Everyone wants to keep their home or business safe

And that means only letting in the people who are supposed to be there, and keeping out those who have no business being in the building.

Whether it’s a school, office or your own home, you want to ensure your premises are as secure as they can be. So choosing the correct type of lock for your doors is an important consideration.

But which type of lock is best? You may think a lock is a lock, but you’d be wrong – there are several types, each having differing functions and being suited to different types of properties. Here is just a brief rundown of the most commonly used locks here in the UK and what they are best suited for.


The most basic kind of lock there is, a padlock is one which is not permanently fixed to a door but attached and locked when necessary. You will probably have seen plenty of padlocks in your time – they come in all shapes, strengths and sizes, can be operated with keys or combinations locks, or even both, and are usually quite reasonably priced.

Padlocks are suitable for a wide range of relatively low-security places, including gates, shed doors and cabinets containing secure information. Combined with a chain, they can be used to secure equipment and two-wheeled vehicles such as motorbikes and bicycles.

Knob Sets

Found in older properties, such as hotels, knob sets or knob locks are where the door knob or handle and lock are integrated, or part of each other. The key is usually inserted into the knob or handle itself in order to operate the lock.

Mortice Locks

Mortice locks are a common type of lock installed inside the door itself, which can be either wood or metal. The word mortice actually refers to the hole in the door, inside which the lock is fitted. They are often referred to as Chubb locks, after the manufacturer, and come in various specifications, from two levers to five levers.

They are often found in older front and back house doors and also on interior doors such as those for bathrooms or bedrooms. A rather old-fashioned type of lock, they are not particularly secure.

Rim Locks

Rim locks are a type of lock commonly found on older wooden doors and interior doors such as those for bedrooms and bathrooms. They consist of a door-mounted device which contains a latch and a lock within a box casing. Locks usually have a keyhole and key, while others may have a push-across snib-type device.

Cylinder Security Locks

A more modern and much more secure design of lock, cylinder security locks are a certain type of lock often built into exterior wooden and uPVC doors.

In this type of lock, the key turns a cylinder, or plug, which then turns an attached cam. When this plug is turned one way, the cam pulls on the bolt and the door opens. When the plug turns the other way, the cam releases a bolt and a spring snaps into place so the door is locked.

A cylinder security lock is often used in tandem with multi-point locks and some mortice locks for maximum security.

Cylinder security locks have one advantage over certain other types: they allow the use of master key systems, whereby selected keys are able to open a number of specific doors, which helps ensure a high level of security. They are therefore commonly used in commercial premises.

For more information on the various locks available, and which one best suits your specific needs, visit a lock specialist such as http://www.masterkeysystems.co.uk/.

UPVC Multipoint Locks

Multipoint locks consist of a central mechanism which has additional locking devices, such as rollers or hooks, attached. They are commonly installed inside plastic, or uPVC, doors, and offer a reasonably good level of security.

Keyless Entry Systems

Increasingly common in office settings, keyless entry systems are also called intercom or keypad entry systems. As the name suggests, they involve a door lock which does not have a traditional key, so they are handy for use where numerous staff need to gain access to a certain area at different times of the day.

They can work remotely, with the use of key fobs, or by inputting a key code into a keypad.

Which type of lock you require depends very much on the type of property you are protecting, what level or security you need and the practicalities involved in fitting each lock. Whichever you choose, ensure you get advice from a recognised lock manufacturer and fitter before taking the plunge.