How Sargent's 6300 Large Format Interchangeable Core Works

Sargent 6300 Large Format Interchangeable Core History

Sargent began producing their proprietary large format interchangeable core, the 6300, in the late 70s. It isn’t Sargent’s only core, they’ve actually manufactured 4 different core designs. It is, however, is the newest design they’ve manufactured so you’ll sometimes see/hear it referred to as a Sargent “new style” core. A predecessor to the 6300 was Sargent’s removable core, which is referred to as the “old style”. Sargent still does sell “old style” removable cores.

Sargent 6300 Large Format Interchangeable Core Function

Sargent 6300s utilize a control lug found in the 3rd and 4th chambers of the core. Control keys will contain the same cuts as either the operating/change key OR top master key in all positions except the 3rd and 4th. The coded difference between the operating and control shearline is .160” or 8 increments. This means that certain control bittings used in conjunction with certain operating/change key OR top master key bittings can result in key interchange. In other words, operating/change OR top master keys functioning as control keys or vice-versa. Sargent avoids this risk with factory systems by not using depths 1 and 2 for control key bittings and depths 9 and 10 for operating/change OR top master key bittings in the 3rd and 4th positions. 

Sargent 6300 Large Format Interchangeable Core Servicing

The Sargent 6300 utilizes the Sargent .020” key bitting specification that has depths 1-10 (shallowest to deepest), sometimes labeled 1-0. It is available only in 6 pin versions. On some cores the keyway and direct bitting are stamped on some of the capping strips from the factory. 
All Sargent 6300 cores manufactured after January 1, 2009 should utilize “hollow drivers” in control chambers. These Hollow drivers have a portion of the driver/top pin “hollowed out” to accommodate special hollow driver springs. This re-design was to correct potential operational problems. Because control chambers have a uniform stack height that is 5 increments larger than non-control chambers, the 3rd and 4th chambers will be .100″ (5 x .020″) larger than non-control chambers. By removing a portion of the driver, the risk of premature spring wear in control-chambers is drastically reduced.

Additional Literature


By |2020-03-23T09:00:32+00:00March 23rd, 2020|All, Cores and Cylinders|0 Comments

New Safe Manipulation Graph Paper Added to Tools

We have added new graph paper specifically suited for Kromer 14a safe locks to our Safe Manipulation Graph Paper page in the Tools section. The Kromer 14a is a unique safe combination lock. Rather than numbers, the dial used letters (upper and lower case).

Kromer 14a Dial

Kromer 14a Dial

Kromer was a leading safe lock manufacturer in Germany from the early 20th century up until the 1980s. They had a very good reputation because of their Protector lock, which was the only lock certified by the German national bank for use on their safes for many decades. Kromer also sold Novum locks across Europe, many to the U.K. who equipped them on Tann safes.
Special thanks to Martin Hewitt for putting this together for us.

By |2020-03-19T09:00:59+00:00March 19th, 2020|All, Combination Safe Locks, Safes|0 Comments

Exit Alarms, Part 2: Standalone Units

Standalone Exit Alarm Units

As a quick recap from Part 1, compared to integrated units, standalone exit alarm units are usually the more cost-efficient option. They are surface-mounted and generally do not require any modifications to the door or frame beyond the mounting screws for the hardware. Additionally, the existing lock(s) and door hardware are able to remain untouched.
There are plenty of options for standalone exit alarms. Here are some of the most popular:

Alarm Lock PG Series

The Alarm Lock PG Series is compromised of 4 unique exit alarm models: LL1, PG10, PG21, and PG30.

Alarm Lock PG10

PG10 is door-mount standalone exit alarm that provides keyed arming and disarming from either side of the door. The PG10 is available for single or double doors. An optional AC power supply is also available. Other features include:

  • 95 dB alarm
  • Battery back up and test button
  • The alarm can be bypassed from inside or outside by the use of a key
  • Two separate tamper switches

Alarm Lock LL1

Alarm Lock LL1

Alarm Lock LL1

LL1 is a PG10 with an additional strobe light for easy identification as well as a choice of system controllers.

Alarm Lock PG21

Alarm Lock PG21MSS

Alarm Lock PG21MSS

PG21 a narrow stile, door-mount standalone exit alarm with two selectable arming modes:

  1. Always armed mode – The key is unable to removed when in the disarmed position. Key must be rotated back to the armed position  for removal.
  2. Standard arming mode – The key is able to be removed when in the disarmed position.

