Best Key Cores for Locks

Security has become one of the most important concerns these days. Earlier, locks were quite sufficient as burglars were unaware of the techniques to break down these locks. As we progressed, the conventional lock systems became inefficient, mainly because breaking them was so easy. The criminals were aware of the modern techniques and loopholes that were required to break these locks. For this reason, security systems were updated with high-quality complex key cores. They are not easy to crack. 

What are Key Cores?

Key Cores are one of the most used equipments every day. They are mainly used to add on to the security. In easier terms, a key core is a small round core inserted in a cylinder that is directly attached to a lock. The better a key core is, the more securer it would be. For example, a simple key core lock is easier to crack as compared to a complex interchangeable key core. For this reason, people are looking for the best key cores for locks and fortunately, we have a great list of the ones that you can buy from Amazon.com. 

Things to Consider Before Purchasing A Key Core

There are numerous providers of IC cores in the market, all offering multiple features. However, you may be a little confused, wondering which IC core to buy. Here are some of the features you should consider when purchasing a key core for your building or house.

Type of Key Core

There are two basic kinds of key cores: standard cores and interchangeable or IC cores. They vary in cost and convenience. 

Standard Core

Standard cores are the most common type of cores found in households and small businesses. They take about 10-15 minutes to change per lock. A key cylinder is fixed or immediately linked to a standard lock-in core. 

Although the upfront cost may be lower, the long-term cost will be higher as compared to IC or interchangeable cores because of the need to rekey the locks. Rekeying a standard core requires professional help, and it is not easy to do it on your own. 

While it is possible to do it on your own, it requires a lot of effort. This is because to rekey or replace the core,  the lock must be disassembled halfway. This entire process is best left to a professional. Without dismantling the lock halfway, standard cores cannot be rekeyed.

Silver keys and a lock for the front door. Household security system. Dark background.

Interchangeable Core

An IC core is a sure winner because you can rekey the lock yourself! A control key is used to extract and reinstall the core, and a lock change may be completed in only a few seconds if you have the keys for both the old and new cylinders. A control key is used to enter an interchangeable core (which resembles a figure eight), into a cylinder.

This procedure is rapid and simple. It takes only 30 seconds. While interchangeable cores are more expensive up front, they compensate for the costs in the long run if you need to rekey your facility. You will only need to pay once and then never have to hire a professional to rekey your locks.

Interchangeable cores come in two sizes: a smaller figure eight-core for a small format and a large figure eight-core for a large format. They perform similar functions, but a small format IC core cannot be put in large format compatible hardware. Similarly, a large format IC core cannot be inserted in a small format IC core hardware.

Compatibility

It would be best if you also thought about hardware compliance because not all cores are compatible with every piece of hardware. 

If you plan on buying an IC core, you need to pick one that is compatible with your hardware (large or small format IC cores).  As discussed above already, you need a small figure IC core for a small format compatible hardware and a large figure IC core for a large design compatible core. Also, If there is a lever set in the standard cylinder, then you can not install an IC core in it.

Key Duplication

You need to make sure that the key core you buy is not easy to duplicate. We advise going for restricted, serialized key cores which cannot be duplicated. This will help in authorized duplication by intruders and add an extra layer of security to your system. 

Serialized core means that the keys are personalized according to the institution they are used for. Therefore, if a person from outside tries to duplicate it, the hardware detects it as foreign.

Silver keys and a lock for the front door. Household security system. Dark background.

Master Key Systems

If you would like to build multi-level access to your institution, get a key core that allows master key access. The best part about having a master key system is that you can use them with “rekeyable” locks for extra convenience. This means that user keys are unaffected when “rekeyable” locks are rekeyed at the master key level.

If a master key is lost, stolen, or damaged, the locks in your master key system can be changed using a step-change key linked with the lock associated with the lost, stolen, or damaged key. You can prevent the trouble of sending new keys to each user by using this method. However, you will have to give the users new master keys.

Cost

If you have a small institution with just a few locks, then a standard IC core will suffice. The upfront cost is low, and you will have a tiny cost associated with hiring a professional if the locks need changing. However, if you have a larger institution where high security is required with constant rekeying, then we advise you to get IC cores. IC cores may be costly upfront but will save you a lot of money when you have to replace each lock as you can do them yourself.

Patented Cores

For the best security, go for lock cores that are patented. Patented systems are high-grade and prohibit unauthorized duplication. Besides, such systems are usually performing better than the non-patented or copied ones. While they may be expensive, we still recommend getting them because security is something you shouldn’t compromise on. 

