What are the Different Types of Door Locks?

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However, there are many lock options on the marketplace. To choose the best lock for your facility, it is crucial to know the differences between them. Check out our guide to find out about common door locks, their functions, and when they should be used.

Knob Locks

Knob locks are the most commonly used type of door lock and the main security method for most doors. The knob, not the door, houses the lock cylinder. Knob locks should not be used for external doors as they can easily be broken into using basic tools like a wrench and hammer.

Mortise Locks

Keypad doors can only be opened with an attached keypad and not a key. They can be mechanical or battery-powered and use deadbolt locks, knob locks, or mortise locks to secure the door. These locks are more versatile and allow entry without the need for a key. Many also include keyholes to enable alternative unlocking mechanisms. Keypad locks may allow multiple custom codes to make it easier for building managers to restrict access.

Cam Locks

Cam locks consist of a fastener and an attached arm (or cam) that rotates to lock. They are cylindrical with a hole in the one end that allows for positioning of the bolt.

This door lock is used to secure unauthorized access to vending machines, file cabinets, and desks. These locks are virtually invisible in fully built cabinets. Cam locks can be used to secure cabinet doors and are attractive for protecting sensitive materials.

Deadbolt Locks

These bolts move by the turning of a knob, key, or without the need for a spring. The unique locking mechanism makes them more resistant to physical attacks, battering, boring and is less susceptible to being cut with a knife or other hand tool.

There are three main types of deadbolt locks available: single, double, and vertical. Single-cylinder deadbolts have the easiest activation and can be activated using a key. Double-cylinder deadbolts may be activated from both sides using a key. Vertical deadbolts function in the same manner as single or double deadbolts. However, the lock moves horizontally instead of up and downward. This orientation is less susceptible to forced entry by prying with a tool, such as a knife or a crowbar.


Padlocks have a freestanding design. They can be carried around and not fixed to any door or container, which is a major advantage over other lock types. There is a wide range of models, which can be grouped into one of two main categories: combination or keyed. You can also find keyed padlocks in a variety of subtypes like keyed alike or keyed differently.

Due to their mobility and their looped-handle, shackle shape, padlocks can be easily identified. These padlocks may have raised shoulders to prevent bolt cutters from cutting through them.

7. Smart Locks

Smart locks are multi-functional electronic door locks that can be used to lock or unlock doors in multiple ways. Smart locks can be equipped with keypads and keyholes, but the real benefit is that they can be opened and closed with a phone or key fob. Smart locks can be linked to home automation services through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. These locks require power and regular battery replacements to be able to perform their connected functions.

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