What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable?

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable?

This article will let you know what is a mortise lock exactly, why it is important, and how to choose the best mortise locks for your door.

Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Vincent Zhu

What is a mortise lock?

A mortise lock is a type of lock that can be fitted into the pocket of a door. The lock has to be cut out and then done into the pocket, usually created by cutting out a rectangular area from your door’s surface.

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 5

Depending on where you install it, drilling into your woodwork may be necessary to secure this type of lock. However, installing a mortise lock can also increase your home’s overall security because they’re harder to pick than standard cylindrical locks (see below)

This type of lock requires that you have access to both sides of your door to install it properly, so it’s not advisable to rent an apartment or condo unit and don’t want permanent damage done around your doors.

Mortise locks are used for commercial and residential purposes, such as electronic hotel door locks and apartment locks; however, some people prefer them over other types because they believe they’re more secure than cylinder locks—and rightly so!

How do Mortice Locks Work?

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 6

Mortise locks work by using a lever to open the door. You can turn the lever and open the door. The lever is connected to the bolt, and the door frame is attached to your door. The lever is also connected to your door frame.

The lever is connected to a bolt that slides into a minor groove in your door frame when you open the door. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.

Mortice locks are a type of locking mechanism that can be used on wooden or metal doors. The name comes from the word mortise, a joint made in wood when two pieces are joined together.

This is generally done by drilling into both pieces and then placing them in an L-shaped piece called a tenon that fits into the hole drilled into each piece, forming a solid bond between them.

What are mortise locks made of?

Mortise locks are made of metal or metal alloys. Stainless steel is a common material for mortise locks, as it resists corrosion and is highly durable. In recent years, zinc alloy has become quite popular because it can be formed into intricate shapes that don’t sacrifice strength or durability.

What are the components of a mortise lock?

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 7

Mortise locks are available in several configurations, each with its components. The most common is composed of the following:

  • A mortise cylinder. This part of the lock installed within the door jamb contains all moving parts except the deadbolt.
  • A mortise body. This houses everything else, including all electronic devices like RFID main board connectivity, so you can unlock your doors remotely via RFID key cards.
  • Mortise lock faceplate: The faceplate is part of the lock you see when you look at it. It comprises several components to open and close the door, including a cylinder and cam.
  • Mortise lock strike plate: This is a metal plate on your doorframe. The strike plate helps keep your door from falling off its hinges when there isn’t enough force to hold it up against wind pressure or earthquakes (or if someone tries to break in).
  • Mortise lock deadbolt: A mortise deadbolt is like a regular one but has more moving parts than cylindrical ones. A mortise deadbolt includes two locking pieces that slide into place when you turn them clockwise; they can then be pushed back out by turning them counterclockwise until they click into place again (which ensures nobody else can get inside).
  • Mortise latch bolt: This part slides along tracks inside your door frame until it hits something called a “latching mechanism.”—This mechanism stops movement from happening after reaching its maximum position.
  • The mortise lock handle is a device fitted into the door frame. It’s a lever and a locking bolt connected utilizing a spring. Turning the lever causes the locking bolt to retract into the body of the door frame until it reaches its fully retracted position.

What are the advantages of mortise lock?

You might be wondering why you should get a mortise lock. The answer is simple locking systems that bolt into the doorframe are best for applications with a high risk of intrusions, like schools and hospitals.

