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Different Types of Door Locks

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Door locks provide improved security and safety. Whether it is locking your main door or cabinet door to keep your family and belongings safe, locks are essential.

If you visit the hardware store, you will find different varieties of locks in various sizes, shapes, and designs. It might be overwhelmingly difficult to choose the right type for your home.

We present this ultimate guide to you that will discuss the various types of door locks and their application. This article will help you learn and select the best door lock for your internal and external doors.

Let us get started with the discussion.

What Are the Different Types of Door Locks?

As mentioned earlier, door locks are of different types, sizes, shapes, and designs. Below are the most common door locks that provide security, and privacy to your facility.

  1. Knob Locks
  2. Deadbolt Locks
  3. Cam Locks
  4. Pad Locks
  5. Circular Padlocks
  6. Mortise Locks
  7. Rim Locks
  8. Lever Handle Locks
  9. Barrel Bolts
  10. Chain Locks
  11. Wall Mounted Locks
  12. Electronic Locks
  13. Smart Locks

Let us discuss about each door lock in detail:

1. Knob Locks

Knob LocksKnob locks are the most common type of door locks seen in many homes. You find these locks mostly in the inner door like bedrooms and bathrooms.

Design:

The knob locks have knobs on both sides of the door. These locks may have single or double cylinders, depending on how you would like to lock the door. If you want to lock the door from inside, you will have two cylinders.

These door locks perform poorly. The intruders can easily bash the knob with a hammer. Hence, it is not ideal to use this lock to the front or main door. If you still want to grace your main door with this lock, it is best recommended to use it in conjunction with other secure locks like a deadbolt, etc.

Locking Mechanism:

The locking mechanism of knob locks lies within the doorknob.

Features:

The knob locks are available in various styles and finishes that match your style.

Installation:

The knob locks are easy to install.

Cost:

These door locks are affordable.

Applications:

These knob locks are explicitly designed for interior doors.

2. Deadbolt Locks

Deadbolt LocksThe deadbolt locks are yet another commonly used door lock for exterior doors.

Design:

Like the knob locks, even the deadbolt locks have knobs on both sides of the door. However, they add additional security to the external doors and against intruders. These locks may have single or double cylinders, depending on how you would like to lock the door.

Locking Mechanism:

The locking mechanism of deadbolt locks is unique. You need a key to operate these locks. All you have to do is insert the key into the cylinder and turn it to release the lock.

Features:

The deadbolt locks are available in various styles and finishes that match your style. The different types of deadbolt locks are:

  1. Single Cylinder Deadbolts
  2. Double Cylinder Deadbolts
  3. Lockable Thumb Turn
  4. Jimmy Proof Deadbolt

Installation:

The deadbolt locks are easy to install.

Cost:

These deadbolt door locks are a little expensive than the knob locks.

Applications:

These deadbolt locks are explicitly designed for front doors to provide maximum security. Let us discuss about the several deadbolt locks types in detail below:

 a) Single Cylinder Deadbolts 

Single cylinder deadbolts are the ones that you can activate easily from one side using a key.

Design:

The single cylinder deadbolts feature a key cylinder located on the outside of the door and thumb turn on the interior of the door.

Locking Mechanism:

You can use this thumb turn to open or lock the door from inside. When operating from outside, you need a key.

Features:

These single cylinder deadbolts are the simplest and easiest to use. They offer the household great safety against fire mishaps. The members can simply turn the knob to open the door instead of panicking for the key. They can easily escape in case of any emergency.

However, there is one downside of these locks. Others can have easy access to the inside of the room if the doorknob is near the window or even through the peephole. They can use the thumb turn to open the door.

b) Double Cylinder Deadbolts

The double cylinder deadbolts are the ones that you can activate easily from the inside and outside of the door using a key.

Design:

The double cylinder deadbolts feature a key cylinder located on the outside of the door and thumb turn on the interior of the door.

Locking Mechanism:

You need to use a key from both inside and outside to lock and open the door.

Features:

These double cylinder deadbolts provide great flexibility and maximum security. However, you require a key to get access to the room. If the door remains locked, you need to use the key to unlock it from inside and open the door. This can be a major problem in case of any emergency or fire accident.

