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

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

How Schlage's Modular Cylinders Work


In July of 2010, Schlage started transitioning their cylinders to a modular design. This design allowed one cylinder to be used as a key-in-lever/key-in-knob cylinder, or a rim cylinder, or a mortise cylinder, depending on the components used and their configuration.
Schlage Modular Cylinders
For example, instead of carrying 6 individual mortise cylinder lengths in a variety of finishes, you only need to have 1 cylinder with various rear and front housings. That means less costs, less overhead, less inventory; redundancy across keyways/key sections is essentially eliminated with the modular design.
The modular design also allows for field adjustments. Let’s say a customer has an area of their building renovated and they currently have modular cylinders. Let’s say they’re changing from a bright brass to satin chrome hardware. With the modular design, you would only need to change front housing on each cylinder and re-use their existing cylinders and potentially existing keys.
Schlage’s transition to the modular design lasted until February of 2011, when it became standard.

Schlage still sells non-modular cylinders and their components. There has to be hundreds of thousands of non-modular cylinders out there, if not more. It wouldn’t make much sense at all for them to simply stop supporting those products so Schlage still sells components to support non-modular cylinders and probably will be for quite some time.

Schlage Modular Components

Schlage Modular Cylinders
Multiple different components make up Schlage’s modular design:

  • Cylinder. The cylinders used for the modular design were new to Schlage. They are backwards compatible, so to speak, in that they can be used in hardware that pre-dates the modular design. The same cannot be said for key-in-knob/key-in-lever cylinders that predate the modular design; they cannot be used with other modular components. There are 2 reasons for this: one is a dimensional change to the cylinder’s bible and the second is the horizontal notch at the back of the plug that interfaces with the cam. During the transition period and for a while after it, a green highlighter on the cylinder and packaging label marked a modular cylinder. It appears that Schlage has since discontinued this marking; it’s been almost 10 years since the rollout after all. One final note, Classic, Primus, Everest, Primus XP, Everest 29, all keyway families are offered in the modular design.
  • Front Housing. The front housing is the same size no matter the cylinder type/size. It’s available in all finishes offered by Schlage.
  • Rear Housing. Rear housings are available to create 1-1/8”, 1-1/4”, 1-3/8”, 1-1/2”, 1-5/8”, 1-3/4” mortise cylinders. The rear housings are color coordinated in either gold or silver colors. All cylinder lengths ending in an 8th of an inch are gold, so 1-1/8” 1-3/8” and 1-5/8” rear housings are gold. 1-1/4” 1-1/2” and 1-3/4” are silver. Rim cylinder rear housings only come in one length.
  • Housing Screws. Housing screws secure the rear housing to the front housing. They are the same size no matter the cylinder size; larger rear housings just have recesses to accommodate them.
  • Cam. Cams are not interchangeable across the entire modular product line. 1-1/4”, 1-1/2”, and 1-3/4” cylinders all use one cam and 1-1/8”, 1-3/8”, and 1-5/8” cylinders use another cam. Fortunately, these sizes are marked on the back of each cam. Cams have one screw hole except the Straight Cams (L583-476 and L583-477) which contain two screw holes. The second screw hole allows the cam to be inverted, which is usually necessary on key switches.
  • Cam Screw. Cams are held in place with Torx head screws. This switch was largely influenced by customer feedback. Customers were tired of dealing with stripping issues that were common with Philips head screws.
  • Plug Extension Kit. There are two plug extension kits. The long plug extension kit is used for 1-5/8” and 1-3/4” cylinders. The short plug extension kit is used for 1-3/8” and 1-1/2” cylinders.

All modular components are available to be ordered separately.
Schlage Modular Cylinders

Identifying Schlage Modular Cylinders

The various components assist with quickly narrowing down the cylinder length without a ruler. The cam or the color of the rear housing tells you which 3 of the 6 total cylinder lengths you’re dealing with (either 1-1/8”, 1-3/8”, and 1-5/8” OR 1-1/4”, 1-1/2”, and 1-3/4”) . The length of the plug extension kit, or the lack of one, allows you to narrow the cylinder length from 3 down to 1.

