February 19, 2020 | VL | Blog

The NGCL Guide to Locks


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Close up of keypad lock

When it comes to locks there are so many different styles and variations on the market that it can be hard to identify which is which and what the best one is for you. Whether you are looking for a front door, back door or even bathroom lock it’s always best practise to make sure you are getting a lock that is effective and right for you. This guide sets out which lock type is which, along with features and their individual advantages.

What is a Mortice Lock?

Mortice locks are commonly used on wooden doors, with a key being required to operate. This type of lock sits flush within the door and the construction allows for it to be easily taken apart and service should there be a need. This lock can often be found at waist height on a door.


Advantages of Mortice Locks

Security: As they are fitted to the door themselves they are harder to be forced open than their cylindrical counter parts. This means that with more force needed to open the lock you could be less of a target to any potential ill-wishers.

Adaptability: Another benefit of mortice locks is that they come in a variety of different sizes, meaning that they can easily be fitted to larger or smaller doors.


What is a Night Latch?

Referred to more commonly as ‘Yale Locks’, this type of lock is often a secondary lock to accompany a mortice lock on a wooden door. The mechanism inside the lock allows for automatic locking when the door is closed. A feature of this lock is that it is operated externally by a key and internally by a snib or lever that can also be used to deadlock the mechanism in either the locked or unlock position. This lock can often be found at shoulder height on a door.


Types of Nightlatches

Standard Night Latch

Standard Night Latches are operated externally by a key and internally by a small handle which is pulled down to operate the door.

Advantages of Nightlatches

Security: The lever mechanism automatically locks the door when it is shut, ensure that unless the latch is holding the lock in the open position the door is always locked when closed.

Deadlocking: When the door is closed the mechanism is automatically locked, however using the latch you can ‘deadlock’ the mechanism in the locked position immobilising the keyway of the external side of the door. This is an extra security measure that is useful when wanting another layer of security.


What is a Rim Cylinder?

A rim cylinder is a pin and tumbler type lock that utilises a variety of pins in different lengths to secure the door in partnership with a key that can match the pin set up and thus opening the lock. The rim cylinder is commonly used as the external operating system of the Night Latch.

Advantages of a Rim Cylinder

Easy replacement: If you should need to change your lock a rim cylinder can easily be replaced without the need to also replace the Night Latch. This will save you time, money and hassle if you need to replace your lock.

Variety:  Rim cylinders come in different finishes to ensure that you can match it with other door hardware for a more cohesive appearance.


What is a Multi-Point Locking System?

This system is most commonly used on uPVC doors where the mechanism deploys multiple locking mechanisms into the frame of the door working in conjunction with a cylinder lock. These mechanisms come with 3, 4 or 5 locking points that attach to the main body of the door immobilising the door. The levers are engaged when the handle is lifted with the door being fully secured when the cylinder is locked with a key.

Advantages of a Multi-Point Locking System

Easy replacement: Should you need to change the locking cylinder, this can be easily done with the need to replace the whole mechanism. However, replacing the whole mechanism can be a little more complex and pricey.

Security:  The added locking points connecting the door to the main frame means that it is harder to force the door open.

Ease: Only one cylinder is needed to secure and lock the entire mechanism and this can be key aligned to other cylinder locks meaning fewer keys are needed for one property.


What is a Euro Cylinder?

This cylinder utilises the pin and tumbler system to operate the door. These locks are often found in conjunction with a Multi-Point Locking system as the cylinder to operate the mechanism.

Advantages of a Euro Cylinder

Security: British Standard and Star Rated Cylinder models have a high level of security and are endurance tested.

Ease: The cylinder is separate to the locking mechanism so that you can change the without having to change the whole locking system.

Adaptability: Euro cylinders can be adapted to be key aligned so that multiple cylinders will work with the same key, euro cylinder keys can also be restricted meaning that only the owner can have a key cut and they can also be adapted to have a thumb turn internally instead of a key.


What is a Key in Knob Cylinder?

This type of cylinder is where the cylinder lock is situated within the handle rather than under or above it. These are mostly found on internal doors.

Advantages of a Key in Knob Cylinder

Price: A Key in Knob cylinder is the cheapest option for internal door security.


What is a Cam Lock?

A cam lock is a type of fastener that is used to secure furniture without affecting the outward appearance. They are often found on cabinets, draws and pieces of furniture, and can be used in both a commercial and domestic settings.

Advantages of a Cam Locks

Security: Allows valuables be secured whether at home or in the office.

Ease: Easy access to valuables whilst still having a level of security.


What is a Padlock?

Padlocks are smaller, portable locks that secure into place through an opening to prevent use. Padlocks most commonly utilise a cylinder or pin combination to open the lock but there are some high end models that use your fingerprint!

Advantages of Padlocks

Size: The variety of different sizes you can get for a padlock means that they can be used for multiple situations and are also portable, making security an object easier than ever.

Key-aligned: You can key-align a padlock, which means that you can use the same key for multiple padlocks.

Variety: You can get different variations of padlocks with different opening methods (Pin, key, combination, fingerprint etc) to suit your needs and security level required.


What is a Mechanical Digital Lock?

This type of lock is one that does not have a cylinder or keyway but instead is operated through a combination code that is entered into a numbered keypad to unlock.

Advantages of Mechanical Digital Locks

Easy Access: No keys are required for access, and codes can easily be changed at any time.

Security: They are self-locking and you don’t need to worry about losing keys.

Commercially Friendly: They are ideal for internal doors in offices that may need to be locked at all times or allow for selective entry to employees.