When it comes to choosing a lock for your home or business, there are a lot of factors to consider. Two common types of locks that are often compared are mortise locks and cylindrical locks. While both offer a degree of security, they have significant differences in terms of their construction, installation, and functionality. Here, we’ll explore the key differences between them, as well as the pros and cons of each type of lock. By reading this article, you’ll better understand mortise lock vs cylindrical lock.

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A mortise lock generally consists of handle, key cylinder, and lock body. It is one of the most commonly seen lock sets in the modern market. As its name mean, the mortise lock requires a mortise (or pocket), which needs to be cut into the door and installed on the door edge. 

Moreover, they are more difficult to bypass or break because they are installed into the door itself, making them less vulnerable to forced entry. And they can be customized to fit the specific needs of a particular application, such as incorporating multiple locking points or additional features.

Therefore, these kinds of locks can be divided into three types: single-tongue mortise locks, single-deadbolt button mortise locks, and double-tongue mortise locks. Different types of mortise locks are suitable for different applications. So they are widely used in commercial buildings and high-security applications like hotels, motels, resorts, etc.

Pros and Cons of Mortise locks.


  • High security: Mortise door locks offer a high level of security which include a dead bolt that extends deeper into the door frame, making them more difficult to bypass or break compared to other types of locks.
  • Customization: Locks with mortise can be designed to a wide variety of sizes to fit the specific needs of a particular application, which makes them a more flexible choice for some installations.
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  • Aesthetics: This kind of lock comes in a wide range of styles and finishes, which can offer better aesthetic appeal and enhance the aesthetics of a space.
  • Durability: Due to this type of lock uses more durable material. They are designed to withstand heavy use and are less likely to break or wear out over time.
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  • Versatility: This kind of lock can be used in a variety of applications, including residential, commercial, and institutional settings.
  • Easy to use: Mainly reflected it can be designed to multiply unlocking methods, such as card unlocks, key unlocks, fingerprint unlocks, password unlocks, etc.
  • Fire security: This kind of lock can be designed to be fire-rated, which means it can help prevent the spread of fire in the event of an emergency. This can be especially important in commercial or institutional settings, where fire safety is a top priority.


  • Installation: Installation of a mortise door lock is more complex and requires a mortise to be cut into the door, which can be a more time-consuming and labor-intensive process compared to other types of locks.
  • Cost: With a higher technique design, mortise door locks are generally more expensive compared to other types of locks. And they may not be feasible for some applications, such as homes.
  • Maintenance: Mortise door locks have more parts and are more complex, which can make them more difficult to repair or maintain. If you are not familiar with maintenance work, you may need to ask for a professional maintenance company to do it, which will be resulting in more management costs.

What is a cylindrical lock?

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A cylindrical lock mainly consists of a cylindrical body, which houses the locking mechanism, and a knob or lever on both the inside and outside of the door. It is a type of lock that is installed through a hole drilled into the door, which is typically located in the center of the door edge.

Cylindrical door locks are available in a range of styles and finishes, and are often less expensive compared to other types of locks. They are also relatively easy to install and maintain, making them a popular choice for residential and commercial applications, especially in households. However, they may not offer the same level of security as other types of locks, and may not be suitable for high-security applications.

Pros and Cons of cylindrical locks.


  • Cost-effective: If you are seeking a lock, cylindrical locks will be your solid choice. Although this kind of lock has a simple design and fewer components, it has basic security features the marketing needs. So it is a highly cost-effective option, especially in residential.
  • Easy to install: The main advantage of a cylindrical lock is its relatively quick installation, and can often be installed without the need for professional assistance. Furthermore, cylindrical door locks have two variables that can be chosen, so their lock is easy to replace too.
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  • Easy to re-key-able: Generally, most cylindrical door lock manufacturers allow re-key-able, which means you do not need to replace the entire locks when you lost your keys.
  • Mature technology: The history of cylinder locks dates back several hundred years, even longer than that of mortise door locks. With continuous innovation, cylinder locks have stood the test of time and remain a major player in the door lock industry. Their mature technology meets the needs of modern people.
  • Available in single/double cylinder locks: Two variations are available, making these locks can suitable for more types of old locks, especially in old homes.


  • Security: Cylindrical door locks can be easier to passby and breakin than other lock types. So this kind of lock may not offer the same level of security as other types, such as mortise door locks or basic deadbolt locks.
  • Limited customization: Cylindrical locks are limited in their ability to be customized or modified to fit specific needs or applications.
  • Durability: Cylindrical locks may not be as durable as other types of locks, and may be more prone to wear and tear over time.
  • Maintenance: Cylindrical locks may require more frequent maintenance compared to other types of locks, such as lubrication or tightening of screws.
  • Compatibility: Cylindrical locks may not be compatible with all types of doors or hardware, which can limit their applicability in certain situations.

