Integrated vs Modular Locks: What's the Difference?

Purchasing a high-quality lock is a smart investment that will provide peace of mind knowing your property is safe and protected against theft. Consisting of a shackle and body, you can use it to secure your personal and/or business property. After opening the lock -- typically with a key or combination dial -- you place the shackle through your property, at which point you can attach the shackle back to the body.

While all locks feature a shackle and body, they don't necessarily use the same locking mechanism. There are two primary types of locking mechanisms used in locks: integrated and modular. To better understand the differences between integrated and modular locks, keep reading.

What Is an Integrated Lock?

An integrated lock is a type of lock featuring an integrated locking mechanism. Integrated locks are characterized by the use of tumblers that directly engage the shackle. When you insert and turn the key inside an integrated lock, the tumblers engage to release the shackle.

What Is a Modular Lock?

A modular lock, on the other hand, is a type of lock featuring a modular mechanism. Unlike integrated locks, they don't directly engage the shackle with tumblers. Instead, modular locks use a plug and locking dog. When you insert and turn the key inside a modular lock, the plug retracts from the shackle, thereby releasing the shackle.

When compared to integrated locks, modular locks are relatively new. Integrated locks have been around for centuries, whereas modular locks have only been around for a few decades. During that time, however, they've become increasingly popular among consumers and businesses alike.

Choosing Between an Integrated and Modular Lock

Although they are newer and more modern, modular locks aren't necessarily the best choice. The problem with modular locks is that they can be disassembled. If you happen to lose your key to a modular lock -- and you are unable to order or otherwise obtain a replacement -- you can disassemble the body. Unfortunately, this means nefarious individuals can also breach modular locks. As a result, integrated locks are typically more secure than their modular counterparts.

In Conclusion

Although there are hundreds if not thousands of different locks on the market, most feature either an integrated or modular locking mechanism. The "key" difference between these two types of locks lies in their method of operation. Integrated locks directly engage the shackle with tumblers, whereas modular locks use a plug and locking dog to engage the shackle.

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