Additional Information

Schlage Modular Cylinders Catalog

By |2020-01-20T09:00:57+00:00January 20th, 2020|All, Cores and Cylinders|0 Comments

Cores and Cylinders Library Update

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

  • Arrow Lock & Door Hardware
  • ASSA High Security Locks
  • BEST Access Systems
  • Corbin Russwin
  • DORMA Americas
  • Falcon
  • GMS Industries, Inc.
  • Hager Companies
  • Kaba Ilco Corporation
  • Killeen Security Products (KSP)
  • Kwikset Corporation
  • SARGENT Manufacturing Company
  • Schlage
  • Yale

In the Resources tab we have the following documents:

  • BEST Pin Measurements
  • Creating Pinning Charts for Sargent 6300 LFICs
  • Introductory Locksmithing: Extracting A Broken Key
  • Shimming Cylinders
  • Small Format Interchangeable Cores Video Tutorials
By |2019-08-02T09:00:48+00:00August 2nd, 2019|All, Cores and Cylinders, Tools Update|0 Comments

Corbin Russwin Access 3 Pinning Worksheets Added to Tools

We have added two new worksheets to our Pinning and Decoding Worksheets Tool. Both worksheets are for Corbin Russwin’s Access 3 platform.
The first worksheet is a pinning worksheet for Corbin Russwin Access 3 conventional cylinders. This worksheet contains a pinning chart and combinating rules for Access 3 KIK/KIL, mortise, and rim cylinders.
The second worksheet is a pinning worksheet for Corbin Russwin Access 3 large format interchangeable cores (LFIC). This worksheet contains a pinning chart and combinating rules for Access 3 large format interchangeable cores.
The Access 3 is still a relatively new platform, debuting sometime between 2013-2014.  It is analogous to the Sargent Degree platform, in fact, they’re practically identical. For more information, see the Access 3 Technical Manual in our Library.

Peaks Authentic YouTube Channel Launched

Last month Ilco launched their Peaks Authentic YouTube channel. This channel features a growing collection of servicing videos related to Peaks Preferred products. The instructor featured in these videos is a familiar face within the locksmith industry: William Lynk. Mr. Lynk is an ALOA ACE certified instructor, author, locksmith, and an all around great guy. When a renowned manufacturer teams up with a renowned locksmith quality results are guaranteed and this YouTube channel is proof of that.
A great example of this quality is their video on servicing of Peaks Preferred SFIC:

Other videos cover the following cylinder/core formats:

  • Mortise and Rim
  • KIK
  • Schlage LFIC/FSIC
  • Sargent and Corbin LFIC

Whether you are new to or are interested in servicing Peaks Preferred products, or whether you’re a seasoned vet for that matter, these videos are excellent educational and reference tools. Take a moment to check out the channel. If you like what you see, and I’m sure you will, give the videos a thumbs up and leave a comment. It’s important to show manufacturers that we appreciate it when they put together videos like this for us to learn from.

By |2019-05-02T09:00:41+00:00May 2nd, 2019|All, Cores and Cylinders, High Security|0 Comments

Creating Pinning Charts for Sargent Degree Cores and Cylinders


The Sargent Degree key system is actually comprised of 3 sub-systems:

  • Degree Level 1
  • Degree Level 2
  • Degree Level 3

Degree Level 1, or DG1, utilizes a patented keyway with conical pins. If you are at all familiar with the Medeco3 BiLevel platform that is essentially what DG1 is.
Degree Level 2, or DG2, utilizes a patented keyway with angled pins that then interface with a sidebar. Furthermore, each key features a “notch” to interface with slider that, again, interfaces with a sidebar. If you are at all familiar with the Medeco3 platform, that is essentially what DG2 is with one exception: there are only 3 labeled pin angles (Left, Center, or Right) and there are no fore/aft positions on the key.

An exploded view of a Sargent DG2 LFIC.

Degree Level 3, or DG3, is DG2 with a UL437 certification.
If you are at all curious of the influence of Medeco designs with the Degree key system, there is a good reason: the cylinders utilize existing Medeco patents (Sargent and Medeco are sister companies under the ASSA ABLOY umbrella).

