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Types of Residential Locks


residential locks There are tons of locks out there on the market. You need the right information to be able to make the best choice when you want to change locks for your home or office. In this article, we will discuss the different types of locks and the several security factors you need to consider before making a purchase. This will help you to make an informed decision when next you’re in the market shopping for security locks. The four types of locks commonly found on the market are padlocks, deadbolts, knob locks, and levers. We will discuss these four and few worth remark others.


pad lock Padlocks, arguably, are the most easily recognizable types of lock, given its free standing feature. They come in different sizes but has two main varieties namely; combination and keyed. The combination padlock versions come with one or more number dials that open the lock once the correct combination of number is entered. The downside is that they can easily be decoded or shimmed open. The keyed padlock versions, on the other hand, come in several options; the rekeyable and the non-rekeyable padlocks. The keys of non-rekeyable padlocks cannot be changed. Also, padlocks can be key-retaining or non-key-retaining, where in the former the padlock held to the key while it remains opened. There is shrouded shackle version of padlocks as well with raised shoulders that make it far harder for bolt cutters to cut the padlock.


deadbolt lock The Deadbolt locks are usually installed on external doors and they come with more options than padlocks. There are three primary varieties of deadbolts, namely; single, double, and lockable thumbturn. The single deadbolts use a key cylinder on the outside and a thumbturn (rosary) on the inside for opening and closing the lock. The downside is that it can be opened if intruders gain access to thumbturn through a nearby window or through the peephole using simple tools. The double cylinder deadbolt variety uses a key cylinder both on the inside and the outside of the door to solve the weakness issue with the single deadbolt. So, you will need a key to open the door from both the outside and the inside. The downside is that it can constitute a problem in a fire or any other emergency situation. It is advisable to leave a key on the inside when people in the house in case it’s a residential home. The third alternative is the hybrid version called lockable thumbturn. It has a thumbturn on the inside, which functions like a standard single cylinder deadbolt, but can also be locked or unlocked with a key. This version is suitable in an emergency situation since it can be left in an unlocked position while people are inside the house. All deadbolts are rekeyable.


knob lock Knob locks are not as efficient as the first two categories of locks mentioned above. They can easily be bypassed using hammer or any other tool. Hence, they are often installed on exterior doors in residential homes with deadbolts alongside as a measure to increase safety. Watch out for the one with a proper handedness and backset when buying knob locks.

Lever handle

lever handle lock Lever handle locks are used mainly for inner high trafic doors. They come with large push down style handles that can be opened easily compared to knob locks. They are most suitable for handicap accessibility, given the nature of their handles.

Other notable types of locks are: Cam Locks, Wall Mounted Locks, Interchangeable Core (IC) Cylinders, mortise Furniture Locks, Vending/T-Handle Locks, Rim Latch Locks, Key In Knob (KIK) Cylinders, and Jimmy Proof Deadbolts, among others. Due to lack of space, we will provide a brief description of how some of these locks work below:


cam lock Cam locks can be used for several purposes, but they are mostly used in filing cabinets, mailboxs, and lower security OEM applications. They come in different lengths and with several varieties of tailpieces or “cams.”

Wall mounted

wall mounted lock Just as the name suggested, wall mounted locks are usually mounted on the wall. Wall locks are mounted with alarm sensors that alert the building owner or manager in case of a visitor or an intruder on the property.


furniture lock Furniture locks are found useful in different situations, especially for cabinet, desk, and sliding door locks. Furniture locks come in two primary styles, namely; bolt style and push button style. The bolt style furniture locks are adorned with a piece of flat metal that extends out the side of the lock to secure the device, while the push button style locks come with a rod that comes out the back of the lock, which is used to secure things in place.


  1. Wikipedia - Transponder
  2. Wikipedia – Immobiliser.

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Types of Residential Locks - Okey DoKey Locksmith

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