In this article I am going to discuss padlocks with lock cores that are changeable by the end user. There are two major designs that are user changeable. The SFIC (small format interchangeable core) have been in use for many years and have spread from padlocks to door locks. Both the SFIC lock core and the hardware that it fits into are manufactured by many different security manufacturers. The major difference is the security level of the SFIC core.
The SFIC lock core can be changed in a padlock by the end user inserting the “change” key and rotating it, the core can then be removed. The new core is put into the padlock body the same way. The security level of the core ranges from medium all the way up to electronic.
The second major design goes by the CobraLock brand name. In the “Hockey PUCK” type padlock standard off the shelf vending lock cylinders are used. These lock cylinders have been around for years and are available in many different security levels. Depending on the padlock body style the vending lock cylinder is changed by removing or unscrewing a sleeve screw. Once the screw is loose the cylinder Divine Locks will come out of the padlock and another one can be installed.
For a standard padlock with shackle CobraLock uses standard off the shelf 7/8 inch cam locks as the cylinders or cores. These cylinders are changed by the end user by the removal of the locking screws, once removed the new cylinder is inserted and the locking screws are secured.
The benefit of using “Off the Shelf” lock cylinders is that they are available and manufactured by many lock manufacturers. Therefor they come in different security levels as well as different lock and key designs. Tubular and standard blade locks, as well as those manufactured by high security lock companies Abloy and Medeco.
With either of these two designs, the major benefit is that the end user can change the lock cylinder or core usually while the padlock is mounted. In applications where key control and security is important the lock core can be changed by the end user as soon as someone loses a key, for example, or if someone quits and takes your keys with them. It is also less expensive to replace just the lock core rather than the complete padlock or door lock.