The other downside of these locks is that you always need to have a key attached to the inside of the door.

Similarly, let us assume that you locked the door from inside. You have a delivery person or some guests at your doorstep and need to open the door. But unfortunately, you have kept the key elsewhere or do not remember where you have left it. In such a case, it could be inconvenient for you to open the door.

c) Lockable Thumb Turn

A lockable thumb-turn deadbolt is nothing but a kind of hybrid between the single cylinder and double cylinder deadbolt.

Design:

The lockable thumb turn deadbolts feature a key cylinder located on the outside and inside of the door and a thumb turn on the interior of the door. You can use it as both a single cylinder or double cylinder deadbolt.

Locking Mechanism:

You may use a key from both inside and outside to lock and open the door. Else, you can simply ignore the interior lock and use the thumb turn to operate. That means it works both as a single cylinder and double cylinder deadbolt, and you can use any, based on your convenience.

Features:

These thumb-turn deadbolts are secured systems. You can use the interior lock for extra safety when you are going out for longer vacations.

d) Jimmy Proof Deadbolt

As the name says, you cannot pry or jimmy the door lock open.

Design:

The jimmy proof deadbolt lock has a locking body that mounts on the surface of the door. It features a knob and a two-part vertical bolt.

Locking Mechanism:

The knob or key operates this two-part vertical bolt. When this bolt interlocks with the deadbolt, the lock gets engaged.

Features: 

These locks are anti-pry and have great resistance to natural jimmying.

3. Cam Locks

Cam LocksCam locks are a type of locks mostly seen for cabinets, lockers, etc.

Design:

These cam locks feature a cam, and keys of the same shape as a cam to open it.

Locking Mechanism:

You require a key to open the cam in order to lock or unlock the door. These cams come in either flat or tabular shapes.

Features:

The cam locks are available in different lengths. Moreover, these locks can rotate in clockwise or anti-clockwise direction to up to 90 or 180 degrees.

Installation:

The cam locks are the most simple and easy to install devices.

Cost:

The cam locks are affordable.

Applications:

These cam locks are mostly used for cabinets, lockers, and drawers.

4. Padlocks

Pad LocksPadlocks are just like regular locks, but they are detachable.

Design:

Unlike other door locks, the padlocks do not come permanently attached to the door. Instead, they feature a solid body, a shackle, or a U-shaped bar that comes hinged at one end and a cylinder.

Locking Mechanism:

The inside surface of the U-shaped bar has two notches and is a part of the lock mechanism. When you allow the shackle to pass through an opening of the body and push them together, the internal lock mechanism engages the shackle and fixes it in place.

Features:

The padlocks are the most secured systems and guarantee protection against vandalism and theft. They are available in different types, which can be categorized into two main types, as mentioned below.

  1. Combination Padlocks
  2. Keyed Padlocks

Installation:

The padlocks do not require any installation, as they are portable devices.

Cost:

The padlocks are inexpensive door locks.

Applications:

You can use the padlocks for various applications like doors, gates, chains, fences, etc. Let us discuss about the several padlocks types in detail below:

a) Combination Padlocks

The combination padlocks do not use a conventional key to unlock them.

Design:

They come with rotary dials with digits or letters, or a series of buttons.

Locking Mechanism:

You need to turn or adjust the buttons in the correct combination to release the padlock that will automatically open the lock. They do not require any key to unlock them.

Features:

You can change the combination whenever you want and simply reset it with a different code. These are ideal for those who tend to forget the keys or misplace them. Since you do not require keys to access, these can be a great option. The only downside of using a combination padlock is that they are easy to decode. Moreover, they are easier to break open in comparison to other locks that operate with keys.

b) Keyed Padlocks

As the name goes by, the keyed padlocks use a conventional key to operate them.

Design:

The keyed padlocks feature padlock and key.

Locking Mechanism:

You need to insert the key into the padlock and turn it to release the lock.

Features:

The keyed padlocks come in key-retaining and re-keyable models.

5. Circular Padlocks

Circular PadlocksAlso known as disc padlock, you can detach these locks from the doors.

