11 Types of Lock + Table with Characteristics and Usage

Types of Lock

In today’s world, security is more paramount than ever. As individuals and businesses look for efficient ways to protect their assets and privacy, the need for understanding and choosing the right type of lock has grown. Linquip, known for providing insights into various industry products, is here to guide you through the diverse landscape of lock types. Let’s dive into the world of locks!


Locks vary widely from traditional mechanical types (like Deadbolts and Padlocks) to advanced electronic ones (like Smart Locks and Key Card Systems). Specific locks are tailored for unique uses, like marine or time-based settings. There are also innovations in hybrid locks combining old and new tech, as well as completely keyless systems using biometrics or voice recognition. These varieties ensure optimal security across numerous contexts.


Types of Lock:

Certainly, here’s a concise list of the lock types mentioned in the extended article:

    1. Mechanical Locks
      • Deadbolts
      • Padlocks
      • Knob Locks
    2. Electronic Locks
      • Smart Locks
      • Key Card Systems
    3. Specialty Locks
      • Furniture Locks
      • Cam Locks
      • Child Safety Locks
    4. Advanced Mechanical Locks
      • Tubular Locks
      • Rim/Mortise Locks
    5. Advanced Electronic Locks
      • Digital Door Locks
      • Electric Strike Locks
    6. Restricted Key Systems
    7. Vehicle Security Locks
      • Steering Wheel Locks
      • Gear Locks
      • Tire & Wheel Locks
    8. Hybrid Locks
      • Electromechanical Locks
    9. Environmental and Specialty Locks
      • Marine Locks
      • Time Locks
    10. High-Security Locks
    11. Keyless Systems and Innovations
      • Retina and Face Recognition Systems
      • Voice Activation Systems
      • Gesture-Based Systems


Types of Lock Table with Characteristics and Usage

Type of Lock Characteristic Usage
Deadbolts – Mechanical
– Single or Double Cylinder
Residential doors, external security
Padlocks – Mechanical or Combination
– Portable
Lockers, gates, sheds
Knob Locks – Mechanical
– Lock the cylinder in the knob
Internal doors in residences
Smart Locks – Electronic
– Wi-Fi/Bluetooth enabled
Modern homes, offices
Key Card Systems – Electronic
– Magnetic strip or smart card
Hotels, offices
Furniture Locks – Mechanical or Combination Cabinets, drawers
Cam Locks – Mechanical
– Rotating cam mechanism
Mailboxes, lockers, cabinets
Tubular Locks – Mechanical
– Circular key design
Vending machines, ATMs
Rim/Mortise Locks – Mechanical
– Surface-mounted or within the door cavity
Older buildings, supplementary security
Digital Door Locks – Electronic
– Password, smart card, or biometrics
Modern homes, offices
Electric Strike Locks – Electronic
– Remote access control
Commercial settings
Restricted Key Systems – Mechanical
– Controlled key duplication
Apartment complexes, office buildings
Steering Wheel Locks – Mechanical
– Immobilizes steering
Vehicle security
Electromechanical Locks – Hybrid
– Mechanical key with electronic coding
High-security needs, modern establishments
Marine Locks – Environmental
– Rust and corrosion resistant
Boats, maritime equipment
Time Locks – Mechanical/Electronic
– Timed access control
Bank vaults, safes
High-Security Locks – Mechanical
– Anti-tampering mechanisms
Government facilities, bank vaults
Retina/Face Recognition – Keyless
– Biometric recognition
High-security zones, modern homes
Voice Activation Systems – Keyless
– Voice command recognition
Smart homes, restricted access areas
Gesture-Based Systems – Keyless
– Hand movement sensors
Advanced security establishments


Mechanical Locks

Mechanical locks have been used for centuries to secure valuables. They operate without the need for electricity and are often the most familiar to people.

Mechanical Locks-Deadbolt
Mechanical Locks-Deadbolt (Reference: amazon.co.uk)


      • Single Cylinder Deadbolt: Operated with a key on the outside and a thumb turn on the inside.
      • Double Cylinder Deadbolt: Requires a key to operate both from the outside and inside, enhancing security but can be a safety concern during emergencies.


      • Keyed Padlocks: Most common type, requires a key for operation.
      • Combination Padlocks: Uses a number combination to unlock.

Knob Locks

Typically found on residential doors. They have a knob that can be turned to open the door once unlocked. However, they are not the best for external security since the lock cylinder is in the knob itself.


Electronic Locks

With advancements in technology, electronic locks have become increasingly popular. These locks often require a power source and can be controlled remotely.

Electronic Locks
Electronic Locks-Key Card System (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

Smart Locks

      • Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Enabled: This can be controlled through a smartphone or voice assistant.
      • Biometric Systems: Uses fingerprint or facial recognition for access.

Key Card Systems

Often found in hotels or businesses. They require a magnetic strip card or a smart card to gain access.


