Even though there are innumerable designs and versions of door locks, all are derived from relatively simple technology. The door lock was invented more than 6,000 decades ago in ancient Egypt, and while locks have evolved since then, the basic physics remain the same.

Pin and Tumbler Locks

Pin and tumbler locks are exceptionally common. The mechanism includes a pair of spring-loaded pins inside small cylinders. After the key is inserted, it compresses the springs, aligning the distance between the bottom and top pins around a track referred to as the shear line. When the shear line is clear, the key will turn. The compression of a wrong key will misalign at least one trap, blocking the shear line and preventing the key from turning.

Tubular Locks

The tubular lock is a particular kind of pin and tumbler door locks named because of its unique circular key. A rectangular notch on the key matches an identical hole on the lock to get proper insertion. Tubular locks are ordinarily found on items which are left unattended for long periods, like ATMs, vending machines, and glass display cabinets in retail stores.

Rim locks are common on older houses but are not often used today. They’re one of the oldest types of door locks, and are surface mounted on the door. A rim lock usually uses a simple latch mechanism, with obstacles known as wards inside the keyhole to prevent the wrong key from being used.

A mortise lock is set up in a pocket, also known as a mortise, that’s cut into the doorway. Mortise locks may utilize simple latches or higher security deadbolts. They are strong, durable and, based on features, may be extremely secure.


Electronic door locks are arguably the greatest evolution in the history of door locks. An electronic lock uses an actuator to connect the mechanical lock components to a small motor buried inside the door or frame. The motor is activated by electric impulse, which might be delivered by a keypad, an electronic card reader, or even a wireless remote sensor. The lock won’t open until it receives the correct electrical sign. However, manual bypasses are usually readily available to safeguard against electrical failure.

Selecting the most appropriate type of lock can be confusing, and most individuals select different lock designs for different applications. To make sure that your home or business is totally protected, consider seeking help from a professional locksmith.

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