Table of contents:

Door Locks: Types And Their Characteristics, How To Choose And Install Correctly, As Well As A Rating For Reliability
Door Locks: Types And Their Characteristics, How To Choose And Install Correctly, As Well As A Rating For Reliability

Door lock: types, installation and DIY repair

Door lock
Door lock

The door lock, regardless of the purpose of the door, must be characterized by increased reliability. This property is key when choosing. It depends on a combination of various factors, for example, the type of mechanism or the method of installation.


  • 1 Classification criteria for locking mechanisms

    • 1.1 By type of mechanism

      1.1.1 Video: Smart Lock

    • 1.2 By installation method
    • 1.3 By resistance class
    • 1.4 By appointment
  • 2 Technology of mounting door locks of different types

    • 2.1 Step-by-step instructions for inserting a lock

      2.1.1 Video: features of installing a mortise lock

    • 2.2 Installation of a surface-mounted lock
  • 3 Elimination of basic problems

    3.1 Video: repair of the castle larva

  • 4 Operating tips
  • 5 Reviews

Criteria for the classification of locking mechanisms

Door locks have several classifications according to different parameters.

By type of mechanism

The main difference between all door locks lies in the type of mechanism that is used to lock. According to this characteristic, the classification is as follows:

  1. Crossbar structures. They differ in the way the key moves to open - it does not turn, but moves along special oblique slots. Such a lock is quite easy to install due to the fact that it is overhead, and it is easy to maintain, since such mechanisms practically do not fail. To open from inside the room, you do not need a key, since there is a latch on this side, which must be moved. But to lock the device, a rather large key is used, which is not always convenient to carry with you.

    Crossbar lock
    Crossbar lock

    Crossbar lock is considered one of the most reliable

  2. Electronic locks. This type of constipation has appeared quite recently. Due to its high cost, it is not very popular. To open, you must enter a certain set of letters or numbers on a special panel. There is also an alternative - a magnetic key. This is the advantage - for hacking, you need to use special equipment, which not every attacker has. But such a lock also has drawbacks - electricity is needed to use it, which means that it is almost impossible to ensure its operation if the electricity in the house is turned off. In this case, you will have to install an uninterruptible power supply system or purchase a model with a built-in battery.

    Electronic lock
    Electronic lock

    Not every electronic lock will work without electricity

  3. Locks with a code. Most often they are installed on the entrance doors to the porches. For their functioning, the key is not needed, which means that you will definitely not lose it and you can always open the door (it closes automatically when you slam it). But if you press the same buttons all the time, they will eventually be erased and it will not be difficult for an experienced burglar to open such a door, because it is not the sequence of numbers that is important, but their simultaneous pressing.

    Code lock
    Code lock

    The lock code needs to be changed periodically

  4. Lever locks. The operation of the device is ensured by the presence of special plates moving in a certain sequence and a massive core. Such a lock is easy to use, rarely breaks and has anti-vandal properties. It is impossible to break it, but picking up the master key is easy. But the greater the number of levers provided in the design (this can be determined by the number of slots on the key itself), the more difficult it is to do this.

    Suvald castle
    Suvald castle

    It is not so easy to pick up a master key for a lever lock

  5. Cylinder constipation. The popularity of such products has been at its peak for many years due to their low cost and simple design. Unlike lever devices, cylinder models do not provide an opportunity to pick up a master key, but nevertheless they are not reliable, since they can be opened in other ways. Although there are models for which the key has double-sided side perforation. They are considered the most reliable cylinder locks, but their reliability is still questionable.

    Cylinder lock
    Cylinder lock

    The cylinder lock is the most popular, but it cannot be called reliable.

  6. Pin locks. In fact, it is a cylinder lock with coded (located in the core) and supporting spring-loaded (in the body) pins. They pass through the lock cylinder and can be of different heights. If you insert your own key into such a lock, then the pins will not interfere with its rotation, but line up in a straight line, contributing to the rotation of the core, if someone else's will block it.

    Pin lock
    Pin lock

    The pins can block the rotation of the key

  7. Smart locks or smartlocks. You can open such a lock using a smartphone, and it is not necessary to be in close proximity to it. The smartlock can serve as an overlay for a mechanical lock. The owner can issue a virtual key, but it is also easy to revoke it. The smartlock provides great opportunities for use, for example, automatic opening when the owner approaches, or rather, his smartphone, notification in a special application about any opening of the lock or a similar attempt. If desired, the owner can store data about who opened the lock and when.


    Smartlock can be controlled remotely

  8. Chamber locks. Such devices are highly specialized, usually used for doors at sensitive facilities. This is a metal case with a lever mechanism inside. Also, such a lock provides a key lock function.

    Chamber castle
    Chamber castle

    The camera lock has a key lock function

  9. Safe locks. They are installed on doors of different types and materials, for example, heavy armored or wooden interior doors. Such locks differ from ordinary locks by the presence of a secret. The lock has a lever design, but when opening it, the key must first be put in the desired position, otherwise the lock will be locked. This is its main advantage.

