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Mortise Lock For Wooden Doors: Design Features, How To Choose And Install Correctly
Mortise Lock For Wooden Doors: Design Features, How To Choose And Install Correctly

Video: Mortise Lock For Wooden Doors: Design Features, How To Choose And Install Correctly

Video: How to install a mortise lock 2022, December

Mortise lock for wooden door

Installation of a mortise lock in a wooden door
Installation of a mortise lock in a wooden door

Installing a solid and reliable front door will not be able to provide full protection of the home from unauthorized entry without a reliable lock in it. Mortise locks are often used for wooden doors. If you correctly install such a locking device, then it will work reliably throughout the entire period of service. Even a beginner can cope with this task; this will require basic carpentry skills and simple tools.


  • 1 Features of mortise locks for wooden doors

    • 1.1 Safety class
    • 1.2 How to choose a mortise lock
  • 2 Classification of mortise locks

    • 2.1 By latch type
    • 2.2 By the method of fixing the door leaf
    • 2.3 By type of locking mechanisms
    • 2.4 By manufacturer
    • 2.5 Video: varieties of mortise locks without handles
  • 3 Self-assembly of the mortise lock

    3.1 Video: self-installation of a mortise lock

  • 4 Recommendations for use

    4.1 Video: lubricating the lock

  • 5 Reviews

Features of mortise locks for wooden doors

Mortise locks are designed to be installed in almost all types of doors. Unlike other types, mortise structures are placed in a niche made at the end of the canvas. There is another installation option - when the lock is on the back of the door, but a special pad is used to fix it.

There are concerns that the mortise design significantly reduces the strength of the door. This is not entirely correct, since locks with a thickness of no more than 30% are installed in the entrance doors, and in interior structures - 70% of the door thickness. In this case, a sufficiently solid canvas remains, and if its strength decreases, then it is quite insignificant. However, the opinions of experts also differ. Some indicate that a mortise lock, correctly installed in a wooden door, strengthens the canvas, since it acts as a reinforcement.Others insist that such a solution leads to a decrease in the strength of the canvas. If you have decided to mount a mortise lock in a wooden door, then it is better that it be made of durable wood species, for example, oak, birch, walnut, apple and others, or at least solid wood.

Mortise lock in a wooden door
Mortise lock in a wooden door

The mortise lock is best installed on doors made of solid hardwood

It should be borne in mind that in 90% of cases of entry into a house, intruders open the lock, and do not damage the door leaf. If you have good wooden doors, then you shouldn't change them to metal ones. It is enough to buy a high-quality and reliable lock and thus secure your home from unauthorized entry.

Mortise locks installed on wooden doors have the following features:

  • fixed back mass (distance from the edge of the end plate to the center of the key or cylinder hole). Usually it is 50 and 55 mm;


    Backmass - the distance from the edge of the end plate to the center of the key or cylinder hole - in locks for wooden doors is 50 or 55 mm

  • a flat spool (the front plate of the lock, which serves to attach it to the canvas and the direction of movement of the bolt), the width of which is 18, 20 or 24 mm;

    Mortise spool
    Mortise spool

    The front plate of the lock, which is used to attach it to the door, is called a spool and has a fixed width: 18, 20 or 24 mm

  • wide range of colors, which allows you to choose the product in the color of other accessories.

Advantages of mortise locks:

  • high reliability and long service life;
  • protection from the possibility of damage by external negative factors;
  • aesthetic appearance, since, unlike overhead or padlocks, the entire structure is hidden inside the canvas.


  • more complex installation compared to overhead or overhead structures;
  • for repairs, you will have to completely remove the lock from the door leaf.

Safety class

In order to visually determine the reliability of a mortise lock, you first need to pay attention to the number of latches. The more crossbars a lock has, the more reliably it will protect your home. It is recommended that the front door locking device has at least five crossbars. In addition, the type of secret (larva) and the material from which the lock is made affects the degree of security.

Lock with five pins
Lock with five pins

The lock on the front door must have at least five crossbars

You should also pay attention to the handle. It must be reliable and made of burglar-resistant material.

