Different Types of Door Locks Available to Homeowners

Buying door locks can be stressful since there are many types to choose from. Door locks tend to cost a lot. Why waste your money on something you're not certain will work or keep you safe? Secure your investment with the best door lock for your needs, thanks to all our available help.

As a property owner, it's essential to protect your investment by ensuring that your home or business is as secure as possible. One way to do this is by installing a door lock on each entryway. But with so many different types of door locks available on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you.

This article will discuss different types of door locks and the nuts and bolts that secure them. It'll also provide tips on choosing the right lock for your needs. So whether you're a homeowner looking to upgrade your security system or a business owner in need of some new locks, read on for guidance and information on different door lock types available today.

How Do Locks Work?

The lock is a mechanical device that helps ensure the security of property or possessions. People have used locks for thousands of years. They have been indispensable for protecting homes, businesses, and other valuables. Today locks come in various types and sizes, each designed for a specific purpose.

They work by either blocking access to an area or making it difficult for someone to break in. There are three main parts to a lock: the body, bolt, and key. The lock's body is the metal housing that contains the lock's internal mechanisms. The bolt is the part of the lock that extends into or through an opening to block access. The key is used to operate the lock by engaging or disengaging the bolt.

History of Locks

The first locks were probably made of wood and were used to protect storage areas such as caves or warehouses. These early locks were straightforward and comprised a wooden beam slid across the door to block access.

The first metal locks appeared in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) more than 4,000 years ago. These locks were made of bronze and used a pin tumbler mechanism. This type of lock is still used today and is the basis for many modern locking devices.

The Romans were also known for their use of locks. They developed different types of locks, including the warded lock and the padlock. The old warded lock was a simple device that used a key with notches or wards corresponding to the levers inside the lock. The padlock was a more complex locking device that used pins and springs to secure the shackle.

Locks became more sophisticated during the Middle Ages, and lock makers specialized in their craft. Lock-making became an important trade, and locksmiths were in high demand. Many towns had a locksmith guild that kept the work in order and ensured that the locks they made were good.

Development of Modern Locks

The industrial revolution and the development of new materials and technologies led to many advancements in lock technology during the 18th and 19th centuries. There were many more complicated locking mechanisms because new techniques made it easier to cast and machine them.

In 1861, Linus Yale, Sr. invented the pin tumbler lock, the basis for most modern locks. His son, Linus Yale, Jr., improved on his father's design and developed the Yale lock, which is still in use today.

The 20th century saw the development of new technologies that significantly impacted the locksmith industry. The invention of the electronic lock in the 1970s made it possible to control locking devices using electrical signals remotely. This type of lock is often used in commercial and industrial applications.

Hardware Parts of a Door Lock

As we already know, door locks come in various shapes and sizes, but all locks have the same basic hardware components. These components make up the locking mechanism and include the following:

Cylinder (Lock Body)

The cylinder is the part of the door lock containing tumblers and a keyway. The tumblers are the cylindrical pins that prevent the lock from opening without the correct key. The keyway is the groove in the cylinder that allows the key to be inserted.

A cylinder is typically made of brass, although it can also be steel or other materials. The most common type of cylinder is the pin tumbler cylinder, which uses pins of different lengths to create a unique pattern that the key must match to open the lock.

Single Cylinder

A single-cylinder lock is a type of door lock that uses a key cylinder to open and close the bolt. The key cylinder is located on the outside of the door and is operated with a key. Thumbturn allows the user to open and close the bolt on the inside of the door without a key.

Single-cylinder locks are prevalent and are often used on residential doors. They are relatively easy to install and pretty affordable. However, they're not as secure as other door locks, such as deadbolts.

Double Cylinder

Double cylinder door locks use two cylindrical keys, one for each side of the door. This type of lock is often used in commercial and industrial settings where security is a priority. Double cylinder locks are typically more challenging to pick than single-cylinder locks. They offer an extra layer of security against bumping.

Since they need a key for both sides of the door, they may be hazardous in an emergency. For this reason, double cylinder locks are not recommended for use in homes.

