With around 2.5 million break-ins each year, door locks are essential 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 a front door, closet door, or sliding door, the effectiveness of the locking system you choose is of paramount importance.
When you visit 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 knob locks, deadbolt locks, cylinder cam locks, sliding door locks, padlocks, and even the more sophisticated electronic, smart, and fingerprint door locks. Understanding the different types of door locks available can help you make an informed decision as to which is best for your purposes.
More than 17 types of door locks
Our comprehensive guide to door locks will help you understand the differences between the different types so you can find the right one for your home's interior and exterior doors.
1. The lock button
Starting with the most common type of door locks, knob 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 distinctive feature of this type of knob lock is that the lock cylinder is located inside the knob, and not inside the door. While many choose to use these locks on both interior and exterior doors, they are best used indoors as they do not offer as much security as many other types of exterior locks.
When a knob lock is installed on an exterior door, you create a situation where you can easily enter your home. For this reason, knob locks on an entry door are often combined with a deadbolt or another, more secure type of lock. Knob locks feature knobs 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.
Knob locks date back to the 18th century, with the first patent being issued to Osborn Dorsey, an African-American inventor, in 1878. He created a doorknob with an internal door locking system. Although in 1818, three locksmiths in Great Britain developed the tumble lock design on which today's knob locks are based.
2. Deadbolt locks
Deadbolt locks are by far the most popular type of exterior door locks and are commonly used on residential exterior doors. However, business owners also use security locks to ensure the safety of their businesses and facilities. Deadbolt locks are a separate mechanism from the doorknob 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 force your door open.
These locks offer maximum security for your front door. They are designed to provide additional security for exterior doors and to be used in combination with a doorknob lock or cam lock. Most exterior doors are pre-drilled for the latches, making installation a breeze. Deadbolt locks come in one and two cylinder models.
The deadbolt lock gets its name from the fact that it does not have any internal spring-loaded mechanism like other deadbolts; essentially, the lock is "dead". These locks date back to the 19th century when banks began using key-requiring locks for their safes.
3. Handle locks
Handle locks consist of a handle on the outside of the door and a rotary knob or keyhole on the inside to lock the door. To open the door from the outside, this type of lock requires you to press down on a latch, rather than simply turning the knob as you would with a traditional knob lock.
For added security, this type of lock features a deadbolt instead of a traditional spring-loaded latch. These types of locks serve the identical purpose as push button locks, but offer a more visually appealing appearance. Lever locks can be single cylinder (with an exterior keyhole), dual cylinder (with an interior and exterior keyhole), electronic, or even smart (with the ability to connect to your smartphone).
4. Hand lever
Manual levers are an ideal choice for interior doors, such as basement doors and closet doors. They consist of a simple lever handle 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. Keg Shop
Also known as slide bolts, barrel bolts are often used on an exterior door to provide additional 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 lock that can be pushed in and out of the twist bolt from the inside.
By sliding the lock on the latch, you close the door. For maximum security, many choose to install barrel bolts at the top and bottom of the door.
6. Chain lock
Chain locks, commonly found on the inside of hotel room doors, have a deadbolt on the door frame and a main deadbolt assembly on the door itself. These locks are similar in construction to cylindrical deadbolts, except that they use a chain instead of a cylindrical lock. to secure the door to lock.
The idea behind the chain lock is that you can open the door a bit to greet someone while keeping the door closed and locked. The guest cannot enter until you close the door, loosen the chain, and reopen the door fully. It provides enough security to peek in the door without anyone coming in.
7. Mortise locks
Mortise locks are incredibly powerful and, like deadbolts, are typically used on exterior doors. While they are most commonly seen in commercial properties, they can also be used in residential homes as long as they have adequate space for their operation. Mortise locks have been used since the 18th century, with earlier versions having a pull to unlock the door. Eventually this train was replaced by a doorknob.
These locks consist of an internal system that classifies them as sets of locks instead of just locks. They can accommodate levers or knobs and often have a cylindrical body. Mortise locks are screwed in 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 sets 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 to other types. They are comparable to deadbolt locks in terms of strength and durability, although many find mortise locks more reliable than their deadbolt counterparts.
8. European cylinder locks
More commonly seen in Europe than in 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 case.
There are three different variants of the euro cylinder lock: the single cylinder, which can only be locked from one side; the double-sided cylinder that allows the door to be locked on both sides; and the key-knob model, which uses a key to close on the outside and a knob on the inside. Euro cylinder locks are available in a variety of lengths to accommodate different door thicknesses.
Standard versions of this type of lock are easy to pick, especially if the cylinder protrudes from the front of the door. For best results, the cylinder should be flush with the door or slightly recessed. The standard lock design also makes it prone to breaking in the middle. However, high-security anti-snap models have been developed to address this problem.
9. Electronic door locks
Electronic skins do not require physical keys to lock or unlock them. Instead, they have a card 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 beginning to opt for them as well.
