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IC core or small format interchangeable core

IC core or small format interchangeable core

Interchangeable Core Locks

IC core or Interchangeable core locks are figure 8 shaped key cores embedded within the cylinder. These locks are easier to remove from the lock without taking off the lock from the door. With the help of a special key called a control key, the IC core locks are removed within a matter of seconds. 

These specific types of locks are quite popular in commercial spaces such as businesses, apartment buildings, condominiums as it gives the flexibility to manage the locks at ease. In case of any issues with the door lock, it can be easily Re-keyed by removing the IC core and install a new one with the use of a control key. This helps to save a significant amount of time and effort as well. 

Types of IC cores:

There are two formats: 

  1. Small Format Interchangeable Core (SFIC) 
  2. Full-Size Interchangeable Core (FSIC)

Both SFIC and FSIC are recognized by their 8 figure shape and function exactly the same. However, these two vary in sizes, for example, the small format IC core cannot be installed in a large format compatible lock and vice versa. So, before installing the cores, it is very important to check the compatibility with the existing door locks. If you are planning to upgrade your lock systems from standard cores to the IC cores, it can be costly because an IC core can’t be installed in a lever set that has a standard core cylinder in it. 

Different brands of Interchangeable cores:

Small Format IC CoreLarge Format IC Core
ArrowYale and Sargent

How Interchangeable Core (IC) Locks Work?

Interchangeable Core locks were first invented by Frank Best in 1919, to make it convenient for an easy keying and re-keying of the locks. since then, they are widely used. These are undoubtedly a great tool for commercial property owners, businesses as well as locksmiths.

Because of its simple working principle, it allows you to easily change the lock without taking out the entire lockset from the door. If you want to remove the IC core, all you have to do is just insert the special key called control key and turn it, then pull the lock cylinder out. Next, insert the control key into the new cylinder and turn the key, insert it to the core in the housing and turn it in the opposite direction and you are done. 

Benefits of Interchangeable core locks:

Interchangeable core locks offer various benefits such as:


Interchangeable cores provide the convenience and flexibility for rekeying the door locks without removing the lockset from the door. With this type of lock cylinder, you can save time and money in the long run.

Easy Rekeying:

Most of the times, you require professional help to fix your locks or for rekeying in case you have lost your keys. With IC cores, it’s very easy to fix, it can be done by a non-technical person. By using a control key, you can remove the old core and replace the new one.


In commercial spaces, installing IC core on all the door locks is an added advantage. As it helps to open the locks with one master key. If the master key for the locks is lost or stolen, it’s super easy for the maintenance staff to change the IC core locks and open the doors with a new master key. 

Wide applications

There is a huge demand for these locks in commercial spaces such as offices, hotels, malls, hospitals, schools, and universities. Generally speaking, installing the locks or rekeying is labour intensive. But with IC core, it helps to save a lot of time.

Improved Security

There is wide use of IC core especially for upgrading the security all over the world. The reason being that though it’s easy to rekey at the same time these locks are harder to pick. If a burglar tries to break-in, it can damage the IC core pins, which makes it difficult to gain access. 

Locksmith Monkey in PDX Can Install Interchangeable Core Locks for your commercial properties, and businesses.

Locksmith services in Portland

Securing your commercial property and businesses with upgraded lock and key is important. And changing the locks in case of any issues or any upgrades is an unavoidable part of the maintenance of your property. Having an effective lock and key solutions can help save your time and money.

Interchangeable core locks are the best solution for places that use a master key to open multiple locks. We at Locksmith Monkey in Portland are experts in installing interchangeable core locks for your commercial property, home, or business. That help to improve security and reduce your long-term costs. If you are planning to install IC core locks, contact us today to book an appointment with us and schedule the installation. 

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