What is the Best Lock Core Type?

There are particular kinds of locks that have a removable core. These locks come with a removable cylinder. And amazingly, there are many best lock core types available on the market. The removal of the core does not open the lock, but the interchangeable cores can let you have that core in a place whose key is currently available.

Interchangeable cores are the unique form of the lock and key combination. They are the most secure openings of the locks and can be maintained quite easily. They ensure the user’s complete safety and integrity of every opening of the lock.

History of the Lock Cores

History of the Lock CoresInterchangeable core locks are not a new invention. They were first made in the 20th century by Frank Best. At that time, he was the proprietor of a lock company.

Advantages of Lock Core

Core locks are quite a useful invention in the field of mechanics. The special cores allow the users to keep the same key for every lock, either on the doors or the furniture. They offer more security and convenience to the user. They also offer quick and easy re-keying.

The interchangeable locks are referred to as self-master key systems. The chances of a duplicated key for the interchangeable core locks are relatively more complicated than the local lock keys. The specified systems make it difficult to get the exact duplication.

Disadvantages of Lock Core

Interchangeable core locks do not have much difference in the pricing than the standard locks, but the problem is that the core is not included in the price. The core has to be bought separately.

Even when the locks are of the same price, the key for the interchangeable core locks is way more expensive than the casual locks. Without the key, the core is of no use. If the key is somehow lost, it might be a costly task to get the re-key, and the prices will be significantly high.

How to Remove the Interchangeable Locks?

Interchangeable locks are very easily removed. They are removed when the key is inserted into the lock and then rotated clockwise to about 15 degrees. At a certain point, the rotation ultimately stops, and you can pull the core outside. A control key is necessary for this, and without it, the core is completely locked.

Re-keying the Lock

If the lock has to be re-keyed, then the core must be removed. Now there are two different possibilities, either the re-key job has one lock or many locks. The re-key jobs are different for both the options.

When the Rekey Has One Lock

If the re-key has a sonly one lock, you can remove the interchangeable locks by simply drilling the core. You can also replace it with a new core.  There is also a third option for this; you can pick the control level of the core.

When the Rekey Has Many Locks

The second possibility of the interchangeable locks was that the re-key might have more than one lock. For this type of lock, you need to give up on one of these locks or the lock cylinder if you want to remove the core. You can decode the control key if you want to pick the control level of the core.

In order to preserve the pin stacks for decoding, you have to drill instead of picking. Drilling is, in fact, a less expensive method than picking. It is relatively safe to drill the core successfully. Drilling is also a convenient option when decoding is not needed.

Qualities of the Best Lock Core

The best lock cores are the ones that provide tight tolerance. The more tolerance they offer, the more mechanically secure they are. The best locks have 6- and 7- pin options that can allow access to a wide variety of key combinations.

The cores that are made of brass alloy are stronger and tough. They are usually corrosion resistant. It is recommended to check that the chambers are capped individually; it will help in easy maintenance.

Where to Buy
Yale Standard Euro Cylinder Nickel Plated 35/35 (70mm overall) Lock with 3 keys supplied - A 6 pin cylinder with a 10 year guarantee. by Truly PVC Supplies
Sterling ESD1140 11mm Int 40mm Ext (51mm) Single TS007 3 Star Police Approved Secured by Design Half Euro Door Cylinder, Dual Finish Brass & Satin Nickel, Internal x External Total
Marks #2622 Polished Brass US3 Euro Profile Double Cylinder
Yale P-YS3-4040NT Anti-Snap 3 Star Euro Thumbturn Cylinder, High Security, 40:40 (80mm), Nickel Finish
1-3/4" Long Cylinder Lock - Antique Brass, keyed alike
Prime-Line E 2294 Vintage Style Indoor Mortise Lock Assembly Kit – Cast Steel Construction, Brass Plated Finish, Antique Skeleton Key – Backset, 1/4” Max Square Spindle - Reversible Latch Bolt
Mul-t-lock Junior KIK (Key in Knob) Cykinder NIB
Pacific Doorware Best/Falcon Style IC Core Lock A Cylinder Pinned, SFIC Core, with Control Key KA
Prime-Line Products E 2103 Cylinder Lock, 1-1/4 in, Schlage Shaped Keys
Master Lock SLCICKE26D Heavy Duty Lever Style, Grade 2 Commercial SFIC Keyed Entry Door Lock


Types of Cylinder Locks

In the market, you can find the following five major types of cylinder locks:

1. Euro Cylinder Lock

This is one of the most popular types among all the lock cores on the market. They are available in several different sizes and brands to choose from. In euro cylinder locks, you will find three locking options. The first one is a single-cylinder that can be locked from one side only. The second one is a double cylinder that can be locked from either side. And lastly, the third option is the key and thumb turn, which can be locked with a key from the outside and has a thumb turn on the inside.

