May 23, 2020
There are so many kinds of locks. There’s a reason for this; locks secure what is important to us and since there’s a plethora of valuable items that need protection, it makes sense that such a huge variety of locks would exist to do the job. At our 843 Locksmith shop we deal with locks that our customers want and need to secure their property. This involves locks for home use as well as locks for business and automotive needs. We use locks dozens of times a day whether we realize it or not. Every time we drive our cars or go on vacation, we use locks. Even when we stay home and relax, our trusty locks come into play. We know we need locks for privacy, security and safety but how do you select the right lock(s) for your particular needs? Whether you live here in Charleston, SC or elsewhere, just use these tips to pick your lock hardware and if you still have questions, call our location or that of your favorite, full service locksmith shop.
4 Main Types
There are 4 main types of locks being used today. These are lever locks, deadbolts, padlocks and knob locks. Of course there are variations of all these and some specialty locks in use, but these are by far the most commonly used ones.
You find these in use on home doors and most are very familiar with them. They can be used on exterior doors as well a inside on bedroom, bathroom and home office doors. You can also find them in commercial settings as they are inexpensive, easy to use and install. They are great for low security needs but we don’t recommend them for exterior doors as they are so easy to bypass. This is because knob locks contain the lock cylinder inside of them and not in the door. All a burglar has to do is knock the knob off using a hammer and the locking cylinder is now bypassed. You can add a deadbolt for a second line of lock defense, but by themselves knob locks are best used for interior doors.
We sing the praises of deadbolts a lot, and with good reason; they work! These are almost exclusively installed on exterior doors and can be used in residential and commercial settings. Deadbolt locks come in single bolt and double bolt varieties. You most often see the single cylinder deadbolts installed in this country as the double cylinder locks must be locked from the inside and outside and they can present a hazard during a fast evacuation like a fire or other disaster when leaving the premises quickly is vital. Deadbolts are installed so that when locked, the bolt itself goes into the door frame. This is operated by inserting a key into the key slot on one side or turning the knob on the other side to slide the bolt into place. Deadbolts are very affordable and offer additional security without a big expense on your part.
These are used quite extensively and they are unique in that they are the only lock type that is not attached to anything else. The fact that they are portable and so useful adds to their popularity. Padlocks are simple in design and easily recognized. Their two main types include keyed padlocks and combination padlocks. You can find these useful locks on storage rooms, school lockers, luggage, tool boxes, security gates, sheds, closets and lots more.
Lever handle locks are mainly used in a commercial setting and on inside doors. They differ from knob locks in that they have a long lever that can be pushed down to open the lock instead of a turning knob. They can be installed so that they open for left handed or right handed people.
These are easy to spot because of their “cam” or tail which rotates between 90 and 180 degrees to lock. You find cam locks on file cabinets, vending machines, laundromat washers and dryers, mailboxes and desks. They provide minimal security and are not hard to bypass by picking or smashing.
Also known as fingerprint locks, these use the person’s thumbprint to gain access. Already in use as a security feature in many smart phone models, this technology is rapidly gaining popularity in banks, jewelry stores, government facilities and private commercial, industrial and institutional locations. Expect to see much more of biometric locks in the near future. Also related are retina scans and other forms of high tech security and locking systems.
Mortise locks are used extensively but many people don’t know them by their actual name. Mortise means recessed and that’s because these locks are just that; recessed into the door and not installed onto the door. By doing this, the lock is stronger and more stable thereby providing better security. These are used on residential front doors on both homes and apartments. You insert the key from the outside, push down on the handle and the lock is opened. From the inside, just turn the handle to open.
This form of lock has no key; instead, other items are used like a code, number sequence or bar coded badge. Keyless entry has been around for years and extensively used in the automotive industry. You can access your car by entering the right numbers on a keypad or by using a keyless remote. You can even start your car remotely by using this technology. Keyless entry eliminates the need for so many keys and the locking mechanism can be changed to reflect new owners, new employees or change in security or employment status. If the wrong code is entered too many times, the system can lock the person out and even call the police!
Find Out More
This is just a small sampling of the many kinds of locks available on the market today. Find our more by calling your favorite local locksmith shop and discussing your security needs with them.