With an estimated 2.5 million break-ins each year, locks are critical to the security of your home or business. They serve as a barrier, protecting your property, family and belongings while maintaining privacy. Whether you want to lock an entryway, closet door or sliding door, the effectiveness of the lock system you choose is of the utmost importance.
When visiting your local hardware store, you'll notice many different types, sizes, shapes, and styles of door locks, which can make deciding on the right lock difficult.Some of the most common options are push button locks, deadbolt locks, cylinder cam locks, sliding door locks, padlocks, and even the more sophisticated electronic, smart, and fingerprint locks. Understanding the different types of locks available can help you make an informed decision about which one is best for your purposes.
More than 17 types of locks
Our comprehensive guide to door locks will help you understand the differences between the different types, so you can find the most suitable one for your home's interior and exterior doors.
1. The lock button
Starting with the most common type of door locks, push button locks are commonly seen on exterior facing doors. They are used by almost everyone to close their home or business on a daily basis. The distinguishing feature of this type of handle lock is that the lock cylinder is located inside the handle and not inside the door. While many choose to use these locks on interior and exterior doors, they are best used indoors as they don't provide as much security as many other types of exterior locks.
When a pushbutton lock is installed on an exterior door, you create a situation where you can easily enter your home. For this reason, pushbutton locks on an entryway door are often combined with a door lock or another more secure type of lock. Handle locks have handles on each side of the door and can be single or double cylinder depending on whether or not you also want to lock the door from the inside.
Handle locks date back to the 18th century, with the first patent being granted to Osborn Dorsey, an African American inventor, in 1878. He created a door handle with an internal door locking system. Although in 1818, three locksmiths in Great Britain developed the drop lock design on which today's push button locks are based.
2. Bolt locks
Keyhole locks are by far the most popular type of exterior locks and are commonly used on residential exterior doors. However, business owners also use security locks to ensure the security of their business and premises. Deadbolt locks are a separate handle mechanism that adds an extra layer of security to entry doors. They reduce the risk of unwanted entry by creating a secure locking system that makes it virtually impossible for thieves to pry open the door.
These locks provide maximum security for your front door. They are designed to provide additional security for exterior doors and to be used in combination with a handle lock or cam lock. Most exterior doors are pre-drilled for latches, making installation easy. Deadbolt locks come in single and dual cylinder models.
The deadbolt latch gets its name from the fact that it does not have any internal spring mechanism like other latches; essentially the lock is "dead". These locks date back to the 19th century when banks started using locks that required a key for their vaults.
3. Dealing with locks
Handle locks consist of a handle on the outside of the door and a rotary handle or lock on the inside to lock the door. To open the door from the outside, this type of latch requires you to press a latch instead of simply turning the handle as you would with a traditional doorknob latch.
For added security, this type of latch has a latch instead of a traditional spring-loaded latch. These types of locks serve the same purpose as pushbutton locks, but offer a more visually appealing appearance. Lever locks can be single cylinder (with external lock), double cylinder (with internal and external lock), electronic or even smart (with the ability to connect to your smartphone).
4. Manual lever
Hand levers are an ideal choice for interior doors such as basement doors and closet doors. They consist of a simple lever on one side and a rotary knob on the opposite side. Compared to other types of locks, manual levers offer little security. However, they make it quick, easy and efficient to open doors with just one hand, a feature that can be incredibly useful when your hands are full of food or clothing.
5. Barrel shop
Also known as slide screws, cylinder screws are often used on an exterior door to provide added security for your home and family. The lock consists of two main components: one that mounts to the door frame and the main bolt assembly that mounts to the door. The main lock has a cylindrical latch that can be pushed in and out of the twist bolt from the inside.
By sliding the latch onto the latch, you close the door. For maximum security, many choose to install barrel screws at the top and bottom of the door.
