What cams exist?

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The cam is the metal plate, sometimes called a pawl, attached to the 'tail' of a cam lock and which is the actual locking member. Many types are available, either as standard items for general use or as specials, designed for particular applications. In their simplest form, with the lock fitted to a door, they turn behind the doorframe or jamb and are locked in position by the removal of the key, holding the door shut.


Flat cams

Flat cams are the most commonly used and are fitted when the body length of the lock, as supplied, is ideal for the intended application. The only decision to be made is to calculate the optimum length of cam required to secure the cabinet, which is measured from the centre of the fixing hole to the tip of the cam.

Cranked cams

Cranked cams are generally 'swan necked' in shape. These are used to increase or decrease the 'effective' length of the lock, where it is not possible to achieve secure locking using a flat cam. Cranked cams can provide many permutations of effective length of locks from 0 to over 50mm, depending on lock type. Single formed (L-shaped) and non-standard lengths / offsets are available to special order, subject to a minimum order quantity.

Ordering standard cams

The illustration below shows the standard range available from stock.


camlock cams standard range available from stock


To order flat cams, simply specify the effective length in mm.

Where cranked cams are required, please specify the effective length in mm followed by letter, which is applicable to the crank (see diagram).

For example: 50Z = 50mm effective cam length x 12mm crank.

For sizes not illustrated, please specify the dimensions required in mm.

Cross-punched/Double-punched cams

These are cams that may be fitted at positions other than the 12 o'clock/6 o'clock dictated by the standard 'vertical' hole shape and orientation used for radial pin tumbler camlocks. A cross-punched cam has a single 'horizontal' fixing hole and may be fitted at the 3 or 9 o'clock positions. Double-punched cams are supplied with both standard and cross-punched piercings, to allow fitting at all four 'quarter hour' positions. Generally speaking, double punched cams are only supplied in flat format, whereas cross-punched variants may be cranked or flat.

Cross-punched/Double-punched cams


Hooked/Notched cams

Cams with hooks or notches incorporated are used for closures such as lids, where the hook engages with a peg or rod, to prevent the lid being lifted. These cams may be either flat or cranked and, in the case of radial pin tumbler locks, standard or cross-punched. Critical dimensions are those from the centre of the mounting hole to the hook and also to the tip of the cam, to ensure that the hook is strong enough but not positioned so as to impede rotation.

Cross-punched/Double-punched cams


Special cams

Many special purpose cams are available, either specific to particular customers or designed to work in particular applications or equipment and offered to all. A good example of this is our range of cams for vending machines. Developed and evolved over many years in cooperation with our many customers in the industry, whose help has been invaluable, we now offer a huge range of bespoke cams for most of the vending machines in use today.

Cam adaptors

Cam adaptors are used where we supply a lock to replace that fitted by an OEM but where the cam is an integral part of the locking mechanism fitted to the equipment and may not easily replaced by one of our own, or where the quantity required will be insufficient to allow economical production. Should the original cam have a fixing hole incompatible with the lock we supply, an adaptor can be supplied to take up the difference in shape.


Camloc is a registered brand name from