Last updated: August 9, 2021

Welcome to our large locking cylinder test 2021. Here we present all the locking cylinders we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best locking cylinder for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a locking cylinder.




Summary

  • To be able to lock a door securely, the locking cylinder is of great importance. Modern door cylinders have versatile quality features with different functions. These functions can be adjusted for the respective application.
  • A locking cylinder consists of various components. These interact precisely and can thus ensure that the cylinder functions smoothly.
  • The most widely used locking cylinders function mechanically with the help of a key. However, in the course of progress, this is increasingly being replaced by electronic locking cylinders. These no longer require the use of a key, which is probably the most significant advantage of an electronic locking cylinder.

The Best Lock Cylinder: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a locking cylinder

What do I need a locking cylinder for?

Lock cylinders are used in a wide variety of doors. A good lock cylinder is the heart of the front door and offers the first most effective protection against burglary.

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A good locking cylinder makes it harder for burglars to open your front door. (Image source: pexels.com / PhotoMIX Ltd.)

A good lock cylinder is protected against breaking off, drilling, pulling out or similar manipulations. These security features make it difficult for unauthorised persons to enter through the door in question without permission.

Locking cylinders are not only used in doors. You can also use locking cylinders on cupboards, suitcases or boxes to protect the contents from unauthorised access. The locking cylinder is adapted to the respective application.

Which locking cylinder models are there?

Here you can distinguish between the function of the locking cylinder, i.e. keyed alike or keyed different. On the other hand, you can distinguish between cylinders according to their design.

Keyed alike means that several locks can be opened and closed with only one key. A keyed alike cylinder is usually used in flats or cars. As an example to illustrate this, the garage, the front door and the flat door can be unlocked and locked with one key.

The advantage of a keyed alike lock is the use of only one key. This eliminates the need to search for the right key and significantly reduces the number of keys you need on your key ring. However, if you should lose a key, it is advisable to change all the locks so that you can avoid unwanted access.

In contrast to this are the different locking cylinders. With this type, only the key made for this cylinder fits into the respective lock. Locks of this type are usually used for individual items, such as a suitcase. As an example: the key of the suitcase only fits the respective suitcase and not on any other.

This type of lock is best used for individual locks or locks that are not used very often. Since you need a separate key for each lock, if you have several locks of this type, there will be more and more keys, making it more difficult to find the right key. If the key is lost, the lock can be replaced quickly and easily without having to change other locks.

What types of lock cylinders are there?

You can also distinguish the design of the locking cylinder. There are many different designs that you can choose according to your personal needs. The following table can help you to get a brief overview of the different designs.

What is a profile cylinder?

A profile cylinder is the most common type of locking cylinder in this country. It is mainly used for security door locks. The shape is round at the top and oval at the bottom. The bit of the key points downwards after installation.

What is a round cylinder?

The round cylinder was used very often before the profile cylinder. Nowadays, it is mostly found in lockers. The shape of the locking cylinder is round and the key bit points upwards after installation

What is an oval cylinder?

Oval locking cylinders are oval in overall shape and are similar to profile cylinders. The area of application is largely office furniture and display cabinets.

How does a locking cylinder work?

A locking cylinder works with the help of a coding. The coding can be mechanical or electronic. The key contains the coding in its profile due to its cuts and notches. In the locking cylinder, these codes are scanned by the housing pins.

The housing pins match the notches in the key bit and when the profiles of the key and those of the locking cylinder match, the core of the lock is released. The key can be inserted and the lock locked.

What functions must the locking cylinder fulfil?

A locking cylinder is primarily intended to lock a door or cabinet. In addition, the locked lock protects against unauthorised access. Due to its versatile materials and techniques, a locking cylinder can either be opened very easily or only barely or not at all.

A high-quality lock cylinder only allows professional lock-pickers to open it. And this with a corresponding expenditure of tools and time. This makes it uninteresting for many burglars or thieves, as the risk of being caught is too great.

What should you look for when buying a locking cylinder?

There are different security classes for locking cylinders. These are often specified by the manufacturer. Depending on the area of use, you choose the appropriate security class for the cylinder.

Security classes provide information about the effort required to open a lock without authorisation or by force. The higher the security class, the more effort it takes to break open the lock and the longer it takes to break it open.

How do you find the right size of lock cylinder?

There are different cylinder sizes. To avoid buying the wrong one, it is best to measure the cylinder you have already installed beforehand. The outer and inner dimensions are decisive for the size of a locking cylinder. These dimensions are measured from the centre or from the fixing screw. Make sure that you include the door fitting in the measurement.

From the centre of the cylinder to the outside of the door is the outside dimension, the other side is the inside dimension. Now you can use these measurements to get the right cylinder; these measurements are given with the locking cylinders.

How is the locking cylinder replaced?

Normally, a locking cylinder can be replaced relatively quickly and easily. The screws required for installation are usually included in the delivery.

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Installing a new locking cylinder is usually not particularly complicated. The necessary accessories are usually included in the delivery. (Image source: pexels.com / Pixabay)

For installation, you usually need a normal screwdriver with which to fasten the locking screw. The locking cylinders come with installation instructions that help you to change the cylinder without any problems.

If you prefer to leave the work to a locksmith, you will also have to expect higher costs.

Most locksmiths also offer you their own, usually somewhat more expensive lock cylinder. Therefore, it is more advisable to do the work yourself and save a lot of money.

However, to give you an overview of the prices, I have compiled a small list of the usual costs.