Bolt or Latch

The bolt or latch is the part of a door lock that extends into the door frame and is used to secure the door in the closed position. It's unlocked by a key outside and closed by a knob, lever, or thumb turn inside. The bolt or latch comprises a body, faceplate, and striker plate.

The body is mortised into the door and contains the latching mechanism. The faceplate is flush with the door's surface and has a hole for the knob or lever. The striker plate is mounted on the door frame and has a hole that aligns with the hole in the faceplate when the door is closed. The latch or bolt connects with the striker plate to shut the door. This helps keep the door closed.

There are two types of bolts or latches: deadbolt and spring bolt:


The deadbolt of a door lock is one of the most critical locking mechanism parts. A metal bolt is inserted into the door frame to be locked with a key. Deadbolt provides the door's main security level, as it cannot be picked or forced open like a regular doorknob.

To ensure that your deadbolt is appropriately installed, it is essential to hire a professional locksmith. A locksmith has the skills and experience to ensure that the deadbolt is aligned correctly and installed in the door frame, giving you the best level of security.

Spring Bolt

The spring bolt uses a spring to lock the door in place. It is mounted on the doorframe and extends into a hole in the door. A bolt is pushed into the hole when the door is closed, engaging the locking mechanism. The spring bolt is kept in place by a tensioning device, such as a spring-loaded knob or lever that controls the bolt's ability to be retracted.

The tensioning device is released to unlock the door, removing the bolt from the hole. Spring bolts are commonly used on doors that need to be locked automatically, such as fire and vault doors.

Strike Plate

The strike plate is a metal plate mounted on the door frame and is used to strengthen the area around the deadbolt. The strike plate consists of a faceplate and a box strike mounted behind the faceplate.

The strike plate is usually screwed into the door frame with long screws. The purpose of the strike plate is to provide extra strength to the door so that it will not be easily shattered. In addition, the strike plate helps protect the deadbolt from being damaged by repeated use.


The box is the component of a door lock that houses the lock's inner workings, such as the tumblers, bolt, and strike plate. When you insert your key into the lock, the tumblers line up with the grooves on your key, allowing the bolt to slide open. The strike plate secures the door in place when it is closed.

Boxes come in various sizes and shapes to fit different doors and applications. For example, a deadbolt box is larger than a standard box and has a longer bolt to provide additional security. Boxes can be made from various materials, such as brass, steel, or zinc.

Different Types of Door Locks

Now, you have some knowledge about door locks, their varieties, and what they're made of. Here, we will introduce different door locks to you according to their functions and features.

Doorknob Locks

Doorknob locks are among the most popular types of locks on the market. They're relatively easy to install and can be found at most hardware stores. Doorknob locks are typically mounted on the inside of a door above the doorknob.

The lock consists of a metal plate with a hole in the center. A deadbolt is inserted into the hole and held in place by a spring-loaded catch. The catch is released to lock the door, and the deadbolt is pushed into the door frame.

Doorknob locks are inexpensive and offer a moderate level of security. However, they can be defeated by simply breaking the doorknob. Thus, many people use a doorknob lock with another lock like a deadbolt.

Handleset Locks

Handlesets door locks include a handle and a deadbolt in a single unit. This design provides an extra level of security, as the handle cannot be opened without first disengaging the deadbolt. Handlesets are available in a wide range of styles and finishes, making it easy to find one that complements the look of your door.

In addition, many handlesets come with keyless entry features, such as keypads or fingerprint scanners, which can add an extra layer of comfort and security. Whether you're looking for a traditional or modern style, a handleset is excellent for any door.

Latch Locks

A latch lock uses a latch to secure the door in place. It is a metal plate attached to the doorframe and has a handle that moves up and down. To lock the door, you simply push the handle down so that the latch extends into the strike plate on the door. This prevents the door from being opened from the outside.

Latch locks are commonly used on interior doors, like bedrooms and bathrooms, as they're easy to use and provide a high level of security. However, they can be difficult to open from the outside if the handles are not in the correct position. For this reason, many people choose to use a deadbolt lock in addition to a latch lock for added security.

Hand Levers

Hand lever locks are among the most common locks used today for residential and commercial properties. They are simple to install and use while providing a high level of security.

