The key to locks: Which lock is right for me?

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Updated 12th December 2016:

Nowadays there are many different styles, makes, brands and designs of locks. The three most common types of locks to use residentially are: deadlocks, knob locks, and levers. So here is a guide to these common lock styles and how they can best be used in your home.


Deadlocks are available in three main varieties: single, double, and lockable thumb-turn. Single cylinder deadlocks are the most common and have a key cylinder on the outside and a thumb-turn on the inside. The danger of single cylinder locks is the possibility that if the house is broken into, the thumb-turn can be used to open the door. To solve this problem you can get a a double cylinder deadlock, which has key cylinders inside and the outside the door. The downside to this is that you always need a key to open it, even from the inside, which can be dangerous if you need to exit the house in a hurry. A lockable thumb-turn is a hybrid of single and double cylinder locks. They have a thumb-turn on the inside like a single cylinder deadbolt; however, it can be locked using a key.

Knob locks

Knob locks are frequently installed on the exterior doors of residences and are often used in conjunction with deadlocks. While knob locks are reasonably secure, they should never be used as the only security on external doors. This is because the problem with the lock cylinder lies in the the knob itself rather than the actual door. This means that they can be can be broken off with a hammer or other heavy instrument, or completely bypassed by using pliers or a wrench behind the knob.


Lever handle locks are more frequently used for inner doors, but are sometimes found on the outside of doors in place of knob locks. Levers are much easier to open than knob locks as the large push down style handle is susceptible to torque attacks, where a large amount of pressure is applied to the handle to force the lock open. While you can purchase clutch levers that simply turn when forced, diverting pressure from the lock, they are probably the least secure of all lock types and should not be used on external doors.

If you want to improve your home’s security, contact your local residential locksmith in Melbourne.