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Understanding the differences between rim and mortise locks

Many people think a door is only strong if the locks are strong. This statement is partially correct. Choosing a reliable lock is just as important as equipping your house with a home security system, but the surface on which the lock is installed is no less important. Below, we'll look at mortise and rim locks, which have the same level of security but they still differ in many other aspects.

The lock is the first obstacle for a burglar when breaking into your home, so it is essential to choose it responsibly. Please read about the features of these two types of locks in our blog post.

Rim cylinder locks features

Rim cylinder locks are mostly used for interior doors. Many people apply for a bathroom or bedroom door, for example. They are of two types – "night latch" and "deadbolt" locks.
The first type requires a key to enter the room. Plus, the door will automatically open and close behind you if you are already inside. A deadbolt door lock is different in that it can only be locked with a key.
Although rim lock is commonly used inside the home, owners started installing them outside as well to emphasize their decorative design.
A cylinder lock with a rim has several features:
Rim cylinder lock
  • This type of lock is attached directly to the door surface with screws.
  • A small piece of metal sticks out from the back of the lock, which rotates when the key is inserted and turned.
  • Interestingly, such locks can be convenient for both left- and right-handed people, as they can be installed on doors that open both from the left and the right.
Rim cylinder lock

Mortise cylinder locks features

A mortise lock is a type of lock that is installed inside the body of the door rather than on the surface of it. A certain door width is required to install this type of lock. Doors with a minimum diameter are best suited for a mortise lock. A mortise cylinder lock is reliable and can resist various attacks from intruders.
What are the features of mortise cylinder locks?
  • This lock is designed in such a way that it resembles the threads on the mounting screws. That is why it is considered very reliable. To open this kind of lock, you’ll have to turn it so the threads fit into the grooves.
  • Mortise cylinders can be converted into Rim cylinders with the help of special tools.
  • This type of lock has a deadbolt and a latch bolt. It is installed in the door pocket, and the plate is installed in the door frame.
  • These locks can often be seen in old buildings. In addition to their high level of security, they also have a beautiful design.
Mortise cylinder lock
Mortise cylinder lock

Which one is better?

Both of these types of locks have their advantages and disadvantages. Bolt locks have two bolts on opposite sides of the door. It is one of their biggest benefits because they perform the functions of both a lock and a latch.
A mortise lock consists of a "sash lock" and a "deadbolt." Unlike a traditional deadbolt lock, this one can be easily locked with the help of a handle.
Both of these lock types are high quality and reliable. So when deciding between them, it’s crucial for you to consider your own needs and preferences. Also, make sure to take into account the surface of the door to which the lock will be attached. For example, a lock on a metal door will be more reliable than one on a wooden door.

How to choose between a mortise cylinder lock and a rim cylinder lock?

The main difference you should pay attention to when choosing a lock is that mortise locks are installed inside the door, and rim locks are installed on the door's outer surface. Also, mortise locks have an external thread, while rim locks are smooth. To choose the best option for you, the best solution is to contact a professional technician. Moreover, it might be a wise option to use professional residential locksmith services for the installation process.

Summing up

Thus, these two locks have significant differences in appearance and installation method. However, their reliability is equal to each other. Please get in touch with us if you still can't decide which type to choose. Sure Lock & Key is ready to help you with any locksmithing issues you might have.

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