Cost type price
Journey 40 - 80 EUR
New lock cylinder 80 - 100 EUR
Replace lock approx .100 EUR
Total costs 220 - 280 EUR

What happens if the key is lost?

In Germany, profile cylinders are used for door security locks. The profile cylinders are standardised in size according to DIN 1825 / EN 1303. For you, this means that you can replace the locking cylinder regardless of the manufacturer.

In most cases, keys can be copied at a locksmith or at various dealers.

Depending on the quality and manufacturer of the lock, some locks come with a security card. This card is required if the key is copied. With the card you can prove that you are the owner of the lock. This prevents unwanted copying of the key.

Depending on the type of key, the cost of duplicating a key is usually between 10 and 20 euros. The locksmith needs an original key or the copy card to make a duplicate.

You can also copy an emergency key yourself with the help of a key duplication set. However, the life span of these keys is comparatively short.

With special security locks or locking system keys, duplication can be problematic. It is often necessary to replace the entire locking cylinder of the locking system. In order to be protected against higher costs in this case, many private liability insurances offer coverage for key loss.

What care does a locking cylinder need?

You can increase the service life of a locking cylinder with the right care. This ensures that the lock will function smoothly for a long time. Good care products for locking cylinders are special oils that prevent the mechanism from corroding and freezing. In addition, a good care spray lubricates and cleans the mechanism.

Decision: What types of locking cylinder are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between four different types of locking cylinders:

  • Locking cylinder with security card
  • Locking cylinder keyed alike
  • Locking cylinder with emergency and danger function

What are locking cylinders with a security card and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

These locking cylinders come with a security card. If you value high security, this type of cylinder is suitable for you. The security card prevents unauthorised duplication and copying of the key, as it identifies the rightful owner when the key is duplicated.

Advantages
  • Replacement keys can only be copied with a security card
  • Locking cylinders are of high quality and workmanship and are therefore usually classified in a high security class
  • Locking cylinders of this type protect very well against unauthorised opening
Disadvantages
  • If the security card is lost, the key cannot be copied
  • Difficult to open the locking cylinder if the key is lost
  • These locking cylinders are often in a higher price category

What are keyed alike locking cylinders and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

A keyed alike locking cylinder can lock several cylinders of the individual locking system with only one key.

Advantages
  • Only one key is needed for several doors
  • No need to search for the right key
  • Easy to use
Disadvantages
  • Several locks are affected if a key is lost
  • Replacing the locking cylinder can be more time-consuming
  • If one cylinder is defective, all cylinders may have to be replaced

What are locking cylinders with emergency and danger functions and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

In emergency and dangerous situations it may be necessary to lock a door from the outside even though the key is inside. Locking cylinders with emergency and danger functions are the first choice for precisely these cases.

Advantages
  • Developed for emergency and danger situations
  • Lock can be locked from the outside even if the key is inserted inside
  • Area of application is particularly useful for households with children or pensioners
Disadvantages
  • Access can be gained undesirably even if the key is inserted
  • If lost, unauthorised persons can gain access at any time
  • Price categorised somewhat higher than simple locking cylinders

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate locking cylinders

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate locking cylinders. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective device.

In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Size
  • Security level
  • Material
  • Number of keys supplied
  • Necessary maintenance intervals

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a device based on the criteria or not.

Size

First of all, you need the right size of the cylinder so that it fits into the intended door. For this reason, you measure the length before buying. Many lock cylinders are available in different lengths. In some cases, unfortunately, not all lengths are available.

In addition, there are length-adjustable lock cylinders available in specialist shops which you can adapt to your required length.

Security class

The security classes provide information about the manipulation and picking security of a locking cylinder. Picking is the term for opening a lock without the intended key.

Basically, the higher the security level, the better the locking cylinder is protected from unwanted opening. The levels are numerically ascending. The higher the level, the more secure the lock. Locks are further divided into security classes A, B, B+, etc. From class C onwards, only electrically controlled lock cylinders are usually found.

Material

The demands on the material of a locking cylinder can be very high. For example, it must not only be resistant to various environmental influences, but also be able to keep out unwanted manipulation. Furthermore, a durable material ensures that the individual components function smoothly for a long time.

This means that the lock can still be locked and unlocked smoothly even after many years of use. A very popular material for lock cylinders is, for example, brass.

Number of keys supplied

It is also important for you to know how many keys you need for your lock cylinder. Especially if several people live in your household, you will need several keys. In order to avoid unnecessary costs due to duplicating the key, you should ideally make sure that the required number of keys is already included in the delivery.

Necessary maintenance intervals

If you make sure that the lock cylinder has a long service life when you buy it, you can save yourself the costs and work involved in replacing it. Easy and simple maintenance of the lock ensures a long service life. This applies to both the locking cylinder and the keys.

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Facts worth knowing about locking cylinders

A good locking cylinder is crucial for the security of the lock. High-quality locking cylinders offer comprehensive protection against unwanted opening. The security levels provide more detailed information for the respective lock.

Robust, high-quality materials ensure a long service life for the locking cylinder. Measuring the space where the cylinder is to be installed beforehand ensures that you find the right locking cylinder.

Installation can usually be done quickly and easily by yourself with the help of the installation instructions, especially if it is a standard locking cylinder. Regular maintenance and care of the cylinder and the keys ensures that the locking cylinder functions smoothly for a long time. This means you can enjoy the desired function and security of your new locking cylinder for a long time.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 59744301

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