secure door locks guide

The Ultimate Guide to Secure Door Locks

Whether you’re protecting a home or a business, door locks offer an unparalleled level of security and safety. Locks serve as a barrier that keeps your work areas and living spaces safe and private, which means efficacy is essential.

Almost three million buildings are burglarized every year, so knowing the differences between door lock types will help you make more informed choices about the protection of your home or business. Here, we’ll outline the most secure door locks, their uses, and how to install them.

Knob Locks

Of all the lock types on this list, knob locks are one of the most common. They’re used on doors in almost every American home, providing privacy and security. In a knob lock, the lock’s cylinder is found in the doorknob rather than the door itself. Therefore, these locks aren’t a very good choice for outside doors, as they’re easy to breach with wrenches, hammers, and other simple tools.

Cam Locks

A cam lock is a fastener that allows for latent and unobtrusive protection of valuables. They typically come with cabinet kits and furniture sets, and for the most part, they’re invisible once installed. These cylindrical locks consist of metal tubes with holes in one end, which help to hold an inserted bolt in place. Some cam locks can completely secure doors, which makes them a great choice for the protection of sensitive materials.


A deadbolt offers a high level of protection from break-ins and burglaries. Here, the lock’s bolts are moved by turning keys or knobs, which means no springs are required. These special locking mechanisms are resistant to boring, battering, and other physical attacks, and they can’t be opened with knives and hand tools.

Single-cylinder deadbolts are simple enough to be activated from inside or outside with a key. Double-cylinder deadbolts, however, can be opened with a key from either side. Single-, double-, and lockable thumb turn deadbolts have thumb turns that can be locked with keys. These deadbolts offer a high level of security and flexibility.


Classified as freestanding locks, padlocks are portable. Unlike other kinds of door locks, they aren’t attached to the door or any of its parts. They are sold in various models that fall into two groups: combination and keyed, with keyed locks coming in several subgroups such as keyable, keyed different, and keyed alike.

Padlocks are very recognizable because of their portability and distinctive shape. All padlocks contain shouldered shackles, where the lock’s shoulders raise the shackle’s sides to make them more resistant to bolt cutter attacks.

Mortise Locks

These powerful locks are commonly used on outside doors. However, they are sold in light- and heavy-duty styles. Mortise locks consist of complex internal systems that hold levers or knobs inside a cylindrical body.

Mortise locks are threaded, using internal mortise components. They are secured by set screws and cams, which comprise the locking mechanism. These locks’ cylinder components are made in several lengths and heights for different door types.

Other Types of Door Locks

Selecting a new door lock can be a bit confusing, especially for new homeowners. There are a few designs to consider, including those listed below.

  • Single-cylinder locks are opened from the outside with keys and operated inside using a thumb knob. Along with the outside keyhole, some new single-cylinder locks have keypads that allow users to enter numerical codes to gain access. These and other features make single cylinder locks a common choice among the area’s homeowners.
  • Double cylinder locks work much like their single-cylinder counterparts. They can be opened from the outside with keys, but from the inside, they use the same key rather than a thumb knob. Double cylinder door locks provide additional security on access doors with glass windows because intruders can’t break the glass and reach in. Unfortunately, fire codes ban these locks in many areas.
  • Vertical locks. These door locks use vertical bolts that move through a collection of rings. The metal plate inside the door’s frame, also known as a strike plate, contains steel rings that interlock with others when a door is closed. A vertical lock may use one or two cylinders, making it a great choice for apartment complexes and hotels.
  • Smart locks are an advanced option for home and business security. They use WiFi networks to receive and send information to a computer or a mobile device and can be voice-, phone-, or fingerprint-operated. Not only do they lock and unlock doors, but in some cases, they also use motion-activated cameras to record everyone who comes to the door.

Once you’ve decided which door lock type you’d like to install—or you’ve found out which kind of lock you’re replacing—keep Action Lock Doc in mind. We sell, service, and install commercial and residential door locks from all major brands, and we invite you to contact us today.

Making Door Locks More Secure

Door locks serve an important purpose: protecting a building, its occupants, and its contents. That’s why it’s important to maintain them regularly and to replace them when necessary. Here are a few ways to make your door locks even more secure.

  • Do some upgrades. Because they’re so important to a building’s security, it’s crucial to ensure their proper selection and function. Consider calling us to replace your home or business’ old locks with safe and secure new ones.
  • Reinforce glass surfaces and doors. They’re easily broken by criminals. If you’re using an old and flimsy door, or one with glass panels, it may be time to upgrade to a solid metal or hardwood door.
  • Add more hardware. We can install securing devices inside a home or business, such as chain locks. Devices such as smart doorbells, smart locks, and surveillance cameras can also deter criminals while making it easier to see what’s happening in or around your home or business.

Whether you’re running a business or protecting a home, secure door locks are essential. Call us to schedule an appointment or visit us online to learn more about our locksmithing services.