Design:

A circular padlock is a variation of the padlock that offers more protection. Unlike the latter, it does not have a U-shaped shackle. Instead, it features a curved bar. Moreover, they are thicker and also more tough to break into than a normal padlock. It has a keyway present right in the center of the lock.

Locking Mechanism:

The curved or circular shackle comes enclosed in the body. It extends from one side of the lock, travels through the door handle, and locks on the other side to form a disc. It locks firmly and prevents the door from opening.

Features:

The circular padlocks are the most secured systems that resist bolt cutter attacks. You cannot hammer, cut or bolt crop the shackle, thereby guaranteeing protection against vandalism and theft.

Installation:

The circular padlocks do not require any installation, as they are portable devices.

Cost:

The circular padlocks are very affordable.

Applications:

You can use the circular padlocks for various applications like doors, gates, chains, fences, etc.

6. Mortise Locks

Mortise LocksMortise locks are yet another commonly used door lock for exterior doors. They are very powerful and hence are mostly used for commercial purposes.

Design:

The mortise locks feature an internal system comprising a cylindrical body. Unlike the other locks, they do not come attached to the door surface. Instead, they come embedded in the door itself with the lock screwed inside it. You can identify the mortise lock from the edge of the door.

Locking Mechanism:

The four crucial components of the mortise lock that are essential for the locking mechanism are the lock body, lock trim, strike plate, and the keyed cylinder.

Features:

The mortise locks come in both light and heavy-duty models. They are available in different types of locks like the 3 lever mortice locks and the 5 lever mortice locks. The number of levers depicts the points that the door locks into the frame.

Installation:

The mortise locks are a little difficult to install.

Cost:

The mortise locks are a little expensive.

Applications:

They help in providing dependable security. You can use the mortise locks for both residential and commercial purposes.

7. Rim Locks

Rim LocksRim locks are another type of door locks that look similar to mortice locks.

Design:

Unlike the mortise locks, they are surface-mounted and use different door hardware. These rim locks come screwed to the surface of the door. They feature a single lever and a spring-loaded sliding latch bolt. The sliding latches can be either handles or knobs.

Locking Mechanism:

The sliding latch is operated by pressure. When you release the pressure on the sliding latch, it extends out of the back of the lock and runs to the other side of the door. When you apply the pressure on the sliding latch, it retracts.

Installation:

The rims locks are easy to install.

Cost:

The rim locks are a little expensive.

Applications:

The rim locks are exclusively for interior doors. You can even use them for decorative purposes and additional locks.

8. Lever Handle Locks

Lever Handle LocksThe lever handle locks are similar to the regular lever door handles.

Design:

The lever handle locks have additional features like the keyhole. The lever handsets can favour deadbolts and thumb turns on the other side of the door.

Locking Mechanism:

You can lock or unlock the door using deadbolts or thumb turns. These would be easier to grasp and operate. However, some models require pressure to force open them. Many manufacturers are using a clutch mechanism to counter this.

Features:

The lever handle door locks offer handicap access and are available in either left or right-facing options.

Installation:

The lever handle locks are easy to install.

Cost:

The lever handle locks are affordable.

Applications:

These lever locks are exclusively for interior doors. They are ideal for both commercial and residential settings.

9. Barrel Bolt

Barrel BoltsBarrel bolts are simple locks that come fixed to the doors or gates as additional security. These, however, are not meant for primary security for the home.

Design:

The barrel bolt, also known as a sliding bolt, features a single bolt that comes attached to the door. The catch comes fitted to the door frame.

Locking Mechanism:

You will have to slide the bolt from the main assembly into the catch screwed to the door frame. It fits snugly inside locking the door. Most people have two barrel bolts fixed to their doors – one on the top and the other at the bottom for added security.

Features:

The barrel bolts are available in various sizes and styles. These locks make it difficult for the intruders to break into the house.

Installation:

The barrel bolts are easy to install and easy to use.

Cost:

The barrel bolts are inexpensive.

Applications:

These barrel bolts are exclusively for interior doors. They are ideal for bathroom doors in both public and residential restrooms.

10. Chain Lock

Chain LocksChain locks are those types of locks that look similar to barrel bolts.

