Lock Buying Tips
To secure your home and property, there are various products in the market for you to choose from. To simplify your decision making, there are two main areas which you should consider when choosing the security products: door environment and security needs. To put simply, there are 3 main options to choose from.
After examining the physical environment, you can choose the appropriate products to suit your specific needs. Below are the features and applications of the most update products:
Replacing (Retorfit) Cylinder
- Retrofit cylinders are the basic security step to take in order to void old keys and increase the drill and pick resistance of the entry point.
Adding a second lock (Auxiliary locks)
- Installing an auxiliary lock provide your added security and secondary access barrier.
- Installing a new lockset on the door can completely change and increasing the available functions and physical appearance of the door.
Choices for old and new doors are plenty, and you should consider the following:
Old or new door installations
It is essential to know whether you can replace (a.k.a. retrofit) or add a lock on an old door. Or if the installation is on a brand new door without any existing drill holes to cover.
In basic definition, every lock has a backset. The backset refers to the center distance of the interconnecting hardware and drill hole of the lock. The measure describes the door edge to the middle bore holes for the proper mounting on the face of the door.
You should know the thickness of your door before buying a lock. Typical entrance doors are 2 inches (51mm) to 2 1/2 inches (63mm). Interior doors range from1-1/2” (38mm) to 1-3/4” (44mm).
Door Handing Direction
Standing inside the house or room, note which direction (Left or Right) the door opens. This is necessary information as some locks are not are not reversible during installation may have lever handles fixed for one direction only.
5. In-Swing or Out-swing door
Most entrance and room doors are In-Swing (Swinging into the room). This is information to know the latch and available installation method.
6. Single or Double Rebated Doors
Installations on Single versus Double doors are very different since the door frame and strike components vary between the two door types.
7. Clearance between Door and Security Gate
Note the clearance depth between the gate and door to avoid buying a lock with outside parts protruding outward and may not allow the gate to close properly.
8. Door Material and Decorative Designs
Lastly, consider if the door has additional materials (example: glass panels, metal cover or inserts, etc.) applied on surface or internal parts. If the new door has a carved motif, note the distance between it to the door edge (opening side). This will influence the type of trim designs and backsets available as it may interfere with various sections on the required drill holes and surrounding space.
Keep in mind that restrictions for old doors are a bit more complicated since the intended new lock must covers spots where the old lock was placed. An experienced retailer should be able to recommend the suitable retrofit door lock; given your existing lock brand, lock outlook, function, and housing estate details.
Primary Mechanical Locksets
European Mortise Locks
European mortise locks are the mainstay in European market. Structurally more simple with a slimmer body and smaller deadbolt compared to the American mortise lock. The usual functions are "anti-panic" and “anti-pry” function. With European locks offer a varied range in lever designs. European mortise locks use European Profile Cylinder to operate. Door thickness and hardware thickness will also determine the length of the cylinder. Normally set below the door handle.
American Mortise Locks
American mortise locks offer superior deadlocking and multi-functional security in one lock. They are usually produced by heavy duty deadbolt and latch. Functions on American mortise lock include "anti-panic" opening with the deadlock automatically unlocks if it is engaged to avoid redundant manual operation to open the door. Other security features includes "anti-pry" and “anti-saw” components to match the high security grade of the key and cylinder. This lock type can be set to “entrance mode” or “passage mode” with ease. UL Certified 3-HR Fire Safety regulations are amongst the benefits of this type of lock due to its high requirement construction. American mortise locks use Mortise Cylinders to operate with required cams for different brand of locks. Door thickness and hardware trim design will determine the length of the mortise cylinder. Normally set on top of the door handle.
Digital Door Lock
Apart from accessing a door lock with mechanical keys, there are electronic locks available for residential and commercial use. Digital Door Locks provide a wider variety of entry methods via password, RF card, i-button, remote control or biometric technology such as fingerprint. Applications of such locks are suitable where there are many users, or just the convenience of keyless entry. Benefits also include avoid nominal costs for duplicating additional keys. Main entrance locksets and auxiliary locks are available to increase existing security level.
