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A standard pin-tumbler mortise cylinder (right).

A cylinder (or shell, housing) is a lock component which holds the plug, actuator, and locking components. Though most commonly associated with pin-tumbler based lock designs, cylinders are used in many others, such as wafer, lever, and disc-detainer locks.

Cylinder Types

From the top left:mortise, rim, euro profile, KIK, and oval cylinders


A threaded cylinder that screws into a door assembly and is held in place by set screws on each side.


A cylinder that is held in place by screws that extend through the cylinder itself.

Key in Knob (KIK)

A cylinder that is inserted into a knob or housing, held in place by various methods depending on the housing's design.

Euro Profile

A cylinder of a standard european format that is held in place by a screw that extends through the center of the cylinder.


The three common oval-shaped cylinders are known as the Scandinavian Oval (or Nordic Oval), the UK Oval, and the Australian Oval (or 570 Oval). The 570-type is a reference to the Lockwood 570.


See also

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