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21 Types of Door Locks

Are you curious about what type of lock might work best for specific things in and around your home? Continue reading to find out all the details about the different types of door locks.

Brown wooden door with 5 differetn types of locks on it, key pad and black framed black and white picture on the wall to the left of the door

We all use door locks to keep us and our valuables safe. When you think of a door lock, you almost immediately think of your house, but you can have a door lock on an office, store, locker, or just about anything that closes and contains items within it. 

There are various types of locks available that can be used for internal and external doors. It may seem challenging to determine which lock is best for your door. Typically, all locks have some standard parts. 

These include the cylinder and the bolt, or latch. The cylinder is the part where you place the key. The key must fit correctly to be able to unlock the door. 

Once you turn the key in the cylinder, the pins inside move, and the bolt engages in the box on the door frame. 

With this information about door locks, you can start to think about which types of door locks you may want for your door. Continue reading to find out all the details about the different types of door locks. 

What Are the Different Types of Door Locks?

While all door locks serve the same function, they all look a little different. Some locks are simple, while others have stylish and elegant designs. Each one adds value to your door and home. 

Types of Interior Door Locks

Barrel Bolt

Close up of a silver barrel bolt on an old wooden gate

A barrel bolt is also referred to as a sliding bolt. It is placed on the inside of the door to add a level of security. This type of lock has two pieces. One is on the door frame, and the main assembly goes on the door. 

The main assembly consists of a cylindrical lock that slides into the catch, which locks the door from the inside. These locks are sometimes installed at the top and bottom of a door. 

You will find these locks on internal and external doors, but they are most commonly found on bathroom doors. They are also used on property gates. 

These locks are most beneficial when used as an additional means of security. They come in various sizes to meet your needs. 

Chain Locks

Close up of a white door with a silver sliding chain lock above a silver round door handle

A chain lock is what you typically see on the inside of a hotel room door. However, many hotels have upgraded to electronic locks, so these are considered old door lock types. This type of lock has a catch attached to the door frame. You will also see these locks inside homes, but many have been upgraded. 

The primary locking assembly is attached to the door. In addition, there is a chain that slides into place on the door itself. This allows you to open the door slightly to see who is there, but the door remains closed. 

The benefit of a chain lock includes that it allows you to open the door partially while still keeping it secured. Therefore, it is most often used with another type of lock.

Childproof Locks

Close up of white cabinets with a white and gray childproof lock

Childproof locks are also called child safety locks. These are locks that are used on various doors within your home to keep children’s fingers safe. 

These locks are more often used to protect children by preventing them from getting into cabinets, refrigerators, or ovens. In addition, these locks can be used to keep medicine or chemicals away from children. They prevent them from falling out of windows, into freezers, or crawling in the oven. 

The benefit of these types of locks is they keep children safe and away from harmful items. 

Door Knob Locks

Close up of an open door with a gold round door knob, blurred bedroom in the background, sun coming through window

Door Knob locks are among the most common types of locks you will find inside a home. Door Knob locks are often used on bedroom and bathroom doors. In addition, you may find them on a front door, but often in combination with another type of lock. 

A doorknob lock has a locking mechanism inside the doorknob itself. This type of lock has a knob on both sides of the door. Knob locks can have either a single or double cylinder. This determines if you can lock the door from the inside or not. 

The benefit to this type of door lock is that it does not stand out and can be added to any type of door. 

The downside to this lock type is that it is not the most secure option. It can be easily broken into. All you need is a wrench or a hammer, and it can be broken. 

Hand Levers 

White front door slightly open, silver door handle eith key inserted into the key hole

Hand lever locks can be used on internal or external doors. They are often used for interior doors like basements or closets. These door locks have a lever on one side and a knob on the other. 

Often these particular handles have simple locks that turn. You do not need a key for these locks. There is another version of a lever lock that is keyed. This version can be used for an external door. 

You will often find these door locks in commercial buildings such as schools and offices. This version has additional security. 

The benefit to these doors is that they are easy to use. You only need one hand to open them. In addition, you can make them more secure by adding a sturdy lock. 

The downside to these doors is that if they do not have heavy-duty locks, they are not as secure as other doors. 

Types of Exterior Door Locks

Deadbolt Locks

Olive green front door, close up of silver dead bolt lock with keysinserted into key hole

A deadbolt is a separate mechanism from the doorknob. They are almost always used on an entryway door. It is common to see a door knob lock combined with a deadbolt lock. This reduces the risk of someone breaking in. 

A key must be used to unlock the deadbolt. Once you inserted the key into the cylinder assembly and turned it, it released the lock, and the door could be opened. A deadbolt makes it challenging to break through the door. Deadbolts come in a few options that can give you even more protection. 

