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Cams / Tailpieces

Cam locks, mortise locks, rim locks, and KIK cylinders all typically use a tailpiece or 'cam' on the rear of the lock to interface with the door or device they are going to be inserted into. It is very important to know what type is required in order to ensure the lock will function properly. In some retrofit situations, you may be able to re-use your existing cam or tail on your new lock. If you have any questions, please contact us prior to ordering.

The Terms

A 'cam' (different from a cam lock) is an interchangeable small flat metal piece that is generally fixed to the back of the lock and cannot move at all on its own. A tailpiece is a much longer piece that can extend for several inches out the back of the lock, and may be able to rotate without turning the lock itself. Frequently the terms are used interchangeably. To avoid confusion, we will always call the 'cam' or tailpiece a tailpiece.

Rim Locks

Rim locks generally have a long metal tailpiece that comes straight out the back of the lock. It is not screwed in but is rather retained in a slot by a ring or clip. In most cases your current tailpiece can be used with your new rim lock. Our Abloy rim locks also come with a generic rim tailpiece that can be used with most locks.

Mortise Locks

There are many different styles of tailpieces for mortise locks and it is important to find the proper one to ensure the lock will work correctly with your door. There are a few common ones pictured here:

If you do not see the style of tailpiece you need, please see Abloy's Tailpiece PDF for the full list.

Cam Locks

There are three primary styles of tailpieces for cam locks: straight, hooked, and offset.

The exact dimensions can vary greatly to exactly match the device the cam lock is going to be installed into. For the full Abloy breakdown, please see Abloy's Cam Lock Tailpiece PDF It is important to note that our Abloy cam locks utilize the European style tail, meaning that the post on the back of the lock that holds the tailpiece is a square. The American style tail utilizes a post with two rounded sides (called DD because it looks like two capital Ds placed back to back). For the full BiLock breakdown, please see BiLock's Cam Lock Tailpiece PDF.

KIK Cylinders

KIK cylinders utilize a variety of tailpieces and the functionality of the tailpiece can vary as well. Knobs and Levers often use a KIK cylinder with a tail that fixed in place and will rotate only when the cylinder is turned. Deadbolts typically use a KIK cylinder with a tail that allows a certain degree of free rotation. We sell a variety of KIK cylinders with tailpiece options to retrofit many different locks. If you are looking to retrofit your hardware with a high security KIK cylinder, please contact us and we will be happy to assist.