The Difference Between Standard And High Security Lock Cylinders

Standard Cylinder

Standard Cylinder

Standard Lock Cylinder

It really depends on what grade of lock you are talking about as to the materials that combine in the making of the cylinder. We have seen grade 3 lock cylinders made of many different materials and combination of materials. The housing and plug can be made of several different materials including but not limited to cast metal, plastic or brass. The material that comprises a Grade 1 or 2 lock cylinder housing and plug is usually brass.

FYI: The Grade of a lock helps to define the durability of the lock. The grade is usually related to the number of uses that the lock can endure before it starts to show signs of wear.

With all standard type lock cylinders, keys can be copied at most any big box, hardware or a mom and pop store that duplicates keys. There is really no control over who has a copy of the key. Some of these type of keys may have “Do Not Duplicate” imprinted on the head of the key and in essence this is a very loose control of who possesses the keys. I say very loose control because it is up to each individual person or business that provides a key cutting service to be forthright and honest and not duplicate any key that has this marking on it. In many instances the key will be marked “Do Not Duplicate” because it is a Master Key used to gain entry to every suite in a building. It all comes down to conscience and can you live with the fact that you made about $3.00 copying a key for someone that you shouldn’t have?

Standard lock cylinders are much more easily defeated by the undesireable element. A brass, plastic or cast meatal lock cylinder plug is easily bypassed by drilling the plug out to gain access to the property. Brass, plastic and cast metal are all malleable and quick to get around. They are also much easier to pick open.


High Security

High Security

High Security Lock Cylinder

On the other hand, a High Security Lock cylinder usually has features built into it that make it much harder to defeat. The plug is usually made of a hardened and tempered steel which is impervious to attacks with drills. This type of cylinder will usually have a sidebar which needs to fall into the plug through the use of the proper key before the plug can turn and lock or unlock the door. The pins found in these lock cylinders are also made of hardened and tempered steel. These locks are usually pick and bump proof and offer key control. You usually cannot get a key copied for this type of lock unless you are the card holder for the lock. You can’t just visit any store that cuts keys and get a copy made. They offer you 100% key control and are more secure than a standard lock cylinder.

Security Article Written by: Toronto Locksmith

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