Pinning Considerations

Sargent sells two pin kits related to the Degree key systems:

  • 437 DG1 Standard Pinning Kit
  • 437 DGM Master Pinning Kit

The 437 DG1 Standard Pinning Kit services DG1 conventional cylinders and LFICs. The 437 DGM Master Pinning Kit allows you to service DG1, DG2, and DG3 conventional cylinders and LFICs. Replacement pins, springs, and covers are all available through Sargent distribution channels

Large Format Interchangeable Cores (LFICs)

Much like the traditional Sargent 6300 LFIC, Degree LFICs utilize two different stack height values: 10 for non-control chambers (chambers 1, 2, 5, 6) and 13 for control chambers (chambers 3 and 4).
Additionally, DG2 and DG3 key sub-systems must utilize a conical pin in the 6th position of LFICs. Due to the physical size limitations of the Degree LFIC, which is essentially the same form factor as the traditional Sargent 6300, there is not enough material left in the core to mill the indicator slot for angled pins. Do not attempt to force an angled pin into this position as it will eventually cause operational problems. This requirement does not impact keys, specifically what angles or depths to use in the 6th position, or vice versa.

Conventional Cylinders

Unlike the previously mentioned Medeco designs/systems, Sargent Degree conventional cylinders do not utilize top pins that match the numeric value of the deepest cut in each respective chamber. For example, in a Medeco Original cylinder with a 4 cut in the 1st chamber, the locksmith must utilize a 4 top pin. With Sargent Degree, the plug total must always equal 10 for conventional cylinders. So, if we have a 4 cut used in the 1st chamber of a Sargent Degree conventional cylinder, our top pin must be 6 (4+6 = 10). In master keyed cylinders and chambers, bottom and master pins (plug total) are added together and subtracted from 10 to determine the top pin. Here is a pinning chart example for a master keyed, Sargent Degree conventional cylinder:

Construction Master Keying

Construction master keying is available for all Degree platforms by using the “lost wafer” design. Similar to a “lost ball” design, a Sargent Degree plugs with the appropriate cylinder option contain a “donut” hole to the left and right of the 3rd chamber. This hole captures a special wafer through typical construction keying change/protocol. As you can see in the illustration below, this design is in place so that only these special wafers can become trapped in the plug.

Sargent Degree cylinders, except hotel function cylinders and LFICs, use the “21 -” option for construction master keying capabilities. LFICs use the “64-DG-” option.

Pinning Chart Tools

We have 4 tools available to assist you with creating pinning charts for Sargent Degree LFICs:
First, we have Sargent’s Degree Key System Technical Manual.
Second, we have two Sargent Degree pinning worksheets on our Pinning and Decoding Worksheets page. One is for 6300/LFICs and the other is for conventional cylinders..
Finally, we have 2 key bitting specifications; one for the DG1 sub-system and one for the DG2/DG3 sub-system.

Creating Pinning Charts for Sargent Degree LFICs

By |2019-01-03T09:00:37+00:00January 3rd, 2019|All, Cores and Cylinders, High Security|0 Comments

Using TMK Registers


TMK abb. top master key
Top Master Key n. the highest level master key in a master key system

In Fundamentals of Master Keying, Jerome Andrews brings up the following point:

As you write a new TMK, how do you know that you haven’t already used it for some other job, perhaps very close to the one your (sic) doing now? How do you know that you are picking a new number, and not just remembering one from a system you worked on recently?

Potential TMK Problems

Jerome makes a very valid point. It’s not so much that you may actually re-use a TMK bitting, although that certainly is a possibility, but that a lower level key’s bitting might mirror it, or vice versa. If that were the case, or even if the keys parity patterns were the same, incidental master keys could be present between your systems.

parity pattern n. the collective description of the parities of a group of bitting positions in a two step progression, typically expressed in an even/odd sequence, e.g. EOOEEO
incidental master key n. a key cut to an unplanned shear line created when the cylinder is combinated to the top master key and a change key

In other words, a change key for Acme Warehouse might operate a door or multiple doors at Widget Industries down the street if the locksmith building both master key systems weren’t careful. Remember, it’s not likelihood, it’s liability that matters. No matter how remote the possibility may be, why not take the necessary steps to eliminate it out right?
How do you eliminate the possibility? Jerome’s solution was a ‘TMK Register’. A TMK Register tracks information such as key sections and parity patterns used across the master key systems a locksmith services. It also tracks proprietary information such as file and register/registry numbers. Locksmiths query the TMK Register when building future master key systems to make sure they aren’t replicating a bitting/parity pattern across a particular key section. By doing this, the locksmith can rest assured that incidental master keys won’t exist between their systems.