Other features of the PG21 include:

  • 95 dB alarm &/or strobe
  • Low Battery Alert
  • LED Status Indicator
  • Exit Delay Time Options of 15 seconds; 1 min. 15 sec. & 3 mins 15 sec.
  • Dual Tamper Switches

While narrow-stile, the PG21 can be mounted on standard size doors as well. It is available in metallic silver and duronodic finishes and is armed/disarmed by a standard mortise cylinder (exterior control is possible via an optional rim cylinder). Other options for the PG21 include continuous alarm, minute shutdown with auto reset and exit/entry delay, a strobe light, and an AC power supply.

Alarm Lock PG30

The PG30 is very similar to the PG21.
Rather than cylinder control, the PG30 offers keypad control in addition to the following features:

  • 95 dB alarm with 3 programmable styles: sweep, pulsed, and steady
  • Audible low battery warning
  • Digital codes for master, management and passage (used for auto-arming)
  • 3 security levels for: a) high security b) unattended applications c) flexible control for delivery doors, etc.
  • Logo key is dual function test button

Arrow 130N Series

Arrow 130N

Arrow 130N

The Arrow 130N is perhaps the most economical standalone units currently available on the market. It’s features include:

  • 105 dB alarm
  • 9VDC battery operated with Low Battery Alert
  • Exit Delay Time Options of 7, 10,15 or 20 seconds
  • LED Status Indicator
  • Manual or automatic alarm reset adjustable for 2, 5 or 10 minutes

Detex EAX-500

Detex EAX-500

Detex EAX-500

The Detex EAX-500 is arguably one of the most popular and recognizable standalone exit alarms in North America. Features of the EAX-500 include:

  • 100 dB alarm
  • 9VDC battery operated with Low Battery Alert
  • Tapered cover that allows for installation on narrow stile doors
  • Intelligent circuit that senses the external magnet location automatically and sets the correct door handing
  • Secure, tamper resistant housing
  • LED visual and audible arming indicators

Detex EAX-2500

Detex EAX-2500

Detex EAX-2500

The Detex EAX-2500 is a hardwired exit alarm that will fit in a standard 4″ x 4″ outlet box. In addition to a battery back up, the EAX-2500 offers the following features:

  • 100 dB alarm
  • Field selectable low battery alert
  • Field selectable silent arming, status indicators and auto rearm options
  • Tamper resistant housing and cover protects electronics
  • Patented cam assembly that automatically adjusts for different size cylinders without spacers
  • Extended bypass that allows alarm to remain silenced when door is open and automatically rearm upon closing of door

Safety Technology International Exit Stopper

STI Exit Stopper

STI Exit Stopper

Safety Technology International’s Exit Stopper is a standalone exit alarm that can be door or wall-mounted. The Exit Stopper uses a polycarbonate housing available in red and green. Features of the Exit Stopper include:

  • 95/105 dB alarm
  • Low battery beep and flash; extended battery life mode
  • In exit alarm mode, alarm can be set to sound for 30 seconds, 3 minutes or indefinitely (unless disarmed with key supplied or until battery is drained)
  • In annunciator mode, it announces door entry/exit with 2 beeps repeated 5 times
  • Programmable 30 second entry delay or immediate alarm
  • Arming delay allows unit to arm following authorized exits

The Exit Stopper comes in a variety of options. These options reflect a variety of solutions and include:

  • STI-6400WIR supervised wireless (requires 8-Channel Receiver or Voice Receiver).
  • STI-V6400WIR4 supervised wireless with 4-Channel Voice Receiver.
  • STI-6402 protection for double doors.
  • STI-6403 remote horn can be located 300 feet from the door.
  • STI-6404 protection for double doors, has remote horn capabilities.
  • STI-6405 resettable alarm.
By |2020-03-16T09:00:41+00:00March 16th, 2020|All, Exit Alarms|0 Comments

Von Duprin 9857 Cylinder Replacement


The Von Duprin 9857/9957 is a surface mounted three-point exit device. If you can imagine combining a rim exit device with a surface mount vertical rod exit device that is the Von Duprin 9857/9957. The difference between the 9857 and the 9957, like all 98/99 Series exit devices, is that the 9857 features a smooth case mechanism and 9957 features a grooved case mechanism. Here are additional specifications for the 9857/9957 exit device:

One of the most common servicing tasks for the 9857/9957 is the rekeying or replacement of the exit device’s rim cylinder. While this seems like a straightforward task, there are some finer, important details involved. With this in mind, I will cover those details in this article. Here is the 9857 that will have it’s cylinder changed :

Von Duprin 9857

Von Duprin 9857

This 9857 features a 996L-NL lever trim option. The 996L-NL is a “night latch” function; the key retracts the latch bolts with each turn but it does not unlock the exit device permanently.
996L-NL Lever Trim

996L-NL Lever Trim


1. Test the operation of the 9857 device and it’s key prior to servicing. If a problem exists with the device, the key, and/or the cylinder, it’s best to identify it before servicing further. If no problem is found servicing can proceed. but if a problem is found it may need to be fixed prior to further servicing.
2. Start by removing the main case unit cover and the end cap (marked with red arrows). The main case unit cover is secured in place with 4 Phillips-head screws and the end cap is secured by 2 Phillips-head screws. Removal of both items will allow access to the mounting screws.

Von Duprin 9857 Main Case Unit Cover and End Cap

Von Duprin 9857 Main Case Unit Cover and End Cap

3. Loosen the mounting screws on the end cap bracket. These screws only need to be loosed enough to allow the mechanism case to slide away from it.
Von Duprin 9857 End Cap Bracket

Von Duprin 9857 End Cap Bracket

4. Disconnect the top and bottom rods from the main case unit by first removing the two rod guides (top and bottom). Once removed, the vertical rods can slide forward and away from the main case unit.

Von Duprin 9857 Top and Bottom Rods Disconnected

Von Duprin 9857 Top and Bottom Rods Disconnected

5. Remove the 4 Phillips-head mounting screws on the main case unit. These screws connect the 996L-NL trim to the main case unit. When removing your 4th and final screw keep your hand on both the 996L-NL trim and the main case unit so that neither unexpectedly falls from the door.
6. Slide the mechanism case away from the end cap bracket and remove it from the door.
Von Duprin 9857 Case Mechanism Removed

Von Duprin 9857 Case Mechanism Removed

7. Remove the 996L-NL trim from the door.
8. Remove the 2 mounting screws from the back of the existing rim cylinder within the 996L-NL trim.
Von Duprin 9857 Rim Cylinder Screws

Von Duprin 9857 Rim Cylinder Screws

9. Allow the existing rim cylinder to drop out the 996L-NL trim.
10. To prepare the new rim cylinder, adjustments to it’s tailpiece are often required so that the cylinder is suited for the door and the device. We can determine the required adjustments by comparing the new rim cylinder with the existing rim cylinder. Break or cut the new rim cylinder’s tailpiece so that the length of the new rim cylinder (including the tailpiece) matches the existing rim cylinder. To accomplish this place vise grips, channel locks, or similar tools on both sides of a pre-cut portion of the tailpiece and break it off at that point.
Comparing Rim Cylinders

Comparing Rim Cylinders

Breaking Off Piece From Tailpiece

Breaking Off Piece From Tailpiece

Verifying Tailpiece's Length

Verifying Tailpiece’s Length

11. The new mounting screws will often need to be adjusted as well. In this example, the existing screws and new screws diameters were different and not compatible. Even if they were compatible, it is advisable to replace the screws since they are included with new rim cylinders. Break or cut the new screws so that their length matches the existing screws. To accomplish this place vise grips, channel locks, or similar tools on both sides of a breakaway portion of the screw and breaking it off at that point. Exercise care during this step to avoid damaging the screw’s threads; it doesn’t require much force.
Breaking Off Piece From Cylinder Screw

Breaking Off Piece From Cylinder Screw

12. Place the new cylinder inside of the 996L-NL trim and install with new mounting screws.
New Rim Cylinder Installed

New Rim Cylinder Installed

13. Place the 996L-NL trim back on the door, making sure that the tailpiece extends through the other side of the door.
996L-NL Trim Placed Back On Door

996L-NL Trim Placed Back On Door

14. Slide the mechanism case onto the end cap bracket.
15. Carefully mate the main case unit with the 996L-NL trim. Make sure that the tailpiece enters the case unit before proceeding.
16. Reconnect the top and bottom rods on the main case unit.
17. Reinstall 1 of the mounting screws in the main case unit. With 1 screw installed, we can check the function of the new rim cylinder as well as the rest of the device to ensure everything is positioned correctly. If something were not, it’s much easier to remove 1 screw instead of 4 to fix this.
Von Duprin 9857 Case Unit Mounting Screw Installed

