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The Twisted Fate: Unraveling the Dramatic Spinning Key Occurrence

Updated: May 31, 2023



Euro cylinders and mortise locks can be a match made in heaven or a little more complicated than we perhaps need. But all is resolvable. Indeed, euro cylinders and mortise locks can provide effective security when properly matched and installed. However, due to the variety of options available and potential complexities involved, it's important to ensure that the right combination of euro cylinder and mortise lock is selected and properly installed to avoid any issues or vulnerabilities.

Working with a qualified locksmith or security professional can help ensure that the euro cylinder and mortise lock are compatible and installed correctly, taking into consideration factors such as lock type, door thickness, backset, handing, and other specifications. They can also provide expert guidance on resolving any issues that may arise, such as key spinning, misalignment, or other operational challenges.

Regular maintenance, proper usage, and periodic checks of the euro cylinder and mortise lock can also help identify and address any potential problems early on, ensuring reliable and secure operation over time.

By taking appropriate measures and seeking professional assistance when needed, you can ensure that your euro cylinder and mortise lock work harmoniously to provide reliable security for your doors and premises.



A euro double cylinder in a door lock may spin and not engage


Occasionally a euro double cylinder in a door lock may spin and not engage. It can happen but is not a common occurrence. It is possible for a euro double cylinder in a door lock to spin and not engage. This can occur due to various reasons, including:

  1. Misalignment: If the euro double cylinder is not properly aligned with the other components of the door lock, it may spin freely without engaging the internal mechanism. This can happen if the cylinder is not inserted fully or if there is an issue with the alignment of the lock components.

  2. Worn or damaged cylinder: Over time, a euro double cylinder can wear out or become damaged, resulting in a loss of engagement with the lock mechanism. This can happen due to regular wear and tear, or if the cylinder is damaged by forceful attempts to open the lock, such as through lock picking or forced entry.

  3. Incorrect installation: If the euro double cylinder is not installed correctly, it may not engage properly with the lock mechanism. This can happen if the cylinder is not installed at the right depth or if it is not properly secured in place, causing it to spin without engaging the lock.

  4. Internal lock mechanism issues: The internal mechanism of the lock, including the latch or the deadbolt, may have issues that prevent the euro double cylinder from engaging properly. This can happen if there is a malfunction or damage to the internal components of the lock, which can affect the engagement of the cylinder.

While it may not be a common occurrence, a euro double cylinder spinning without engaging the lock mechanism can happen due to various reasons. If you encounter this issue with your door lock, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from a qualified locksmith to diagnose and fix the problem to ensure the security of your property.


A double euro cylinder may on occasion fail to engage the cylinders central cam


Occasionally, a double euro cylinder in a door lock may fail to engage the central cam, which in turn prevents the mortise locking arm from engaging the lock. This can occur due to several reasons, including:

  1. Cylinder wear or damage: Double euro cylinders, like all mechanical components, can wear out over time or become damaged due to regular use or external factors such as dirt, dust, or rust. This can affect the smooth operation of the central cam, causing it to fail to engage properly with the mortise locking arm.

  2. Incorrect cylinder size: Double euro cylinders come in different sizes, and it is important to use the correct size that matches the specific door lock and door thickness. If an incorrect size of the cylinder is used, it may not align properly with the central cam, leading to a failure in engagement with the mortise locking arm.

  3. Misalignment or incorrect installation: Improper installation of the double euro cylinder can result in misalignment with the central cam and the mortise locking arm. If the cylinder is not inserted fully or not installed at the correct depth, it may not engage properly, resulting in a failure to lock.

  4. Manufacturing defects: Occasionally, manufacturing defects in the double euro cylinder itself may cause issues with engagement. This can include irregularities in the shape or dimensions of the cylinder that prevent proper alignment and engagement with the central cam and mortise locking arm.

If a double euro cylinder fails to engage the central cam and mortise locking arm, it is important to address the issue promptly to ensure the security of the door. It is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional locksmith to diagnose and fix the problem, which may involve cylinder replacement, realignment, or other adjustments to ensure proper engagement and functioning of the door lock.



