A Guide to Front Door Lock Types

When it comes to front door lock types, many homeowners are baffled by the choice. Knowing which lock to choose for optimum protection can mean the difference between excellent security and poor security. That is why we have prepared this guide to front door lock types. It will help you understand the types of door locks available and what they are suitable for.

Security door lock replacements should always be carefully considered, not just for your security but for insurance purposes. Some insurers stipulate the type of lock an external door needs – to meet policy requirements. External door locks should always be fitted by a locksmith to guarantee they meet exacting standards.

Types of door locks

Mortice lock

The mortice lock is one of Britain’s favourite locks. It is commonly used as an external door lock because of its strength and versatility. Built into the frame of a door, this lock comes in a range of sizes and security levels. Tip: insist your lock has at least five levers on the face plate. A professional locksmith will know what size and security level your door requires. Functionality will also be taken into consideration. This type of lock requires a key to open and lock it. A good mortice lock should have a British kitemark and meet British Standard BS3621.


This type of lock is often used as a secondary lock. It is available in two different formats – standard and deadlock. A standard nightlatch automatically locks a door once you have closed it, unless you use its ‘snib’ to stop it from locking. A locksmith will tell you that deadlocking nightlatches are more secure and better for external doors, but that they should never be used as a sole lock. This type of lock automatically locks every time a door is closed. You will require a key to open it both from the outside and the inside. We recommend this type of lock in addition to a mortice lock, if you are looking for extra security and peace of mind.

Multi-Point locking systems

You have probably heard of this type of lock if you have invested in replacement uPVC doors and windows. Multi-point locking systems are recommended for patio and French doors, garages, outhouses, including summerhouses and orangeries, and conservatories. This type of lock has at least three locking points, although many now come with six. Each point locks simultaneously when the key is turned. This type of lock uses either camrollers, hook bolts or pins to secure a door shut.
Multi-point locking systems are now commonly used and are found mainly on UPVC doors. A multi-point locking system has a minimum of three locking points that all lock simultaneously with the turn of a key.

Cylinder locks

Although commonly found on front doors, most locksmiths would not recommend a cylinder lock as a main form of security. This is because cylinder locks have a weakness, which is recognised by most insurers. In fact, if your front door has this type of lock, you should consider replacing it. Cylinder locks are susceptible to lock snapping, making your home an easier target for thieves. Burglars use a technique to break into homes with cylinder locks. Cylinder locks are easy to install but more suited to internal doors than front doors.

Security bolts

Key-operated security bolts are a good idea for the top and bottom of a vulnerable door, including patio and French doors. Best fitted into the door, most locksmiths will recommend a mortice bolt for extra security. This type of lock will only open with the key in place.

Door lock types explained

If you are concerned about the lock on your front door, talk to a professional locksmith. For expert, no obligation advice contact us at greganderson@live.co.uk or call directly on 01323 899 999.

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