Hand lever locks typically consist of a housing, a latch, and a deadbolt. The housing contains the lever used to open the lock, the springs, and other components that keep the locking mechanism in place.

These locks are durable and difficult to break, making them excellent for high-security areas such as businesses and government buildings. When choosing a hand lever lock, it is crucial to consider the size of the housing, the type of latch, and the deadbolt.


Deadbolt locks are a locking mechanism that uses a bolt to secure a door. The bolt is typically engaged by turning a knob or key, extending into a hole in the doorframe. This hole is usually lined with metal, which provides additional security against force.

Deadbolts are often used with other locks, such as doorknobs or chain locks. When used alone, deadbolts are typically located at the top of the door, where they're out of the easy reach of potential intruders. Deadbolts are an effective way to secure a door, but they can be difficult to operate if the hands are full or if the person is in a rush.

Vending or T handle Locks

Vending or T handle locks are often used on vending machines, coin-operated laundry machines, and other types of equipment that require frequent access. The lock's unique design allows it to be easily operated with one hand, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas.

The lock's mechanism consists of a spring-loaded bolt released by the turn of the handle to open the door or panel. The handle can then be returned to its original position, locking the door or panel in place.

In addition to their convenience, T handle locks are also very durable and provide a high level of security. When properly installed, they're difficult to pick up or force open.

Barrel Bolt

Barrel bolt locks are among the most commonly used locking mechanisms due to their simple design and easy installation. A barrel bolt lock must be mounted horizontally on the door or gate to operate. The bolt is then inserted into the lock's cylinder (or body).

To secure the door or gate, the bolt is simply pushed closed. This type of lock can be easily opened from the inside in an emergency. Additionally, barrel bolt locks are very affordable and can be found at most hardware stores.

Multipoint Lock

A multipoint locking system uses multiple locks to secure a door in several places. This provides a higher level of security than a traditional door lock, which only ensures the door at one point. In addition to the main door lock, a multipoint lock typically has 2 or 3 additional locks along the length of the door.

These additional locks provide extra security by making it more difficult for someone to force the door open. In addition, most multipoint locking systems also have a deadbolt that cannot be opened from the outside without a key. A multipoint locking system is an excellent way to keep burglars away and keep your home safe.

Chain Lock

Chain locks serve a critical purpose in the security of bicycles and motorbikes. They are also used in various other ways, such as to secure doors, gates, and ladders. Chain locks work by threading a chain through a loop or ring on the object to be secured.

The chain is then locked in place with a padlock. The length of the chain is typically long enough to wrap around both the object to be secured and a stationary object, such as a bicycle rack or fence post. This makes it difficult for a would-be thief to simply cut through the chain or remove the padlock without being noticed.

In addition, chain locks are often made of tempered steel, which makes them resistant to bolt cutters and other tools that thieves typically use to break locks.

Cam Locks

Cam locks are one of the most commonly used locking mechanisms, found on everything from filing cabinets to office doors. Though they may seem simple, cam locks are pretty sophisticated devices. Each lock consists of a cylindrical body with a keyhole and a rotating cam. The cam is mounted on a square spindle, which fits into a square hole in the lock body.

The correct key must be inserted into the keyhole and turned to open the lock, causing the cam to rotate. This disengages the teeth on the cam from the corresponding holes in the lock body, allowing the lock to be opened. Cam locks are very effective and safe, making them suitable for many things.

Simple Padlocks

Padlocks are one of the most common types of locks, and they come in a wide range of sizes and designs. Simple padlocks typically have a shackle that runs through a body while a locking mechanism secures the shackle in place. The lock's body often has a hole that allows the shackle to be passed through and a series of pins or tumblers that must be aligned for the lock to open.

To open a simple padlock, the user must insert a key into the keyway and turn it, moving the pins or tumblers into the correct position and releasing the shackle. Padlocks are often used to secure gates, doors, luggage, and other items.

Circular Padlocks or Disc Locks

Circular padlocks, or disc locks, are a type of lock that uses a rotating disc to secure the shackle. The disc is usually attached to the lock's body with a ball bearing, which allows it to rotate freely. To open the lock, the user must align the discs so that a pin can enter all of the holes in the discs.