Some double euro cylinders allow you to leave the key on the inside as an emergency exit


Some double euro cylinders are designed with an emergency exit function that allows the key to be left on the inside of the door. In this configuration, the outside key cannot engage the central cam, and attempting to turn the key from the outside will cause it to spin without engaging the lock mechanism. This feature is intended to provide a quick and easy way to exit the building in case of an emergency, without needing to locate and use the key from the outside.

However, it's important to note that this type of emergency exit function may have some security implications. Leaving the key on the inside of the door means that the door can be unlocked from the outside with ease, which may not be desirable in all situations. It's crucial to carefully consider the security requirements of your specific situation and determine whether using a double euro cylinder with an emergency exit function is appropriate.

If you choose to use a double euro cylinder with an emergency exit function, it's essential to educate all occupants of the building about how it works and ensure that everyone understands the potential security implications. Additionally, regular maintenance and checks should be performed to ensure that the cylinder is functioning properly, and any issues with spinning keys or other malfunctions should be addressed promptly by a qualified locksmith to maintain the security of the door and the building.


If key lengths are not accurate or are short they will not engage the center cam


The length of the keys used with a double euro cylinder is crucial for proper engagement of the central cam and the locking mechanism of the lock. If the keys are not accurately cut or are too short, they may not fully engage the central cam, which can result in the key spinning without effectively operating the lock.

The central cam is a part of the double euro cylinder that is responsible for controlling the movement of the locking mechanism, such as the latch or the deadbolt, when the key is turned. If the key is not cut to the correct length or is too short, it may not fully engage the central cam, and as a result, the locking mechanism may not be activated or may not function properly.

This can happen if the key is improperly cut, if it has worn down over time, or if a key of the wrong size or type is used. Using a key that is not accurately cut or is too short can result in issues with the lock's operation, including the key spinning, difficulty in locking or unlocking the door, or even complete failure of the lock to engage.

To ensure proper functioning of a double euro cylinder, it's important to use keys that are accurately cut to the correct length and are in good condition. If you encounter issues with keys spinning or not engaging the lock mechanism, it's advisable to seek assistance from a professional locksmith to properly assess the situation, identify any key-related issues, and take appropriate measures to ensure the security of the lock and the door.


New double cylinder or having new keys cut


When installing a new double euro cylinder or having new keys cut, it's essential to thoroughly test the operation of the cylinder and the locking mechanism from both sides of the door using the new keys. This is an important step to ensure that the keys are accurately cut and properly engage the central cam of the cylinder, allowing for smooth and effective operation of the lock.

Here are some key points to keep in mind when checking the operation of a new double euro cylinder and keys:

  1. Test from both sides: Make sure to test the operation of the cylinder and the locking mechanism using the new keys from both the outside and inside of the door. Insert the key fully into the cylinder and turn it to ensure that the central cam is properly engaged and the lock functions as intended.

  2. Check for smooth operation: The key should turn smoothly and without any resistance when operating the lock. If you encounter any difficulty or resistance in turning the key or if the key feels like it's binding or scraping inside the cylinder, it may indicate that the key is not accurately cut or that there is an issue with the cylinder.

  3. Verify engagement of the central cam: As you turn the key, verify that the central cam of the double euro cylinder is properly engaging with the locking mechanism, such as the latch or the deadbolt. The locking mechanism should move smoothly and fully in response to the key turning.

  4. Test multiple times: Repeat the testing process multiple times to ensure consistent and reliable operation of the lock with the new keys. Check the operation of the lock from both sides of the door and with different keys, if available, to ensure that the cylinder is functioning properly in all scenarios.

  5. Seek professional assistance if needed: If you encounter any issues or inconsistencies in the operation of the double euro cylinder or the locking mechanism with the new keys, it's advisable to seek assistance from a qualified locksmith. They can assess the situation, identify any issues, and provide appropriate solutions to ensure the proper functioning and security of the lock.

By thoroughly checking the operation of a new double euro cylinder and keys, you can ensure that the lock functions as intended, providing reliable security for your door and premises.


Various problems with cylinders not all related to key size and length.


Always check the key function and undertake regular maintenance. If you have difficulties we can offer assistance from our qualified locksmith.


There can be various issues with double euro cylinders that may affect their operation, not all of which are related to key size and length. Regular maintenance and proper key function checks are important steps to ensure the reliable and secure operation of the cylinder and the associated locking mechanism.

