Your Guide to Buying Keyed Door Locks

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While keyed door locks may seem simple, once buyers begin to shop, they realize that there is actually a wide variety of locks that they can purchase. The differences between these types of locks can be subtle, but it is important for buyers to understand the differences before making any purchases.

The two main categories of door locks are rim locks and mortise locks, and they each provide varying levels of security. Within each of these categories, buyers can then browse through latch locks, deadbolts, and sash locks or handsets. Latch locks are commonly found on many doors throughout the house, and they are ideal for basic locking needs. In many cases, the main doors of the home require locks that are more secure. However, sometimes deadbolts alone are still not enough. In fact, handlesets and sash locks are the type of locks that most homeowners will recognize because these combination devices bring together both latch locks and deadbolts within one unit.

By considering all of the different types of locks, buyers can determine which locks correspond to the levels of security that they need. They can then shop for these locks in hardware stores and on eBay.

Discovering the Different Types of Keyed Door Locks

When shopping for keyed door locks, there are several types of locks that buyers can consider. These types include latch locks, deadbolts, and sash locks. All three of these types of locks can be found in either mortise lock or rim lock versions.

When it comes to securing a front or back door, a mortise lock is the most recommended type of lock because the locking mechanism fits inside of the recess in the door jamb when the lock is engaged. This differentiates mortise locks from rim locks that are placed on the outside of the door instead of inside. Rim locks offer very little security because the small rimmed housing that encloses the engaged lock is on the exterior of the door and can easily be removed with a little bit of force. Mortise locks, however, are fitted between the door and the door jamb, making them much more difficult to access and subsequently damage.

Understanding Latch Locks for Doors

Latches are the most common type of primary door lock. They are also known as spring bolt locks or spring latches. This is because there is a spring that is used to pop the bolt back into place once the door has been closed. Normally, spring latches for doors come as part of a set that also includes a door knob or door lever. Door knob sets with spring latch locks are usually found on doors requiring low security, like bedroom and bathroom doors. Although they are also commonly found on front and back doors, they are usually used in combination with a stronger, more secure type of lock.

Standard vs. Heavy Sprung Latch Locks

Within the latch lock product category, there are actually two different kinds of items, including standard and heavy sprung. Most homeowners and do-it-yourselfers will only ever need to use standard latch locks. Heavy sprung locks are intended for door knobs and handles like ironmongery handles, which are so heavy that they need even more force to be returned to their default position once they have been released.

Understanding Dead Bolts for Doors

Like the latch lock, a dead bolt can also go by several different names, with "dead lock" being the most typical alternative name. A dead bolt is different from a latch lock because it will not automatically spring back into place once the door knob is released. With a dead bolt, a key must be used to both engage and disengage the locking mechanism. One of the main purposes of dead bolts is to add security to a door that has already been fitted with a latch lock.

Single Cylinder Dead Bolts vs. Double Cylinder Dead Bolts

When considering deadbolts, buyers will notice that they have the choice between single cylinder dead bolts and double cylinder dead bolts. Single cylinder deadbolts feature a slot for a key on one side and a mechanism known as a thumb turn on the other side. The thumb turn can be moved back and forth in order to engage and disengage the deadbolt without a key, and this can be done from the interior of the house or room. A double cylinder deadbolt has key slots on both sides of the device so that a key is required to open the lock no matter what side the person is on.

Although double cylinder locks are generally more expensive, it is important to use them on doors that have windows, or doors that are right next to windows. Otherwise, an intruder could simply break the window, reach inside and unlock the deadbolt using the thumb turn on the interior side. On the other hand, if ever an emergency requires the inhabitants to quickly exit the home, a double cylinder lock could temporarily impede their exit. Buyers should therefore carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of both types of dead bolts before installing.

Understanding Handlesets and Sash Locks for Doors

A sash lock is a combination of a latch lock and a deadbolt within a single casing. Similar to a sash lock, a handleset also includes both a latch lock and a dead bolt. However, a handleset also features the addition of all the necessary door handle hardware. For buyers who want to find a single solution for their keyed door lock projects, handlesets represent the most comprehensive choice.

By purchasing a handleset, buyers are sure to have almost all of the elements that they will need to properly secure the main doors of their homes. Because sash locks do not include the actual door handles or levers, they require buyers to purchase additional hardware to be able to operate the locks. For this reason, sash locks are better suited to skilled professionals or advanced do-it-yourselfers.

Deciding Which Keyed Door Lock to Buy

There are many things to consider when shopping for keyed door locks. However, one of the most important considerations is the level of security needed, and the following chart can serve as a guideline to help buyers decide which locks correspond to certain levels of security.

Type of Lock

Level of Security

Suitable Doors

Rim latch lock

Very low

Bathroom doors, bedroom doors

Rim deadbolt


Indoor storage areas, closet doors

Rim sash lock


Indoor storage areas, basement doors

Mortise latch lock


Patio doors

Mortise single-cylinder deadbolt

Moderately high

Outdoor shed doors, garage doors

Mortise double-cylinder deadbolt


Outdoor shed doors, garage doors

Mortise sash lock, handleset, or mortise latch lock and deadbolt combination


Front and back doors

While this chart does provide some indication of the level of security that a buyer can expect with certain locks, the amount of security actually provided cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, various types and brands of locks and deadbolts will offer varying degrees of security. Buyers should therefore make sure to compare the different features and advantages of different items before making their purchases.

Buying Keyed Door Locks on eBay

Buyers can find various keyed door locks at hardware stores, home improvement stores, and specialty lock stores, both online and off. For those who want to find deals on a wide variety of door locks, eBay also offers a large selection of these items. Buyers who wish to find door locks on eBay can go to the Home Improvement category in the Home and Garden portal. From there, they can navigate to Building and Hardware and then Doors and Door Hardware, where they will find subcategories for Keyed Locks, Deadbolts, and Locksets.

Using Filters to Search for Keyed Door Locks on eBay

Within each of these subcategories, buyers can narrow down results using one or more filters available next to the search results. Filters enable buyers to pinpoint new or used items as well as items that fall within a specific price range. As a result, eBay provides shoppers with an easy way to quickly find the keyed door locks that correspond to their needs and budgets.


For anyone who is considering a home improvement project that involves doors, the process of deciding on keyed door locks can be confusing. Buyers must first determine whether they will need rim locks or mortise locks. Mortise locks are much more common than rim locks due to their enhanced security, but there may be some circumstances in which buyers prefer rim locks.

Regardless of whether they are seeking rim locks or mortise locks, buyers will also need to choose between various locking mechanisms. These mechanisms include latch locks, deadbolts, and handlesets. For interiors, latch locks will often suffice while the exterior doors of the home usually require more secure locks like deadbolts. For extra security, dead bolts are ideal, and they even come in two different varieties, namely single cylinder and double cylinder. Often, both latch locks and deadbolts are sold together as sets that can even come with the door handle hardware. It is this type of lock that is installed in most front and back doors. All of these items can be found in various stores as well as on eBay, enabling buyers to easily decide on and purchase the appropriate locks.

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