6. Current lock
Chain locks, commonly found on the inside of hotel room doors, have a latch on the door frame and a main latch on the door itself. These locks are similar in construction to cylinder locks, except they use a chain instead of a cylinder lock. to secure the door to lock.
The idea behind the chain lock is that you can open the door slightly to greet someone while keeping the door closed and locked. The guest cannot enter until you close the door, release the chain, and reopen the door fully. It offers enough security to peep through the door without anyone entering.
7. Fitting locks
Mortice locks are incredibly powerful and, like deadbolts, are typically used on exterior doors. Although they are most often seen in commercial real estate, they can also be used in homes, as long as they have adequate space for their operation. Mortice locks have been used since the 18th century, with earlier versions pulling to unlock the door. Eventually this train was replaced with a doorknob.
These locks consist of an internal system that classifies them as sets of locks rather than just locks. They can accommodate levers or buttons and usually have a cylindrical body. Mortise locks are screwed together using mortise components that are added inside the door. There is a box lock in the mortise opening, which refers to a deep recess in the edge of the door. These lock assemblies remain secure through the use of a set screw and cam that form the locking mechanism. The cylindrical component is available in different lengths and heights depending on the type of door.
This type of lock is very strong, which is why many business owners prefer mortise locks over other types. They are comparable to deadbolt locks in terms of strength and durability, although many find snap locks more reliable than their deadbolt counterparts.
8. European cylinder locks
More commonly seen in Europe than the United States, European cylinder locks are typically used on interior patio doors and double doors. European cylinder locks, also known as deadbolt locks, are the most popular locking system used by locksmiths and locksmiths. They are mainly used as a locking mechanism to operate a lock box.
There are three different variants of the euro cylinder lock: the single cylinder, which can only be locked on one side; the double-sided cylinder that allows you to lock the door on both sides; and the key-handle model, which uses a key to close on the outside and a handle on the inside. Euro cylindrical locks are available in various lengths to accommodate doors of different thicknesses.
Standard versions of this type of lock are easy to open, especially if the cylinder protrudes in front of the door. For best results, the cylinder should be flush with the port or slightly recessed. The default lock design also makes it prone to breakage in the middle. However, strong anti-snap templates have been developed to address this issue.
9. Electronic locks
Electronic skins do not require physical keys to lock or unlock them. Instead, they have a keypad or keypad system that requires the use of special keys or cards to operate them. In most cases, these types of locks close the door automatically. You can usually find electronic locks in offices, hotel rooms and schools, but many homeowners are starting to opt for them too.
If your particular electronic lock works without electricity, this could become a problem if the power goes out. Therefore, it is important that you have a backup plan in place that allows you to continue to service your door. Depending on the electronic lock model, it can also be equipped with a combination key system that allows you to use a normal key in case of loss of the card key or special code. These types of locks are usually powered by batteries, which have an incredibly long lifespan.
10. Smart locks
Smart locks are the latest type of door lock to hit the market. With these locks, your smartphone acts as a key, allowing remote access to your home from virtually anywhere in the world. Smart locks are often much more than just locks. Many smart locks are a complete audio and video surveillance system, plus additional smart features that give you complete control over your home security.
Like electronic locks, most smart locks have a keyhole that you can use when you're not logged into the app. The three main types of smart locks are as follows:
Wi-Fi Smart Locks
Wi-Fi smart lock systems allow you to control your device from anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet. Even when you're not at home, you can let someone into your home from the comfort of your smartphone. Compared to other types of smart locks, Wi-Fi systems tend to drain batteries much faster. As a result, it may be necessary to replace the batteries in the lock every month.
bluetooth smart locks
Bluetooth smart lock systems, on the other hand, don't drain batteries as quickly. In fact, this is currently the most used connection for smart locks. These types of locks plug directly into your smartphone and don't require a hub for easy connection. If you are within range, you can use your Bluetooth device to unlock or lock the door.
The downside of Bluetooth smart locks is the fact that you can't control the lock when it's out of range. So if you want to operate your doors remotely, consider another option.