Von Duprin 9857 Case Unit Mounting Screw Installed

18. Once the satisfactory function of the new cylinder and 9857 have been verified, reinstall all remaining mounting screws for the main case unit.
Mounting Screws Reinstalled on Main Case Unit

Mounting Screws Reinstalled on Main Case Unit

19. Tighten the mounting screws on the end cap bracket.
20. Replace the main case unit cover and the end cap.
21. Test the operation of the 9857 device one final time.

Exit Alarms, Part 1: The Basics


As their name implies, exit alarms sends notification of an an egress, or exit, via an alarm. There are multiple reasons why building occupants would need to be made aware of an open door:

  • Elopement – In healthcare, childcare (schools and nurseries), and senior care facilities, the monitoring of occupants is necessary for their safety.
  • Safety – Paths of egress within a building may lead to areas that can pose a danger to occupants that are unfamiliar with the building.
  • Security – Propped doors can reduce security to critical areas within a building by allowing unauthorized access.
  • Theft Protection and Prevention – Retail environments, especially with exterior doors in areas other than the front entry, are at a constant risk for theft. Warehouses also share this risk.

No matter the reason, exit alarms can protect against and potentially prevent situations with serious consequences.

Exit Alarm Basics

Exit alarms detect egress in two different ways:

  1. Magnetic Switches – When the switches’ contacts are moved away from each other, such as when a door opens away from its frame, the alarm sounds.
  2. Dry Contacts – Dry contacts are integrated within the door hardware, such as an exit device. Pressing an exit device’s touchpad completes the circuit and the alarm sounds.

Exit alarms range between 85-105 Db loud. Arming and disarming of is usually controlled by keyed cylinders but keypad options exist as does automatic re-arming. Remote arming is also possible on some models. Exit alarms can be incorporated into existing access control systems by providing alerts and monitoring capabilities. These alerts can then be used to trigger other hardware, such as surveillance cameras.
‘Prop alarms’ are a type of exit alarm that allow temporary egress without an alarm. Prop alarms allow users to set a period of time that a door is allowed to be open, known as an exit delay, before the alarm is activated. Typical exit delays range anywhere from 15 seconds to 4 minutes in duration.

Exit Alarm Types

Exit alarms fall into one of two categories:

  • standalone units
  • integrated units

Standalone units function as exit alarms only; that is their only purpose. The Detex EAX-500 is an example of a standalone unit.

Detex EAX-500

Detex EAX-500

Integrated units incorporate exit alarms into door hardware, such as exit devices or multi-point locks.
Compared to integrated units, standalone units are usually the more cost-efficient option. They are surface-mounted and generally do not require any modifications to the door or frame beyond the mounting screws for the hardware. Additionally, the existing lock(s) and door hardware are able to remain untouched.

Standalone Units

Standalone units fall into one of two categories:

  • door-mount
  • wall-mount

As the name implies, door-mount units are mounted onto the door and are typically powered by 9-volt batteries. The aforementioned Detex EAX-500W is a door-mount unit. Wall-mount units mount to the wall near the door. The Detex EAX-2500 is an example of a wall-mount standalone unit.

Detex EAX-2500

Detex EAX-2500

Wall-mount units are usually powered by a low voltage transformer and feature a battery backup.  Additionally, wall-mount units can be tied into a monitoring or access control system to notify of an egress. I personally prefer wall-mount options when possible for a few reasons:

  1. Wall-mount units are less likely to snag on something, like a person or clothing, and less likely to be hit by something, such as a cart. Remember, no matter where you place a door-mount unit, it is still in the path of egress and moving individuals/objects.
  2. Walls usually provide a better mounting surface and some wall-mount units can actually mount onto existing outlet boxes.

Integrated Units

Integrated exit alarms are overwhelmingly found in exit devices. The Detex V40 is an example of an integrated unit.

Detex V-40

Detex V-40

Integrated units can also be found in single and multi-point locks as well as electromagnetic locks (maglocks). Maglocks utilize exit alarms for delayed egress solutions. I will address delayed egress in a separate article at the end of this series due to it’s complexity compared to all other exit alarms.
While integrated exit devices primarily come from the factory equipped with alarms, aftermarket kits are available. Multiple manufacturers offer aftermarket kits that locksmiths can install in the field. The installation of these aftermarket kits typically involves nothing more than a cover plate swap on the exit device.


