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Mortise vs Cylindrical Locks

Mortise vs Cylindrical Locks

Cylindrical and mortise locks are used broadly and overall, both types of locks are great. Of course, we are talking about two different lock types. As such they have different features and consequently, different advantages and disadvantages. It all comes down to what you need and what you are looking to find.

To help you understand the differences between the two lock types and thus, decide what you need for your home or business, let’s talk about them. Shall we?

Cylindrical locks

Mortise vs Cylindrical LocksWhat is a cylindrical lock? These locks occupy a limited door space and feature either a knob or a lever. The lock chassis is easily put on the door with the locksmith drilling two holes of the same size. One hole is on the door and the other hole is on the side so that the latch bolt will extend and insert the strike.

Cylindrical locks are some of the most common locks for homes and businesses, mainly because they are super-easy to install and come out in all ANSI gradings. Depending on the building’s security needs, the consumers may choose grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 cylindrical locks. They come out in several dimensions, finishes, and styles and such options make the consumer’s decision much easier. For easy lock rekey, the cylinder is found within the trim – the knob or lever.

So, if we wanted to sum up the advantages of cylindrical locks, we would say the following:

  •          Easy to install
  •          Finish choices
  •          ANSI grades options
  •          Easy lock replacement
  •          Single & double cylinder locks available
  •          Less expensive than mortise locks

The disadvantage of cylindrical locks is that they alone cannot offer substantial security – where needed. Such locks are used on front doors and main entrances but also inside firms where some level of security is required. But if there’s a need for high security locks, cylindrical locks must be matched with an additional deadbolt.

Mortise locks

Mortise vs Cylindrical LocksThe main characteristic of mortise locks is the actual lock installation. This is considered a pocket lock since the door is chiseled to host the body of the lock. In the world of carpentry, mortise refers to a recess made on a surface so that another item will fit. If rim locks are installed on the door, mortise locks are placed in the recessed part of the door. This is also one of the advantages of this lock since the recessed part of the door keeps the lock protected and intact.

Another main characteristic – and advantage – of mortise locks is that they offer several functions. They carry both a latch and a deadbolt in one lock. And the user makes one sole move to lock or unlock both the latch and the deadbolt. As for the trim, mortise locks can be handled by a lever or knob too. And they too have a keyed cylinder.

Mortise locks are grade 1 locks only and are mostly found in commercial facilities. Of course, they come out in a variety of finishes too.

So, if we wanted to put together the main advantages of mortise locks, our list would look something like that:

  •          Great strength
  •          High-security lock
  •          Long-lasting
  •          A variety of finishes

The main disadvantage of mortise locks is the difficult installation. The locksmith in charge must have experience in the installation of mortise locks since the recess in the door must be perfect. Another disadvantage is that the door cannot be too thin because the lock won’t fit. And if the door’s thickness is just enough for the slot, the locksmith must have the expertise to do the job correctly or the door edges will split. It’s also easy to conclude that installing mortise locks takes some time – compared to the fast installation of cylindrical locks, and so this is a downside.

Mortise locks are more expensive than cylindrical locks, although their protected body ensures longer lifespan and greater security. For such reasons, despite the downsides of mortise locks, they are considered much better compared to cylindrical locks.

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