An interchangeable core (IC) is a great way to save money and time. An IC is a small, self-contained lock cylinder, usually figure-eight in shape, that can be taken out from its housing via a special master key and is designed to fit into a variety of cylinder housings that comply with its size specifications through standardization, and produced by a variety of lock manufacturers. Interchangeable cores can be removed from one type of cylindrical lock, mortise lock, padlock, etc. and placed into another lock without removing or disassembling the lockset/door hardware.
These interchangeable or I-Core systems were designed to permit the manager of the system to rekey the locks without possessing expertise. Lockpickshop.com offers rekeying kits as low as $59.95 as well as many other IC accessories. Most interchangeable lock systems come with spare cores to allow instant replacement in an emergency (such as a stolen key or personnel changes) and to maintain security. The old cores are either stored to be reused later or sent out for rekeying. Interchangeable core locks are readily adapted for master keying systems.
Interchangeable cores are very popular within commercial, institutional, industrial and government facilities. This is extremely economical for business and institutions that encounter issues with maintaining adequate key control. Think about retail companies with multiple locations, office buildings and housing facilities. Imagine if you had to call an emergency locksmith after normal business hours. Nobody wants that kind of bill or headache because someone stopped showing up for work and still had keys. Amazingly, this technology is not new by any means. It can be traced back to 1912. If you worry about multiple personnel changes and just having too many keys floating around, give interchangeable cores a serious thought.