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04. How to Choose a Lock

It is actually pretty easy to select the right lock for your application! Just ask yourself five simple questions:

  1. First, decide if you want a mechanical or electrical lock:
    A mechanical lock is one that does not use batteries or require any kind of wiring whatsoever. Instead, when you press each button you are physically moving the parts inside the lock. These locks come with a Life-Time Mechanical Warranty.

    In the unlikely event that you have a mechanical problem, the manufacturer will fix or repair it at no charge for as long as you own the lock. The only drawback to this type of lock is that it can only have one secret code at a time.
     
      An electrical lock is one that uses batteries or that is directly wired to the electrical circuits in the building.



    These lock have many more features such as lighted keypads, audit trails, fingerprint recognition, video cameras, and remote programming and control. They can also accommodate many User Codes which can be added or deleted individually.
     
    Mechanical Locks Electrical Locks  
  2. The second thing to decide is whether you want a latchbolt or a deadbolt:
     

    A lock with a latchbolt will lock automatically every time you close your door.

    Latchbolt
    Latchbolt Locks
    (locks automatically)
     

    A lock with a deadbolt has to be locked manually by turning it’s knob or key.

    Deadbolt
    Deadbolt Locks
    (locks manually)

    Some people like the convenience of a lock that locks automatically while others want a deadbolt because it is a just a little bit more solid.

    If you choose a latchbolt, you need to know about Passage Mode vs Hold-Back:

    All of our latchbolt locks will latch and lock automatically when you close your door. However, a few models have a passage mode feature and/or a hold-back feature, which is really quite handy whenever you have guests over or need to go in and out frequently (to unload groceries, say). Here's how they work:

    • A lock with a passage mode can be set to temporarily latch, but not lock when you close your door.
    • A lock with a hold-back feature can be temporarily set so that it doesn't even latch when you close your door. Instead, the latchbolt stays retracted (held-back) inside the lock.
       
    Passage mode is usually available on all our electrical locks, but only the following mechanical locks have one of these features:
  3. The third thing to decide on is the handle. Here's all you need to know:
     
    If you want a lock to replace only a deadbolt which is already installed above your door knob, you probably want a knob handle lock.             If you want a lock that completely replaces your existing door handle, and possibly your deadbolt too, you probably want a lever handle lock. They are a little easier to open.
     
    A knob handle lock
    has a round, flat knob on the outside.
    2210 Knob Handle Deadbolt
    Knob Handle Locks
     
    A lever handle lock
    has a long, thin lever handle on the inside and outside.
    2835 Lever Handle Latchbolt
    Lever Handle Locks


    Please note: lever handle locks only come with latchbolts, not deadbolts.

  4. Next, you need to decide if you want a single-sided or double-sided lock. Here's what you need to know to make this decision:
     

    All our locks come with both an inside and outside lock body, and everything else you need for installation. However, a single-sided lock has a push button keypad on only one side—the outside. A double-sided lock has a push button keypad on both sides.

     

    With a single-sided lock, you only need to enter your combination if you are on the outside. No need to enter a combination to exit.

    But you can always open your lock from the inside--just turn the thumbturn on the inside to unlock the door—no combination is needed. Actually, single-sided locks are the most common and are used on both residential and commercial doors.

               

    With a double-sided lock, you will need to enter your combination to come and go, on both the inside and the outside. Double-sided locks are often used on pool and garden gates.

    Double-sided locks are also good to use on doors with glass panes near the lock. With a double-sided lock, no one will be able to open the lock from either side unless they know the combination. So, if a burglar gains entry by breaking the glass in your door or hopping over your fence, at least he won't be able to carry your TV out the door!


    1600DC Knob Handle Latchbolt
    Single-Sided Lock
    (with a keypad on one side)
     

    1600DC Knob Handle Latchbolt

    Double-Sided Lock
    (with a keypad on both sides)

     
  5. Lastly, decide whether you want a Marine-Grade or a standard finish on the lock:
     

    In order to decide which finish you would like, think about what environment the lock will be exposed to.

    Marine-Grade locks have a Teflon finish which is specially designed to protect against salt corrosion. So, if the lock will be located either close to a highway or near the ocean, than Marine-Grade would be the best choice for you. Otherwise, one of our standard finishes should be just fine.

    Marine-Grade Locks Standard Finish Locks

     

     

     

Once you know what kind of lock you want, click on the Products category on the left side of any page on our website to see a complete list of locks in that category. If you want more detailed information on a specific lock or if you want to purchase one, just click on the picture — you'll go to a page with photos, dimensions, PDFs, and a lot of other details. This is also where you will can place an order at the bottom of the page.

It's as easy as that, but if you still have questions, please give us a call. We love talking to our customers.