An interchangeable core (IC) is an adaptable locking key cylinder. Unlike a standard key cylinder, which is accessible for a combination only via locking device disassembly, an interchangeable mechanism relies upon a specialized “control” key for insertion and extraction of the essential (or “core”) combination components.

Interchangeable cores were invented for locks in buildings that frequently change owners and employees. The beauty of an interchangeable core is that it can be operated and changed out as need dictates without needing to call a locksmith, however, a locksmith is needed for initial installation and it is better to get professional advice from one before investing in a certain model.

The best IC locks are the ones that have bottom pins with the same material as the original keys. When rekeying it is best to use new keys that match the material of the bottom pins. Buildings that undergo employee turnover on a regular basis are best suited for using interchangeable core type locks because it cuts expenditure as well as time lag when the access system needs to be changed.

The Anatomy Of An Interchangeable Core

interchangeable core padlock disassembled

This type of lock that is primarily used for commercial buildings has a sleeve lug that is used for securing the core into the lock housing. There is a control or master key that can be kept by the owner or employer and this master key stays the same overall. Duplicates of the master key can be made but that is advised against it so that an extra key does not fall into the wrong hands.

The control key accesses the component between the sleeve and the housing which a regular access key cannot do, this ensures that only the employer or the owner can change out that part of the lock. The lug is detracted with the control key so that the core can be removed. It is not necessary to remove the core each time, depending on the model, you can just insert the pin number or code.

Bottom pins range from .108 to .115 in diameter but the former is more popular. In each IC chamber, there are typically four main chambers namely the top pin, build-up/control pin, master pin, and bottom pin. Within the bottom pins, there are three different types to choose from but the better quality components make a clicking sound when turned, are of nickel silver, and are generally longer lasting.

How To Choose The Best IC

The best IC depends on a range of factors but anyone trying IC locks for the first time is better off with a standard universal bottom pin design. The bottom pin can be made of brass or silver nickel as other materials don’t have the same durability.

Another aspect to bear in mind is that good quality, industrial standard cores will always be color-coded. Generally, the chamber will be at a straight-edged angle, .012 thicker, with a rounded nose.

When rekeying it is advisable to use the best quality tumbler locks you can budget into your expenditure. This means that the overall unit will last for many years and not require costly reinstallation.

Since Interchangeable Cores are a great way to ensure a better security protocol, most IC lock manufacturers recommend punch-style key machines for each time you need to rekey your core system. The best way to ensure that you select the right type of IC or other lock and key systems is to consult with your local licensed Locksmith in Houston TX.

Services And Repairs By Locksmith In Houston TX

Alamo Key & Lock Houston Locksmiths offers a wide range of locksmithing solutions and services for all types of doors, locks, and security systems. Our licensed team of Locksmiths is available for our valued customers 24/7 to ensure that your requirements are met no matter the location in Houston and no matter the time of day or night.

Just making one phone call 713-688-3887 means that we’ll take care of the rest. With our rapid response for all types of emergencies in Houston, we can be at your service usually within minutes. Our professional and quality workmanship also ensures that you need not worry about the service you acquire once we complete our work. Because our promise to you is “we stand by our work and ethics

Alamo Key & Lock Locksmith Offers Solutions For:

Keys, Locks & Access Control Systems

  • Keys duplication replacement and rekey
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Safe Installations And Repairs

  • Advice on Safes
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