In our line of work, we often get asked for advice about euro cylinders. Here, we offer answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject, providing you with the info you need to know before purchasing a cylinder door lock for your exterior door.
What are Euro Cylinders?
Every lock has a particular part that can be changed easily. It’s known as a euro cylinder or a door barrel and it is an independent unit that when set up, turns the actual lock and its entire component parts. The euro lock style was brought into being by the double glazing industry back in the old days and it has remained with us since then in the United Kingdom.
If you looked inside, you’d see that it is constructed with a series of pins that meet with the key pattern to enable the barrel to turn. When the barrel is moved, assuming that the cam is positioned at the centre, the lock turns and either locks or unlocks your door.
Why is it necessary to change my current euro cylinder?
Older types of door are installed with an antiquated euro cylinder style that lacks modern in-built security features like anti-drill, anti-pick, as well as snap and bump resistance features that are integrated into modern versions of the design as standard.
Is it easy to install new euro cylinders?
It is extremely easy, yes. There is one screw on the side of the door that allows the cylinder to be released. We have a guide to show you how a euro cylinder can be replaced and don’t worry, the entire process takes just a few minutes!
Anyone can replace the cylinder and all you need is the right screwdriver and the key for the euro cylinder. You may find taking the screw out a little difficult, particularly if it’s old or screwed in tight. If so, be sure to only use a standard screwdriver and not a drill.
Some screws are fitted in a place where it’s difficult to take the screw out. This can make things a bit complicated, as the mechanism can block access to the screw. In my opinion, if you find yourself in this position, I would contact us or another locksmith to help you further.
How do I know the size of my euro lock?
It is possible to measure the size of the euro lock you need in two ways. You can either remove the lock from the door and measure it or measure the lock whilst it is still inside the door. The picture below illustrates which measurements are required. Please check as where stated mm in millimeters are the measurements required.
Can the sizes be reversible?
Absolutely! Their design involves the use of a normal double ended key cylinder. Some locks of this type have ‘anti-snap’ functionality on one side, particularly when talking about DL30 anti snap locks. Conversely, Yale Superior Euro Cylinders have inbuilt snap resistance on both sides, which means that they’re reversible.
For example, a 40/50 size cylinder is the same as a 50/40 size, therefore making it is possible to use it either way on the door, as long as the door has the correct thickness.
I Might have a euro lock hidden behind the door frame
Yes, many French doors are designed this way, with the slave door having an additional frame attached to its side. It is easy to remove however, by unscrewing the four or five long screws that attach the one-piece frame to the door.
When this is complete, you can access the screen for the lock, allowing you to uninstall the lock in a similar way to the door on the other side. You must ensure that the one-piece frame is reattached back to its original position after you’ve finished.
There are 5 pins on my euro cylinder; can a 6 pin euro cylinders work?
Absolutely! You’ll have no issues installing a 6 pin replacement cylinder, unless your door is extremely narrow and the euro cylinder can only accept 5 pins. This is also applicable to other euro locks ,such as dimple and trace patterns, in which more pins exist.
If you feel that you need any assistance with changing your euro cylinders over, get in contact with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.
After the installation of a new euro cylinder, it is hard to use the keys?
When you unscrew the door handle, the side fixing bolt and then turn the key, the cylinder can sometimes struggle to find its correct level. If this happens, you should slightly pinch the screws up and and attempt the process again until the screws are completely tightened in the lock. If this doesn’t work, try some 3-in-1 or PTFE based oil or lubricant to get the lock back to its original position. Alternatively, you can call us and we can take care of the issue for you.
How does lock snapping work?
Burglars use the lock snapping technique to physically snap euro cylinders. Lock snapping is also a way to loosen up the locks on your door. The euro cylinder has a weak point, which is the middle fixing screw, so you have to be careful to avoid the cylinder protruding too much from the door as this can be tied up and twisted, thereby breaking the cylinder.
Cylinder locks have a break line around the end of the cylinder, representing a vulnerability, since it is possible for the uPVC to be opened up to allow the cylinder to be clamped beyond its break line. However, the cylinders we supply have a reinforced snap zone, which cushions the screw hole in the middle through a hardened pin, making it highly secure compared to the break-line models you see on the market.