This can be done by either rotating the discs around the central pin or sliding the discs along the length of the shackle. Disc locks are often used on gates and doors as they're tough to pick. However, they can be opened relatively easily using a decoder tool. Decoders work by reading the depth of each cut on the discs and then translating that information into the correct combination.

Child-Proof Locks

Child-proof locks are designed to keep children from opening doors or drawers that may contain hazardous materials. There are several different types of child-proof locks, but they all work by making it difficult for small hands to operate the latch.

For example, some locks require two steps to open, such as turning a knob and pushing a button. Others have a special key or code that must be entered to release the latch. Regardless of the type of lock, they all serve the same essential purpose: to keep children safe.

In addition to preventing children from accessing hazardous materials, child-proof locks can also keep them out of off-limits rooms, such as the laundry room or the bathroom. Parents can rest assured that their children will stay safe and out of trouble by using child-proof locks.

Cabinet or Furniture Locks

Cabinet and furniture locks are essential child-safety devices. They help prevent children from accessing potentially dangerous items, such as cleaning supplies or sharp objects. Cabinet and furniture locks come in various styles, but they all work by preventing the door or drawer from being opened.

Some locks require a key, while others can be opened with a simple push-button. There are also electronic locks that can be activated with remote control. The most important thing to remember when using the cabinet and furniture locks is to ensure that they're properly installed and regularly checked. By taking these precautions, you can be assured that your children will be safe from harm.

Door Top Locks

Door top locks are a child-proof lock installed at the top of a door. The mechanism is simple: a latch is mounted on the door frame, and a catch is mounted on the door. The catch must be aligned with the latch and lifted to open the door.

This can be done with one hand, making it easy for adults to open the door while still keeping children from being able to open it. Door top locks are an effective way to child-proof a home, and they're relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

Oven Door Locks

Many newer model ovens come equipped with a door lock designed to prevent children from opening the door and accessing the hot interior. The lock's mechanism usually consists of a latch activated by a switch, knob, or key. When the latch is engaged, it prevents the door from being opened.

In some cases, the door may also be locked from the outside by turning a key in the lock. The function of these locks is to provide an extra level of safety for families with young children. By preventing curious kids from opening the oven door, they can avoid severe burns or even start a fire. While oven door locks aren't foolproof, they can be an excellent child-safety measure for careful parents.

Refrigerator Door Locks

The refrigerator door lock is a device used to prevent children from opening a refrigerator door. The main function of a refrigerator door lock is to keep children from being able to access the contents of the refrigerator. There are two main types of refrigerator door locks: those that use a key and those that do not.

Keyed locks are more secure, requiring a specific key to be opened. On the other hand, non-keyed locks are less safe, but they're often easier to install and use. Both types of locks are designed to be child-proof. They are an effective way to keep children from being able to access the contents of a refrigerator.

Electronic Locks

Most electronic locks require a user to input a code, fingerprint, or some other type of identification to gain entry. Once the correct credentials have been provided, an electronic lock will typically disengage, opening the door.

For example, an alarm sounds if the incorrect code is entered too many times, or a deadbolt automatically engages when the door is closed. Depending on the security needs of a particular application, electronic locks can be outfitted with various features to provide an extra level of protection.

Bluetooth Locks

Bluetooth locks are access control systems that use Bluetooth wireless technology to grant or deny access to premises. The lock must be within range of a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone. Once the device is connected to the lock, the door can be unlocked without a key or a code.

Bluetooth locks are more secure, as they cannot be picked or copied like a conventional key. They are also more convenient, as there is no need to carry around a key or remember a code. In addition, Bluetooth locks offer flexibility, as multiple devices can be paired with the same lock, and access can be revoked at any time.

Smart Locks and Systems

Smart locks are quickly becoming a popular option for both businesses and homeowners. Mechanically, they operate similarly to a traditional lock but with the addition of electronic components and software. This allows them to be controlled remotely, usually via a smartphone app. Smart locks offer several advantages over traditional ones, including increased security, convenience, and flexibility.