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 8

Mortise locks have many advantages over other locks and offer greater security than standard deadbolts and lever handles. These advantages include the following:

  • Durability: Mortise locks are made from heavy materials to withstand wear and tear over time. Their durability also makes them an excellent option for high-traffic areas such as school buildings or hospitals where there may be frequent use by students or patients in wheelchairs, respectively.
  • Security: Because mortise locks are installed into the door frame rather than directly mounted onto the door itself, they provide excellent resistance against tampering attempts because it’s harder to remove both components separately without being noticed by others nearby who might report suspicious activity (e.g., maintenance workers).
  • Aesthetics: Mortise locks are available in various styles, from traditional to modern designs, so they can easily be integrated into any decor.
  • Versatility: Another advantage offered by these kinds of devices comes from their versatility when it comes time to try different types of doors within various locations around our homes/offices, etcetera, as well as adjusting sizes based upon whatever size openings might exist between frames/jambs where needed.
  • Easy to install: Mortise locks are easy, and the DIYer can install them relatively quickly. The lock is usually installed through the edge or frame and routed into the door stiles. This means you don’t have to cut or remodel any part of your home or workspace before installing it. You also don’t have to worry about damaging other parts of your home when installing this type of lock because it doesn’t require complex cutting or drilling techniques like different types (like tubular deadbolts).
  • Easy maintenance: If you’re looking for a lock that requires little maintenance after installation, then mortise locks are ideal for you because these types of locks require very little upkeep once they’re installed properly on both sides of a doorframe—therefore extending their lifespan considerably over time since most homeowners will want something that looks great but doesn’t take too much effort maintaining at all times!

However, there are also some disadvantages of mortise locks.

If you don’t know how to install this lock properly, your home will likely suffer water damage due to a failed installation. This is because a mortise lock requires a hole drilled into your door and frame. Water can get through the gap between the door and frame during rainstorms or snow melts if this hole isn’t properly drilled and aligned.

Comparable to other high-security locks, mortise locks are solid and durable, offering the same level of protection as other door hardware. They also come in many different styles, so you can find one that matches your home décor.

What are the different types of mortise locks?

There are several types of Mortise Locks available today, and they can be broken down into three main categories:

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 9

  • Lever mortice locks are the most common type, and they have a lock that is directly connected to the door through a set of levers. This kind uses a metal lever inside the door that controls how much force is needed to open or close it. These locks are very secure and easy to install, but they can’t be controlled remotely as cylinder models.
    • Three-lever mortice locks are the most common type suitable for internal doors that open into a room like bedrooms or bathrooms. They can be found in left- and right-handed configurations, but choosing one that suits your home rather than relying on left-hand vs. right-hand preferences is better.
    • Five-lever mortice locks: As their name suggests, these locks have five levers instead of three, making them slightly more secure than their three-levered counterparts. Because they require more effort from an intruder to unlock them without damaging the mechanism or breaking the lock altogether.
  • Cylinder mortice locks use an internal mechanism (called a cylinder) to actuate the locking system on your door. These devices are more prevalent in modern homes because they can be controlled remotely with things like keypads and smartphones, but they’re also more expensive than lever models.
  • Euro standard mortise lock – the market’s most common type of mortice lock. The lock is operated by turning a key that fits into a cylinder to rotate the latch mechanism and open or close it. Euro standard mortise lock is suitable for a door thickness of less than 35mm.
  • US standard mortise lock – This type operates much like a Euro standard, but US standard mortise locks are used to the door thickness between 35-65 mm.
  • Multipoint mortise door locks:  Multipoint locking systems are common in high-end residential and commercial properties, allowing you to lock multiple points of your door from the outside.

Are mortise locks more secure?

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 10

Mortise locks are more secure than rim, sash, and cylinder locks.

  • Mortise locks are more secure than other types because they are installed into the door frame, making it harder for intruders to tamper with or break open. Mortise locks also offer excellent resistance against tampering attempts because removing both components is harder.
  • Mortise locks are more durable than other types of locks because they require less frequent service and repairs due to their
  • Mortise locks are also more secure than deadlocks, usually used on doors that don’t have windows or those that need to be shut for safety reasons.

Want a mortise lock that can secure your home door more safely? Check out our TTlock smart lock to help you manage your door more safely and conveniently with your phone.

Are mortise locks universal?

Mortise locks are universal, which means they can be used on most doors. They’re also used on doors with a mortise lock.