Example of a TMK Register

Jerome gives an example of a TMK Register in Fundamentals of Master Keying. It includes columns for the following information:

  • Manufacturer
  • Key Section
  • TMK Bitting
  • Parity Pattern or Angles
  • Register #
  • Location (City)
  • File #
  • Details

Jerome also included a “Legend” at the bottom of his example. This legend contains information unique to each system listed, such as use neuter bows, use original blanks only, or special authorization requirements. This legend helps provide special information as it relates to individual master key systems.

Constructing and Using A “New” TMK Register

Jerome’s example of a TMK Register is a good one and serves as the foundation of one I built. This TMK Register is available in Excel and PDF formats and is now available in our Pinning and Decoding Worksheets page under the newly constructed “Master Keying” tab.
The following columns are available for master key system information within this TMK Register:

  • Manufacturer
  • Key Section
  • Parity Pattern/Angles
  • TMK Bitting
  • Register #
  • File #
  • Notes

Manufacturer and Key Section

At the top of the TMK Register, there are labels for Manufacturer and Key Section. These labels are also present in the first two columns. Why the redundancy? The TMK Register example in Fundamentals of Master Keying groups all master key systems together in one list. If you only have a handful of systems, one list may be all you need. Once you go beyond that, however, it could become difficult to navigate or keep in order, especially if you’re handwriting the entries.
By giving a locksmith the option of listing, and thereby sorting, a TMK Register by a particular manufacturer and key section, the locksmith can choose how he/she wishes to organize their systems. If a locksmith wants the all of their systems on a single page, they can ignore the top labels. If they wish to sort by manufacturer and key section, they can ignore the first two columns.

TMK Bitting

This is very self-explanatory. This column is for the TMK bittings only.

Parity Pattern/Angles

There are 16 rows available for master key system entries. Assuming even-odd parity only, a 5 pin blank has 32 possible parity patterns (2^5), a 6 pin blank has 64 (2^6). This means to fully generate a parity pattern for a key section using even-odd parity you need only 2 to 4 pages, depending on the blank type. Even-odd parity isn’t the only parity pattern to you though. You could also list angles, such as for Medeco, or even polarity, such as for MIWA.

Register and File #

The “Register #” column is for the reference number that you typically assign to an entire master key system. You may not use a Register # at your shop or you may call it something else. Whatever the case, you can either remove this column or choose to ignore it.
The “File #” is for your storing/sorting systems. Maybe you label systems by account number, customer name, etc. Whatever the case, the “File #” column is to help you determine where to locate the master key file associated with a particular TMK Bitting.


I’ve included a “Notes” column and a “Notes” section at the bottom. This allows a locksmith to create his/her own legend, abbreviations, symbols, etc. The “Notes” section at the bottom contains 8 lines for text which, hopefully, is enough room to cover any necessary information as it relates to the 16 master key systems on the same page.


Here is an example of the TMK Register being utilized with all master key systems:

And here is one restricted to manufacturer and key section:

As you can see, you can build out every possible parity pattern using this approach and then input TMK bitting/systems as you use them.


Obviously a TMK Register is a highly sensitive document. As such, Jerome notes that this document should be highly secured and basic security perimeters should be followed. For example, the TMK Register should not be stored in a desk drawer or on an unlocked computer’s desktop. If printed, the TMK Register should be stored in a safe or vault on site. If digital, the file should password protected and encrypted.
Furthermore, the file itself should not include customer name and addresses. In the event that the TMK Registry were stolen it’s information should be as nondescript as possible. If you really wanted to protect a TMK Register, in addition to the recommendations previously made, you could implement a cipher to further encrypt the information. The late Don O’Shall wrote an excellent book on the subject called “Cryptography for Locksmiths” if you are inclined to go this route.

Alterations and Alternatives

We have made the document available in the Excel format which means that you can add to, remove from, and change any information you wish to suite your needs. This TMK Register is simply a guide of what myself and others use. It’s not a “one size fits all” solution, however, so feel free to craft it to your needs.
If you use software for master keying, your software may already have a TMK Register function of sorts. The newest version of MasterKing, for example, allows a TMK search. Is this analogous? To some perhaps, but not me. I believe that no matter how you create master key systems a TMK Register, when properly utilized and secured, is an effective and worthwhile supplement.