Each door lock has a certain security class:

  1. Class I. These mechanisms have a simple device; it takes a few minutes to open them. It is better not to install such locking devices at the entrance to a house or apartment.
  2. Class II. It takes about 5 minutes to open the mechanism. Locks of this class are usually used as auxiliary or installed on interior doors.
  3. III class. In order for a thief to be able to cope with such a lock, it will take 10–20 minutes. It is the best choice for wooden entrance doors, as it provides the necessary security for the home.
  4. IV class. Although the reliability of such locking mechanisms is the highest, they are also expensive. It will take professional thieves 30–35 minutes to pick the lock. For wooden doors, devices of this safety class are usually not used, since it is easier to break the door leaf than such a lock.

In addition, one must look at the degree of secrecy. This parameter shows the probability that different locks have the same keys. The degree of secrecy of the locking mechanisms can be:

  • low - the number of key variants is no more than 5 thousand;
  • medium - up to 50 thousand combinations, but usually there is no protection against hacking;
  • high - a complex mechanism, the presence of more than 100 thousand combinations. Such locks are highly resistant to mechanical and chemical stress.

When choosing, the degree of reliability is also taken into account - the number of operating cycles for which the lock is designed. Depending on the purchased model, this figure can range from 25 to 250 thousand.

How to choose a mortise lock

To choose a mortise lock for a wooden door yourself, you must follow these rules:

  • measure the thickness of the door leaf and determine the required thickness of the lock, depending on the type of door in which it will be installed. Recall that in the front door, the lock should occupy no more than 30% of the size of the canvas, in the interior - no more than 70%;
  • it is better to buy a lock in a specialized store, give preference to well-known manufacturers and require a warranty card. The longer the warranty period for the locking device, the higher its quality;
  • it is imperative to take into account the design of the mortise lock, since it can be right- and left-handed, as well as universal (it is possible to rearrange the latch). To determine which door you have, you need to face it. If you use your left hand to open the canvas and the handle is on the right, then this is a right-hand door. When the handle is located on the left and the right hand is used to open the door - the door is left-sided;

    Right and left door
    Right and left door

    The lock must be purchased in accordance with the type of door, but you can choose a universal model with the ability to rearrange the latch

  • in order to secure the home as much as possible, it is recommended to install two different types of locks on the front door;

    Two locks on the door
    Two locks on the door

    For maximum security, it is recommended to install two different locks on the front door

  • if the lock has a handle, it should fit harmoniously into the interior of the room.

Classification of mortise locks

Various types of mortise locks can be inserted into a wooden canvas. To buy a mechanism that meets your requirements, you first need to familiarize yourself with the existing options.

By latch type

Mortise locks can have the following types of latches:

  • falevaya. It is activated by pressing the handle;

    Latch lock
    Latch lock

    The latch is operated by the lock handle

  • magnetic. It is used for interior doors and keeps them closed due to the attraction of magnetized plates;

    Magnetic latch lock
    Magnetic latch lock

    Magnetic strike is used in interior doors

  • with a deadbolt - standard type of lock for swing doors;
  • with a hook-shaped transom - these locks are installed on sliding doors.

    Hook-bolt lock
    Hook-bolt lock

    The hook bolt is used in sliding door locks

By the method of fixing the door leaf

Depending on the method of keeping the door closed, mortise locks are:

  • with latch and bolt;

    Latch and bolt lock
    Latch and bolt lock

    There is a latch and a deadbolt in the design of the lock

  • only with a latch. Such models are used on interior doors;

    Lock with latch only
    Lock with latch only

    Latch locks can only be installed on interior doors

  • with bolt only. A door with such a lock can only be locked with a key.

    Crossbar lock
    Crossbar lock

    The lock with the bolt will hold the door closed only after turning the key

By the type of locking mechanisms

There are the following types of mortise locks:

  1. Suvaldnye. The secret consists of a set of plates (levers). To open such a lock, it is necessary to combine the levers by turning the key. The more plates, the higher the reliability of the lock and the more difficult it is to open it. To ensure a high degree of security, the lock must have at least 6 levers. The disadvantage of this design is that the key is large, especially for models with a high safety class. You can throw a foreign object or overhear a conversation through a large keyhole into your apartment. It is recommended to use armor plates to protect the lever lock from burglary.

