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Tubular Locks

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Tubular locks are not to be confused with those similar to them, such as wafer tumbler locks, cylindrical wafer tumbler locks and pin tumbler locks. Tubular locks are used in the creation of elevator locks, locks for coin-operated washing machines, locks for vending machines, ATM locks, Kensington computer locks and bicycle locks, including the Kryptonite lock. Read More…

Tubular Locks Tubular locks are a specific type of mechanical lock known by many names, including Ace locks, radial locks, tubular pin tumbler locks and circle pin tumbler locks. In general, the lock's different names come from its round shape. The name "Ace lock" comes from the name of the company that first manufactured it.
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Leading Manufacturers

Long Beach, CA  |  800-433-5554

As an ISO certified source for industrial hardware, Sierra Pacific Engineering & Products is a company you can trust in for excellent locks. Quality, service & value are the core to being a top OEM supplier and SPEP offers a wide range of additional products.

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Sierra Pacific Engineering & Products (SPEP) $$$

Plainview, NY  |  800-859-7874

Kenstan Lock Company provides high-quality showcase and locks. Since 1963, Kenstan has manufactured five comprehensive lines of products, each with its own specialized safety level for retail, commercial and industrial use. Kenstan also offers a wide range of hardware locks including mortise and rim cylinders. Kenstan believes in producing quality products for its customers.

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Kenstan Lock Company $$$

Noblesville, IN  |  317-806-1180

The Best Family legacy in access control started in 1925 when Marshall Best's grandfather, Frank E. Best, first invented the interchangeable core locking system. Marshall Best has continued his family's creativity and commitment to excellence in the security industry by combining innovation technology with electronic and mechanical access control systems.

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Marshall Best Security Corp. $$$

Lancaster, CA  |  800-932-9490

Industrial Lock & Hardware specializes in high-quality lock manufacturing and offers a wide range of sizes and finishes (wood, plastic, glass) for special or master keys with a no minimum order required. From start to finish Industrial Lock & Hardware can create your specialty lock. Call Industrial today or visit its website for more information or to request a quote.

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Industrial Lock & Hardware $$$
placeholder image Sierra Pacific Engineering & Products (SPEP) Kenstan Lock Company Marshall Best Security Corp. Industrial Lock & Hardware

Tubular locks have a ring-shaped hole in the middle of the keyway. In the middle of this circular hole is placed a solid metal cylinder. Inside the gap between the cylinder and the keyway hole are six to eight pins. In a sense, tubular locks encase the bolt within a tube. Tubular lock pins are held in place by plugs that rest in the cylinder, as do driver pins and springs. While tubular locks usually have between six and eight pins, they may also have as few as four or as many as ten.

To work, a round key that is open in the center is inserted into the lock. The key has rectangular notches cut around its edges that correspond to similarly shaped plugs. When properly inserted, each notch depresses an individual pin to a certain height. In doing so, the lock cylinder is able to turn freely. While basic pin tumbler systems use pins that move vertically when pushed, the pins of tubular pin tumbler locks move horizontally when pushed.

Tubular locks are often mistakenly considered to be more secure than other types of locks, because they are used so frequently with coin-operated machinery. In fact, however, they can be picked fairly easily using a special tubular lock picking tool, the back end of a ballpoint pen or a hole-saw drill bit.

To combat the possibility of theft, manufacturers may either machine the middle pin of a lock with hardened steel or with a ball bearing in its center. However, tubular locks are still not recommended for high security applications.

To determine whether or not tubular locks are right for your application, reach out to a well-versed lock manufacturer with the details of your operation.

Tubular Lock Informational Video