    Safe lock
    Safe lock

    Safe lock can be installed on metal and wood doors

Video: smart lock

By installation method

There are various designs of door locks, which also differ in the installation method. By this parameter, they are:

  1. Hinged. Such a lock is very easy to break. Therefore, it is most often used for outbuildings and other utility rooms, and it is used as protection not so much from intruders as from animals and natural phenomena. It is located outside, and the design is so simple that the lock can be easily cut off with a grinder.

    The padlock
    The padlock

    The padlock can be opened with a single movement of the hand

  2. Overhead. They are appreciated for the fact that they do not require a significant cut-in hole to install them. It is most often used for arranging wooden doors precisely because of this feature. On one side, the lock is opened with a key, and on the other - with a latch with a twist mechanism. But there is always an opportunity to increase the reliability of such a lock. This can be done by hanging a special chain, which is removed from the inside of the room.

    Surface lock
    Surface lock

    The surface lock is more often installed on wooden doors

  3. Mortise. The main advantage of mortise locks is hidden installation. At the same time, they do not spoil the appearance of the door and are able to reliably protect the home from unauthorized burglary.

    Mortise door lock
    Mortise door lock

    The mortise lock is installed inside the door leaf

The most reliable lock is considered a mortise locking.

By resistance class

At the moment, there are four categories of security or burglary resistance classes. This parameter characterizes the lock in terms of reliability and the presence of protection against unauthorized opening. The classification is based on the time that an attacker needs to spend on opening the lock:

  1. Locks of the 1st and 2nd category are suitable for interior doors and office partitions, since they can be broken open almost instantly.
  2. To break open locks of the 3rd category, you need to spend at least 10 minutes. This is quite enough for the employees of the security agency to be able to get to the apartment, provided that an alarm has been installed.
  3. Category 4 locks can be broken, but this will take at least 30 minutes. It is these products that are best used for the front door.

There is a rating of the reliability of different types of locks, which is based on the minimum time required to break it:

  1. An English (pin) lock can be broken in 3 minutes.

    English lock key
    English lock key

    The English lock is loved by intruders, because they can open it very quickly.

  2. A cylinder can provide protection from inexperienced thieves, but a professional will be able to crack it in 3 minutes.
  3. It is better to install the cruciform on the doors of premises without material values, since it opens with an ordinary Phillips screwdriver.

    Cross key lock
    Cross key lock

    An ordinary screwdriver will help to open the lock with a Phillips key.

  4. The safe lock is one of the most reliable, because even with a special tool it can be opened in 40 minutes, no less.
  5. The most reliable device is considered to be a laser sharpened device - in fact, it is a cylinder lock, but the notch on the key is located not on the side, but on top of the plate. No cases of opening such locks with master keys have yet been identified. Additional installation of special cylinder protection is recommended. The time of silent opening of the lock without a protective cover is 2–5 minutes, with a cover - 30–40 minutes with significant noise.

    Laser cut lock
    Laser cut lock

    A flat key lock is the most secure

In addition, special armor plates will help to increase the reliability of the lock.

By appointment

Depending on the purpose, the lock can be:

  1. Locking. Used for entrance metal doors. It is characterized by the fact that the structure has only the main locking bolts, and there is no additional latching tongue. Such a door can either be locked or left open for a while.

    Locking padlock
    Locking padlock

    If the locking lock is not closed, then it will not work to keep the door closed.

  2. Locking and fixing. Such devices have an additional latch in their design. Thanks to its presence, the door can be slammed and held closed without using the lock. The tongue is driven by a handle. That is, to open the door, the handle must be lowered or turned - this will lead to the fact that the latch will hide in the recess of the door leaf.

    Locking and locking lock
    Locking and locking lock

    A locking and locking lock usually comes with a handle

Technology of mounting door locks of different types

You can install the lock independently of the type yourself. For this you will need:

  • electric drill;
  • drills of different diameters;
  • hammer or mallet;
  • roulette;
  • chisel and chisel;
  • construction pencil;
  • square.
Lock Installation Tools
Lock Installation Tools

Tool set may vary depending on door material

The technology of mounting the lock depends on its type.

Step-by-step instructions for inserting a lock

Installation of the mortise lock occurs in the following order (shown on the example of a wooden door):

  1. Drilling a hole for the lock mechanism. At this stage, marking is carried out, and then drilling with a drill as many holes as possible. This will make it easy to align the inside of the nest with a chisel and chisel. It is imperative that you constantly try on them so that the notch fits perfectly under the lock. This guarantees a distortion-free installation.

    Mortise lock slot
    Mortise lock slot

    The slot for the lock must be completely flat

  2. Selection of additional holes. Notches for the shank connecting different sides of the handle and other overlays may be required.
  3. Installation of the lock. The lock is inserted into the hole after all fittings. The locking device is fixed with self-tapping screws or screws.

