What Is An SB Lock?

The answer is that an SB (single bitted) lock is a cam lock available in five different lengths that is used in many different applications. I am going to expand on that definition giving you a clear picture on how versatile the SB lock really is.

The name SB stands for “single bitted”. This is where the cuts on the key are only on one side of the key. They are very similar to a standard house key, only smaller. They are available in five different sizes from 3/8″ to 1-1/2″ in length. Many manufacturers make this type of lock using the standard 54G keyway. Some manufacturers call this a utility lock. They are typically used to secure cabinets, desks, tool boxes, utility cabinets and even paper towel dispensers found in rest rooms. These locks are considered low security.

SB Lock Features:


  • Inexpensive utility lock on standard 54G keyway
  • Constructed out of zinc die cast
  • Lock face could be zinc or stainless steel cap in chrome or black
  • Available in five lengths
  • Can be keyed alike, keyed different or master keyed china smart lock

If these locks are purchased from an authorized service center, they can be keyed in lots of one to thousands. They are used in applications where the idea is to keep honest people out. These locks are easily defeated and should not be used where higher security is necessary. 

SB locks internally use wafers instead of locking pins. These wafers are made out of brass and are designed from 0 to 7 which will correspond to the cuts on the key. For example; if wafers 1-3-5-3 are used then the key is also cut at 1-3-5-3. When both match the lock will operate.

SB locks from different manufacturers can be mixed and used together as long as they all are on the 54G keyway. Keys from one manufacturer should operate locks from another manufacturer. As a commodity type lock in many cases price is the deciding factor as to where to purchase these locks. Many are made in China where this type of lock have been made for years. The limiting factor in purchasing from China is the quantity. Tens of thousands of SB locks must be ordered at one time. Most manufacturers that use this type of lock purchase them from authorized service centers where they can get them in any quantity and get them custom assembled.

George Uliano is a security professional with years of law enforcement and security experience. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Business graduating with honors. George holds three U.S. patents on different locking principles. This combination gives George and His Company Locking Systems International Inc the unique ability to provide its customers with the correct security at an affordable price


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