    Suvald castle
    Suvald castle

    To ensure a high degree of security, the lever lock must have a minimum of 6 plates

  2. Cylinder. Such locks appeared much later than the lever locks. Here the secret is made in the form of a cylinder, which has a set of pins (small cylinders). When the key is placed in the keyhole due to the teeth on it, the pins are aligned in one line and it becomes possible to open the door. The more pins there are, the higher the secrecy of the lock. To provide the cylinder with additional burglary protection, it is recommended to use armor plates. The advantage of such a lock is that if the secret fails, it is enough to replace only the cylinder. In addition, the key is compact. The disadvantage of cylinder models is their low resistance to mechanical damage. If the cylinder is not protected by armor plates, simply drill or knock it out.

    Cylinder lock
    Cylinder lock

    To protect the cylinder lock from burglary, it is recommended to use armored plates

  3. Electronic. A code or electronic key is used to open or close such a lock. When the code read or entered on the keyboard matches the combination stored in the memory, voltage is applied to the control mechanism and the door opens. The advantage of combination locks is that you don't need a key, just remember the numeric code. The electronic key is also more convenient to use, since it is enough to simply attach it to the reader. The disadvantage of electronic locks is the need to connect to the electrical network. To ensure the reliable and uninterrupted operation of such locking devices, it will be necessary to install autonomous power sources that will supply energy in the absence of it in the centralized network.

    Code lock
    Code lock

    A special numeric code is used to open the combination lock

By manufacturer

Among the wide variety of manufacturers of mortise locks, it is worth highlighting the most popular and affordable:

  1. Elbor. This is a Russian company that produces mortise locks for doors from any materials. Locking devices of the "Granite" series are characterized by a high safety class, therefore they are usually installed on entrance doors. The "Sapphire" series is represented by lever models with twelve plates. This ensures a high level of security. If you need to install a lock in interior doors, then choose models from the "Flint" series. Devices from the "Basalt" series are universal.
  2. "Apex". It is also a Russian trade mark that produces mortise locks for all types of doors.
  3. The Guardian. The company produces different types of locks. Lever designs have 5–8 plates. For additional protection of the castle, you can pick up armor plates.
  4. Mottura. An Italian manufacturer that has been operating in this market for over a quarter of a century. He mainly produces locks for metal doors, but there are models for wooden doors.
  5. Mul-t-lock. An Israeli trademark that is well known all over the world. Its products are of high quality and safety.
  6. KESO. A Swiss company engaged in the production of not only mortise locks, but also lock cylinders.
  7. Кale Kilit. Turkish trade mark, it is distinguished by the optimal ratio "price - quality". The OBS series has the ability to automatically block the lock when you try to open the doors with another key.

Video: varieties of handleless mortise locks

Self-assembly of the mortise lock

To insert a mortise lock into a wooden canvas with your own hands, you need to have certain skills and a set of simple tools:

  • a hammer;
  • chisel;
  • drill with a set of drills;
  • screwdriver or screwdriver;
  • pencil;
  • measuring instruments.

    Door Lock Installation Tools
    Door Lock Installation Tools

    To install a mortise lock in a wooden door, you will need simple and affordable tools.

The recommended installation height of the lock is 90–110 cm. If the installation is carried out into an interior frame wooden door, then it is fixed at a height of 100 cm from the floor, since there is usually a bar in this place, into which the body is recessed. If the door is made of solid wood, then the installation height of the locking device is chosen at the discretion of the owner.

Installation sequence:

  1. Markup. Do it with a pencil on the end of the canvas. The contour of the rear plane of the lock is drawn, setting it exactly in the center of the end of the door.