Mortise locks are installed inside the door frame, making them more challenging to access than other types. When two pieces of wood come together to form a corner (like those found in many door frames), they create what is known as a mortise joint. The term “mortise” comes from the Latin word for death because it resembles a space where something used to be* Mortise locks are used on doors with a mortise lock.

How to choose a suitable mortise lock?

For most people, choosing a mortise lock is the most straightforward part of installing one. But getting the right kind for your door type, size, material, and style is essential.

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 11

Choosing the right mortise lock is a crucial step in your installation process. Before making this decision, you need to know what you are working with, so let’s take a closer look at how to do just that.

  • Door type: You’ll need to know whether your door opens in or out (swing) and its thickness. Most mortise locks are designed for hollow metal doors that swing outward. The thickest units are used on vast and heavy doors that open inward.
  • Door size: When choosing a mortise lock, look at your size. This will dictate how large or small of a lock you can use and other features like keyed deadbolts or handles; if your door is too big for one product, no worries! Look for something that works better with extra space within its frame and walls (such as those made by Craftsman).
  • Door material: The type you choose will be based on whether your door is made from metal or wood. Select a lock constructed out of solid brass with hardened steel bolts for metal doors to resist attacks by bolt cutters. If you have a wooden door, choose one with thick cast iron or stainless steel.
  • Door style: The mortise lock will depend partly on how visible it should be. If you want to hide its presence, select one with a rounded edge and make sure it has dual-function deadbolts so that when they’re engaged, they stick out less.
  • The number of doors: Another thing to remember when choosing your mortise locks is how many entries you have and where they are located within your home or business establishment. For example, suppose you have three exterior doors requiring new locks but only one interior door with no lock on it (or if there are multiple interior doors without any locking mechanism). In that case, installing three separate sets rather than one large set covering all three exterior doors (possibly more) might make more sense.
  • Door frame: Is there enough space between your door frame and wall to accommodate an inside-mounted lock? If not, then what type of surface-mounted fixings can be used instead?
  • Consider whether you need one. It’s often the case that door locks that can be fitted by drilling into the door frame will suffice for most applications. For example, suppose you have an external door with a handle that opens inwards, and there is no possibility of someone pushing on it from outside. In that case, using a rim cylinder lock may be sufficient instead of installing a mortise lock.
  • If you’re installing a door in an existing opening with a deadbolt installed, consider whether or not it’s wise to use this existing hardware instead of purchasing and paying for installation services again.

Mortise lock cost

What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 12

In the world of locks and security, the cost of mortise locks will be different from one person to another. This is because they vary in size and design.

The price range for mortise locks is $100-$200. If you want to purchase high-quality, name-brand products at a reasonable price, you can expect to pay in the middle of this range.

A less expensive option would be to purchase an economy brand or one sold by your local hardware store. These locks are typically priced between $80-$120 depending on where you buy them and what type of material they are made from (brass, steel).

If you want even more savings, consider buying an off-brand model online or at an auction site like eBay. These locks usually run between $60-$80 per unit and tend not to last as long as other brands due to inferior construction methods used during manufacturing. Still, if all else fails, then it is good enough!


We hope this article has given you a better understanding of what a mortise lock is, its parts, and how it works. You should now quickly identify the best mortise lock for your needs.

tags: mortise vs cylindrical lock, mortise lock vs rim lock, what is the difference between mortise and cylindrical locks, difference between cylindrical and mortise locks, can you replace a mortise lock with a cylindrical lock


  • What Is A Mortise Lock and How to Choose A Most Suitable? 13

    Vincent Zhu has 10 years of smart lock system experience and specializes in offering hotel door lock systems and home door lock system solutions from design, configuration, installation, and troubleshooting. Whether you want to install an RFID keyless door lock for your hotel, a keyless keypad door lock for your home door, or have any other questions and troubleshooting requests about smart door locks, don't hesitate to contact me at any time.