cylinder locks, which vary in size and length to suit the types of doors/housings they are to be used in. When choosing the right kind of lock for any given door, the most important consideration to note is the shape of the lock which fall into the categories of Euro Cylinder, Oval Cylinder or Rim Cylinder.
Euro Cylinder locks are easy to spot as the overall shape of the lock resembles a large keyhole – i.e. a circle to the top with an elongated oval beneath. Oval Cylinder locks are oval shaped and can be used with oval mortice lock cases, while Rim Cylinder locks are made to fit standard night latches.
As with all types of common locks, cylinder locks are in some instances vulnerable to certain types of attack – making it essential to vet both retailers and products before stocking up. Double cylinder locks are in some cases known to be very weak toward the centre and can be compromised by the use of moderate force.
The use of high-security Anti-Snap cylinders by the industry’s leading manufacturers has helped curb the problem significantly, by preventing access through use of force though still allowing the correct key to be used following attempted forced-entry.
Cylinder locks used around the home and the office also offer the additional benefit of practically infinite different key and key variations available, which means that occasional bolstering of security can be as simple as a quick re-keying process, rather than outright replacement. This is also a godsend in the instances when keyholders may lose their keys or the keys find their ways into unauthorized hands, as the security of the premises can be very quickly reaffirmed. They also happen to be comprehensively affordable even at their highest levels, leaving no reason to compromise safety and security for the sake of cost-cutting.