By |2018-12-04T09:00:50+00:00December 4th, 2018|All, Cores and Cylinders, Master Keying|0 Comments

One Page SFIC Pinning Chart

We’ve recently added a new pinning worksheet to the Pinning and Decoding Worksheets page in the Tools section. Under the SFIC tab, you will find two files named “One Page SFIC Pinning Chart”. This chart allows you to put together the entire pinning chart for a 7 pin SFIC master key system on a single page. Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t.

How it Works

This sort of pinning chart has been around for many decades but I’ve never seen it in a digital format. We sought to change that by making available in PDF and Excel formats.
To generate this pinning chart, you simply have to input your TMK and Control key bitting information. From there, you list your 4 progressives for each chamber and then use accepted SFIC formulas to determine your pin segments. Once fully generated, you move from box to box, matching the change key bittings, to successfully pin a core.
Let’s do a walk through to illustrate how it’s done. Here is a simple system I have put together:

As you can see, I have listed all possible progressives (green) for the TMK bitting (blue). Each box for each progressive contains the bottom, master, and build-up pins. Since all possible progressives will share the same top pin, the appropriate top pin is listed above each chamber’s column. With this chart completed, I just have to find the appropriate bitting for the appropriate chamber to determine my appropriate pinning. For example, if I need to pin a core to a change key bitting 1-4-7-7-5-8-1, I simply have to navigate as follows:
In the first chamber, I find the box for the 1 bitting and pin according to it. For the second chamber, I find the box for the 4 bitting and pin according to it. This goes on until I have pinned all 7 chambers. It’s that simple.
We have color coordinated specific areas of the Excel file to make it easier to navigated. Control key bittings are displayed in red, TMK bittings in blue, and progressive bittings as green. Additionally, we have included an area at the bottom of the page to keep constant pin stacks separate from progressed pin stacks to avoid any confusion.


There are few, powerful benefits. As stated earlier, you can generate an entire pinning chart for an entire system, save for special circumstances, on a single page. This allows you to save tremendous space in your truck and/or master key file(s). Second, it saves on time. If you generate this entire pinning chart immediately after creating the master key system, it’ll be the only time you’ll ever need to create a pinning chart for that system, again, save for special circumstances.

By |2018-11-26T08:00:13+00:00November 26th, 2018|All, Cores and Cylinders, Tools Update|0 Comments

Inside U-Change Cylinders

The following article was written by Gordon, a locksport enthusiast from Arizona. 
Note: I frequently come across people who still think this lock is the same internally as a Kwikset SmartKey.  Let me be clear on this from the start – internally, the U-Change is nothing at all like a SmartKey. Yes, the front of the cylinder looks similar (except for the size of the plug), but that is it.


You may have seen the U-Change locks around on businesses. Yes, they look very similar to the SmartKey.

They even have a rekey hole in the same place:

But there is where the similarity ends. The mortise cylinder itself is the same size as a standard mortise cylinder. But the diameter of the plug is very different. As in a plug diameter of 19 mm (3/4″).

Now look from the rear of the cylinder. Yeah, big difference from normal size. If you, as many of us do, notice locks as you walk around, the plug diameter of the U-Change should catch your attention.

OK, enough size comparison. The back of each U-Change lock cylinder will have a unique serial number. This number is kept by the company, and from what I hear, they will only send keys to the registered purchaser of the lock. Blanks are not available. They will only send cut keys.

Rekeying Process

To demonstrate the way a U-Change is rekeyed, will use the factory reset tool, a factory key (all U-Change locks come from the manufacturer with the same key bitting and the key stamped FACTORY) and a spare key that has different bitting.

It should be noted that the U-Change rekey tool is longer than the Kwikset rekey tool.

Put the key stamped FACTORY in the lock.

Turn it roughly 90 degrees clockwise. The rekey tool hole will be slightly to the right of straight up pointing to the edge of the C in Oklahoma City.

One quick note, Insert the key change tool in the hole fully.

When the tool is fully inserted, then the key can be removed from the cylinder.

Insert the new key.

Remove the rekey tool.