Some other common issues with double euro cylinders that may require attention include:

  1. Cylinder misalignment: Over time, the cylinder may become misaligned due to wear and tear, or due to improper installation. This can result in difficulties in inserting or turning the key, or the cylinder not properly engaging with the central cam.

  2. Cylinder wear and tear: Cylinders can wear down over time due to regular use, which may affect their smooth operation. This can result in issues such as keys sticking or difficulty in turning the key.

  3. Dirt and debris: Accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris inside the cylinder can also affect its operation. It can cause keys to get stuck, prevent the central cam from engaging properly, or affect the smooth movement of the locking mechanism.

  4. Corrosion: Corrosion or rusting of the cylinder due to exposure to moisture or other environmental factors can also impact its operation. It can cause keys to get stuck or prevent the cylinder from turning smoothly.

Regular maintenance of the double euro cylinder, including cleaning, lubrication, and inspection for any signs of wear and tear or misalignment, can help prevent these issues and ensure smooth operation.


Additionally, checking the key function, as well as testing the operation of the cylinder and locking mechanism from both sides of the door, is important to identify any issues and address them promptly.


Seek assistance from a qualified locksmith

If you encounter difficulties with your double euro cylinder or have concerns about its operation, it's advisable to seek assistance from a qualified locksmith. They can assess the situation, diagnose any issues, and provide appropriate solutions, ensuring the proper functioning and security of the lock.


If you do have the key spin situation confronting you sometimes a gentle tap on the key head whilst in the cylinder may just reset the location and allow the key to engage. Remember cylinders are delicate pieces of mechanics and as such do not delight in harsh treatment.


If you encounter a situation where the key spins in a double euro cylinder and does not engage the central cam or the locking mechanism, you can try a gentle tap on the key head while it is inserted into the cylinder. This can sometimes help reset the key's position and allow it to properly engage with the central cam, allowing for proper operation of the lock.



Exercise Caution

It's important to exercise caution and avoid applying excessive force or using any tools or implements that may damage the cylinder or the key. Double euro cylinders are delicate mechanical components and should be treated with care to avoid causing further damage or compromising the security of the lock.

If tapping the key gently does not resolve the issue, it's best to seek assistance from a qualified locksmith or a professional with experience in handling locks and cylinders. They can assess the situation and provide appropriate solutions to address the spinning key issue and ensure the proper functioning of the lock.

Remember, attempting to force or manipulate the cylinder in a rough or improper manner can potentially cause further damage, and it's always best to seek professional assistance if you are unsure or unable to resolve the issue with gentle measures.


At Architectural Design Hardware we can offer alternative functionality for key locking mechanics if what you currently have is not want you desire. Out qualified locksmith can provide information on alternative functionality for key locking mechanics based on common options.

There are various types of locks and keying systems available in the market, and depending on your specific needs or requirements, you may consider the following options:

  1. Keyed alike: This refers to having multiple locks that are operated by the same key. This can be convenient if you have multiple doors or locks that you want to be accessed with a single key.

  2. Master keying: This involves creating a hierarchy of keys, where a master key can operate multiple locks, while each lock also has its own individual key. This can be useful in situations where you want to provide different levels of access or restrict access to certain areas while maintaining a master key for overall control.

  3. Keyless entry: This can include options such as electronic locks, keypad locks, or smart locks that do not require a physical key for operation. These can offer convenience, security, and flexibility in managing access without the need for traditional keys.

  4. Restricted key systems: These systems use special keys that are patented and can only be duplicated by authorized locksmiths. This provides a higher level of key control and prevents unauthorized duplication of keys.

  5. Cylinder with emergency egress function: As you mentioned earlier, some double euro cylinders have an emergency egress function that allows the key to be left on the inside for easy exit without unlocking the door from the outside. This can be a useful option for certain applications, such as emergency exit doors in commercial or public buildings.

It's important to consult with a qualified locksmith or security professional to determine the best alternative functionality for your specific needs. They can assess your requirements, provide recommendations, and install or modify the locking system accordingly to ensure proper functionality and security.


Key mechanics is not meant to be a complicated dilemma and should be simple smooth and functional from day one. Visit our showroom for more information.


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Whenever your door lock is not working properly and want to replace it immediately, always contact Mobile Locksmith experts because they have experienced and certified staff, who do their job professionally at a genuine cost.

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