Most people use locks every day, but very few people take the time to look at them closely and understand how they work. While most locks work on fundamentally similar principles, there are several different types that rely on different mechanisms. Each type of lock has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and the best security systems are created by people who understand the differences. Deadbolts and lever locks are among the most popular types on the market today, so people who want to understand locks should start by taking a look at them.
How Deadbolts Work
The deadbolt is one of the simplest locks in existence, but that does not stop it from being one of the most secure designs ever created. Most deadbolt locks consist of a cylinder with a keyhole built into one or both ends. The cylinder has both a locked position and an unlocked position, and users operate the lock by twisting it into the appropriate position. Since the bolt does not have an external handle, that can only be done by inserting the proper key into the hole. If the wrong key is used, then it won’t be able to fit into the hole and provide enough traction to turn the cylinder.
How Lever Locks Work
Lever locks include many more moving parts than deadbolt locks. This type of lock is based around a bolt which can prevent the door from opening. A set of levers prevents the bolt from moving under most circumstances, but will allow motion if they are all raised to a specific elevation. Turning the key adjusts the levers so that the bolt can move into position.
Choosing a Lock
Both of these locks have a place in modern security systems, but they should be used in different circumstances.
Deadbolts are sometimes used on their own, but they are most common as a secondary lock on a door. Their main value is their resistance to brute force. Unlike spring locks, simple pressure cannot force them into the open position. An intruder that wants to use brute force to get past a deadbolt will need to break either the lock itself, the door frame, or the door to which it is attached, which is often easier said than done. If the door includes glass panels that are near the lock, be sure to use a double cylinder model to prevent an intruder from breaking the glass and reaching through to manipulate the lock.
Most modern lever locks are very small and hard to pick, which makes them popular for use on safes. The safe will be strong enough to prevent entry through brute force, while the lock will prevent entry by finesse. Since they can be smaller than many other locks while still offering excellent security, they should also be used in places where aesthetics are a major concern.