Best Key Cores for Locks

Find out a range of the best key cores for locks. These products have been known to work exceptionally well and provide you with the best security. 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
Pacific Doorware Best / Falcon Style IC Core Lock A Cylinder Pinned
Pacific Doorware LFIC Lock IC Core Cylinder & Keys with Control Key
Gerioie Sturdy and Durable Door Lock Cylinder
Pacific Doorware 102281-7 MC65 Mortise Lock Cylinder 
YAKIMA - SKS Lock Cores for Yakima Car Rack System Components


1. Pacific Doorware Best / Falcon Style IC Core Lock A Cylinder Pinned


Pacific Doorware Best / Falcon Style IC Core Lock A Cylinder Pinned

The Pacific Doorware 6-Pin works best on multiple types of locks such as Kaba Simplex B-Type Locks. It has been made out of brass which is a good material when it comes to key cores for locks. Moreover, the finish is in Satin Chrome. There is 1 control key and 2 operating keys in the complete package which allows you to manage the lock in an efficient manner. The special features of this IC Core Lock include Alarm Lock Trilogy and Small Format IC Core both of which add more to the overall security aspect of your locks. 

It is one of the best-selling key cores at Amazon.com which is why it is on top of our list as well. You can use it for both, commercial and residential purposes. One of the most important aspects highlighted by the customers was that it was easy to install. One customer referred to this key core as a “Plug and Play” option which adds more to the convenience factor. To learn more about the locks in which it can fit, you can see the description on Amazon.com.

 

Features



  • Material - Brass

  • Comes with 2 Operating Keys and 1 Control Key

  • Satin Chrome Finish

  • SFIC Core

  • Size - 6 pin


Pros



  • Excellent Finish

  • Durable choice as a key core

  • Easy to Install

  • Can be used with multiple lock systems

  • Alarm Lock Trilogy Compatible


Cons



  • None



2. Pacific Doorware LFIC Lock IC Core Cylinder & Keys with Control Key


Pacific Doorware LFIC Lock IC Core Cylinder & Keys with Control Key

Another great option offered by Pacific Doorware is this set of IC Core Cylinders with Keys and a Control Key. Those who have Schlage Locks with J or JD in the part number can use this lock instead of the first one. Besides, it can also work with different types of Kaba Simplex and Duplex Push Button locks.

It is also compatible with Alarm Lock Trilogy where “IC-S” comes in the model name. Lastly, the compatibility is also extended to Falcon Locks with J or JD in their model number. Just be sure you are ordering the right ones by checking the model number of your locks. For a detailed list, you can check out the description on the Amazon page of this product.

This key core has also been made of brass which assures you of the high quality and durability factors. Users who tried out this lock core were highly satisfied and have recommended it to others too. The finish of this key core is also of Satin Chrome 26D. 2 Operating Keys and 1 Control Key are included in the complete package and it is suitable for a lever-type handle. We recommend this product because it has technically no flaws or drawbacks highlighted by the users.

 

Features



  • Material - Brass

  • Finish - Satin Chrome Finish

  • Comes with 1 Control Key / 2 Operating Keys

  • LFIC Core


Pros



  • High Quality

  • Easy to Install

  • Can be used with multiple lock systems

  • Alarm Lock Trilogy Compatible

  • Highly satisfied customer response


Cons



  • None



3. Gerioie Sturdy and Durable Door Lock Cylinder


Gerioie Sturdy and Durable Door Lock Cylinder

One of the best key cores for locks in our list is this one by Geriorie. Unlike the earlier ones, these ones are made out of solid pure copper along with a steel latch which gives it an added benefit of durability as well as corrosion resistance. It even has an anti-pry and anti-collision function which allows for maximum security without any hindrance. One can use it for several types of doors such as wooden, aluminum, and other doors. 

The design is also quite sophisticated and unique, which you won't find with other types of key cores. Many users specifically bought this key core for its unique design. With a major upgrade from the previous model, this one is relatively more sturdy and durable as well. The best part is that it will not take much of your time or effort for installation. All you need is a screwdriver for the entire installation process. 

Just make sure that you order the right size so that you don't have to go over the hassle of returning and then getting the right one.

