Servicing Profile Cylinders

The profile cylinder can be found on doors using specialty application aftermarket locks.

Important: Before disassembling a profile cylinder, be sure to mark or photograph the positions of all the components.


For the purpose of this article, we will service a profile cylinder that does not have removable top loading caps. The profile cylinder is operated by a five-pin tumbler key that has a keyway that can accommodate a Kwikset blank. The exterior cylinder contains five pin tumblers. The interior cylinder is a thumb turn. To keep the top pins and spring within the bible, we use the Keedex K-19 Profile Cylinder Follower.

NOTE: This procedure is normally used with a double-sided profile cylinder rather than a single-sided profile cylinder. Instead of using the magnets, a single-sided profile cylinder may be recombinated using a hollow follower.

Step 1. Remove the profile cylinder from the lock. Profile cylinders are usually secured within the lock using a screw. The middle of the profile cylinder housing has a threaded hole to accommodate the screw. This screw is usually accessible by removing the edge plate.

Note the location of the cam. Mark the position of the cam so orientation will be correct during re-assembly.

Step 2. Remove cylinder retainers. These may be C-clips or screws, depending on the design of the profile cylinder. This profile cylinder was equipped with two C-clips. When removing C-clips, try placing pressure against one end of the clip and pushing against the other. This way the clip will slide up enough for a small blade screwdriver to lift it off.

Step 3. Carefully slide the thumb turn out of the housing. A spring loaded ball bearing slides into a detent when the thumb turn is vertical.

Step 4. Insert an operating key into the cylinder and rotate approximately 90 degrees. If no key is available, manipulate the tumblers in order to rotate the plug.

Step 5. Slide the plug out slightly in order to disengage driver from the rear of the plug. Do not slide too far as the last pin chamber may become exposed and the top pin and spring could slide out.

Step 6. Disengage the driver from the cam. Once disengaged, remove the cam. Then slide out the driver. On some double-sided profile cylinders there is a cam interconnect for each plug. These parts can be larger than the middle slot of the housing. In these cases, it may be necessary to pull one or both plugs out far enough to allow the interconnect to clear the cam. If a top pin and spring slide out, this can be repaired later.

Step 7. Once the cam and driver/cam interconnect are removed, insert one of the magnets through the slot for the cam into the housing containing the plug.

Note: To make things easier, place one magnet on the body of the profile cylinder. This will attract the magnet being slid into the housing and keep it in place. Do not place the magnet too close, as it will slide and contact the other magnet.

Step 8. Continue to slide one magnet at a time through the cam slot into the housing as you push out the plug. Continue to insert follower pieces until the plug clears the pin chambers, which is usually about four or five magnets. Remove the plug from the housing.

Step 9. Combinate the plug as required.

Step 10. Install the top pins as necessary into the housing. Usually only the last one or two pin chambers become exposed and need the top pins reinstalled.

Step 11. Insert the key into the plug.

Step 12. Slowly insert the recombinated plug into the housing.

Step 13. As the plug is being inserted, remove each piece of the magnetic plug that becomes exposed at the cam opening. Use a small screwdriver to separate the magnet pieces.

Step 14. As the last magnet piece is removed, carefully insert the driver.

Step 15. Install the cam according to the marking prior to disassembly. It may be necessary to slide the plug out slightly in order for the cam to slide over the driver. Test the operation of the key.

Step 16. If the lock mechanism operates properly, remove the key from the plug.

Step 17. Install the thumb turn making sure the ball bearing slides into the housing. Test the operation of the thumb turn.

Step 18. Install the two "C" clips. Test cylinder for proper operation.

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