Should I Change My Locks? – Cheap vs Expensive Locks

March 27, 2019

Written by Jeff Seymour

What’s the difference between a cheap and an expensive locking cylinder?

The answer to this question is the same as a low-cost new car compared to a higher cost car. They will both take you from A to B as they should, but one will do it better and more efficient than the other. This is the same as locks, it really is the higher the price the better the product. Take a standard Euro cylinder as an example. Yes, it will lock your door and work as it should. However, will it protect you against unlawful entry to your property? Yes, it will, but only to a level that we in the trade consider being high risk. It will not keep intruders out who know and have learned how to bypass these cheaper cylinders. It will not withstand, snapping, drilling and picking.

A Low-cost Cylinder will cost around £15 were as a high-cost cylinder will be around £65, not a great deal of difference when you consider what a lock actually does, keeping you, your family and valuables safe and secure.

Make the opportunist thief move from your door to the next door.

The opportunist thief is just that, an opportunist. He will look for easy pickings, he will not choose a door that has a lock in place that he can’t manipulate within a few minutes. He’s after a quick entry to grab your car keys or anything that can be sold on quickly. Detering these types of thieves is always ongoing as they learn new tricks. Having a lock in the door that makes it very difficult to gain entry will simply make him move to the next easier door, it really is that simple. Combining a good quality lock or cylinder that has been tested and approved by the trade and other bodies with secondary measures such as a light that comes on when someone approaches will deter that opportunist. Other secondary measures to consider would be having a spy hole fitted combined with a door chain. These all help you keep those thieves out.

Every door can be broken into given enough time and skill.

This is very true, however making it as difficult as possible is what we are trying to achieve by having a lock in the door that will withstand snapping, picking, bumping and drilling. Choosing a cylinder that has been tested to withstand attacks is going to make them simply move on. They will not spend any more than ten minutes trying to gain entry, remember they are an opportunist. They will not work on a lock that is causing a lot of noise to bypass. This is why accredited bodies such as the Door and Hardware Federation and the Window and Doors federation have been working alongside lock and cylinder manufacturers to test and approve cylinders to withstand such attacks. By working together, these accredited companies are making life hard for the opportunist thief and allowing us to sleep more easily. In my day to day work, I have seen accredited cylinders that have been attacked and the thief has simply given up and walked away.

Opportunist thieves do their homework. They have to stay one step ahead of the lock manufacturers.

We all work at further educating ourselves in whatever line of work we are in. The opportunist thief is no different. They are always trying and working on new ways to gain entry and how to bypass new locks. As a locksmith I have to do the same when you call a locksmith out on an emergency because you’re locked out in Worthing, Shoreham-by-Sea or anywhere in our service area we need to be able to gain entry for you quickly and an efficiently without damaging your lock.

The manufacturer of locks and cylinders are trying to stay one step ahead of us all. It takes me some weeks of practice to be able to open a new lock that is accredited. The opportunist thief will not do this because simply there is still enough houses and business premises that are using the old style standard locks and cylinders. Don’t make things easy for them.

To gain a better knowledge and understanding of the different levels that locks and cylinder have been tested too and given accreditation such as the British Standard you can check out my other blogs.




Jeffrey Seymour t/a Seymour Locksmiths
Flat 9, Swanborough court
New Road
BN43 6RZ


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