Specialty Locks

These are locks designed for specific applications or to address niche needs.

Specialty Locks-Cam Locks
Specialty Locks-Cam Locks (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

Furniture Locks

Ideal for securing cabinets or drawers. They can be either key-operated or have a combination mechanism.

Cam Locks

Commonly used in mailboxes, lockers, and cabinets. They operate with a rotating cam mechanism.

Child Safety Locks

Designed to secure cabinets or drawers from young children. They ensure that harmful items remain out of reach.


Advanced Mechanical Locks

Mechanical innovations have given birth to enhanced security systems that continue to be efficient and reliable without the need for electric power.

Advanced Mechanical Locks-Tubular Locks
Advanced Mechanical Locks-Tubular Locks (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

Tubular Locks

      • Application: Often found on vending machines, ATMs, and bicycle locks.
      • Features: Utilizes a circular key and offers a more advanced level of security compared to standard locks.

Rim/Mortise Locks

      • Rim Lock: Mounted on the inside surface of the door.
      • Mortise Lock: Installed within a cavity or ‘mortise’ in the door.
      • Application: Often used in older buildings or as a supplementary lock.


Advanced Electronic Locks

Advanced Electronic Locks-Locks
Advanced Electronic Locks-Locks (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

The digital age brought about sophisticated locking mechanisms that provide both security and convenience.

Digital Door Locks

      • Features: This can be opened using a password, smart card, or biometric systems.
      • Advantage: Allows users to change passwords regularly, enhancing security.

Electric Strike Locks

      • Application: Common in commercial settings where remote access control is needed.
      • Functionality: Allows a door to remain locked until the electric strike is activated, typically by a buzzer, card reader, or other remote control methods.


Restricted Key Systems

A unique solution for businesses or property managers seeking advanced security.

      • Advantage: Only authorized persons can make copies of the key, ensuring that key duplication is controlled.
      • Application: Often used in apartment complexes, office buildings, and other multi-unit structures.


Vehicle Security Locks

Vehicle Security Locks-Van Security Locks
Vehicle Security Locks-Van Security Locks (Reference: van-guard.co.uk)

With auto theft being a concern, vehicle security locks have seen significant innovations.

      • Steering Wheel Locks: Prevents the steering wheel from turning.
      • Gear Locks: Locks the gear stick, preventing the vehicle from being driven.
      • Tire & Wheel Locks: Prevents the tire from rotating, making it difficult to move the vehicle.


Hybrid Locks

Hybrid Locks
Hybrid Locks (Reference: barrier-components.co.uk)

Hybrid locks combine traditional mechanical systems with electronic functionalities to deliver both reliability and modern-day convenience.

      • Electromechanical Locks: These systems use a combination of mechanical keys and electronic coding, enhancing the level of security.


Environmental and Specialty Locks

Environmental and Specialty Locks-Time Locks
Environmental and Specialty Locks-Time Locks (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

These locks are tailored to specific environments or unique needs.

Marine Locks

      • Application: Used for boats, ships, and maritime equipment.
      • Features: Made with materials resistant to rust and corrosion. They’re designed to withstand harsh saltwater environments.

Time Locks

      • Application: Commonly used in bank vaults and safes.
      • Features: These locks only allow access at specific times, often using a dual or triple clock mechanism to prevent early or late access.


High-Security Locks

High-Security Locks
High-Security Locks (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

For those who demand the pinnacle of protection.

      • Application: Government facilities, bank vaults, and high-risk establishments.
      • Features: Often built with drill-resistant plates, complex pin configurations, and other anti-tampering mechanisms.


Keyless Systems and Innovations

Keyless Systems
Keyless Systems (Reference: amazon.co.uk)

The future of locking is moving towards total keyless systems.

      • Retina and Face Recognition Systems: Biometric solutions that offer a high level of security tailored to individual users.
      • Voice Activation Systems: Lock or unlock based on voice commands and recognition.
      • Gesture-Based Systems: Using hand gestures or movements to gain access, these systems rely on advanced sensors and algorithms.


Future Predictions for Lock Systems

As technology continues to evolve, we anticipate:

      1. Integration with AI: Locks that learn user behavior, predicting when they’ll need to lock or unlock.
      2. Global Access Control: Systems that can be controlled no matter where you are in the world, via internet connectivity.
      3. Self-repairing Systems: Locks that can self-diagnose issues and either repair themselves or alert the user.



The world of locks, from their humble mechanical beginnings to the cutting-edge electronic and hybrid systems of today, is ever-expansive. The continued need for enhanced security in both personal and professional domains drives this industry forward at an unprecedented pace. With brands like Linquip providing a reliable source of industry insights and knowledge, staying informed about the latest in lock innovations is easier than ever. Whether you’re safeguarding an antique or securing a smart home, remember that the right lock, tailored to your needs, is out there. Secure today. Ensure tomorrow.


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