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Locksmithing/Garage Door Cylinder Locks


I asked you some questions about replacing garage door locks on July 4th and the advice you gave me was spot on.  Everything was exactly as you described.  So I bought two replacement Rim Cylinder locks from a local store of brand "Garage Door Hardware" (I guess you can block that out if brands aren't allowed).

The lock worked fine and it was a Schlage C Keyway.  However, while the keys that came with the kit works fine in the lock AND fits all of the keyways in my 6 doors, the reverse isn't true. Of my 4 nickel house keys, only one will enter the keyway of the new lock.  I have a box of brass Schlage blanks and most of them fit it. Most of the nickel blanks will not fit it!  My wife wanted some painted keys and I have some blanks to make them for her.  None of those will work, but they do fit the house locks.

The new lock looks like it can be re-keyed, but I don't want a finicky garage door lock.  Is there any recommendation or did I just buy junk that isn't worth fooling with?  I can probably return the other unopened container, but I've taken the first one apart, so I can write it off and use the hardware.  Thanks in advance for your recommendation.

Hello Charles,

I'm fairly certain I suggested you buy the cylinder(s) from a locksmith shop. The ones you may buy elsewhere may not be up to the proper specifications which will cause problems.

Nickel silver keys are generally made the same way as plain brass and nickel plated ones. If one goes into the lock but not the other it's due to either a badly engineered lock or the blanks were not made correctly. Painted keys are made to the same specifications as regular ones as long as the manufacturer of the blanks is following the same specs as required for the given brand of lock.

If the key(s) fit but don't operate the lock, the key(s) was (were) duplicated on a machine that is not properly calibrated. If you use calipers on the painted keys you will find the deepest part of each cut (there should be 5) on each key differs from the original one you duplicated from. There is also a possibility that the spacing between each cut is off. This is why the keys do not work.

Copies of keys only work when the operator knows what they are doing and the machine is properly calibrated. If either of those two things are off, the copies will not work.

I'd suggest, again, that you take the cylinder to a locksmith shop and have them either determine and fix the issue or sell you a proper ILCO or American Lock brand rim cylinder. All other brands of cylinders are sub-standard.



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I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

I have a diploma in Masterkeying, Advanced Locksmithing & Locksmithing from Foley-Belsaw.

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