 

Features



  • Material - Copper

  • Solid Steel Latch

  • 100,000 Times to Open

  • Weight - 213 Grams

  • Dimensions - 3.15 x 1.57 x 1.18 inches

  • 1 Lock, 1 Screw, and 3 Keys Included


Pros



  • Easy to Install

  • Sturdy and Durable

  • Unique Design

  • Special Anti-theft design

  • Maximum security protection


Cons



  • Not as compatible as the ones by Pacific Doorware



4. Pacific Doorware 102281-7 MC65 Mortise Lock Cylinder 


Pacific Doorware 102281-7 MC65 Mortise Lock Cylinder 

Another great key core for a lock is the Pacific Doorware Mortise Lock Cylinder. Unlike other ones, this one is relatively smaller and is used specifically on Detex EAX500 EA500 EAX2500 EAX2545 EAX300 models. Those who have a Detox Powered safety wall or door mount exit alarms will find this particular lock cylinder quite useful. Just like all other key cores by Pacific Doorware, this one is also made of Brass which assures you of the quality and long-lasting aspect. 

It includes 2 Keys (SCI) and measures 2.10" W x 2.375" D x 7.70" L. Users have given positive reviews regarding this lock cylinder. However, it is only useful for those who have the model locks mentioned above. The versatility element is eliminated and this product may not necessarily be useful for you. In case it does, get it as a blind buy because for most, it was an “excellent value”.

 

Features



  • Material - Brass

  • Dimensions - 2.10" W x 2.375" D x 7.70" L

  • 2 Keys SCI

  • Compatible with - Detex EAX500 EA500 EAX2500 EAX2545 EAX300


Pros



  • Mostly satisfied customer responses

  • Can be used on alarm door mounts

  • High-quality cylinder

  • Excellent value


Cons



  • Not that versatile



5. YAKIMA - SKS Lock Cores for Yakima Car Rack System Components


Yakima SKS Lock Cores for Car Rack System Components

If you have a Yakima Car Rack System, this lock is for you. Many people have trouble finding the best key cores for car system components. However, this particular key cylinder set resolves the worry by providing you with the SKS (Same Key System) Lock Cores. This means that the lock can match your existing key system. This makes this lock core quite versatile. 

It can be used on all Yakima products with 2 operating SKS Cores along with 3 matching keys and 1 control key. Just in case you are worried that these might get lost, Yakima also has replacement keys and cores available. The best part about this key core is the convenience factor. It takes hardly 5 minutes to install this key core without the use of any major tools. Moreover, the company also offers a limited lifetime warranty for this product.

 

Features



  • Compatible with all Yakima Products

  • 2 Operating Keys and 1 Control Key

  • Same Key System

  • Available in - 2-Pack, 4-Pack, 6-Pack, and 8-Pack



Pros



  • Best for Yakima product users

  • Easy to install

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

  • Replacement keys and cores are available


Cons



  • Cannot be used on non-Yakima products



Best Key Cores for Locks Comparison Table

  Pacific Doorware Best / Falcon Style IC Core Lock A Cylinder PinnedPacific Doorware LFIC Lock IC Core Cylinder & Keys with Control KeyGerioie Sturdy and Durable Door Lock CylinderPacific Doorware 102281-7 MC65 Mortise Lock Cylinder YAKIMA - SKS Lock Cores for Yakima Car Rack System Components
Material BrassBrassCopperBrassN/A
Keys2 Operating Keys 1 Control Key2 Operating Keys 1 Control Key3 Keys2 Keys (SCI)2 Operating Keys 1 Control Key
Compatibility Fits Schlage locks with B or BD in part numbers Many other brand locks can fit well tooFits Schlage locks with J or JD in part numbers Many other brand locks can fit well tooFits Multiple lock typesDetex EAX500 EA500 EAX2500 EAX2545 EAX300All Yakima Lockable Products
Special FeaturesAlarm Lock Trilogy CompatibleAlarm Lock Trilogy CompatibleAnti-theft design Solid Steel LatchCan be used on door mount exit alarms USe on Detox battery powered operated surface wallSame Key System. One key for all Yakima products.
 

Expert Recommendation

Based on our evaluation, all of the above-mentioned products are among the best key cores for locks. IT mainly depends on your usability and the type of model you have because that is what the key core is dependent upon. The first three options are the most-bought ones because of their versatility and high quality. The last two options are great too but they are not that versatile. 

Conclusion

We can deduce that the key cores have one of the most important functions for a lock. The lock itself is useless as long as this tiny cylindrical-shaped object is not good enough. Therefore, we have compiled our list of best key cores for locks which will help you get the best security in your locks. These are durable options that have worked in a flawless manner for multiple users.