Design:

Unlike the barrel bolts, these locks feature a chain instead of a sliding bolt. The chain comes attached to the door while the catch is fitted to the door frame.

Locking Mechanism:

The locking mechanism of chain locks is similar to the barrel bolts. You will have to slide the chain from the main assembly into the catch screwed to the door frame. However, you can still open the door even to a few inches after locking it with the chain lock. This design allows the individual to see who is on the other side of the door without completely unlocking it.

Features:

The chain locks are available in various sizes and styles.

Installation:

The chain locks are easy to install and easy to use.

Cost:

The chain locks are inexpensive.

Applications:

Like the barrel bolts, even the chain locks are exclusively for interior doors. They are ideal for hotel doors. Even some homeowners who use these locks are more cautious about answering from the front door. They ensure peace of mind to such people. However, you should never use them for primary security for the home.

11. Wall Mounted Locks

Wall Mounted LocksAs the name says, these locks come mounted to the wall.

Design:

The wall-mounted locks feature a keypad and shackle. You can store keys or access cards in this lockbox.

Locking Mechanism:

The keypad or dial allows you to set a combination. You need to turn or adjust the buttons on the dial in the correct combination to release the lock. It does not require any key to unlock.

Features:

You can mount the wall-mounted locks on a variety of wall surfaces. You can store keys or access cards in this lockbox. These locks come with alarm sensors to detect unauthorized access.

Installation:

The wall-mounted locks are easy to install. You can have them permanently installed.

Cost:

The wall-mounted locks are affordable.

Applications:

These wall-mounted locks are ideal for large businesses, buildings, etc.

12. Electronic Locks

Electronic LocksThe electronic locks are nothing but keyless locks mostly seen in hotel rooms and offices.

Design:

The electronic locks feature a digital screen and a card key. These are operated by magnets or motors that are controlled by electric current. While most of them are battery-operated, some come with a backup battery supply.

Locking Mechanism:

You will have to use a card key over the digital screen to get access to your home or office. The electronic control usually comes mounted by the lock itself. Most of the electronic lock models come with a combination key system. You can make use of the key in case you forgot the access code or the card key.

Features:

The benefits of these electronic locks are aplenty. You can install them at your offices to track the entry of the employees. You can even find out at what times people are accessing and make a detail of the same. This helps in maintaining security standards for the organization by allowing only authorized access and denying permission to unauthorized people. Furthermore, it helps in identifying any suspected entry.

Some electronic locks even come with a remote entry system that allows you to open lock, or unlock the doors using a smartphone or computer. These models are ideal for those who are far away from their homes and need to open the doors for their guests.

Installation:

The electronic locks are easy to install and simple to use.

Cost:

These electronic locks are a little expensive.

Application:

These electronic locks are ideal for homes, offices, hotel rooms, apartments, residential properties, etc.

13. Smart Locks

Smart LocksSmart locks are the advanced type of door locks that you can use with the help of your smartphone. They are keyless locks.

Design:

The smart locks feature a keypad or biometric to access the door.

Locking Mechanism:

Smart locks offer a sophisticated locking system when compared to traditional key locks. Unlike the latter, these are keyless locks that can become an integral part of your home security system.

You can use your smartphone as a key to this lock, allowing you to access it from anywhere. You will have to input a code to your phone or can set the lock through a thumbprint. You may even consider having both the option by setting up two-step verification. This allows double security to all your property.

Features:

These smart locks have many features and offer a wide range of benefits. You can make them an integral part of your security system with video and audio monitoring. They come with additional smart features that include remote locking and unlocking via an app on your smartphone. They allow ultimate control over your home. Some models even come with a keyhole that allows the household members to lock or unlock when they are home.

The smart locks are available in various styles and finishes that match your style. The different types of smart locks are:

  1. Bluetooth
  2. Wi-Fi
  3. Z-wave

Installation:

The smart locks are a little difficult to install, but simple to use.

Cost:

These smart locks are very expensive of all the door lock types.

Application:

These electronic locks are ideal for homes, apartments, residential properties, etc. Let us discuss about each type of smart door locks in detail below:

a) Bluetooth

As the name says, these smart door locks use Bluetooth connectivity.