    A mortise lock is usually installed at a height of 90-110 cm

  2. Drill preparation. You will need a drill, the diameter of which is slightly less than the thickness of the lock. It is necessary to mark the installation depth on it so as not to drill too large holes. The mark can be made with electrical tape.
  3. Drilling holes. Starting from the upper part of the lock contour, using an electric drill, holes are created, which must be placed as close as possible to each other. During operation, the drill must be installed perpendicular to the end of the blade, otherwise the lock may be mounted crooked.

    Drilling holes
    Drilling holes

    A drill is used whose diameter is slightly smaller than the thickness of the lock

  4. Alignment of the seat to the size of the lock. This is done with a hammer and chisel. They check how the lock enters, and if necessary, trim the walls and bottom of the groove.

    Aligning the footprint
    Aligning the footprint

    The seat is leveled with a hammer and chisel

  5. Preparing the place for the mounting strip. It is outlined and part of the canvas is removed so that the bar is flush with its surface.

    Preparing the location for the mounting strip
    Preparing the location for the mounting strip

    The fastening strip of the lock must be flush with the end of the door

  6. Prepare the holes for the cylinder and doorknob. On both sides of the canvas, they mark the places where the center of the lock cylinder is located and the handle pin will pass. For this, it is better to use a square. Then, with the help of drills of appropriate diameters, holes are made in the marked places. You must first drill half the depth on one side of the blade, and then on the other. So there will be no chips on the wooden surface.

    Preparing the site for the lock cylinder and handle
    Preparing the site for the lock cylinder and handle

    Make holes of the appropriate diameter for mounting the lock cylinder and door handle

  7. Installation of the lock. The mechanism is placed in a groove made in the end of the canvas and fastened with self-tapping screws.
  8. Installation of a larva and a handle. First, insert the larva and fix it with the screw that comes with the lock. Then insert the pin, put the handles on both sides of it and fasten them to the canvas with self-tapping screws.

    Installing the lock
    Installing the lock

    The lock is fixed in the door leaf and the handle and cylinder are installed

  9. Installation of a striker. The end of the bolt and the latch are lubricated with toothpaste, after which they cover the canvas and close the lock. There will be places on the box in which holes must be made for the entry of the locking elements. Their depth should be slightly greater than the length of the bolt and latch. Depressions are made with a hammer and chisel, after which the striker is attached.

    Installing a striker
    Installing a striker

    The striker is installed on the door frame opposite the lock

  10. Checking the functionality of the lock. They check how the door closes, how softly and easily the lock mechanism works. If everything is ok, the work is finished.

Video: self-installation of a mortise lock

Recommendations for use

If you want to ensure the most reliable and uninterrupted operation of a mortise lock, you need to know the features of its operation and the rules for caring for the mechanism. There is nothing complicated here, it is enough to adhere to the following recommendations:

  1. Regular lubrication. This should be done periodically, it all depends on the intensity of using the lock. Experts recommend lubricating the mechanism 1-2 times a year. For cylinder locks, oil or aerosol mixtures can be used. It is enough to lubricate the lock bolt and close / open it several times. Graphite powder is blown into the lever locks, which can be purchased ready-made or made from the core of a simple pencil. Some models of mortise locks have lubrication holes.

    Lock grease
    Lock grease

    Cylinder locks are lubricated with oil or special aerosols

  2. Key cleaning. The main source that introduces dirt into the lock mechanism is the key. To prevent this, it must be cleaned regularly.
  3. Periodic cleaning of the lock. If the mechanism begins to turn hard, then most likely it is heavily soiled. For cleaning, use a special tool with which the keyhole is treated. After 5-7 minutes, the dirt in the larva will dissolve and can be removed by inserting and removing the key several times. You cannot turn it at the same time. Taking out the key each time, they wipe off the dirt from it until the lock is completely cleaned.
  4. If you do not have the skills to assemble / disassemble a mortise lock, then if problems arise, it is better to entrust this process to an experienced master.

If you operate the mortise lock, adhering to the described recommendations, then it will fulfill its purpose not only during the warranty period, but also much longer.

Video: lock lubrication


If you have basic carpentry skills and study in detail the technology for installing a mortise lock, you can independently install it in a wooden door. This is an easy task, to complete it you need to have the tools that every home craftsman has, and very little time.

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