If your particular electronic lock works without electricity, this can become a problem if the power goes out. Therefore, it is important that you have a backup plan that allows you to continue to service your door. Depending on the electronic lock model, it may also be equipped with a combination key system that allows you to use a normal key if you lose your card key or forget your 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 connected to the app. The three main types of smart door 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 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, you may need to replace the batteries in your lock every month or so.
bluetooth smart locks
Bluetooth smart lock systems, on the other hand, don't drain batteries as quickly. In fact, this is currently the most widely used connection for smart locks. These types of locks connect directly to your smartphone and do not 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 to Bluetooth smart locks is the fact that you cannot control the lock when it is 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. The smart lock must be within a certain range of the hub for it to work. If you cannot locate the hub in an acceptable area, signal range extenders can be implemented to increase the signal.
11. Door locks with retina scanning and fingerprints
Fingerprint door locks are one of the most convenient options, as they do not 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 flat on the sensor that recognizes the fingerprint pattern.
The retinal scanner door locks, on the other hand, sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. They are the most advanced form of exterior door 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 retina scan must match what is programmed into the system.
12. Locks for sliding doors
Sliding glass is often considered an easy target for thieves. 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 home should strongly consider replacing their factory-installed locks with dual-bolt locks or smart locks designed specifically for these doors.
Two-bolt locks 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 best known type of locks. The applications for which padlocks can be used are virtually endless, including closing sheds, securing bikes, closing a garage door, and adding additional security to homes and businesses.
Instead of being attached to something else, the locks close on themselves. They can be small or larger and are usually rectangular or square in shape with a U-shaped bar at the top. One side of the latch remains in the lock at all times, while the other side slides in and out to secure and disengage the lock.
Cam locks are typically found on mailboxes, filing cabinets, low-security safe deposit boxes, and safe deposit boxes. These bras allow the storage to remain latently intact without spoiling the overall appearance. For the most part, cam locks are virtually invisible and as such you will see them on already assembled cabinets and furniture sets.
These door 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 bolt 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 door 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 B. panic bar or lockset. They are installed inside the door frame instead of the traditional strike plate. When electrical power is supplied to the lock, the latch or deadbolt 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 activated, a hinged piece of metal inside the lock rotates, allowing the door to be opened without having to turn the handle.
The lock kit or the panic bar work separately from the lock release. This means that although the electric strike keeps the door locked from the outside, the door can also be opened from the inside in the event of a power failure, either by turning the handle or by pressing the touch panel on the panic accessory. Depending on the specific application, it can typically be fail-safe or fail-safe by operating an integrated switch.
fail safe locks
Electric door locks require an electrical voltage of at least 12 volts or higher to function properly. These types of locks are traditionally fail-safe, meaning they require 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 fail-safe locks also have knobs to open the door from the inside.
fail safe locks
Simply put, security locks require electricity to lock the door. If power is lost for any reason, the door will unlock. If you are using this type of locking system in your home or business, it is important that you have some form of backup power to ensure the security of your property. 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 at the top of the door frame, along with a metal plate on the door that aligns with the magnet. The lock works by passing an electrical current through the electromagnet, which creates a magnetic charge that attracts the plate and holds it in place in the door frame. This keeps the door locked until the power is disconnected or interrupted.
Magnetic lock picking systems include many of the same types used for electric locks. When a mag 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 goes out. Mag locks, by design, require a constant power source to remain locked, which means they are only fail-safe. If the power goes out, the magnetic locks will not keep the door closed from 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 multiple 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 their cabinets, refrigerator, or other items in your home.
Believe it or not, the leading cause of death in children is accidents. Child locks can help keep purchases, medications, and other potentially dangerous items out of the reach of young children. Also, some child safety locks can help keep your children 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 the 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 locks can be installed on the inside of the door or around the handles to prevent opening. The most common form of cabinet lock is the inside door lock, which mounts to the top of the inside of the cabinet and hooks to a part installed in the door, or vice versa.
Once installed, the door opens enough for you to depress the lock and release the hook on the receiving end.
door locks for refrigerators
Although there are many different types of locks you can use to secure your refrigerator door, the most common is the push button lock. This lock features a knob on one side that attaches to the refrigerator door and hooks into the hook on the other side that is mounted to the refrigerator itself. To release the latch and open the door, parents just have to press the button.
oven door locks
Oven door locks are often used by parents to prevent young children from lifting off the oven door or opening it out of curiosity during use to reduce the risk of serious burns and injuries. The most common form of lock used on oven doors requires no drilling, but is attached 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 button-shaped cutout to lock it, then lifts up to unlock the door. This type of lock can also be used for refrigerators, cabinets, drawers, and more.
Block grades and classifications
When searching for the right type of door lock and handle, you should also consider the quality of the lock. Most lock manufacturers put their products through tests conducted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Builders' Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) to assess performance. Locks are tested for strength, function, security, workmanship, material rating, and cycle.
The 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 offers.
- 1st Class:800,000 cycles
- Use 2:400,000 cycles
- 3er grade:200,000 cycles
Locks categorized as Grade 1 offer the highest strength and security, followed by Grade 2 and Grade 3:
Jessica considers herself a DIY and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and she owes most of what she knows to her father's help in renovating her childhood home. As a resident of Los Angeles, Jessica spends a lot of time researching her next DIY project and sharing her love of home design.
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