The Nuts and Bolts of Your Door Lock
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 in Blog
Using a door lock is a simple experience. When you leave home, you simply put your key in it, turn and then the door can no longer be opened unless someone has the key. Then when you return, you just put the key in again to open the lock. While both of those actions can be completed in a matter of seconds, there’s actually quite a bit that goes on inside the lock that is a central part of your home security.
If you had x-ray vision and could see inside a lock, you would see a small cylinder that runs down the middle of the doorknob and into the door. That cylinder contains pins and tumblers. Those are the components that interact directly with the key. The reason that keys have notches is they’re used to push the pins up to a specific height. If you accidentally try to unlock your door with the wrong key, the reason it won’t open is because the pins won’t be pushed to the correct level.
When you use the right key, it will turn the cylinder once it’s inserted. Then the cylinder turns a component called the cam. Once the cam is turned, it releases a spring and pushes a piece named the tang forward. The tang is what actually locks the door. Until the key is used to turn the lock the other way, the tang will prevent the door from being opened.
3 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a New Lock
Now that you’ve seen why door locks are actually significantly more complicated than they initially appear, it’s easy to understand the importance of choosing the right locks for your home. Whether you’re moving into a new home or just want to upgrade the locks where you’re currently living, choosing the right ones can keep your house and family safe.
When it comes to the style, there are knob, lever handle, deadbolt and handle set locks. For an exterior door, it’s important for it to have a deadbolt. Even though two locks on a door may seem like a lot, the reality is that the deadbolt provides far more security than the lock on the part of the door you grab when you open it.
The next consideration is the finish. While this doesn’t impact the security of your home, because locks are a noticeable part of your home’s exterior, it’s something to at least think about. The five most popular finishes are bronze, satin nickel, chrome, antique brass and bright brass.
Finally, the last step in this process is the actual keying. Since you probably don’t want to use multiple keys just to open your front door, you’ll want the locks to work with the same key. Depending on where you purchase the locks, you may need to enlist the help of a locksmith to properly key them.
If you have any additional questions about choosing the right locks for your home, or need assistance installing or keying them, just get in touch with our Locksmith and Security CNY professional and we’ll be happy to help!