In the second part of this series, we will continue taking a look at popular types of locks. In our previous post, we introduced some of the most standard style locks, including the classic padlock that you’d find on your locker, as well as the reliable deadbolt used in many homes. The safe locksmiths here at Safeway Lock & Key have expert knowledge in all things lock and safe, so please reach out to us for any questions and any locksmith needs in the Baltimore area.
To kick things off in the second part of this series, we will start by looking at variations of locks that are inside handles. We will then look at furniture locks, and end things by exploring some of the advances in modern lock technology.
Locks in Handles
An important thing to notice about the deadbolts discussed in the previous post is that they are installed into the frame of the door itself. This is the case for all deadbolts with the exception of the jimmy-proof deadbolt, which is installed on the surface of the door. With deadbolts, though, the locking cylinder itself is not in the handle of the door. This is not the case with locks in handles.
You likely recognize the set-up of a home door with a deadbolt on top of a knob with a lock right in the middle. Many of us will only lock the knob portion of our door locks, especially since these can be easily locked before leaving the house without using a key; just twist the lock on the knob and shut the door on your way out.
These knob locks are typically a very basic form of spring lock. This means that they are very easy to pick. However, they fail to provide great security in more ways than one. The biggest worry for a knob lock is the fact that, unlike the deadbolt, the cylinder is in the knob rather than the door itself. This means that if the knob is knocked off using the force of a tool like a hammer, or even if the knob is simply removed by some other means, then the lock is coming away right along with it. If, like many of us, you have an exterior door with both a deadbolt and a knob lock, be sure to use both types of locks for maximum security. A good safe locksmith would recommend that knob locks by themselves are used only in interior doors, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
Lever Handle Locks
This next lock is very common around businesses and commercial settings. You will recognize the lever handle locks in many office buildings, for instance. These locks typically have a long lever that, when turned, will activate the cylinder located in the handle itself. Much like the knob locks mentioned above, this means that they are not great for security. Indeed, lever handle locks are often even weaker than knob locks and are able to be opened with sheer force, and are thus not recommended by safe locksmiths for external doors.
The popularity of lever handle locks, despite their relative lack of security, is largely due to the fact that they are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which explicitly states that doors must be “operable with one hand and without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. Lever handles and some other types comply with this requirement. Traditional round doorknobs are not accessible, as they require tight grasping and twisting to turn.” The relative lack of safety for these types of locks is not as much of an issue, however, as they are often used only for interior doors.
These locks are often found on a variety of types of furniture. Furniture locks come in two broad categories, each of which will be explored below. You might find these style of locks on some of the following items:
- Filing Cabinets
- Sliding Glass Doors
Push Button Lock
Many desks and filing cabinets will have a type of lock known as push button style furniture locks. These are very basic locks. They often have a simple keyhole that requires some form of pressure to unlock. The lock itself has a rod that extends from the back. When pressure is applied, the rod will retract, unlocking the drawer or filing cabinet.
This style of lock is, unsurprisingly, very easy to pick. More surprisingly, is that some sliding glass doors will use this style of lock. The expert locksmiths at Safeway Lock & Key would not recommend using this style of lock for home security.
The bolt-style furniture lock is similar to the push button lock in that it has a piece that extends out for locking purposes. On the bolt-style, however, the extending piece is a flat slab of metal. These flat pieces will extend out from the top or the side of the lock and are much broader than the rod extension from the push button locks. These locks are also commonplace on desk drawers and filing cabinets.
The New Technology of Locks
Locks, like everything else in this world, have been affected by advances in technology. One form of technological lock that has been around for a while is the electronic or digital lock. These are locks that are electric or digital in some form or another. They are very common in cars and hotel rooms. Anytime you’ve needed to punch in a code on a door or slide a card, you have been using a digital lock.
A newer technology comes in the form of Smart Locks. These are locks that are used in tandem with smartphone technology. Typically, the lock itself is similar to a thumbturn deadbolt. However, they are able to be opened remotely via an app on your smartphone. These are surprisingly easy to install, often able to be added directly on top of existing locks. Some people aren’t as comfortable leaving their locks in the hands of technology like this, but they are rising in popularity and will no doubt be seen around a lot more.
The Locksmiths at Safeway Lock & Key
In this two-part series, we have explored a variety of popular styles of locks. Even still, we have looked at only a fraction of the differing locks that exist out there. The professionals at Safeway Lock & Key are experts in lock technology. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about the best locks for you and your home. We also provide expert locksmith services in and around Baltimore. Safeway Lock and Key provides safe lock service and repairs to a variety of lock types. If the lock on your safe is damaged, choose Safeway Lock and Key as your Baltimore locksmith today! Contact us for all of your safe locksmith needs.