In most organizations and offices, file cabinets are most often used to securely store and organize documents. They can also be found in homes where they are used to keep documents safe when some kind of lock is included to prevent unauthorized access to those files. There are different types of file cabinet locks from electronic locks to those that you can operate manually. While many file cabinets have locks built-in in them, others can be fitted with locks of your choice.
File cabinet locks can be mechanical or electronic depending on the level of sophistication you want integrated into the security system or how secure you want your documents to be. Therefore, you can go for pad locks, tubular cylinder locks or cam style versions. Depending on your file cabinet, you can also choose keypad locks, sliding teeth locks as well as lock bars. While some file cabinet locks are more beneficial than others, all guarantee a certain level of security. The difference is whether access to certain locks is limited to a few people or everyone in the entire office. Sliding teeth locks for instance require that you have the sliding card which is electronically configured to unlock the file cabinet.
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Despite the different types of file cabinet locks used, some come as either keyed or key-less combinations. The traditional style locks are still the most common where a key is used in many cases. However, for people that tend to misplace keys, electronic locks are often beneficial. This is because they eliminate the need to change keys particularly when the filing cabinet is turned over to someone else. Electronic locks generally operate through an electromagnetic mechanism which can only be opened when the correct code is pressed on the keypad.
Tubular Cylinder Locks
A tubular cylinder lock usually fits through a hole in the filing cabinet. Such locks are usually difficult to install. This is the reason why a professional locksmith is always required put in these file cabinet locks properly. The tubular cylinder lock has a long cylindrical shape and usually opens with a round key.
Cam locks are normally one of the most common and simplest types of file cabinet locks to use. They often look similar to tubular cylinder locks but include a rotating bar mechanism at the back, which is controlled by a key. The lock consists of a metal plate, called a cam, which is attached to the core of the locking device and rotates as the key is inserted and turned. This bar latches onto some part of the cabinet’s interior, holding the drawer in place when locked. The cam rotates between 90-80 degrees, locking and unlocking.
Sliding Teeth Locks
This is also a type of file cabinet lock whereby one part of the locking mechanism remains in the cabinet. However, when the cabinet is opened the part that the key goes into separates from the main lock. These locks are usually used for sliding door cabinets and can be rendered unusable if the key and the second half of the device are misplaced.
A lock bar is also another option for file cabinet locks. Also known as side-locking bar mechanism, this lock is usually installed on the exterior length of the cabinet. It is then opened and closed with a padlock. It can therefore replace the locks of individual drawers or be used as a universal lock for all of them. Locking bars are suitable for file cabinets that do not have built-in locks. They can also serve as a second layer of security
Other types of file cabinet locks can also be used to control one or multiple drawers. With such lock combinations, access to filing cabinets mostly rests with a single person within the office. In some offices or organizations there are different combinations of file cabinet locks. Theses locks also come in different colors and sizes. Some may also be designed to fit certain kinds of cabinets. Generally, selecting a file cabinet lock depends on the cabinet used. If you are unsure about the best lock to buy, you can get more help from a store clerk. Alternatively, you can conduct research online to determine which lock goes with a given file cabinet.