What Kind Of Lock Are You Looking For?

Use this guide to help you identify what type of lock you need

Tubular Locks

Tubular locksets, both lever and knob designs, are the most common type of lockset found in most home, as well as many business applications. It can be easily identified by the key cylinder placement-in the center of the knob or lever. The brand name is often located on the latch faceplate, on the edge of the door. Most tubular deadbolts use the same cutout (bore) as tubular locksets. Lever locksets usually require the drilling of two additional holes for lever support. On deadbolts the brand name is also usually found on the face plate of the locking bolt, in the same location as on the knobs and levers. Tubular locks are available in a wide range of prices and grades, from the low priced items found at home hardware centers to commercial/institutional grade locks sold by locksmiths and construction suppliers. The better quality locks are also available with High Security cylinders and master keying systems.

Mortise Locks

Mortise locks are most often found in commercial, institutional, and heavy duty applications. They are also found in many older homes, built prior to the introduction of tubular locks, as well as some newer and higher priced homes. Mortise locks are more expensive, and more labor intensive to install, even when replacing an existing mortise lock. Installation and replacement of mortise locks is best left to a professional locksmith, or someone with professional installation experience. Most mortise locksets are special order items, with a wide range of levers, finish and trim combinations. The brand names are often found on the latch trim plate (armor front). They can be identified by the larger size of the latch faceplate, usually around 8" on a full mortise lockset. The cylinder is located above the knob or lever. Mortise deadbolts are also available, they have only the deadbolt feature and do not have knobs or levers. Mortise locks are also compatible with High Security cylinders and master keying systems.

Rim Locks

Rim locks are most often found in residential applications. They can be identified by the rim cylinder mounted flush on the outside of the door, held in place by 2 screws from the inside, and the "box" portion of the lock mounted on the surface of the inside of the door, usually by 3 or 4 screws or bolts. Rim deadbolts can be either single cylinder or double cylinder. Rim locks are commonly sold at home hardware centers, and most are lower priced items of cheap manufacture and quality. However, a few brands offer heavy duty and high security versions for commercial and heavy duty applications. Rim locks are also found on some iron gate applications, sometimes welded into place. Depending on the quality and the brand, some rim locks are also compatible with High Security cylinders and master keying systems.


Hand is determined by direction of door swing when viewed from the exterior or corridor side of the door.