Our 3 star anti snap door lock is also available upon request and it conforms to TS007. It is also fully tested and classified as anti-snap. However, even they can be broken, as in the event that your home is forcefully targeted, burglars may use different approaches to get around the problem and no lock can withstand the force of a heavy attack. You can read more about lock snapping for more understanding of this issue and the reason your euro locks may need to be changed.
We do not supply these type of locks, however if you wish to order one, you need to let us know in advance of the job, which type of door lock you need.
What is lock bumping?
Burglars use this technique to bounce the lock pins into a straight line, which when followed by a rapid action, can make the euro cylinder lock turn. The keys are special and the process can be extremely fast.
Do euro cylinders have secured thumbturns like normal cylinders?
Currently, these types of locks are not approved by insurance companies, as they are not as secure compared to standard double ended euro cylinders. This is because they are vulnerable to devices being put through the letterbox that can access the thumbturn, or by going through doors that have glass near the lock. If you are unsure, talk to your insurer to get advice relating to any concerns you have about thumbturn euro cylinders.
Though they’re not the most secure variety, thumb turn locks do carry out a very important role in apartment buildings though, as healthy and safety law dictates that they need to be included to allow anyone inside a flat to get out in the event of a fire. This is because you can’t have people running back into the fire to retrieve keys, something that’s been brought into sharp focus by the Grenfell tower block tragedy.
A bar coded card was sent with the security cylinder, why?
The bar coded card is your security card and should be kept very safe. You can call the number found on the card to reorder keys. Simply quote the bar code references or send the card to the approved key cutter.
The length of the retaining screw is too short or too long?
You can use the existing screw since this is the correct length. However, in a scenario where the previous screw is damaged, then make sure the new screw is the same size as the previous one (it is possible to you cut down screws). If you try using a screw that’s too long, you could damage the lock casing.
Are there any extra keys?
You can order some when ordering your locks. In the meantime, you can use popular key cutters like Timpsons to help you get any extra keys you need.
Is it possible to order additional keys later?
Definitely, but you will have to send us a picture of the key and the key card to make sure they match. When we get the code, we can use the key-cutter machine to replicate the pattern for you.
How many keys do you give?
The answer to this question will vary depending on certain factors. If you order single cylinders, you’ll get 3 keys for each one. However, if you order keyed alike euro cylinders, you’ll get 3 keys for the entire set straight away when you order. However if you want to match the key pattern to the previous cylinders, we won’t be able to provide any until you order a key so we can use this to get you a new barrel(s).
How safe is it to order keys from you?
We operate a strict policy and system for key replication in-house, with respect to the following guidelines:
● The customer’s order address information will never be seen by key cutter personnel.
● Pin numbers are not required and are never transferred between two people within the organization
● Higher management must issue key blanks to the key cutter and must be the actual number needed for the order.
● If the blanks are bad or have to be changed during the cutting process, then these have to be sent back to the controller and must be accounted for. Also, no one will be able to cut additional keys.
● If a report is sent by the customer regarding a missing key(s), the entire order must be returned and a new key number must be given.
● Any customer who orders extra keys with different additional keys or orders through a website, has to provide a picture of the key card details as well as the key. Through the patterns, professional key cutters can read the numbers and with this, we can make sure it is the actual customer sending the key.
Are your euro cylinders British Standards?
Absolutely. Insurers ask for many of them, like BS EN1303:2005 and BS3621:2007 and they all comply. The N1303:2005 category is DL09 Yale Superior Euro Cylinders 1-6-0-0-0-C-6-2.
If you are looking for any expensive british standard euro cylinder, you will need to contact us beforehand to explain to us which type you want, so that we can quote you properly.
What makes your euro cylinders less expensive compared to similar spec locks?
We want to offer you value for money, which is why we provide locks at this price point. Euro cylinders are cheaper, but do not have all of the security features available. They are solely ant-drill and anti-pick euro cylinders. If you wish to have a specific kind of Euro cylinder installed, please let us know before we visit your property.