Cam locks have been popular as door latches. Camlock fittings have two parts, the base, and the cam. The cam is the part which fastens the two parts (like the door to the frame, or one door of the cabinet to other etc.). The base is the part in which the key is inserted to turn the cam and open the lock.
A very useful innovation is the modification of camlock fittings to include a wheel based 2 or 3 number combination. This does away with the need for using keys. This kind of lock is called a combi-cam lock.
Most of the camlock fittings in such locks are the same, but the only difference is that the locking mechanism is put in place by the turning wheels instead of any keys, and the same method of using number combinations opens the lock as well.
There are a large number of manufacturers who have combi-cam locks as part of their product range. We tried a large number of combi-cam locks and also tested their camlock fittings to see which ones we could recommend to you.
We checked the offered variety of sizes, the ease of handling, and the convenience (or otherwise) of resetting a combination, and of course how sturdy the lock was. One of the best products we could find in this category was the 7850R-L Combination Cam Lock in chrome finish, manufactured by Combicam, which is a division of FJM Security Products. Let us look into its features, advantages, and disadvantages in a little more detail.
The Combi-Cam 7850R-L Combination Cam Lock
You will not get too many color choices in this product and must choose between black and chrome only. There is greater variety to choose from in the sizes of the locks available. You can start from the smallest variant of sizes 0 5/8 and 0 7/8, and can go up to bigger sizes of 1 1/8or even 1 3/8, depending on the dimensions of the place where you want the camlock fittings done and the extent of security you desire. For example, if the doors are ¾ inch thick, then the largest size of 1 3/8 inch must be used. These locks are weather resistant and can last through very rough weather as well.
Many users have been using the locks on their letterboxes kept outside, or on boat lockers which face the marine environment, and the locks are none the worse for wear. If you still want to provide extra protection, you can use WD-40 or any other lubricant. The reason for this is that a non-ferrous metal has been used to manufacture this lock.
1,000 Possible Combinations
This lock doesn’t involve any spring loading and stays put in the position it was the last set to. There is flexibility you get of changing the turning direction to the other side if needed, even after you have installed the lock.
As we said above, this product is an improvement on the earlier cam lock and uses a combination of sliding wheels instead of a key. You can easily use this lock to retrofit any standard cam lock. The three numbers provide as many as 1000 possible combinations which make this lock extremely difficult to pick.
Retrofits Any Standard Cam Lock
If you are among those who find it difficult to remember your lock combination, then you can also choose to convert your lock into a non-resettable one. The dimensions of the lock are convenient enough for easy usage and shipping and come in a compact size of 2.3 inches x 1.5 inches x 1.3 inches. Its weight is a very handy 1.6 ounces only.
If you open up the lock, the camlock fittings and parts you will find are a long straight cam of length 1 ¼ inches, a short straight cam of length ½ inch, and a stop cam, apart from sundry nuts and washers. You can place the shorter cam in any one of four positions which are at right angles to each other, while for the longer cam, you have 8 possible positions in increments of 45°.
This lock will fit easily into the standard cam hole of size ¾ inch. Once the lock body is put inside the hole, the nuts and prong washers go in, after which the cylinder nut has to be threaded and tightened. After this the straight cam and stop cam have to be attached and tightened.
Camlock Fittings 0-0-0
When you get the lock, you will see that the combination is set to 0-0-0. Each of the three wheels has 10 digits in a very visible white color, from 0 to 9. The bottom of the lock has a pinhole which you can use to set whatever combination you desire.
There is no pin or other tool provided with the lock, so you can use any paper clip or thin pin shaped object to depress the hole and then reset to your number combination. Once done, you can release the paperclip or pin you have used to depress the hole. Let us also discuss how the unresettable position of the lock can be set, which we mentioned earlier.
First, the stop cam needs to be unscrewed and removed. Manually rotate the cylinder of the lock by 180°. Once done the stop cam can be screwed back on. After you do this the end user will not be able to reset the combination.
• The convenience of the combination setting.
• Variety of sizes available.
• The combination can’t be reset by an outsider by mistake.
• Four size options available.
• Robust resistance to adverse weather conditions.
• Keyless convenience for lock operation.
• Slimmer doors, as well as doors which are quite thick, can be secured by this lock.
• Clearly visible white lettering on the combination wheels.
• Two cams provided in the pack, one longer, and the other shorter, and they can be interchanged.
• Although this product works well outdoors and even in marine environments, it might not be the best choice when it is snowing.
• The dials can freeze, making it difficult to open the lock when needed.