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Locksmithing 101 - OEM vs Aftermarket Schlage Everest Keys & Cylinders

Are the aftermarket Schlage Everest Keys & Cylinders worth it? A question we get a lot, and I want to show you the differences between the Schlage Locks OEM and the aftermarket to make sure that you can have the most informed decision.

 C123 and C145 cylinders

In particular, we're going to be talking about the C123 and C145 cylinders. Let's start with price because typically, that's why the question is being asked. So, the aftermarket keys will be about 50% less than the OEM and the cylinders. The aftermarket cylinders like the key-in knob cylinder, mortise, or rim, are typically around 80% less. So, the aftermarket C123 cylinder is about 20% of the cost of the OEM, a huge difference. That changes over time a little bit, but you get the idea. There is a link in the notes below for all the products, OEM, and aftermarket. You can check them all out. We do stock them.

 Cut and uncut keys


Let's look for the similarities and differences between the keys. The OEM versus aftermarket keys are identical; they're both made out of nickel silver. The JMA aftermarket one has engraved C123 and then the country of origin, while the other has the Schlage logo.

 aftermarket keys

Both have side milling because you have to have that for the key to slide in and work. That's everything about the aftermarket keys. They are a great cost saver.

 milling on key blanks


Let's proceed to the cylinders. The OEM has the little mountain stamped on the face of the plug.

 OEM cylinder

The GMS and Ilco both make the C125 and the C123, and if you look at the plug face of the aftermarket, it doesn't have the little mount because it's not an OEM.

 GMS lock cylinder

On the bottom of an OEM cylinder, there is a pin. That's what the grooves on the side of the keys are for. As you put the key in, it pops that up there into the groove, and then you can turn the key. It's a bit extra security precaution.

 lock cylinders

 GSM lock cylinder

While the aftermarket does not have a check pin, that is the big difference you need to know when it comes to the difference between the OEM cylinders and the aftermarket cylinders.

 comparing lock cylinders

Quick tip: When you go to rekey OEM cylinders, make sure you have your finger underneath the check pin so when you pull the key out, the check pin and the spring aren't going to drop out.

 tip for rekeying oem cylinders

You need to know that the aftermarket cylinder does not come with keys, and it does not have the check pin. 

There you have it, the differences between the OEM and aftermarket Everest cylinders and keys. I would love to know what you think. Is the price worth it? Is not having the check pin worth it? Thank you, and we'll see you next time. 

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