Types of Mortise Locks and when to use each one

There are many various sorts of locks on the market, and you’ve undoubtedly noticed that by now. A “mortise lock” is one of them. Mortise locks come in a variety of designs and varieties, therefore we’ll go through the many sorts of mortise locks as well as when to utilize each one. 

What is a mortise lock?


A mortise lock is a type of lock that has its security bolt cut into the door’s edge. This is where it gets its name from. Mortise locks, unlike rim-mounted locks, are frequently more appealing owing to the fact that the locking mechanism stays almost entirely out of view.

Traditional mortise locks are used at home.

Mortise locks of this sort are still available today, and they’re typically opened by a traditional-style key. The term “skeleton key” or “jailers key” is another name for this kind of lock and key. For the most part, these locks give a low level of security. They’re certainly not the most secure locks available, having less than 10-15 various locking combinations and just one lever within the lock.

In general, mortise locks from prior eras are not rekeyable. The vast majority of people will simply change the actual lock or install a contemporary one just above it. This would aid in the security of your home without spending money on a low-quality locking mechanism.

Euro-style domestic mortise lock

Euro-style domestic mortise lock​

In the home market, euro-style mortise locks are quite prevalent. They’re originally from Europe and include a specialized cylinder known as a euro-style fixed cam cylinder, which is what their name implies. There are many distinct types of mortise locks, each with its own backset and face plate size. You may also use a variety of handle styles with these locks; however, keep in mind that the pitch size (the distance between the spindle hole and the keyway center) should be the same.

The most popular pitch size is 85mm. When it comes to the advantages of these kinds of locks, they often feature a double-through mechanism, which means you can turn the key twice while locking the door.  This will allow your door to move over twice as far as normal, providing better protection for your property.  With most mortise locks, you may purchase cylinders that are keyed alike to your existing keys (which means fewer keys on your keychains for greater convenience).

What are the disadvantages?

The most widespread disadvantage of these locks is that if someone leaves a key in the lock while it is locked, no one from the outside may open it with a key.  It’s possible that you’ll be locked out of your house as a result! Specialized cylinders, on the other hand, can override this feature, but you’ll have to contact your local locksmith to verify that they have the parts and knowledge.

60mm backset Lockwood 3572sc primary lock body

The most popular mortise lock in the commercial sector is this one. Lockwood is a company that produces similar looking mortise locks that can be fitted to other mortise locks. These primary lock bodies are those that can be programmed with a variety of functions and applications. The most popular usage is egress capability, such as in schools and fire exit doors where a lever action is necessary to evacuate if a fire occurs.

The Lockwood 3572sc primary lock body is subjected to rigorous testing and is certified for use in schools as well as commercial structures. This sort of lock should always be paired with a fire-rated and readily replaceable commercial leverset for maximum security.

Please call us immediately at 416-877-9297 if you’d like to talk with one of our experts at Matrix Locksmith about your mortise locks.

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Frank Wals, Toronto
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“Matrix Locksmith team are incredibly valuable locksmith company for us for years now, they just recently they installed a push bar on our front door , very professional and affordable , Highly recommend!”
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“Metric Locksmith, Dani, arrived quickly, on time and proceeded to discuss our needs and explained very well the pros and cons of the options for finishing the job. The locks were added and changed quickly, they look great, and work well. Thank you!”
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