Door Locks Buyer Guide

Door locks buyer guide

The importance of a secure and reliable door lock is your first and most important line of defence from the outside world. However it isn’t always easy to choose between the various different types of locks and latches available.

In this introductory guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most common window and door lock variations and their defining characteristics.

Mortice and rim door locks

The two most common exterior door security are mortice locks and rim locks, differentiated by the way they are attached to the door and the frame.  The basics of both lock types are as follows:

Mortice locks

A mortice lock that fit inside the edge of the door itself. This is the most common type of door lock for homes across the UK. The majority of the lock is positioned inside the door and the latch is secured within the door frame. This makes the door extremely difficult to force open.

Quality mortice locks are so secure that they have become a requirement among many insurance companies to qualify for home insurance.

Rim locks

A rim lock’s mechanism and locking components are all positioned on the interior surface of the door. Rim locks are suitable for inward-opening doors. They can be easy to fit and simply require screwing or bolting directly on to the door. Though rim locks can be extremely safe, they are not are typically considered quite as secure as mortice locks.

Cylinder and lever door locks

There isn’t any discernible difference in the level of security that can be provided by a cylinder lock or a lever lock. The differences between the two types of locks are simply as follows:

Cylinder locks

Cylinder locks are a modern type of lock. They feature a series of varying pins within the mechanism, which prevent the lock from opening with the incorrect key. Cylinder locks are inexpensive and easy to install. They also provide the advantage of an interchangeable mechanism without the need to replace the rest of the hardware.

Lever locks

This classical type of lock typically features a significantly larger key. They operate with a series of three or five levers that must be activated by the corresponding key. Though it’s possible for cylinder locks and lever locks to provide equal levels of security, some home insurance policies are only issued to properties featuring a five-lever lock.

What are deadlocks?

Deadlocks are sometimes referred to as deadbolts. They are often used in conjunction with a primary cylinder or mortice lock, although sometimes used independently. A deadlock usually features a thumb-activated locking mechanism on the inside and a keyhole on the outside of the door.

The lock activates when the door is closed. This prevents it being opened without the corresponding key from the outside, while remaining operational from the inside.

What are the best kind of door locks?

Some modern doors are compatible with multi-position locking systems that provide unbeatable security.  It is generally agreed that the best kind of door lock is this combination of two or more different types of lock.

A quality mortice lock is considered the highest standard for home security. Smart locks and digital locks are becoming more popular. This technology is still at a remedial development stage and therefore isn’t yet considered a primary home security measure.

Door lock quality

Most door locks comprise a variety of different materials, though quality standards vary significantly. In addition, the competency with which the lock is fitted can have a significant impact on its security and reliability.

Under no circumstances is it advisable to compromise on quality when selecting and fitting door locks, irrespective of expense. The potential consequences of failing to secure your exterior doors far exceed the costs of investing in premium-quality locks, installed to a professional standard.