Z-Wave smart locks
Z-Wave smart locks require a hub that you must connect to in order to operate the lock from your internet-connected mobile device. This type of smart lock is essentially a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth locks. Smart lock must be within a certain range of the hub to work. If you are unable to locate the hub in an acceptable area, signal range extenders can be implemented to boost the signal.
11. Locks with retina scan and fingerprints
Fingerprint locks are one of the most convenient options as they don't require a key to operate them. They offer a higher level of security, as only those who have programmed their fingerprint can open the lock. To operate a fingerprint lock, you must place your index finger on the sensor that recognizes the fingerprint pattern.
The retina scanner port locks, on the other hand, sound like something out of a sci-fi movie. They are the most advanced form of exterior locks and are primarily used to secure buildings that house important manufacturing, government, and medical items. These locks require users to enter a biometric scan of their retina to gain access. The real-time retinal scan must match what is programmed into the system.
12. Locks for sliding doors
Sliding glass is often considered an easy target for thieves. The factory locks that come with standard sliding glass doors simply don't provide the level of security needed to keep your home safe from break-ins. Homeowners who have these types of doors on the exterior of their homes should strongly consider replacing their factory-installed locks with double-bolt locks or smart locks designed specifically for these doors.
The two-bolt latches slide a steel bolt into the door frame, effectively reinforcing the frame. On the other hand, a smart lock can be used to open and close the door remotely. Sliding door locks can add extra security to your existing exterior sliding doors. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and come in a variety of styles to match your existing decor.
Padlocks are one of the most basic forms of door locks. They have been around for years and are possibly the most well-known type of lock. The applications that padlocks can be used for are virtually endless, including shed locks, securing bicycles, closing garage doors, and adding additional security to homes and businesses.
Rather than being attached to something else, the latches close in on themselves. They can be small or larger and are usually rectangular or square in shape with a U-shaped bar across the top. One side of the latch remains on the latch at all times, while the other side slides in and out to engage and disengage the latch.
Cam locks are typically found on mailboxes, archives, low security safes and safes. These bras allow the storage to remain latently intact without spoiling the overall look. Most of the time, cam latches are virtually invisible, and as such, you'll see them in cabinets and furniture sets that are already assembled.
These locks are cylindrical and are placed on the wooden part of the door. A metal tube with a hole in one side helps position the screw when inserting it. Cam locks are essentially simplified versions of other locks that require a key to turn a cam, which unlocks or locks the device. They can be tubular or flat, with correspondingly shaped keys sufficient to open them.
15. Door opener locks
Door locks or openers are electromechanical locks, that is, mechanical locks with electronic devices. These types of locks are used in combination with another type of locking device such as a panic bar or B lock. They are installed inside the door frame instead of the traditional strike plate. When electrical power is supplied to the lock, the deadbolt or latch is held in place.
This keeps the door locked until the release system is activated. The delivery system used depends on the application. Some types of release systems include a keypad that requires an access code, front desk release buttons, key fob readers, and electronic card readers. When the unlocking system is engaged, a hinged metal part inside the lock rotates, allowing the door to be opened without the need to turn the handle.
The lock kit or panic bar works separately from the lock release. This means that, although the electric lock keeps the door locked from the outside, it can also be opened from the inside in the event of a power failure, by turning the handle or pressing the touch panel on the anti-panic accessory. Depending on the specific application, it can be failsafe or failsafe by operating an integrated switch.
Electric door locks require an electrical voltage of at least 12 volts or greater to function properly. These types of locks are traditionally failsafe, which means they need power to unlock the door, and if the power fails, the door will remain locked. In this way, the doors remain closed even in the event of a power failure. However, doors with failsafe locks also have handles to open the door from the inside.
Simply put, security locks require electricity to lock the door. If there is a power outage for any reason, the door will unlock. If you are using this type of lock system in your home or business, it is important that you have some form of backup power to ensure your property is secure. Magnetic locks are considered fail-safe locks.