For businesses, smart locks can control access to certain areas or rooms. For example, they can be programmed to only allow employees with the proper clearance to enter certain areas. This can help to improve security and prevent unauthorized access. Homeowners can also use smart locks to control who has access to their homes. For example, they can give temporary access to houseguests or delivery workers without having to provide them with a key.

Wi-Fi locks

Wi-Fi locks are becoming increasingly popular for securing homes and businesses as they don't require any physical keys. They can be controlled remotely via an app on your smartphone or tablet. So, how do they work? Wi-Fi locks typically use one of two different mechanisms: either a pin code or a fingerprint.

Simply enter your pin code or place your finger on the fingerprint reader to unlock the door. The lock will then communicate with the app to confirm that you are authorized to access the premises. Once verified, the app will signal the lock, telling it to open.

Wi-Fi locks are more convenient as you don't need to carry around a key to remember a code. They are also more secure, as they cannot be picked up or copied like a traditional key. In addition, Wi-Fi locks give you many options. You can connect multiple devices to the same lock, and you can turn off access to the lock at any time.

Z-Wave locks

Z-Wave locks are becoming increasingly popular as security for home and business owners. They use a mesh network to communicate with other devices of the same network. This mesh network comprises a series of small nodes, each of which can relay information to the next node in the chain. This means that even if one node is out of range, the data can still be passed on until it reaches its destination.

Z-Wave locks are much more secure as they cannot be picked or copied like a traditional key. They offer flexibility as multiple devices can be paired with the same lock, and access can be revoked at any time. Finally, Z-Wave locks are much more convenient as there is no need to carry around a key or remember a code.

Door Lock Buying Guide - What to Consider?

Now that we have looked at the different types of door locks available to homeowners, it's time to consider what you should consider when purchasing a new lock. Below, we have outlined some of the critical factors you should consider.

The Type of Door You Have

The type of door you have will play a significant role in determining the type of lock you need. For example, if you have a wooden door, you will need a different type of lock than if you have a metal door.

The Level of Security You Need

Do you live in a high-crime area? Are you worried about someone breaking into your home? If so, you will need a more secure lock. A lock's security is determined by several factors, including the material used and the locking mechanism.

The Cost

Of course, the cost will always be a factor when purchasing a new door lock. Smart locks tend to be more expensive than traditional locks. Still, they offer many advantages that may make them worth the extra cost.

The Warranty

It's always important to check the warranty before purchasing any product. This is especially true for door locks, as they're subject to wear and tear. Make sure to check the length of the warranty and what it covers before making your final decision.

The Installation Process

Some door locks are straightforward to install, while others can be tricky. Suppose you're not confident in your DIY skills. In that case, it's worth paying extra for a lock with installation instructions or, even better, professional installation.

Where to Buy Door Locks - Local Hardware Store or Online?

When choosing a place to buy door locks, there are pros and cons to both local hardware stores and online retailers. Hardware stores offer the benefit of seeing and touching the products in person before purchasing. This can help ensure that you find a lock that is the right size and style for your door.

In addition, hardware store employees can usually advise which types of locks are best for different needs. However, hardware stores typically have a more limited selection than online retailers, and they may not carry the specific brand or model you are looking for.

On the other hand, online retailers often offer a wider range of products to choose from and may be able to provide better prices. However, it cannot be easy to assess the quality of a door lock without seeing it in person, and you may not be able to get advice from a knowledgeable salesperson. Ultimately, the best place to buy door locks depends on your needs and preferences.

Closing Notes

Homeowners must understand the different types of door locks available and what each type can offer. By understanding the mechanism and functionality of each type of lock, they can make an informed decision about which type of door lock is best for their home. If you need a new door lock or are simply looking for an upgrade, we hope that this blog post has been helpful.

Posted by Harry Winston

Harry is an expert when it comes to decorating the interior of your dream home - as well as the tabletop with all sorts of delicious dishes. Whether you need culinary tips or interior design guides, you can rely on his expertise. When not writing about food or furnishing, Harry looking into these topics to stay on the top of current trends and new innovations.