Door locks serve a critical role in residential homes and commercial buildings as they protect people, buildings and valuable assets from burglars and break-ins. According to the United States Department of Justice, there are 2.5 million burglaries annually in the United States – with 66% of these being home burglaries. That’s why it’s important to know the different types of door locks and their applications, so you can better protect your customers. Read our article to learn about the common types of locks, how they work, their features and more.
1. Magnetic locks
Magnetic locks, also known as maglocks, are very powerful locks that use magnetic attraction produced from electric currents to securely shut a door. Maglocks consist of two components: an electromagnet installed on the door frame and a metal plate mounted on the door. Typically, maglocks are used to secure commercial facilities such as hospitals, banks, offices, schools and other environments where people frequently enter and exit an area. Some common features of maglocks include adjustable mounting parts, weather and water resistant, vandal resistant and more.
Benefits of maglocks include that they are highly durable and reliable, easy to install and provide a strong level of protection. On the other hand, maglocks require constant power to operate, need to be regularly maintained and can be considered an expensive investment compared to other locks.
2. Smart locks
Smart locks are an excellent choice for residential customers who want to have a convenient and easy way to enter their home. Smart locks rely on Wi-Fi or Z-Wave to operate, which allows users to have remote access and control over their front door by using a smartphone. With smart locks, it won’t be necessary for users to unlock their door with a physical key. Instead, smart locks can be unlocked by entering a code on a touchscreen keypad or pushbutton keypad. The most common types of smart locks you will find are smart deadbolts and smart lever locks.
Advantages of smart door locks include that they are convenient and easy to use, customizable to your customers’ needs and offer a good level of security. Some disadvantages include that they need to have their batteries replaced frequently, some features won’t be accessible without Wi-Fi and people without smartphones won’t be able to maximize the benefits smart locks offer.
3. Deadbolt locks
Deadbolt locks are one of the best locks you can install to add an extra layer of protection in addition to a regular doorknob lock. Deadbolts are comprised of three main components: a cylinder, bolt and strike plate. They can be installed for both residential and commercial applications to prevent break-ins. Plus, deadbolts cannot be forcibly unlocked like your traditional door lock since there is no spring mechanism involved. Deadbolts are offered as single-cylinder deadbolts, a lock operated with a thumb-turn from inside and a key from outside, or double cylinder deadbolts, a lock operated with a key from both inside and outside.
Benefits of deadbolt locks include that they are reasonably priced, customizable to your customers’ needs and provide extra security. However, deadbolts offer limited access control if the user loses or misplaces the key. For some, deadbolts can be an expensive investment if your customers are worried about frequently losing their key and calling a locksmith to open their door.
4. Electronic locks
Electronic locks offer many convenient features and easy methods to lock and unlock a door. They are commonly installed for both residential homes and commercial buildings. Electronic locks operate through the power of electric currents, making it unnecessary for users to have a physical key at hand. Depending on the type of electronic lock, you can lock and unlock the door through a key fob, proximity card or typing in a code. The common types of electronic locks include electromechnical locks, smart electronic locks and keyless locks.
Advantages of electronic locks include that they are easy and convenient to use, can be used for a wide range of applications and offer a high-level of security. Disadvantages include that they require constant power to operate, face a risk of the lock getting hacked and they can be more expensive compared to a traditional door lock.
5. Mortise locks
Mortise locks are very durable and strong locks commonly used on external doors that are frequently opened and closed. They are ideal for commercial doors and residential homes that require very reliable security. Mortise locks are known to be a superior choice compared to cylindrical locks, since they offer a higher level of security and last longer. Mortise locks are made up of an internal lock system with five main parts: the mortise, lock body, lock trim, strike plate and keyed cylinder (or lever mechanism).
Benefits of mortise locks include that they offer a high-level of security, they are offered in different sizes depending on the application and they are very durable. However, mortise locks are not compatible with doors with a width less than 1.38in, they do not offer an automatic locking option and they are difficult to install, rekey and repair.
6. Cylindrical locks
Cylindrical locks, also known as bored locks, are the most common type of locks used for residential homes and commercial properties. They are designed to be installed through the door with a knob or lever. Although cylindrical locks have a quick and easy installation process, they are not suitable for long-term use.
Advantages of installing cylindrical locks include that they are easy to rekey, they can be used for a wide range of applications and they can be set up as a single- or double-cylinder lock. On the other hand, they are known to be weak in durability compared to other locks and more prone to lock picking and lock bumping.
7. Electric strikes
Electric strikes are devices that can serve as a door lock or be used together with one (deadbolts, cylindrical locks and mortise locks) to offer even stronger security. They operate on low-voltage power and consist of several parts: the strike body, latch bolt, locking mechanism, solenoid and faceplate. When electric strikes are triggered, an electric signal will release the latch and unlock the door. To unlock an electric strike, a user can input a code on a keypad, use a smart card and even a key. Electric strikes can be installed in a range of commercial buildings and facilities, including warehouses, banks, convention centers, schools, hotels and more.
Benefits of electric strikes include that they are easy to install, affordable and offer reliable security and convenient features similar to electronic locks. However, electric strikes are not compatible with doors with rim exit devices, automatic flush bolts, some mortise locks and magnetic locks.
Door locks are undoubtedly an essential component in having a strong access control system. They offer a safer and more secure environment, whether it’s for residential or commercial applications. Before you determine the right door lock for your customers, be sure to consider the features we listed above and compare them to your customers' needs.