What is a Mechanical Lock?

A mechanical lock is basically a device that is used to prevent access to a room until a specific release mechanism is activated. The locks require a lever, a key, or a knob in order to open the door. Irrespective of the types of lock, the basic function of any lock remains the same that is securing the door until opening equipment is used to release the lock.

Types of Locks

1. Tubular Locksets

Tubular locks are a bored lockset. In the edge bore of these locks, a latch or bolt mechanism is installed. A tubular lock is also known by the names- radial lock, ace lock, or a circle pin tumbler. Tubular locks have got their name from the shape of the keyway which is circular. The tubular locks have a basic ring-shaped hole and in the middle, it has a solid metal cylinder. There are about seven or eight pins in the ring gap. In a tubular lock, the key pins are moved horizontally. The lock has grooves cut into the outsides of the ring shape. There is a specific way in which the key has to be inserted into the lock.

The tubular locks provide light-medium duty. They have a smaller rose and come in the market with decorative levers. However, they have limited cylinder options, cannot be used on thick doors and the chassis is not operational.

Applications– Often used for unattended commercial products. They are used in Bike locks, ATMs, vending machines.

2. Cylindrical Locksets

Cylindrical locks are also a bored lockset. In the cross bore of these locks, a latch or bolt mechanism is involved. The cylindrical locks are quick and easy to install. The mechanism of the lock uses a series of different lengths of pins. These pins follow the pattern of the key. The pins take the correct positions, such that the lock is released when the key is inserted into the lock. There are five types of cylindrical lock, namely.

A. Euro Cylinder locks

They are available in many sizes and many brands. They are also one of the most popular locks. The euro cylinder locks have three different locking options-

  • Single-cylinder type– This type of lock can be locked from one side only
  • Double cylinder type-This type of lock can be locked from either side of the door.
  • Key and thumb turn option– This type of lock is opened by using a key on the outside whereas a thumb turn is used on the inside.

B. Oval Cylinder locks

Apart from an oval-shaped barrel and an oval mortise lock case; they are similar to the euro locks. The oval cylinder locks lack the thumb turn locking option.

C. Mortise locks

These locks are more significant than euro locks because they are larger and round. However, this big size serves as a disadvantage because it doesn’t fit every type of door or lockset. The biggest advantage of mortice locks is that it consists of a threaded housing, which makes it more secure and hence very less vulnerable to breaking or snapping.

D. Key In Knob Cylinders locks (KIK Cylinders)

Key in Knob is abbreviated as KIK. The KIK cylinder locks have many locking mechanisms such as levers, knobs, and deadlocks. The KIK cylinders should always be installed within a metal doorknob in order to prevent their breaking. This installation is usually challenging and requires precision. If not done with proper precision, the key may not properly work.

E. Interchangeable Core Cylinders locks

These types of locks consist of a removable/ replaceable core settled inside the lock housing. The above line means that if the control key is available, then the lock can be changed easily and fast. There are six to seven pin cores available in these cylinders; hence they work well with master key systems. In case the control key is lost, then it is very expensive to rekey a standard lock.

3. Interconnected Locksets

When the knob or lever is turned up to open the lock, the internal mechanism deactivates the deadbolt lock.  The interconnected lock has a combination of tight security of deadbolt and easy egress of a lever handle. The interconnected locks are available in a wide variety and many styles to suit both residential and commercial needs. They are secure and easy to use hence they are preferred by many. These locks are generally used in municipalities for apartments, buildings, hotels/ motels, etc. The interconnected locks are medium duty. However, they have limited finishes and functions.

4. Deadbolt Locksets

The deadbolt lock consists of a bolt that is started by either a key or a thumb turn. The deadbolt lock is not spring operated and cannot be jimmied open with a knife. Hence it provides good security. The deadbolt locks are installed on solid wood, steel, or fiberglass doors. These doors are good in resistance against forced entry. The wood cannot stand much battering like hollow core doors made of soft thin wood and should not be used as exterior doors. A deadbolt lock mounted on a hollow core door reduces the security of these locks.

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