Turn the key back to the locked position. Congratulations! You have now rekeyed the lock.
If you would prefer to see an active demonstration, Security Solutions (manufacturer’s of the U-Change cylinder) has a video of the process:

How U-Change Cylinders Work

There will probably never be a need to ever disassemble/reassemble a cylinder in the field, in fact, in the normal course of business this cylinder should not be disassembled. With that said, if you are curious as to how they work, I will explain.
There is a metal strip along the top of the pin chambers. I am taking it off only to show all the parts. A 19mm (3/4″) plug follower could be used for disassembly instead.

Yeah, nice fit on the springs. Wouldn’t you agree?  There is a reason for the large hole.

The tops of the driver pins are hollowed out, allowing the springs to fit (very loosely) inside.

OK, one more size comparison. U-Change driver pin on the bottom, normal driver pin found in most pin tumbler locks around the world above. The normal pin tumbler driver pin would fit very nicely in the hollow space in the top of the U-Change driver pin.

You will notice that even though the driver springs and driver pins come out the top of the cylinder, the key pins won’t.

To find out why, you need to remove the plug from the cylinder.

The plug rotated slightly.

Here you can see rockers that will need to be removed. The purpose of these will be explained very soon.

Close up of the rockers.

Now you can see the key pin assemblies (yes, assemblies) hiding behind the rockers.

Removing one of the key pin assemblies.

Aligned the same way you saw it in the plug.

And rotated 90 degrees, here is where things start looking funky.

Removing the rest of the key pin assemblies.

Aligned as they would be with the key.

Alright the four parts of the key pin assembly. All 5 key pins have identical parts.
First, the T-Pins:

The upper key pin:

The lower key pin:

And the fourth part. Well, you can’t see it yet. So, use something to grip the top and bottom of the T-Pin. Watch closely.

Pulling out the T-Pin:

Look at the last two pictures. Something seem missing in the second picture? Took the second picture that way intentionally, as a warning. You see, the lower key pin…

… does not fit loosely in the upper key pin. There is a strong spring between them, and the T-Pin keeps them assembled.

When taking apart my first U-Change lock, I wanted to take apart the key pin assembly, so I could see how it worked. The key pin assemblies have springs inside them, and they can launch the top part of the key pin assembly a loooooong way. I can assure you that those top parts of the key pin assemblies can play a really, really, really, good game of hide-and-seek. Luckily, we have tile in most of our house, or never would have found it. As it was, it went from the living room, down the hall, and into the front of one of the bathrooms. I’d estimate it traveled 15 meters from where it launched. Found the spring about 2 meters from where it launched. I spent an hour pulling off couch cushions and moving furniture around before I worked my way down the hall with a flashlight held near the floor to highlight anything on the floor, but I did find the key pin part.
So, I recommend that if you want to take apart the key pin assemblies from a U-Change, do it inside a small bag.
Here are the four parts of the key pin assembly:

Now if you look closely at the T-Pin, you can see the end is narrower than the main part of the shaft:

And there are four grooves on the lower key pin shaft:

The upper part of the key pin is hollow:

With a hole in the side for the T-Pin to fit:

The four grooves in the lower key pin are for the four bitting depths on a U-Change. The T-Pin narrow end fits into the groove of the respective bitting depth:

To assemble the key pin assembly, put the spring in the upper key pin.

Push the lower key pin into the upper key pin, compressing the spring. Hold it firmly. Trust me. Hold it firmly.

Put the T-Pin into place, aligning it with the lower key pin grooves:


The rocker (remember that, from waaay up near the top of the post?) is there so the T-Pins cannot be removed far enough to cause the key pin assemblies to come apart inside the lock when rekeying.

Looking at the plug before reassembly, you see a groove down the side where the rekey tool will fit:

The same groove seen from the back of the plug shows better where it is. The narrower part is for the tool, the wider part is for the rockers and T-Pins:

A couple of pics showing the tool in the groove:

Why don’t I show a picture of the key pins being disengaged for rekeying with the tool? Remember my warning about being careful when disassembling the key pins? Yeah. That is why.
Here is the plug with the key pins in place:

And the key pins aligned with the top of the plug when the correct key is inserted:

The tool would align like this when rekeying:

The rockers, when not rekeying, are in this position:

When being rekeyed, they lift up like so:

They are still pinned in place by the shell of the lock, but will allow the T-Pins to lift just enough to disengage the lower key pin from the upper key pin, but not come apart.

By |2018-11-19T09:00:41+00:00November 19th, 2018|All, Cores and Cylinders|0 Comments
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