Design:

You can directly connect the smart locks to your smartphones using Bluetooth. You do not require any hub to establish the connection between the duo.

Locking Mechanism:

You can use your smartphone as a key to this lock, allowing you to access it from within the range.

Features:

The Bluetooth smart door locks offer a host of features that include automatic sensing. This feature lets the security system detect whenever the Bluetooth device is at certain proximity. It further causes the door to unlock itself when you reach home.

The only downside of these locks is that you cannot control the system once your Bluetooth device goes out of range.

b) Wi-Fi

These types of smart locks require a Wi-Fi connection option to operate.

Design:

You can directly connect the smart locks to your smartphones using the Wi-Fi connection.

Locking Mechanism:

You can control the entire security system from a remote location using this option. You can even have video and audio monitoring to see who is at your front door. Using the audio option, you can even talk to the person if you wish. You can let your friends or guest into your home by allowing them access.

You can control who walks in and who should not from anywhere in the world using the Wi-Fi connection.

Features:

The Wi-Fi smart door locks offer a wide range of features that include connecting via video and audio. This feature allows you to control the lock even when you are away from home.

The only downside of these locks is that you cannot control the system if your internet connection is not stable. Whenever there is a network dropout, you will lose connection to all functions in the system. This could prove more hassle and frustrating, especially if you are in a remote location.

The other disadvantage is that these Wi-Fi-enabled smart door locks drain the batteries much faster than their Bluetooth counterparts. As a result, you will have to change the batteries very frequently, i.e., monthly once or so.

c) Z-Wave

Unlike the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks, these locks require a hub. These Z-wave locks are a cross between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks

Design:

The Z-Wave locks need a hub to establish the connection between the smart locks and the smartphones. However, you need to make sure your mobile device is connected to the internet.

Locking Mechanism:

You can use your smartphone as a key to this lock, allowing you to access it from within the range of the hub.

Features:

Just like the Bluetooth smart locks, even the Z-Wave locks offer a host of features that include automatic sensing. This feature lets the security system detect whenever the hub is at certain proximity. It further causes the door to unlock itself when you reach home. The only downside of these locks is that you cannot control the system once your hub stops working or goes out of range.

If your hub is not within the expected range, you can counter this by taking the help of signal range extenders. These assist in strengthening the signal, which further allows your hub to work properly.

Door Lock Types by Security & Use

Type Security Rating Mostly Used for
Padlock 🔒 Doors, Gates, Drawers, Fences, Chains, Sheds
Cam Lock 🔒 Cabinets, Lockers, Drawers, Mailboxes
Knob Lock 🔒 🔒 Interior Doors
Deadbolt 🔒 🔒 🔒 External Doors
Mortise Locks 🔒 🔒 🔒 Commercial and Residential Purpose, Apartment Doors, Entry Glass Doors

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is the most secured lock?

Ans: Deadbolts are considered to be the most secure locks as it is near-impossible to open them without the key.

2. Which is the best lock for the entry door?

Ans: Deadbolts, mortise locks, and smart locks are considered to be the best locks for entry doors.

3. Are smart locks safe?

Ans: Smart locks are safe. However, they are not completely foolproof, as smart locks are prone to hacking. Additionally, if someone can access your phone, he can bypass your smart lock system.

4. What brand door lock is the best?

Ans: Irrespective of the brand, the door lock that is sturdy and robust and meets your security needs is the best option for you.

5. How much does a door lock cost?

Ans: The cost of a door lock varies widely depending on the type, working mechanism, accessibility, and additional features. Your door locks are the only thing standing between the burglars and the safety of your family. Hence, the importance of choosing the ideal door lock should never be overstated. Purchasing the right type of door lock will offer you convenience, in addition to keeping your home safe and giving you peace of mind.

Conclusion:

I hope this article gave you all the information related to the types of door locks. You can use this guide as a reference to choose the right door lock that provides security and further matches your interiors. Let us know in the comments below which type of door lock you think is the best.

If you have any questions, do mention them, as well, in the comments section. We would answer all your queries at the earliest and clear your doubts concerning the same.

Please share your feedback with us by adding your inputs to this article. We welcome your suggestions and love to learn from you.

Stay healthy and stay safe!!!

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