Helpful Tools for the Access Control Installer

Oct. 1, 2008
Invest in quality tools that can help you do the job in a professional manner. Good tools last a lifetime. Quality pays off in the long run.

Do you remember the first time you installed an electric strike? Standing at the jobsite, you looked at the scope of the job and realized you didn’t have the right tools. Although you were properly prepared to do regular lock work, you forgot to bring a jigsaw, concrete bits, wire and connectors, fish tape, etc.
Whenever you attempt to do a specific job without the specialty tools that make the job easier, it takes longer and may not yield the professional results you or your customer is expecting.
The security professional gradually builds an arsenal of tools to do the job correctly. Some tools just help you to do the job easier; others save time, and others increase the safety factor on the job.
Tools cost money. Time wasted costs more. And injuries cost a whole lot more. Do your jobs safely, efficiently and profitable. Whenever the job calls for specialty tools, do the right thing the first time.
The tools in this article are mainly focused on the locksmith who installs access control and CCTV components.

Training is a valuable tool. Access control installation often includes drilling a hole through the door to run wire from the electrified hinge to the electrified lock unit. Drilling a door in many applications requires neither a special certification nor re-labeling the door. However, special training and equipment is required to make any field modifications to a fire rated wood door. You do not simply modify the door, install the new hardware and hope no one notices. You are liable.
According to an article on “The process is tedious, time-consuming and inconvenient. The situation has tempted some to cut corners, doing these modifications on-site without the proper tools or certifications. The result: the doors may no longer meet fire rating codes because improper drilling has compromised their performance. Ironically, the building may be more secure in terms of monitoring comings and goings, but occupants’ lives are in greater danger if the building catches on fire.
NFPA 80 recognizes that on site work, without any guidelines, can void a fire door. They, in turn, state that any modifications not specified in NFPA 80 must be done under the auspices of a “label service” program if done at the site of the door installation -- or “in the field.”
Intertek, a leading fire door testing and certification organization, understands that the current practice of making changes in the field can be a dangerous solution. This process can, in fact, endanger public safety for all of us. Their solution is the launch of The Perfect Raceway Program. This four hour training course, combined with several auditing aspects, falls under the guidelines of the NFPA 80 label service requirements.”
Through Intertek’s Perfect Raceway Program you will be trained and certified to modify door while retaining their fire resistance rating.
Intertek’s WH (Warnock Hersey) Mark is one of the most recognized certification marks. An independent company hired by Intertek provides certification classes. Your final certification will be based on passing an exam and using a Dor-Cor drilling tool patented by Marray.
The tool allows you to drill a raceway through a wood door without voiding the fire rating. Training also includes study of applicable code requirements and how to properly identify a door after installation of the Perfect Raceway.
Multiple classes are held during the year around the USA and Canada. Classes require enrollment about two or three weeks in advance of the actual seminar.
For information on certification training classes and an educational video go to or

The ability to send a certified installer to your customer boosts your reputation and signifies your professional standing. The Marray Dor-Cor drill fixture is a precision instrument made to close tolerances.
After practice you can drill a wire chase through a door in a few minutes. The Dor-Cor’s simple design allows for easy mounting without hand tools. A gunsight down the edge allows for easy placement and alignment from the hinge to the lock.
This tool comes in a blow-molded protective carrying case and comes with complete instructions. Adjustable from one and three-eighths inch to two and one-quarter inch thick doors, protective nylon feet protect the door finish. The tool is designed for use with 4,0 x 4.0 through 5.0 x 6.0 size hinges.
The special 58-inch long Evacuator drill bit cleans out chips as they accumulate. Special high-speed Delron bushings keep the bit cool and aligned to within one-quarter inch of center.
For more information contact

Another specialty tool to drill a raceway through the door is offered by Keedex. The Door Laser is an affordable tool for core drilling doors. The use of a laser sight assures accurate drilling and the tool includes a one-quarter inch bit for drilling the pilot hole.
Along with a variety of locksmith specialty tools, Keedex offers a complete line of weldable gate boxes. The iCAN is a 14 gauge welded steel enclosure with a powder coat finish. The stainless steel faceplate is secured to the box with a tubular key cam lock.
The iCAN accommodates two single gang devices and can be welded to almost any gate, fence, post or structural support. Uses include a mix of intercom, keypad, card reader, prox device or key switch.
For more information contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to