Adding an auxiliary lock can increase security. Auxiliary locks refer to deadbolts, dead latches, and rim locks. Such products are mounted to any front, back or inside doors as space allows on the door surface while not affecting the primary lock function. It is the quick and easy method to increase door security just by adding another lock. It is recommended to add an auxiliary lock that requires double locking function where secondary access can be restricted.
In addition to the basic locking function, rim locks are easy to install and provides both primary and auxiliary security on any door without much restrictions. Rim lock door handing is normally field reversible. So you need not worry about specifying the wrong product upon purchase. Not only value for money, it can match your door design as it is a discrete lock product to be installed in any desired height and location.
Double Cylinder Deadbolt
If a place is empty for long periods of time, for example, traveling often or having a second home. You could consider installing a double cylinder deadbolt for extra security features. A double cylinder allows you to lock the door from inside of the premises while requiring a key to unlock again. After a perimeter break-in, any trespasser will be prevented to exit as the unlocking from the inside is not possible – thieves will be deterred instantly. Another feature is the captive key thumb turn that acts a single cylinder function when inside locking is not in use.
Digital Auxiliary Lock
Just like its counterparts, the digital door lock. Digital auxiliary locks provide extra functions without extra keys. Users have the option of automatic re-locking as well as setting passwords anytime. It can be set to be used or only when required as a secondary lock on the door. Digital locks also have practical designs such as a slide covers, backup battery, and backlighting for many exterior environments.
‘3 IN 1’ Cylinder
Innovative “3in1” product line offers customers a balance of security and flexibility. Anyone can now change the cylinder and keys without hassle of dis-assembling the lock. It is most suitable in the event of lost keys, renovations (when others have handled your keys), or change of domestic helper or household members. It’s a simple and speedy process, where the user inserts and operates the next key in colour sequence of green, yellow and red keys to physically change the key combination. The introduction of each new key is now ready for daily use and invalidates the previous key combination. Save time, money and no tools required.
How to use MUL-T-LOCK ‘3 IN 1’ Cylinder?
Step 1. Use the Green keys to access the door as normal.
Step 2. When the combination needs to be changed, insert the Yellow key and turn 360 degrees to operate the lock once. The key combination is now changed and the Green key no longer works.
Step 3. Repeat Step 2 with the Red key, and the Yellow and Green keys are both automatically cancelled.
Patented Key Control
Aside from the physical aspects of the hardware and door construction, Key Control and Patented products are equally important to true high security. The illegal duplication of your key is the easiest and most overlooked element in protecting your home or property. Unprotected products without any key control programs are lower in security level since authorization is not required to duplicate more keys. When additional keys are ordered, the Key Card must be presented to the official dealer/locksmith for data / signature verification. This is important to identify the key owner and to permit total copy control. This can ensure key duplications are only by performed with user authorization, and through official sources only. Patented key systems help to ensure counterfeit key blanks are not available in the market for illegal duplication through unofficial sources without requiring authorisation.
KroMax2 – Anti-Tarnish Protection (10 years warranty)
Over time, an inferior coated hardware surface can succumb to scratches, cracks, humidity, and fading colour. With KroMax2, (commonly known as PVD), you needn’t worry about this problem anymore. The KroMax2 PVD Technology extends the lifespan of the lock by shielding the trim and handlesets with a special protective coating that is harder and resistant to corrosive effects. The finish is 5 times harder and 3 times more durable than other ordinary finished products. KroMax2 has a 10-Year Limited Warranty that assures its quality and long lasting effects.
After installing the right locks, you may need some security accessories to further protect your home and property. Door viewer, guard, and night latches are especially recommended entrance doors without outer gates installed. Other door hardware includes door magnets and stoppers, which helps prevent impact between the door and wall.