    Installing a mortise lock
    Installing a mortise lock

    After installing the lock, you need to check its performance

  4. Installation of the counterpart of the locking mechanism. Installation is carried out on the door frame. For this part of the structure, a notch is also needed, the selection of which is made according to the marking. The marking can be done as follows: grease the crossbars and the latch with chalk, and then close the door and the locking mechanism itself. After the door opens, the box will have all the necessary marks. Remember that the size of the latch and ledger slots must be several millimeters larger on each side. This will allow free movement of the moving elements of the castle. It is necessary to insert striking plates into the grooves made, fixing them with self-tapping screws or screws, and then check the operation of the lock. It should function easily, jerks and distortions should not be felt during use.

Video: features of installing a mortise lock

Installation of an overhead lock

Installation of a patch lock is even easier and faster:

  1. First, the markup is carried out. To install a patch lock, you may only need a hole for the core of the device and a latch.
  2. According to the marks left, holes are drilled in the canvas, which will facilitate the process of sampling the grooves.
  3. A cylinder (or another lock mechanism responsible for its operation) is inserted into the prepared recess, and then a pad with a handle, which is fixed with screws or self-tapping screws.
  4. And at the end, a striker plate is installed on the door frame.

    Installing a patch lock
    Installing a patch lock

    Surface lock is located on top of the door leaf

Elimination of basic problems

During the operation of any type of lock, various kinds of problems can arise, the cause of which is incorrect installation or use. Breakage may occur:

  • secret mechanism;
  • lock body;
  • mating part.

The failure of the secret mechanism of the lock is evidenced by the impossibility:

  • produce key turns;
  • insert the key all the way.

If the cylinder lock is broken, then it is necessary to replace its cylinder. In all other cases, you will have to completely change the locking structure. For repair you will need:

  • screwdriver;
  • tweezers;
  • oil for lubrication.

The process of replacing the cylinder is as follows. Need to:

  1. Unscrew the screws on the end piece and remove it.

    Core repair
    Core repair

    Replace the lock core with a similar part

  2. Unscrew the central screw and remove the secret mechanism.
  3. Insert a similar part into the hole (it is recommended to try in beforehand) and fasten the screw.
  4. Fasten the end plate. You need to finish the work by checking the operation of the lock. The latch should move easily and not cling to other parts.

Breakage can also be hidden in the lock case. To fix the device you need:

  1. Unscrew all fasteners and remove the lock. If it is a mortise, then the screws must be unscrewed gradually: first fixing the door handle, then fastening the cylinder. After that, the cylinder must be tightened and, turning the key, remove it. As a result, the lock body can be removed.

    The worker removes the cover
    The worker removes the cover

    You can remove the lock cover if you unscrew all the screws

  2. Repair of the housing consists of cleaning it, lubricating it with oil and replacing damaged parts. The reason for the malfunction can be completely different details. Most often it is a spring or a bolt. After visual diagnostics, the broken parts must be replaced and the mechanism itself lubricated.

    Cleaning the case
    Cleaning the case

    All damaged body parts must be replaced

  3. The enclosure can now be reassembled by performing the steps in reverse order and then replaced.

    Lubricating body parts
    Lubricating body parts

    It is better to use machine oil for lubrication.

Other factors can also lead to malfunction. For example, if the front door is installed on the street, then the locking mechanism is constantly in conditions of temperature difference and high humidity. This can lead to rust. This problem can be prevented by periodically lubricating all parts with machine oil.

If you have checked the lock mechanism and determined that it is working properly, but the door still does not close, then the problem may be related to the skewed walls. The issue can be solved by boring the counter part of the lock.

Boring the slot for the lock
Boring the slot for the lock

Boring with a chisel or chisel will help to enlarge the hole.

Depending on the door material, you can use a file or a chisel with a chisel.

Video: repair of the castle larva

Operating tips

Lock manufacturers claim that no problems will arise in the operation of the lock within 5 years, but this period is relevant only if the lock is installed and operated correctly. You can extend the service life if you follow the following rules:

  • it is better to install the lock after installing the door itself;
  • to carry out installation according to the technology, to prevent blows to the lock, in particular, it concerns the body and bolts. Immediately after installation or repair, it is imperative to check the operability of the device, first of all, the reliability of the fastening, the free movement of moving parts, for example, a key;
  • do not slam the door in principle, especially in cases where the bolts are extended - this is the most common reason for the failure of the lock;
  • it is better to use latches with a latch, since the latter allows you to fix the canvas in the closed, as well as the most correct position;
  • you need to insert the key all the way;
  • to move the door, it is preferable to use the handles intended for this, in no case should you pull on the key.


A properly selected front door lock can protect your property from encroachment. Therefore, when choosing, you need to take into account the different characteristics of the device. In this case, it is imperative to purchase a product with a certificate, which indicates the material safety class and other important information.

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