Cylinders and Cores

When it comes to commercial door hardware, people often assume the term cylinder and core refer to the same thing– but they don’t. The term cylinder refers to the entire locking assembly, while the core is the part where you insert the key to operate the locking mechanism. Understanding the difference is essential in identifying your commercial hardware needs. 

At Quality Door and Hardware, we carry four types of cylinders; key-in cylinders, mortise cylinders, rim cylinders, and thumb-turn cylinders. We also have different interchangeable cores as well as different tools and accessories to make installation and repair easier. With our impressive catalog from reliable brands like Sargent, Yale, and Schlage, we are sure to be your one-stop shop for any commercial cylinder and core needs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

All key cylinders are not the same. There are a variety of cylinders available such as key-in cylinders, mortise cylinders, rim cylinders, and thumb-turn cylinders. Depending on your situation, one type of cylinder may be better than another type of cylinder.

A mortise cylinder is often used with a mortise lock or locking devices that require a cam. The term mortise refers to a hole or recess cut into the door. Mortise cylinders have threaded housings and simply screw into the locking mechanism. The cams on the rear of the cylinder vary in size, so be sure to use the right one for your locking mechanism.

The term cylinder refers to the entire assembly of the lock, which is the cylinder housing and the core. The core is the part of the lock where you insert the key. The core also contains pins that adjust as a key is inserted into the lock. Cores can be interchangeable (IC core) or standard. Locksmiths can quickly swap out interchangeable cores with a master key.

Locksmiths can most certainly rekey a cylinder. Depending on your cylinder, they can either replace the removable core using a control key or repin your core to accept a new key. Locksmiths can replace both large-format and small-format interchangeable core cylinders.

A mortise is a hole, and a mortise cylinder or lock is installed in this recess along the side of the door. A tubular lock utilizes cylindrical pieces installed via matching cylindrical holes in the door.