Most stand-alone access control locks can be installed in place of standard locks by drilling or re-drilling the cross-bore holes in the door. The ability to perform this function quickly and accurately helps determine your profit margin.
PRO-LOK offers a line of lock installation templates to install stand-alone access control locks as well as most common lever, mortise and deadbolts. The complete range of IN-Series templates revolves around a universal clamp.
All plates include hardened bushings Optional back plates are available for some models. Mortise and standard lock installation tools, parts and accessories help round out the installation tool section.
For more information contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to the company website at

A specialty tool for the locksmith is great to find. It is also what Major Manufacturing does. In addition to a wide variety of installation tools for mortise, stand-alone keypad locks, knobs, levers and storefront locks they have templates for electric strike installation.
Major Manufacturing offers a line of HIT-41AR Series that quickly and accurately allow you to cut out an aluminum frame for an electric strike installation. Hand guiding a jigsaw, filing and grinding to fit is a thing of the past. These are professional tools for the security professional.
Another aspect of access control is handling, modifying, removing and installing doors. The Door Tote 100 and Door Tote 200 make moving and positioning a heavy door a one-man job.
The long handle and guide brackets on the DT100 allow easy movement of the door, even over long distances. The DT200 is a smaller overall size with elimination of the handle. Both units use pneumatic rubber tires for easy rolling and eliminating damage to the carpet or floor.
The DL 150 is a simple door-lifting leverage tool that goes hand-in-hand with the Door Tote. These tools minimize the chance of a back-strain injury to the technician.
In addition to door handling tool, Major Manufacturing has a complete line of specialty installation equipment, servicing tools and supplies in order to install electrified hardware and components.
For more information contact your favorite locksmith distributor or go to

CCTV work often combines with access control to complete a security installation. There are a number of specialty tools for the CCTV installer.
Some basics include a quality selection of wire service tools such as, cutters, crimpers and strippers. Co-Ax cable requires that you make a secure connection to provide static-free video and audio signals. Various service kits are available from a variety of manufacturers and suppliers.
One helpful product is the technician service monitor. A recommendation from a local specialist is the Vitek VTM-LCD351. This is a three and one-half inch color TFT LCD service monitor worn around the neck or on a belt clip.
Operating on eight AA batteries or a 12VDC power supply, the 480 x 234 resolution will allow you to set the placement, pan, tilt, zoom, focus, etc. of virtually any camera as you install it the first time.
The beauty of this type of product is that when you’re on top of the ladder installing and adjusting a camera, you can monitor it. Instead of running up and down a ladder and into the other room to look at the monitor, do it all at once!
Why yell back and forth to your coworker “a little to the left, no the other left. Wait. Now go down a little, not that far…”. I’m sure you get the idea and realize the frustration that can be eliminated with a tool like this.
For more information go to

The last recommendation to make your life easier is a quality ladder. The ability to get up into a hard-to-reach area safely and securely is important.
Input from various technicians leads to one favorite, the Little Giant. This is a combination of 24 ladders in one. The A-frame, extension, and offset positions are set in minutes.
Made of special heavy-wall 6005-T5 aluminum, it is light and portable. The model 1A is government-rated to hold 300 pounds but has survived testing stress up to 1200 pounds.
This is a professional grade ladder system that is designed for use on stairs, ramps, curbs, docks or other uneven surfaces. A number of different models are available with minimum A-frame heights of three to six feet. Choices include the Model 1A, Model 13, Model 17, Model 22 and Model 26.
For more information contact the company at

Labor Saving Devices
Labor Saving Devices Inc. (“LSDI”) designs and manufactures advanced specialty tools and related products for the starting to the professional wire and cable installer. They offer a variety of product for drilling and wire/cable path creation, in-wall vision, pushing/pulling wire and terminating, testing and finishing a job.
To complete the wire/cable runs, Labor Saving Devices has a number of installation tool kits.
For more information contact the company at