16. Magnetic locks
On the other hand, magnetic or “mag” locks are electromagnetic door locking mechanisms. These locks feature a large electromagnet installed on top of the door frame, along with a metal plate on the door that lines up with the magnet. The lock works by passing an electric current through the electromagnet, which creates a magnetic charge that attracts the plate and holds it in place on the door frame. This keeps the door locked until power is disconnected or interrupted.
Magnetic picking systems include many of the same types used for electric locks. When a magnetic lock is activated, it can generate a holding force of over 1,000 pounds, making it an incredibly effective lock. Of course, only until the power runs out. Magnetic locks, by design, require a constant power source to stay locked, which means they are just failsafe. If the power fails, the magnetic latches will not keep the door closed on both sides.
17. Childproof door locks
Child safety locks, also known as child safety locks, are a special type of lock that can be used on many doors in your home to keep your children out. They are not primarily for safety, but rather for the safety of young children who may be injured by the contents of your cupboards, refrigerator, or other items in your home.
Believe it or not, the number one cause of death in children is accidents. Child locks can help keep groceries, medications, and other potentially dangerous items out of the reach of young children. Also, some child safety locks can help keep your kids off unsafe stairs or out of your closets. Here are some of the most common types of parental controls:
The top door latches are positioned so high that they are out of reach of children. These types of parental controls are great options for parents with children who know how to open baby gates or bypass other parental control systems. They are installed at the top of a door and require a hanging latch to be pulled to unlock. The door can be unlocked from either side, preventing accidental locking.
Child safety cabinet door latches can be installed on the inside of the door or around the handles to prevent opening. The most common form of cabinet latch is the interior door latch, which is mounted on top of the inside of the cabinet and locks onto a part installed in the door, or vice versa.
Once installed, the door swings open enough for you to press the latch and release the hook on the receiving end.
While there are many different types of latches you can use to secure your refrigerator door, the most common one is the knob latch. This latch has a knob on one side that attaches to the refrigerator door and attaches to the hook on the other side that mounts to the refrigerator itself. To release the latch and open the door, parents only need to press the button.
oven door locks
Oven door latches are often used by parents to prevent young children from lifting the oven door or opening it out of curiosity during use to reduce the risk of burns and serious injuries. The most common form of lock used on oven doors does not require drilling, but is secured with two pieces of adhesive. One piece is attached to the blocking piece and the other is detached.
One connects to the oven door while the other connects to the oven itself. A small lock grips the knob-shaped cutout to lock it, then lifts to unlock the door. This type of lock can also be used for refrigerators, cabinets, drawers and more.
Block grades and ratings
When looking for the right type of lock and handle, you should also consider the quality of the lock. Most lock manufacturers submit their products to tests conducted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Builders' Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) to evaluate performance. Latches are tested for strength, function, security, finish, material grade and cycle.
Lock rating refers to the number of lock/unlock cycles the lock will complete before it wears out. This is a direct indication of the durability of the door's internal locking mechanism, not necessarily the security it provides.
- 1st class:800,000 cycles
- Usage 2:400,000 cycles
- 3rd series:200,000 cycles
Locks categorized as Grade 1 offer the most strength and security, followed by Grade 2 and Grade 3:
Jessica considers herself a DIY and design enthusiast. Growing up surrounded by constant home improvement projects, she owes much of what she knows to her father's help in renovating their childhood home. As a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of time researching her next DIY project and sharing her love of home design.
Where can I install a mobile home?
With home prices on the rise and mortgage rates on the rise, buying a home often seems less feasible than ever. Many people can imagine the combination of deposit and...
What is the correct way to treat dirty cleaning water?
Scrubbing floors is no fun, but homeowners and businesses should keep floors clean. When you're done mopping the floor, you're left with a bucket of dirty, cloudy water to throw away...