What Are the Different Types of Locks for the Front Door?

Front Door LocksWith all the different types of locks for the front door, it can be tempting just to go with whatever looks best. It is worth the time to learn about the different types of locking mechanisms though. It may seem like one is as good as another, but this is not the case. Burglars know this and so do the insurance companies. The type of lock installed on the entry doors can affect the cost of homeowners insurance. Here are four different categories to consider.

Single Entry Lockset

A single entry lockset is the basic doorknob lock common on most homes. They range from medium to low security depending on the quality and type of bolt used. These locks use a keyed cylinder to operate the lock with either a turn knob or button to lock from the inside and a key required to operate the lock externally. An important feature to look for is a deadlocking bolt, which will make it harder to “jimmy” the door open for casual thieves. A dead-locking entry set should be the bare minimum when considering home security.

Deadbolt Locks

These are referred to as dead due to the lack of springs to operate the bolt. Deadbolts are often used in conjunction with single entry locks as a means of increased security. They usually operate by means of lever or key on the inside and a key from the outside. When selecting a deadbolt lock, pay close attention to the casing around the exterior face as this tends to be a weak point in poorly manufactured sets and the first thing a professional thief is going to attack.

Mortise Locksets

A mortise lock is a large rectangular box containing the locking mechanism and multiple latches and bolts. It is mortified (seated) inside the door itself and bolts securely into the frame. Mortise locks are common in industrial and commercial applications due to the higher level of protection offered. They are also found in many apartment buildings and offer excellent protection for the home. They do require more work to install and maintain than cylinder locks, according to Locknet.

Multipoint Lock Systems

For the highest level of security, multipoint lock systems are the way to go. The cost of these systems is significantly higher, but so is the protection offered. This kind of system usually requires a specially built door and frame. Inside the door a number of mechanically linked bolts are set to lock securely into the frame, often in every direction. Imagine a bank vault door, but built for residential use. The multi-directional nature of the bolts makes the door resistant to most common methods criminals use to defeat door locking mechanisms.

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All of these types of locks are available in various keyed and keyless designs. With the rise of digital technology, options like remote entry and biometric scanners have begun to replace mechanical combination locks. It is especially true for applications where a key is unwanted or inconvenient. The good news is all of these different types of locks for the front door are available in any aesthetic style imaginable.