A single deadbolt is locked on the outside. On the inside, all you do is turn the handle, and you can open the door. On the outside of the door, you need a key to unlock and open the door. 

A double deadbolt has a two-cylinder, and a key is needed for both sides of the door. A double cylinder deadbolt provides extra security from theft and intrusion. 

A vertical deadbolt cannot be easily opened. This deadbolt has a door lock but also has a jamb bracket preventing them from being pried open. 

A lockable thumb-turn deadbolt is a cross between a single and double cylinder. This deadbolt has a lock on the handle on the inside of the door. It also has a deadbolt on the exterior of the door. 

There are numerous benefits to a deadbolt. First, you must use a key to unlock it. It has a spring to hold the bolt in place. Finally, it can provide safety and protection in emergencies. 

Electronic Locks

Close up of a glass door with a silver handle, electronic lock on the wall to the right of the door

Electronic locks are a modern invention. They use a series of motors or magnets to unlock, open, and lock the door. An electronic lock does not need a key to unlock it. 

They typically have a card or a keypad that allows you to unlock the door. You may have to enter a code to get the door unlocked. In some cases, they have a screen on the lock where you enter the code. 

Often, this type of door locks automatically when you close it. Electronic locks are used in schools, offices, and hotels. Some of these locks also allow you to use a key if you forget or lose the code. This type of lock usually has a battery in it. 

Some electronic locks allow you to remotely open the door from a computer or smartphone, even if you are not close to home. 

There are many benefits to this type of lock. First, you are able to keep track of when someone enters a room or building. You can assign distinct codes to individuals, so you know when they entered. 

These locks provide additional security and do not have the hassle of keys. 


Woman holding onto crome door handle with thumb on lever, matching padlock above, brown door

A handle set lock is one that has a handle on the outside of the door and a key or twist knob on the inside where it is locked. This lock has a deadbolt and not a spring to provide extra security. These handles typically have a classier look than a doorknob lock. 

Mortise Locks

Clsoe up of glass doors with a mortise lock installed

A mortise lock is installed in the door instead of being attached to the surface of the door. The lock hardware is inside the door, and the lock attaches to the hardware. 

Three lever and five-lever mortise door locks are some of the most common options you will find. 

The benefit of this type of lock is you have extra security. You just use a key to unlock and open the door. In addition, they are easy to use. 

Other Types of Door Locks

Cam Locks

Close up of many rectangular shaped silver mailboxes with cam locks, silver keys hanging from one of them showing its unlocked

Cam locks are most often found on mailboxes, lockers, filing cabinets, and bank deposit boxes that have a low amount of security. This is a simple type of lock that needs a key to lock and unlock. 

When you use the key, it turns the cam to lock or unlock the door. They can be shaped like a tube or flat. However, the key must be the same shape to open the lock. 

Circular Padlocks 

Close up of a rustic old wooden door with chipping red and white paint, circular padlock with key hole locking the door

A circular padlock is also referred to as a disc padlock. This type of padlock offers more security and protection than other padlocks. This is great for a storage unit or shed.

This type of lock is not attached to the door at all. Instead, it has a curved bar that juts out from one side of the lock. It moves through the door handles and locks back into itself to stop someone from opening the door.

One of the benefits of a circular padlock is that it is thicker and more challenging to break into. 

Combination Padlocks

Close up of a silver and black combination padlock

Combination padlocks are the most common type you will find. They have dials on the front of them that contain numbers and sometimes letters. These numbers and letters create a combination code that allows you to open the lock. 

The numbers and letters on the lock must be lined up correctly for the lock to open. They do not require a key, and you cannot open them without the code. You commonly see combination locks on lockers or bike locks. 

The benefit of combination padlocks is that they come in various shapes and sizes. They are capable of providing security for a laptop bag to a warehouse. They are strong and do not need a key to open. 

Keyed Padlocks

Gold keyed padlock, silver key inside, lock open

A keyed padlock requires that you use a key to unlock and open the padlock. Once you have inserted the key and the lock is open, you cannot remove the key until you lock it again. 

It is possible to rekey this type of padlock. This means that you can use a different key for the lock. 

Simple Padlocks

Simple gold rectangular shaped padlock with slding number combination on the side

A padlock is one of the most recognizable locks. Most of us have used one at some point. They are ideal for securing an area with a chain or a fence. 

These are some of the oldest types of locks available. They date back to Roman times. You can find them in varying shapes, sizes, and locks. For example, you can find the smaller padlocks on journals, diaries, and notebooks. They can secure bags or large spaces. 

Industrial spaces use large and sturdy padlocks because they are more secure. In addition, there are padlocks that have extended shoulders, so bolt cutters cannot fit or cut the lock.