Moreover, these locks are available in different lengths to accommodate doors of various thicknesses.

2. Oval Cylinder Lock

Oval Cylinder LockThis one is similar to the cylinder lock but has an oval-shaped barrel. Oval cylinder locks are used with an oval mortice lock case. However, this type is less common than euro cylinder, which means you only have fewer options available in terms of brands and sizes.

We recommend you to go for the latest euro cylinder locks than buying these because chances are you won’t easily find an oval cylinder lock that can fit your door’s thickness.

3. Mortice Locks

Mortice LocksA mortice lock is usually large and round, making it more substantial compared to a euro cylinder. With the help of its threaded housing, one can securely fasten it into the door. Therefore, a mortice lock isn’t vulnerable to being broken or snapped.

The major drawback of this lock core type is its size. It doesn’t fit every type of door and lockset. Besides, it requires more metal, making it more expensive to produce than other available locks.

4. KIK Cylinders

KIK CylindersKIK or Key in Knob cylinders can work with a number of locking mechanisms, including knobs, levers, and deadlocks. It is recommended for more security to install these locks within a metal door handle or a doorknob. Otherwise, they can easily be broken.

Moreover, installing these locks is quite challenging, and if you do it wrong, the key won’t work properly.

5. Interchangeable Core Cylinders

Interchangeable Core CylindersAs the name suggests, interchangeable core cylinders can easily be removed and replaced if damaged. All you need to do is take the core out of the housing and install a new one. Therefore, if you are looking for flexibility in locks, you cannot go wrong with this one.

On the downside, the keys of these locks are expensive than the lock itself. Also, it can be costly to re-key if the control key is missing, and you will be better off buying a new lock rather than spending money on re-keying.

Electronic Lock Cores

The electronic lock cores are not much different from the mechanical lock cores. Both of them are almost the same. The electronic cores are operated with the help of an electronic chip, a microcomputer. It does not have a mechanical keyhole.

The electronic lock cores have only three of the metal contacts. The electronic lock core is operated by the software system. If the software system is not maintained, these locks do not open. Only the specific user can open the lock.

Advantages of Electronic Locks over Mechanical Ones

Electronic locks are safer and secure than mechanical locks. The electronic cores can be operated by only those users that have complete details about the software.  Hence the electronic cores cannot be picked easily, and it also eliminates the chance of the lock core being replaced.

What Are the Best Core Locks?

The core locks are important, and it is challenging to select the best one from the wide variety available in the market. Here are two recommended lock cores to choose from.

1. E 2103 Cylinder Lock

If your key cylinders are damaged, and you are looking for a high-quality cylinder lock, this premium line product is the best option you have got. This lock can be used to replace the damaged key cylinders or the ones that have lost their keys. The outside diameter of the housing cylinder makes it quite convenient for use. The diameter measures 1-9/16 inches. You can even trim the tailpiece if it is too large for your doors.

The body of the lock is made up of high-quality brass, and it has a chrome face. It is a secure option because the lock cannot be opened by keys other than the ones provided within the packet. Any other key is merely incompatible with the lock.


  • Incompatible with other keys
  • Brass body
  • Cost-effective
  • Adjustable size


  • Installation is tricky and might test your patience
  • It does not allow convenient re-keying
  • Does not accept standard Schlage pins

2. Master Lock SLCICKE26D Grade 2 Commercial Keyed Entry Door Lock

If you need the heavy-duty lever style lock, this one is definitely for you. It has some amazing features and is top-ranked among the other interchangeable locks. This lock is perfect for outdoor use. It is professionally designed for the entry door and exterior locking applications. The trim-able diameter is 3-1/4 inches and 4-7/8 inches’ strike. The lock is durable, and its cylindrical construction makes it last longer.

It is rendered as the master lock. This lightweight lock weighs only 4.39 pounds and has a cylindrical body with a brushed chrome finish. This lock can be claimed for warranty under the customer service.


  • Includes a complete instruction guide
  • Does not need any battery for operation
  • Long-lasting and good-quality
  • Affordable price


  • Only for outdoor use and does not support indoor locks
  • Can be removed by bolts and hence not much safe


The modern interchangeable lock cores are the best option for your homes, offices, and other locks. They aresafe and convenient to use if you need more security. Get one for yourself if you are looking for easy-to-use and affordable, secure locks.