You might know what a lock looks like, but don’t know the name for it. Maybe you’re considering a new lock & want to change up the type of lock you have. Below are all the most popular styles and types of locks.
Knob locks are the most common residential lock type. They are relatively low security, however do the job for the vast majority of applications.Â
These can be purchased cheaply from Bunnings, and as such I often find these installed incorrectly. They can be so loosely fitted I could open the door with a credit card if I wanted to, which normally is impossible with a two-part bolt that any lock with a key will have.Â
They’re also often installed upside down, with the widest part on top rather than on the bottom.Â
These are often used as an additional layer of security, in combination with a knob lock or a lever-style lock. It’s rare these are accidently locked, as they generally need to be locked from the outside.Â
In terms of additional security, they play two parts – one is that they provide another anchor point for the door into the door jamb, making the door harder to kick in or out.Â
The second is that it doubles the amount of effort involved in bypassing a door any other way.Â
A single cylinder deadbolt will have a key hole on one side and a thumb turn on the other, a double will have a key turn on both sides.
Lever handle locks are the second most common style of lock after knob style locks. These can be opened using an under-door tool or via traditional lockpicking, giving locksmiths like myself additional entry options. They are low cost & easier to operate for those who have mobility issues.
This is the ideal lock for your average customer.Â
Cam locks are commonly found on lockers, cabinets and toolboxes. These often have the code printed on the outside, making it a simple task to cut a new key if you have misplaced your old one.Â
These tend to have 3 or 4 pins versus the 5 or 6 in your average lock. The cost of this convenience is less security.
Commonly fitted on industrial or reinforced doors, mortice locks are a great option for your front door if security and durability are a priority.
What distinguishes a mortice lock from other locks is that it is mounted on the side of a door, rather than on either side. This is important for certain modern aesthetics, and generally leaves only a key hole visible on either side of the door.
They can be picked the same as any other lock.
Keypad locks are usually combination style, that is to say, there will be both a keypad entry and a backup key entry. As such these can be picked the same as any other, unless it is ONLY a combination entry. In those circumstances, the lock usually has to be replaced or extensive effort needs to be applied to open it. This is a good lock for AirBnB’s and other locks that frequently need to be opened by others.Â
Padlocks are a good way to secure various items, latches and gates. The majority of standard padlocks can be picked quite easily, and if not picked, then grinded off.Â
There are higher quality, pick resistant options, however their utility is limited by the fact that almost all of them can be removed with a grinder, which would be the first entry option employed by your average thief anyway.
This is a type of cylinder lock generally used in Europe, however it has popped up in many places in Australia for various reasons. This style of lock, due to the placement of the cam in the centre of the cylinder, is particularly prone to various attacks, which is why we are lucky that they are not popular in Australia.Â
Rim latch locks are most commonly found in older buildings, as most new installs prefer more modern styles of locks. There is nothing inherently wrong with this style, it is just less common due to how bulky it is.Â
With a rim latch lock, as the name suggests, the latch catches into a rim which prevents the opening of the door unless a knob is turned.
I hope this article provides a good overview of the types of locks that exist out there.Â