The benefit of padlocks is that they are easy to obtain and secure. Some have keys, and others have combination codes. Depending on your needs, they can provide a large amount of security. 

The downside to padlocks is some of them are small and not very secure. As a result, they can easily be broken into with household tools. For padlocks that are large but not sturdy, they can be cut with bolt cutters. 

Types of Smart Locks

Smart door locks are modern-style locks. They have only been available for a few years, but they seem to improve with each year. With a smart lock, you are able to unlock a door remotely. In addition, you can use your smartphone or laptop. 

You can unlock the door no matter where you are located. While they are locks, they are often much more. It can be one piece of audio and video monitoring for your home. Smart locks, in combination with other features, provide you with ultimate control over your house. 

Smart door locks often still have a keyhole. This gives you the flexibility of using an actual key or an electronic one. Some smart locks use a thumbprint to unlock the door. More sophisticated smart locks may use a retina scan to unlock the door. 

Bluetooth Lock

Gray door with silver door handle opened up to a living space with gray walls and a decortaive table tis a lamp and plant, woman holding a phone up to door showing her bluetooth lock activating lock on door

The most common type of smart lock connection is via Bluetooth. For this to work, the lock is connected to your smartphone. Therefore, there is no need for a connection hub between them. 

Many Bluetooth locks can sense when you are within a close range to the lock with your smartphone and will automatically unlock the door. 

The benefit to this type of lock is you do not need a key to unlock the door. In some cases, you do not even need to use your hands. 

The downside to a Bluetooth type of lock is if you lose connection or are not in the specific range, you cannot control the door lock. 

Wi-Fi Lock

Mans in teal shirt holding up a phone showing the wi-fi lock set up for his security on his home

A Wi-Fi locking mechanism is another way to connect to smart locks. This allows you to control the lock with your device. However, you must be connected to Wi-Fi to be able to unlock your lock. You do not, however, need to be within a specific range of your lock. You can unlock your phone no matter where you are. 

The benefit of a Wi-Fi controlled lock is the ability to unlock your door for anyone, no matter where you are.

The downside to a Wi-Fi type of lock is that the batteries drain faster, and you have to change them more frequently. 


Close up of a Z-Wave, round white motum with wires attached

A Z-Wave lock requires that you have a hub to which you connect. Once you connect to the hub, then you can connect to the lock and unlock it. The Z-Wave is a hybrid between a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth lock. 

For you to be able to unlock the door, you must be within a specified range of the hub. You can obtain an extender to strengthen your single or extend the range to allow you to unlock the door from further away. 

Types of Childproof Locks

Childproof locks are locks you put in place that prevent a child from getting into a cabinet, room, or area that may have dangerous material. 

There are various reasons why you may want to keep a child out of a specific area. In addition, there are some specific types of childproof locks. 

Cabinet Locks

Clsoe up of cabinets with small circle knobs with plastic child safety lock around them

There are locks for cabinets to prevent your child from getting inside the cabinet. These locks go around the handles or are installed on the inside part of the door. 

The most common type is installed inside the cabinet, and the other part is attached to the door. When you close the cabinet, the door locks into the childproof lock. 

You have to press down on the lock to release the cabinet door. Unfortunately, most children do not have the strength or fine motor skills to unlock this lock. 

The lock that goes around the door handles requires you to push levers together to release the lock. 

Door Top Locks

Glass doors, each having its own handle, up high off ground, womans hand using key in key hole to unlock doors, blue sky, green trees and buildings out windows

Door top locks are locks that are installed high enough so that a child cannot reach them. These locks are ideal once the child has figured out how to open gates or other types of locks. 

The lock is installed at the top of the top. To unlock it, you must pull on a latch that hangs. You can unlock the door from either side, so you do not lock yourself in or out of the room.

Refrigerator Locks

Clsoe up of a womans hand pinching the center of a refrigerator lock to open in

A refrigerator lock is a button type of lock. This lock is mounted on the refrigerator or deep freezer door. It has one side that is mounted to the door, and the other side is mounted to the side of the refrigerator or freezer. 

To be able to open the refrigerator or freezer, you must push the button on the lock to unlock it. 

Oven Locks 

Clsoe up of a white oven lock used on a night stand drawer

Many parents install a lock on their oven door to prevent children from pulling open the door and climbing in. But, again, the purpose is to prevent children from burning or injuring themselves. 

The most common type of lock does not need to be installed or drilled. These locks have adhesive parts. One part of the lock assembly attaches to one door, and the other connects to the oven. There is a button that must be pushed to detach the small lock. This same type of lock can be used on cabinets and refrigerators.