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Choosing the Right Mortise Lock for Your Home or Business


When it comes to securing your home or business, investing in high-quality door locks is crucial. Among the various lock types available, mortise locks stand out for their durability, security, and versatility. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of mortise lockset empowering you to make an informed decision that meets your specific needs.

What is a Mortise Lock?

A mortise lock is a type of lock that is designed to be installed into a pocket (mortise) cut into the edge of a door. Unlike traditional cylinder locks that are surface-mounted, mortise locks are fully integrated into the door, providing a sleek and secure solution. Mortise locks are known for their strength, as they are typically made of solid brass or steel, ensuring long-lasting durability.

Why Choose a Mortise Lock?

Mortise lockset offer several advantages over other lock types. Firstly, they are incredibly secure, making them an excellent choice for both residential and commercial properties. Additionally, mortise locks are highly customizable, allowing you to choose from various styles, finishes, and keying options to complement your property’s aesthetic. Moreover, these locks are easier to maintain and less prone to wear and tear compared to surface-mounted locks.

Types of Mortise Locks

  • Mortise Entry Locks: The mortise entry lock set is designed for main entry doors and typically features a doorknob or lever on both sides, allowing easy access from either direction. Mortise entry locks often incorporate additional security features, such as deadbolts or auxiliary locking mechanisms.
  • Mortise Deadbolts: As the name suggests, mortise deadbolts are designed to provide an extra layer of security. They are typically used in conjunction with an entry lock and can be operated separately with a key or a thumbturn.
  • Mortise Handlesets: Handlesets combine the functionality of an entry lock and a deadbolt into a single, stylish unit. They are popular choices for both residential and commercial settings, offering convenience and added security.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mortise Lock

  • Security Level: Determine the level of security you require based on the location and purpose of the property. Mortise locks are available in various security grades, ranging from residential to high-security commercial options.
  • Door Material and Thickness: Mortise locks are designed to fit specific door materials and thicknesses. Ensure that the lock you choose is compatible with your door to ensure proper installation and functionality.
  • Style and Finish: Mortise locks come in a wide variety of styles and finishes, allowing you to choose an option that complements the overall aesthetic of your home or business. Popular finishes include satin nickel, polished brass, and oil-rubbed bronze.
  • Keying Options: Consider whether you need a keyed entry, keyless entry, or a combination of both. Additionally, evaluate if you require a master key system for multiple locks or if you prefer individual keys for each lock.

Mortise Lock Grades and Quality

  • High-Security Grade (Grade 1): For maximum security, high-security mortise locks incorporate advanced features like drill-resistant cylinders, pick-resistant mechanisms, and tamper-proof designs. These locks are commonly used in government buildings, banks, and other high-risk facilities.
  • Commercial Grade (Grade 2): Commercial-grade mortise locks are built to withstand heavy use and provide enhanced security. They are often used in office buildings, schools, and other commercial properties.
  • Residential Grade (Grade 3): These locks are designed for residential use and offer basic security features. They are typically less expensive but may not be suitable for high-traffic or high-security applications.

Installation Considerations

  • Measuring for a Mortise Lock: Proper measurement is crucial for a successful mortise lock installation. Measure the door thickness, backset (distance from the edge of the door to the center of the lock), and other relevant dimensions to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Hiring a Professional vs. DIY Installation: While some homeowners may choose to install mortise locks themselves, it is recommended to hire a professional locksmith, especially for commercial or high-security applications. Professional installation ensures proper alignment, functionality, and adherence to local building codes.

Top Mortise Lock Brands and Models

  • Cal-Royal Grade 1 Mortise Lock: Cal-Royal offers a range of high-quality mortise locks, with their Grade 1 model being a standout option. This lock is BHMA certified and comes with a lifetime warranty, ensuring long-lasting performance.
  • Schlage Grade 1 Entrance Mortise Lock With Deadbolt: Schlage’s L Series mechanical mortise lock is an industry standard, renowned for its reliable and durable performance. Exceeding both ANSI/BHMA Security Grade 1 and Operational Grade 1 standards, this lock serves as the foundation for Schlage’s wired electrified, wireless electronic, and multi-point mortise lock portfolios.
  • Yale Grade 1 Privacy Lockset with Privacy Indicator: Yale’s 8800 Series Mortise Locks are designed for uncompromising strength and durability in commercial applications. These locks are easy to install, with features like quick lever handing, field-reversible latch bolts, and standard non-handed strikes.

These top brands offer a range of mortise lock options to suit various security needs, ensuring that you can find a reliable and durable solution for your home or business.


Choosing the right mortise entry lock set is a critical decision that can significantly impact the security and aesthetic appeal of your home or business. You can select a lock that meets your unique requirements by considering security level, door compatibility, style preferences, and keying options.

Investing in a high-quality mortise lock is an investment in the safety and well-being of your property and loved ones. With the information provided in this guide, you are now equipped to navigate the world of mortise locks and make an informed choice that ensures lasting protection and peace of mind.