The Ultimate A-Z Guide To Lock Types
Whether you’re protecting your home, maintaining privacy, or keeping your belongings safe, an effective door lock is vital.
There are a whole host of different types of locks available, including locks for doors, windows and bikes. With so many different types of lock available, it can be difficult to know which one is best equipped to meet your needs.
As well as supplying an extensive range of locks, here at Smart Choice Security, we can also install these locks for you, making buying and fitting locks easier than ever before.
So, whether you’re looking for the best types of door locks, you’re struggling to choose between types of window locks, or you’re considering different types of front door locks, we can help.
Here’s our ultimate A-Z guide to the different types of locks available:
Cam locks are a popular choice of lock, often used to secure filing cabinets, tool boxes, post boxes, internal doors, and other lower security applications. Simple to use, these locks are frequently used in offices, to protect client information or other sensitive data. They can also be used to secure windows and garage doors, as well as on vehicles to lock trailers, fuel caps, caravan doors, roof boxes and more.
These basic, versatile locks consist of a base unit with a cam attached. When the key is inserted into the base (the bit you see) and turned, the cam (the bit that does the locking) moves between 90 and 180 degrees to open and close the lock.
There are two different types of cam – straight cams and offset cams.
Cylinder locks are the most common type of front door lock. Suitable for both internal and external use, they are easy to install and can be used on UPVC and composite doors.
Cylinder locks consist of a keyhole and a mechanism, with one cylindrical shaped lock. They can be single or double cylinder. Single cylinders are operated with a key on one side, while double cylinders are operated by keys on both sides.
However, some cylinder locks pose a risk of snapping, meaning they aren’t always the most secure.
Also known as deadbolts, deadlocks feature a locking mechanism that is controlled manually, by turning a key. When the key turns, levers located within the main body of the lock are lifted. These then move the deadbolt out of the lock, and into the keep within the doorframe.
Deadlocks are very secure, as a significant amount of pressure has to be applied to pull the bolt back. This makes them the most difficult locks for intruders to breach.
A deadlock is a type of mortice lock, with just a key hole and a bolt.
A type of front door and back door lock, this is the most popular type of cylinder lock, with a large range of size and brands to choose from.
Euro cylinders are often found on external front and back doors in homes, as well as internal doors in offices, schools and hospitals. Designed to break at the tip if attacked, these locks are incredibly safe and secure. In fact, insurance companies require them to be used on all uPVC doors.
Furniture locks can be used to add privacy and security to furniture such as cupboards, cabinets, pedestals and drawers.
Popular furniture locks include fixed core locks and core removable locks.
Fixed core locks are fully complete locks with matching keys. These locks are cheaper than core removable locks, but don’t tend to be as flexible.
Core removable locks, on the other hand, feature a hollow chamber for the lock core to fit into. The lock core has a number and a key with a matching number. However, the core can be replaced with another if, for example, you need to swap keys.
Key operated window locks are fitted to the top or bottom of a window, or on the window handle. They secure the windows by helping to prevent intruders gaining access from outside, and also prevent the windows being opened from the inside, by children for example.
Knob locks are a type of door lock where the lock is incorporated into the doorknob itself. They are commonly used in offices and commercial properties, as well as hotels.
Some have a button on the inside knob which can be pressed to lock the door. The button then unlocks when you turn the interior knob. Other knob locks feature a twist mechanism on one side, that is turned to lock or unlock the door.
Typically used in commercial properties, lever handle locks have a lock built in, just like a knob handle. However, they also feature a large, push down style handle, making them easier to open.
A mortice lock is a lock that fits inside the edge of the door. This type of lock is a popular choice for a front door lock as they are difficult to force open, and can only be opened with the key. In fact, some insurance policies even state that a property must be secured with a mortice lock in the terms of the cover. A five-lever mortice deadlock (British Standard BS3621:2004) is usually the minimum standard for external doors.
Mortice lock cylinders are inserted into a hollow (also known as a mortice) in the edge of the door. The bolt then fits into a recess in the frame, hidden behind a strike plate.
These locks are available with a number of different lever variations – 2, 3, 5, and 7 lever mechanisms. The higher the number of levers, the more difficult it is to pick the lock, and the more secure it will be. A higher lever lock will also have more key variations, removing the risk of duplicate keys.
This type of lock is commonly used to secure front and back doors. They are most often used on UPVC and composite entrance doors, but can also be fitted to timber and Aluminium doors.
When the key is turned, the system bolts the door into the frame at multiple points. Multi-point locks are very secure, as the multiple locking points make it harder to force the door open.
Night latches are mounted onto the surface of a door rather than being fitted into the edge of the door.
There are two different types of night latch available – standard night latches and deadlocking night latches. Standard night latches lock a door automatically when it is closed. Deadlocking night latches also lock automatically, but require a key to open the door from both the outside and the inside.
Night latches are designed to be used as a secondary security measure.
The only type of lock that isn’t attached to the door, window, or furniture it secures, padlocks come in a range of sizes to suit a whole host of applications.
There are two main types of padlock: combination padlocks and keyed padlocks.
Keyed padlocks are locked and unlocked using a key, whereas combination padlocks feature number dials which must be set to the correct combination to unlock them.
Rim locks are the oldest types of door locks.
This type of lock consists of a surface mounted box, containing a lock and a latch. Rim locks are surface mounted, meaning they are fixed directly into the door, making them ideal for doors that aren’t thick enough for an internal locking mechanism. They can, of course, also be used with thicker doors.
Rim locks aren’t the best type of lock to use on a front door, as they aren’t as secure as internally mounted mortice locks and can be easily removed. However, they are a great choice if you’re looking for a lock to provide increased security and privacy on internal doors, such as bathroom doors or bedroom doors.
Many people with period properties use this type of lock to add a stylish detail to their doors, thanks to their intricate designs and use of materials including brass, bronze and cast iron.
Taking their name from their T shape, T Handle locks are ideal for use on internal windows and doors, enclosures, lockers, garages and metal furniture.