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Types of Residential and Commercial Locks

With so many different types of residential and commercial locks to choose from, finding the right one might be a little overwhelming, even with the help of a locksmith from Locksmith Tyler in Tyler, TX. Sometimes it helps to see what your options are in ‘black and white’. This is why we are presenting the options that are available to you, in writing. We are sure that you are probably already aware of the most commonly used residential and commercial locks: Deadbolt, padlocks, levers and knob locks. There are others that you may not be as familiar with, which we have also highlighted in this article.

Rim/Mortise Locks

These types of locks are typically used for commercial doors and apartments. Rim and mortise locks, although similar, have different hardware. Rim cylinder locks are generally found on the inside of the door. They have a long metal part that extends from the back of the lock, which extends through the door into the lock mechanism on the other side. Mortise locks have mortise hardware that is mounted inside the door. They are held together by a setscrew and use a cam to engage the locking hardware. They are offered in various lengths and cams, based on the type of mortise hardware used.

Deadbolt Locks

There are actually three types of deadbolt locks that are used most often: single locks, double and thumb turn. It is the Single cylinder deadbolt that is mot commonly used for residential use. A key cylinder is used outside the door with a thumb turn on the inside, which enables you to open and close it. A double cylinder deadbolt lock has a key cylinder on the inside and outside of the door. The disadvantage of this type of deadbolt lock is that a key is always necessary to open it from the inside if locked. This means that if there is a fire, you would need the appropriate to key get out. If used for residential use, keeping a key on the inside of the door is recommended, so that exiting is possible during an emergency situation. The Thumb turn deadbolt is a combination of both the single and double. The Thumb turn inside the lock functions like a regular single cylinder deadbolt. The difference is that the thumb turn can be locked with a key. You are able to achieve maximum security with the use of a thumb turn deadbolt lock.

Wall Mounted Locks

These are the types of locks used for businesses. The ones used most often are the fireman box style and Knox-Box. They can be used to store building keys. However, they are also used as safes. This type of lock is usually installed during construction. However, it is still possible to install a wall mounted lock after the building has already been constructed. Some wall locks are mounted with alarm sensors, which detect unauthorized entry.

Knob Locks

This is the type of lock that you’ll generally find on the exterior of home doors but shouldn’t be used the as the primary source of your home security. The problem is that the lock cylinder is located within the knob and not inside the door. This makes it easy for a burglar to simply break the knob to access the locking/unlocking mechanism. It is generally more useful to have a knob lock along with a deadbolt lock.

Lever Handle Locks

These types of locks can usually be found on the interior doors of commercial businesses. They offer easy access. They have a large handle that you can simply push down to gain access. This type of lock is great when attempting make a business handicap accessible.


This is not a permanent lock. Padlocks are offered in different sizes and can be moved from one door to the next. There are two different types to choose from, combination and keyed. The combination padlock uses number dials, which enable you to open the lock once the correct code is entered. The keyed padlock comes in non-rekeyable and rekeyable. The non-keyable lock doesn’t enable you to change the lock. They can also be non-key-retaining and key-retaining. A key-retaining lock will not allow you to remove the key with the lock is open.

Jimmy Proof Deadbolts

The Jimmy proof deadbolt lock is usually located on apartment doors and double doors. There is generally a limited amount of modifications that need to be made to the door to install. The lock interlocks with the jamb bracket, which makes it difficult to pull apart or forced open from outside. This type of lock screws right into the inside of the door and does not have a drill pattern. The only thing that has to be done is drill a hole through the door to insert the rim cylinder.

Rim Latch Locks

With this type of lock, you’ll find a rim cylinder on one side with a surface mount latch on the opposite side. This type of lock is used on apartment complex doors. This is not the type of lock that would serve as a primary lock but would be used along with another type of more durable lock, when used externally.

Interchangeable Core Cylinders

These are usually found in larger businesses. They are well-known for their easy of use and re-keying. This can be accomplished without taking the lock completely apart. It only requires that the core be changed. There are two types of keys that will work with an interchangeable core cylinder and this is a standard key lock and a control key. This is what makes this type of lock so useful. You can change the lock without changing its hardware. This enables you to upgrade your lock in no time. It is not possible to install an interchangeable core cylinder in a standard deadbolt lock or locks that will not take an interchangeable core cylinder. Those that do not accept an interchangeable core cylinder will be indicated with the figure eight on the outside.