This is the first in a series of articles covering exit alarms. Next week I will explore options for standalone units. For more information please see the Exit Alarms page in the Library.

By |2020-03-09T09:00:09+00:00March 9th, 2020|All, Exit Alarms|0 Comments

Exit Alarms Library Update

We have updated the Exit Alarms page in the Library using our new format.  We have new literature and manuals for the following manufacturers:

  • Alarm Lock Systems Inc.
  • Arrow Lock & Door Hardware
  • Detex Corporation
  • Positive Lock, Inc.
  • SARGENT Manufacturing Company
  • Security Door Controls (SDC)

We have also included a link to Detex’s Training and Support Videos. Detex has produced and hosted dozens of videos covering the application, installation, and servicing of their products. It’s a very comprehensive and valuable training resource.
Next Monday we will publish the first article in a multi-article series covering all things exit alarms.

By |2020-03-05T09:00:48+00:00March 5th, 2020|All, Exit Alarms, Library Update|0 Comments

How Yale's Large Format Interchangeable Core Works

Yale Large Format Interchangeable Core History

Yale began producing their proprietary interchangeable core format, commonly called Yale LFIC, in 1960. They would receive a patent for this core in November of 1961. In the book The Core of the Matter, AJ Hoffman mentions that Yale also offered an Oval-shaped removable core around this time. They eventually settled on offering their current figure-8 shaped core, which is still manufactured today. A high security version, called the Yale Security, was introduced in 1989.

Yale Large Format Interchangeable Core

Yale Large Format Interchangeable Core

Medeco was allowed to produce a large format core to retrofit into existing Yale LFIC housings while Yale’s patent was still active. Medeco’s core became their 31 Series, which they still produce. Both the Yale LFIC and the Medeco 31 Series, in terms of size, shape, and dimensions, are identical – the only difference is that Medeco’s 31 Series utilizes their angled pin and sidebar designs. 

Yale Large Format Interchangeable Core Function

Similar to Schlage’s Full Size Interchangeable Cores, Yale’s LFIC doesn’t use multiple shearlines and relies on a control lug at the rear of the core that is actuated by a control blank. To remove the core, the user:

  1. Inserts the control key
  2. Rotates the control key clockwise about 20 degrees to retract the control lug
  3. Removes the core from the housing.

Yale LFICs are available in 6 and 7-pin formats. 5-pin cores were offered for a time but they have since been discontinued. If a user has a 5-pin system and are trying to incorporate Yale LFICs, they would need to order 6-pin formats and leave the 6th chamber empty. 
For 5-pin cores, the control key must be 6 spaces, or pins, long. For 6-pin cores, the number becomes 7. In either case, the depth of the “control cut” is #1, no matter the key bitting specification you are using. A #1 cut at the tip creates a potential problem for existing master key systems that didn’t plan for interchangeable core integration due to MACS, or maximum adjacent cut specification. MACS can prevent a possible control key because the adjacent cut can be so deep that it starts to remove material from the tip of the key. This is relatively rare, but it bares mention. 
Yale LFICs can be used with .019” and .025” key bitting specifications. The .025” key bitting specification is no longer used for new factory systems, however. 

Yale Large Format Interchangeable Core Servicing

For decades Yale LFICs didn’t allow for top loading. In order to pin a core, the locksmith had to remove the plug, load the pins, and reassemble. After January 2002, Yale redesigned the cores for top loading via a capping strip. Since this redesign, there should be no need to disassemble the cores for pinning and basic servicing. If disassembly is required, however, care must exercised when removing the plug without a key due to it’s groove; the top pins could potentially enter this groove, locking up the core. This can be prevented with a shim during the disassembly and reassembly process.

Yale LFIC Control Lug

Yale LFIC Control Lug

Special attention should be paid to the screw holding the control lug. It can be over-tightened and, if so, bind against the control lug, potentially damaging the control pin and/or control key. This screw should be tightened snug but no more.
For more information, download Yale’s Cylinders and Keying Manual.

By |2020-03-02T09:00:29+00:00March 2nd, 2020|All, Cores and Cylinders|0 Comments
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