Door Locks and Latches Buying Guide

Unless you are a professional locksmith or work in the building trade, when purchasing door lock chances are you would find it difficult to choose which one suits your needs. Here is a basic guide to the features of each type of lock and what they are used for.


  • Mortice Locks

      This type of lock is usually fitted to a wooden door, with a key being required to operate it. It can be locked from both the inside and outside of the door. A Mortice Lock sits flush within the door. It is very secure and difficult to force open.

      It is also referred to as a Deadlock, Deadbolt or Sashlock as both have essentially the same operating system. The main difference is that a Sashlock requires a handle, meaning the door can be closed using the latch without having to deadbolt the door, but to close a door with a Deadlock installed you must deadbolt the lock.

      There 3 lever or 5 lever Mortice Locks available. Most insurance companies require a 5 lever BS3621 approved lock

      View Mortice Locks

      • Night Latches

      Sometimes called a Yale Lock and is fitted as a secondary lock, usually accompanied by a mortice lock. It typically sits higher on the door and automatically lock the door when it is closed. The latch can be used to lock the door internally so that it will not unlock from the outside. This type of lock suits inward opening doors.

      You would need to choose between the following types of Nightlatch:

        • Standard Nightlatch – A basic nightlatch which does not offer a high level of security, but is great for communal doors as it automatically locks when the door is closed but can be unlocked from the outside. When used on a front door a deadlock should be installed in addition. It features a button (called a snib) which allows the latch to be locked or held open.
        • Deadlocking Nightlatch – The same as a standard nightlatch except the latch can be locked in the closed position from outside using the key. Better security but still not enough to be used alone on a front door.
        • Autolocking Nightlatch – A more secure nightlatch that automatically deadlocks when the latch is closed. Once deadlocked, a key must be used to unlock it.
        • Double Locking Nightlatch
      • Double Locking Nightlatches

      One of the most secure nightlatches that you can have, this version has the added feature of an internal key meaning that you can lock the internal handle for extra security. These nightlatches are approved by British Standard BS3621 and BS8621

      • Rim Cylinder Locks

      A Rim Cylinder is a basic lock which uses a single lever and a sliding bolt. Itis fitted on the surface of the door. As part of a Nightlatch system it is the part used to unlock the door from the outside with a key.

      View Night Latches


      • Bathroom Locks 
      Bathroom door locks are generally required for privacy rather than high security. Standard case sizes for full bathroom locks are 63/64mm and 75/76mm.  The 63/64mm size tends to more widely used, however sometimes the design of your door may require a different size. You will also need a Thumbturn or Turn & Release to operate the lock.
        • What type of lock is needed???

      A privacy lock will have a tubular notice latch, while a bathroom lock will have what is called is full bathroom mortice, which is a larger and more complex locking system. Both bathroom locks and privacy locks come with a release on the external handle

      View Bathroom Locks


      This is an overview of the basics. Abbey Hardware are always happy to help answer any questions and advise you on the best handle for your project. 

      View all Locks and Cylinders

      Our contact details are:

      01706 644880