Locks unpackaged: What different types of locks have to offer

At Pro Locksmiths, we sure know locks! But if you’re a Toronto homeowner trying to decide what you need, or assess whether your current locks are adequate to keep your family and your possessions safe, things get trickier. You aren’t a Journeyman, how will you ever tell the different types of locks apart and find reasonable security solutions for your home?

Well, you could come to our fully stocked showroom in Mount Pleasant Village and speak with one of our friendly, well-trained representatives…but first, read on to learn the basics of different types of locks and what they can do for you.


Deadbolts are typically found on the exterior doors of homes and businesses. The exterior side must be opened with a key, while the interior side is operated by a latch. There are deadbolts, known as double cylinders, that have a keyhole on the inside too, but there is a risk of being locked inside your own home if you lose the interior key.

Pros: Hard to cut through; long lasting.

Cons: Susceptible to unauthorized entry through lock bumping (it’s best to choose a bump-resistant deadbolt). Also can be kicked through if the door frame already needs reinforcing (try a wraparound strike plate for extra strength).

Product examples: Schlage Primus, with pick-resistant cylinders. ASSA high-security locks with their patented key and cylinder design that thwarts unauthorized duplication.

Mortise Entrysets

A mortise style lock (versus the ordinary tubular kind) is the most secure form of entry set because a longer and thicker mortise is sliding into the pocket in the door, providing superior protection.

Pros: Superior protection. Very durable.

Cons: More expensive. Requires special door preparation if your door isn't currently cut to fit this kind of lock.

Product examples: Baldwin New York Single Cylinder Mortise Handleset with solid brass construction. Emtek Single Cylinder Keyed Entry Brass Mortise Handleset with heavy-duty construction that resists lever sag, friction, corrosion and handle-wobble.

Doorknob Locks

These are the locks that you probably already have on your bedroom or bathroom doors. When locked, knob locks prevent the knob from turning so the latch stays in the door frame.

Pros: Very inexpensive. Fine for light security, such as to keep a child from entering a room.

Cons: Not very long lasting. Easy to jimmy open with a credit card or even force open by hand, these locks are also easy to pick with tools.

Chain Latch

Found in hotel rooms everywhere, chain latches work by using a chain or a metal slide (the latter is preferable) to connect the door with the door frame so it can’t open all the way even when the door is opened. That makes it possible to have a conversation with someone outside the door and see them, without opening the door all the way.

Pros: Adds a good layer of security to existing security measures. Simple to install and inexpensive.

Cons: Not a good stand-alone measure. Can break if enough force is applied to the door.

Still find home security baffling? Not to worry. With a wide selection of the finest brands of manual and electronic locksets, Pro Locksmiths can help you select the locks and hardware you need, then expertly install the right combination of security measures that will work most effectively in conjunction with one another to protect you and your family.


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