Standard Security Cylinders vs. High Security Cylinders

Do you have a need for extra security?

The average commercial or retail store, residential complex and standard office building uses standard security cylinders within their lockset because these types of buildings don’t have a need for higher security.  These places don’t host crucial information, dangerous materials or any other hazardous items where extra security is necessary. Inside the standard security cylinders, the key pins are vertical (a shear line) and when the key is inserted, the pins settle into the indents (cuts) in the key.

An upgrade to high security cylinders is made when extra building and key security is required, such as at police stations, financial institutions, high-crime locations, prisons, etc.  The internal workings of high security cylinders include the vertical shear line, like the standard security cylinders, but the high security cylinders have an additional shear line that runs horizontal inside the cylinder. This allows the cylinder to adhere to UL437 requirements of “pick and drill resistance” and eliminates key duplication at non-distributor locations (such as home improvement stores).  In most cases, unless you are a hardware expert or keying specialist, you cannot tell from the outside of the cylinder if it is high security or standard security. The outside construction of the device does not differ.

In many buildings that require high security cylinders, the high security cylinders are used on the exterior doors and select interior doors, while the standard security cylinders are used on most of the interior doors. This mix of cylinders allows for a more cost-efficient key system.

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