Home Improvement

What Is an Oval Cylinder Lock?

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When it comes to safeguarding your property, the choice of locks plays a pivotal role. Oval cylinder locks, also known as oval profile cylinders, are gaining popularity for their unique design and enhanced security features. In this post, you will learn more about how they work, types and sizes, and how they’re different from your standard cylinder locks.

So if you:

  • Are on the hunt for a new lock;
  • Came across the smooth-looking oval locks and wanted to know more;

Then read along…

How do oval cylinder locks work?

These locks work like any other, however, it’s the details that matter. Understanding how they work can shed light on their effectiveness so you can decide if they’re the right fit for your doors.

Components of an oval cylinder lock

For you to comprehend the functioning of the oval profile cylinder lock, it’s essential first to familiarise yourself with their main components:

  • Cylinder – The core component is the cylinder itself. This cylindrical-shaped structure houses the internal mechanisms, including pins and springs;
  • Keyway – The keyway is the slot or groove on the outer side of the cylinder, where you insert the key;
  • Key pins – Key pins are tiny metal pins located within the cylinder. These pins vary in size and align with the cuts on the key;
  • Driver pins – Positioned above the key pins, driver pins interact with the key pins and engage with the key to keep the lock secure;
  • Cam – The cam is the rotating part of the lock that engages with the door mechanism. When this component is engaged, the lock stays firmly in the lock cavity;
  • Faceplate – The visible plate on the edge of the door with the keyhole is known as the faceplate. It this case it’s oval.

How oval cylinder locks work

Each time you insert the correct key into an oval lock, the following sequence of actions occurs:

  • Key insertion – The notches on the key lift the key pins and driver pins to the correct height, aligning them along the shear line;
  • Rotating the key – The aligned pins create a gap at the shear line, allowing the cam to rotate. This rotation activates the locking or unlocking mechanism connected to the door;
  • Locking/unlocking – The turning of the key either engages or disengages the locking mechanism, securing or releasing the door.
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Benefits of oval locks

With their unique design and functionality, these locks have several advantages for you to consider:

  • Increased key combinations – Oval cylinder locks often have a higher number of possible key combinations due to their elongated design, making them more secure;
  • Improved key control – The shape of oval keys and keyways allows for better key control, limiting unauthorised key duplication;
  • Durability – Oval cylinder locks are known for their robust construction, ensuring long-lasting performance and durability in various environmental conditions;
  • Ideal for glass doors – Their versatile compatibility extends to glass doors, providing an elegant and secure solution for modern entryways.

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Need a lock change or repair?

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What is the difference between oval and euro cylinders?

When it comes to choosing the right cylinder lock for your needs, two popular options often stand out: oval cylinders and euro cylinders. This section will help you distinguish between these choices and determine which one best suits your specific requirements.

An oval cylinder, as the name suggests, has an oval shape and typically works alongside an oval mortice lock case. On the other hand, an euro cylinder resembles an enlarged keyhole shape and is designed to complement an euro mortice lock case. Oval cylinders and euro cylinders might appear similar at first glance, but their differences go beyond just their visual shapes:

Oval cylinder lock

  • Unique shape, and enhanced security – Oval cylinders are renowned for their distinctive design. Their non-standard oval shape adds an extra layer of security. This unique configuration makes them formidable against picking and manipulation;
  • Resistance to drilling and bumping – Oval lock cylinders are built to withstand common break-in techniques, including drilling and bumping. Their design and construction make them resilient in the face of these threats;
  • Versatile compatibility – These locks are highly compatible with various door types, such as wooden, metal, and, as you already know, glass doors. This versatility makes oval cylinder locks an excellent choice for different applications.

Euro cylinders

  • Standardised profile – Euro cylinders, on the other hand, come in a standardised cylindrical shape with a keyhole on both sides. This profile is widely used across Europe, making them a common choice;
  • Ease of installation – Euro cylinders feature a straightforward design and standardised size, which makes them easy to install or replace. Even those without extensive locksmith experience can manage this task with ease;
  • Convenience – Many euro cylinders include thumbturns on one side, enabling quick and simple locking and unlocking without the need for a key. This convenience proves valuable in areas where frequent access is required.
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Types and sizes of oval cylinder locks

Oval cylinder locks offer diverse solutions to meet specific security needs. Let’s navigate through the primary types of oval lock cylinders, providing an overview of each.

Single-cylinder oval locks

These oval locks are equipped with a keyhole on one side, while the opposite side features a knob or thumbturn. Often found in residential spaces, they provide basic security, allowing keyless access from the inside.

Double-cylinder oval locks

Double-cylinder oval locks feature keyholes on both sides, enhancing security. Commonly installed at the main entrances of homes, these locks are crucial for safeguarding high-traffic areas. However, they require consideration regarding safety during emergencies.

Thumbturn cylinders

Oval thumbturn cylinders incorporate a thumbturn mechanism on one side, enabling convenient locking and unlocking without the need for a key. Ideal for areas where quick and easy access is essential, such as home offices or studies.

Oval cylinder locks come in various sizes, typically ranging from 30mm to 70mm. Selecting the appropriate size is essential to ensure a perfect fit for your door’s thickness and to meet your specific security requirements effectively.

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Get a new cylinder lock installed in no time

When it comes to installing a new cylinder lock quickly and reliably, professional locksmith services are the way to go. Locksmith prices are different for different locks, but it’s worth it when you consider all the time and effort you will save. Here’s how locksmiths can help you get your new cylinder lock, be it regular or oval, installed without any fuss.

  • Security evaluation – A professional locksmith will begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your property’s security needs. They’ll identify vulnerabilities and recommend the most suitable cylinder lock to address them;
  • Lock selection – With their extensive knowledge of various cylinder lock types and brands, locksmiths can help you choose a high-quality lock with advanced security features. This ensures your new lock offers robust protection;
  • Efficient installation – Locksmiths have the experience and the right tools to efficiently install your new cylinder lock. They ensure that it seamlessly integrates with your existing door, frame, and security system;
  • Custom solutions – Locksmiths provide tailored solutions to meet your specific requirements. Whether you have a unique door type, need multi-access options, or want extra security features, locksmiths can accommodate your needs;
  • Comprehensive testing – After installation, locksmiths thoroughly test the new cylinder lock to verify its proper operation. This includes checking key functionality, lock engagement, and overall security;
  • Additional security enhancements – In addition to lock installation, locksmiths can offer supplementary security measures such as reinforcing door frames, installing security bars, or upgrading access control systems for added protection;
  • Emergency services – Locksmiths are available for emergency lock replacements, ensuring your security is swiftly reinstated in critical situations.

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  • These locks are built to withstand common break-in techniques like drilling or bumping;
  • Oval cylinder locks are highly compatible with various door types, including wooden, metal, and even glass doors;
  • The shape of oval keys and keyways allows for better key control, limiting unauthorised key duplication;
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