Comparison of Mortise vs. Cylindrical Locks


Mortise door locks will be more difficult to install than cylindrical door locks. As we said before, the mortise door lock requires a mortise to be cut into the edge of the door, while the cylindrical door lock simply requires a circular hole to be drilled through the door. Obviously, installing a mortise door lock needs a lot of installation time and labor, and cylindrical door locks are easier and quicker to install.


Mortise door locks have more function options than cylindrical locks. With the features of plasticity and customization, mortise locks can be designed as multifunction locks. For example, multiple lock function options: key unlock, password unlock, fingerprint unlock, etc. Cylindrical locks are generally simpler in design and offer fewer options, but are still effective at providing basic security for most applications.


While both cylindrical and mortise locks can provide adequate security, mortise locks are generally considered to be more secure. The reason for this is that they are installed into the door itself and stronger, more durable materials make them harder to break or bypass. Cylindrical locks, on the other hand, are installed into the door with screws, which makes them easier to remove.

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Style and Design

Mortise locks are available in a wider range of styles and designs than cylindrical locks. Mortise locks are designed with a mortise, which can be suitable for various lock surfaces. And can be customized to match the door’s style or design. Cylindrical locks, on the other hand, are a more basic design and offer fewer options for customization.


Cylindrical locks are generally easier to maintain than mortise locks. This is because cylindrical locks have fewer parts and are easier to disassemble for cleaning or repair. Mortise locks, on the other hand, have more details and are more complex, which can make them more difficult to repair or maintain.


Cylindrical locks are generally less expensive than mortise locks. This is because cylindrical locks are simpler in design and require less time and effort to install. Mortise locks, on the other hand, equip with more durable material and customize appearance, which makes them more expensive.

Factors to consider when choosing a lock

Choosing the right lock for your home or business is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a lock:

(1) Security needs

The most important role of the door lock is to protect your safety, but the security level required by different scenarios is also different. For example, if you’re installing a lock on an exterior door, you may need a higher level of security than if you’re installing a lock on an interior door. Consider factors such as the location of the property, the value of the items being protected, and the likelihood of a break-in.

(2) Usage occasion

Normally, each type of lock has its suited usage occasion, like hotel doors, apartment building doors, home doors, bathroom doors, emergency passage doors, etc. Different lock types have different usage, and there’s a huge variation in product design and quality.

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For example, if you simply need to replace the old lock for your bedroom door, the cylindrical lock is a highly cost-effective choice for you. Therefore, usage occasion is a factor you can not ignore when choosing a lock.

(3) Door thickness/ Door material

Sometimes, you can’t install any kind of lock you want, because we need to consider the surrounding environment, such as the door structure, thickness, guide piece, material, and spacing of the door.

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Among that, the door thickness determines whether the lock can be successfully installed. Therefore, you need to measure the relevant parameters before purchasing and communicate them with the supplier.

Regarding the material, there are many materials suitable for making locks on the market, including iron, pure copper, zinc alloy, aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and so on. Different materials require different types of locks, such as glass doors requiring a specialized glass lock.

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(4) Aesthetics and design

With modernized development, various types of locks come. Facing various commercial lock types in the market, most people will consider the lock that matches their building design and according to their hobbies. Because a matching style lock can enhance the entire aesthetics of the building and bring visual comfort.

Therefore, before purchasing a lock, the choice of the locks aesthetics and design is a key factor. Especially if you want to maintain a certain aesthetic in your home or business. Consider the lock’s finish, style, and design, and how it will complement the overall look of the door and room.

(5) Installation and maintenance

Some locks require more maintenance than others. Consider how much maintenance the lock will require and whether you’re willing to perform regular maintenance to keep the lock in good condition.

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(6) Budget

The cost of lock is also an important consideration. Consider your budget and balance the cost of the lock with the level of security and features you need. How much are you willing to invest in the lock purchase?  Different types of locks have different ranges of prices. Of course, sometimes, the more expensive the lock price, the higher level of security or durability. But it doesn’t mean more expensive is the best, it is also determined by the security level and usage that you need.

(7) Brand

When choosing to buy a product, we often mention the brand selection. A good brand has products that have been tested by the market for quality, as well as after-sales service assurance, which can reduce many unnecessary problems. Therefore, it is very important to understand the brand before purchasing, and you can do some research online in advance, comparing product parameters, buyer comments, and so on. Learn to distinguish good locks from bad ones and distinguish specific product dealers to prevent economic losses from buying fake and inferior goods.


In conclusion, both types of locks have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice will depend on your individual security needs, the type of door you’re installing the lock on, your personal preferences, and so on. By reading this article, believe you have a certain understanding of the mortise lock vs cylindrical lock, if you have other questions, please feel free to contact us, we are willing to help you to make an informed decision!

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