Differences between rim and mortise cylinders
Do you know the difference between a rim cylinder and a mortise cylinder?

By looking at the face of the cylinder, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a mortise cylinder and a rim cylinder. It's beyond the face of the cylinder where the differences become apparent.

Rim Cylinders
  • Installed with long screws that hold the cylinder in place
  • Tailpiece is a thin length of metal that protrudes from the back of the cylinder, rotating when the key is turned
  • Tailpieces are typically cut to a specific length
  • Rim cylinders typically require more space to operate
  • Rim cylinders are commonly used in conjunction with
    • Keyed pull trims
    • Residential deadbolt locks
    • Exit Control Locks

Mortise Cylinders
  • Installed with a cylinder nut that holds the cylinder in place
  • Tailpiece is typically referred to as a cam which is parallel with the back of the cylinder, rotating when the key is turned
  • There are many different types of tailpieces or cams and ensuring you have the proper cam for your application can be challenging
  • Most commonly used on
    • Keyed lever trims
    • Most keyswitches
    • Cylinder dogging on exit devices

Did You Know?
Detex has created a chart to help you know which Detex products take which cylinder. Download it here.
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