What is a mortice lock?

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What is a mortice lock

What is a mortice lock?

A mortice lock is a type of lock that is installed directly into the door itself, similar to a euro cylinder lock, rather than being mounted on the surface like a traditional latch lock. These locks are commonly found on both residential and commercial properties and are known for their durability and added security.

Where does the name mortice lock come from?

You might be wondering where this strange-sounding term comes from. Well, the word “mortice” actually comes from the Latin word “mortis,” which means “a hole or cavity.” This is because a mortice lock is installed by cutting a hole, or a “mortice,” into the door to accommodate the lock body. The lock body is then fitted into the hole and secured in place with screws.

Where are mortice locks normally used?

Mortice locks are commonly used on both residential and commercial properties. They are often found on the main entrance door to a home or building, as well as on other external doors for added security. Because they require a hole to be cut into the door to accommodate the lock body, mortice locks are not typically used on internal doors, which are often thinner than external doors. If you’re looking for more information on how to install a new mortice lock, check out our post on how to measure a mortice lock here.

In addition to being used on residential and commercial properties, mortice locks are also commonly used on public buildings, such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings, as they provide added security and durability. They are also often used on doors in high-traffic areas, such as hotel room doors, as they are able to withstand heavy use. Overall, mortice locks are a popular choice for providing added security and durability on a variety of different doors.

How exactly does a mortice lock work?

Inside the lock mechanism, there is space for the bolt to go back into and a series of parallel levers that are connected to the back of the bolt with a small piece of metal called a bolt-stop.

The key is designed to match the levers inside the matching lock. If you use the right key, all of the levers line up and the whole mechanism can be turned to withdraw and extend the bolt. If you use the wrong key, the key either won’t fit in the lock or it won’t catch all of the levers correctly.

A mortice lock also has several other components, like the strike plate and a piece of metal around the mortice. These help make sure the bolt goes straight in instead of scratching the wood.

There is also the faceplate, which is usually a separate piece of metal that attaches to the door and faces the strike plate. And finally, the escutcheon plates are around the handle to make the door look nice. They don’t have any other purpose.

We’ve actually written a separate post that just looks at how a mortice lock works – check it out here.

Are there different types of mortice lock?

There are generally two main types: deadlocks and sashlocks.

What is a mortice deadlock? It’s a type of lock that is only operated by a key. Sometimes, people will use a deadlock alongside a nightlatch to provide additional locking in the center of the door. You don’t need to use a handle with a deadlock – just turn the key or thumb turn to retract the center deadbolt. Like any locks, the key can occasionally get stuck – if that happens, check out our post on how to remove it.

On the other hand, a sashlock is fitted with a sprung latch bolt that catches when the door is closed, as well as a central deadbolt. You can use both a key and a handle to operate a sashlock. To unlock it, you turn the key to retract the deadbolt and then push down on the handle to operate the latch. Sashlocks are a good choice for doors that don’t have a separate locking point, like a nightlatch.

Well, there you have it! We’ve covered everything you need to know about mortice locks – from how they work to the different types that are available. We hope this article has helped you understand what a mortice lock is and how it can benefit you. Whether you’re looking for added security for your home or business, a mortice lock is a great option to consider. However, if you need some more help or guidance, please get in touch – we cover the whole of Greater London, including Putney, Chelsea and Westminster.

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David is the owner of Locksmiths of London and he's passionate about improving home security.

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