Door Locks Buying Guide For Homeowners

Door Locks Buying Guide For Homeowners

Door locks are the primary line of defence when protecting your home. Select door locks that are suitable to your door type and durable enough to withstand forced entry. How to determine the correct lock for your door? In this door locks buying guide, we will discuss all the common types, its function or uses and its pros and cons.

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Common Types of Door Locks for Homes

1. Deadbolts

Deadbolt in a door - Door Locks Buying Guide

You can use deadbolts if you want maximum security and wide availability. Due to Its popularity and maximum security, commercial properties use deadbolts. Most external doors use deadbolts. Typically, doors are predrilled for deadbolts, therefore, installation is easy. There are 2 common types of deadbolt, Single Cylinder and Double Cylinder.

Single Cylinder Deadbolts

This is the most popular deadbolts. Single-cylinder operates with a key from the outside but do not require key for locking or unlocking from the inside. Instead, a thumb turn is used on the inside. Single-cylinder deadbolts are usually less expensive and easier to install than double cylinders. It is also more convenient, since there’s no need for key to operate the lock from the inside.

Double Cylinder Deadbolts

Double cylinder deadbolts require a key for locking and unlocking from both exterior and interior. There is no thumb-turn mechanism in the interior side of the lock. Because of this reason, most homeowners do not usually use double cylinder. If you are looking for a more secure door lock, double cylinder is a great option.

2. Knob locks

Door knobs are commonly used in interior doors. The lock cylinder mechanism of doorknobs is located on the knob itself which made it not suitable for exterior use. Unlike deadbolts, door knobs are less secure. It can buckle easily with force. Once the knob is opened, security is compromised.

These locks are more ideal for interior use like in bedrooms and bathroom doors. It can also be single cylinder, or double cylinder.

4. Lever Locks

Lever Lock and Handle - Door Locks Buying Guide

Lever handle locks are usually specified for commercial applications, specifically on interior doors. But due to its aesthetic and design choices, these are now used in modern homes. It is also easier to operate because of its lever handle making it is a good option for handicap accessibility. Like door knobs, lock mechanism is located in the cylindrical level itself.

5. Mortise Locks

Mortise lock and a lever handle - Door Locks Buying Guide

A mortise lock is a type of lock that requires a pocket—the mortise—to be cut or drilled into the door. Mortise locks have two different locking devices built into the lockset: the latch bolt and the deadbolt. This type of lock is common to commercial properties but is also gaining popularity in modern houses.

The lever handles or knobs on the sides of the door operate the latch bolt of the mortise lock.

6. Barrel Bolts

Barrel Bolt Example - Door Locks Buying Guide

Installed on the inside of the door, barrel bolt or siding bolts will keep you safe when you’re in your home. This lockset has two pieces: one that is attached on the door frame and a rod-shaped locking piece that goes to the socket on the door. You can use this type of lock as an additional security lock aside from a main lockset.

7. Chain Locks

Chain locks

Chain locks are a common type of lock which consists of a series of steel links or chain, and a metal casing that is attached on the door. Just like barrel bolts, you can use chain locks as additional security lock. Chain locks allow you to open the door slightly while still keeping the door closed.

8. Digital Locks

Digital or electronic locks are modern locking device which operates by means of electronics. Therefore making it keyless locks. They are sometimes stand-alone with an electronic control mounted directly to the lock itself, which allows access by a combination code or a key. New technology nowadays allow you to operate digital locks by means of biometrics, fingerprint or even iris scanning. Advantages of digital locks are the level of security because some digital locks can monitor who is accessing the door, and since it is keyless, you will not worry about losing and forgetting keys.

Disadvantages of digital locks include cost, they are the most expensive locks and power failure, which can be an issue over time. We recommend to purchase digital lock with back up keyed entry in case these issues happen.


We hope that this door locks buying guide helps you decide in your door lock hunting. Always purchase a good quality door lock. You cannot compromise cost with security.

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