Mortice is a word that is regarded as the hole in the door where the lock fits in. Thus, a mortice lock is simply a lock that is installed within a pocket or a hole of a door. Mortice locks are popularly used on wooden doors (timber doors) and are more prevalent in Europe and the United Kingdom. Mortice locks are also called a ‘Chubb lock’ used predominantly by UK residents; this is because the popular brand of the mortice lock in the UK is Chubb.
Mortice locks come in two types of variations – deadlocks or sashlocks. A sashlock is a latch mechanism combined with a handle and a deadlock which are usually installed on internal doors. In essence anything with a latch is for convienience to open and shut the door without a key as well. A Deadlock is a mechanism that is only used to lock a door without the convienience of a latch. These locks are found predominantly on external timber doors.
They are then split into two categories:
- Cylinder Mortice Locks
- Lever Mortice Locks
The cylinder mortice locks are utilized to throw the bolt instead of installing a key directly into the lock. These locks are popular used in commercial areas, although many more people are currently having them installed to their homes since they are more flexible with restricted keys and master suites. These locks are typically installed with an oval profile cylinder and euro profile cylinder, which is capable of being key operated from the two sides of the door or one side of the door and a thumb turn can be used to unlock from the inside.
Lever Mortice Locks
Many domestic properties in the United Kingdom make use of the lever mortice locks as these locks are extremely similar in their operations. When a key is inserted into the lock and turned, the levers will be moved to the right height, which will enable the bolt to lock and be unlocked. The diagram below provides additional information.
There are various types of Lever Mortice Locks, based on the thickness of the doors and application, typically the more levers that are stacked in the lock case, the thicker the lock. Keys differ with respect to more levers, so it is not very possible that another key will be used to open other locks. The security of a lock with 5 levers is higher than the lock with 2/3 levers. The most popular lever locks include:
- 2/3 lever mortice locks: This lock has 2/3 levers and a thin lock case, which makes it appropriate for installation in interior doors that are less than 45mm thick, in which a low security is required. The 2 lever mortice locks are not suitable for external doors’ security. From a locksmith perspective upon an emergency to open a 2/3 lever lock is a lot quicker and maybe cheaper to open.
- 5 lever mortice locks: There are different sizes of lock cases, which are applicable on thinner internal and external doors which require a medium level of security. As a locksmith it takes more time to open such locks. This is why a 5 lever mortice lock is essential for a front timber door. ‘The longer it takes to get in the better for you.
- 5 lever British Standard mortice locks (BS 3621): The features of the 5 lever mortice locks come with the 5 lever British Standard mortice locks, but the anti-drill plates are added to the two sides of the lock case, including a bigger reinforced dead bolt. Best for compatible internal doors (that are at least 45mm thick) and also suitable for external doors that require a high security level. Levers inside of such a lock have false levers as well. Which means that it is impossible for anyone else to pick this lock.
Since most insurance companies require that your locks are British Standard, with a minimum of 1 BS3621 lock, you can easily check for the mark of the British Standard kite. This is stamped on the faceplate of the lock around the edge of the door. If you find it difficult to locate the mark, you can contact us at R&M Locksmith to help you identify locks that are British Standard, and we can also help provide and install British Standard locks in case you do not have any in your home.
This very informative article about Mortice locks is presented by R&M Locksmith, a leading East London locksmith company.