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How a Lock Works for Automatic Door Locks and Manual Door Locks

Automatic door locks and manual door locks accomplish the same basic purpose: they both keep your doors locked to keep you safely inside and others securely out. And they also do so with locking mechanisms, essentially the same thing, to keep those doors closed. Of course, the way they accomplish their goals is different for each kind of lock. It’s like how a train and a smart car differ: both get you from point A to point B with both physically transporting you inside them, but there are differences in how they work. Both of these kinds of locks are necessary for home security in today’s world, though. Whether you use manual door locks, automatic door locks, or a combination of both for your home, you should know how a basic deadbolt lock works.

Deadbolt Lock

890771_56902558Deadbolts are the primary form of manual door locks used for home security today. Most front doors have a deadbolt lock on them, which works like this: the door itself has a latch or bolt in it that can extend or retract into the door. There is a matching hole or notch in the door frame where the latch or bolt can fit into when the door is locked. With the latch in the door frame, the door remains locked and cannot be opened; with the latch retracted into the door, the door can open easily. Therefore, the lock is meant to allow someone with the correct key to easily remove the bolt from the door frame and someone without the correct key to not be able to do so.

Deadbolt Cylinder Locks

Most deadbolt locks have a cylinder lock inside them. Turning the key or the locking mechanism will turn the cylinder, which slides the bolt or latch forward or backward. With the cylinder turned in one direction, the cylinder pushes the bolt into the door frame, and the door is then locked. With the cylinder turned in the opposite direction, the latch or bolt is pulled inward into the door so that the door can be opened.

Deadbolt Cylinder Pin-and-Tumbler Locks

A key is used to turn the cylinder, and only the correct key can do so. Take the pin-and-tumbler lock. In these, there are several pins in a series, each of them different lengths. The pins are held in place by springs, and they are arranged in pairs with the bottom one fully in the cylinder and the top one pulled up into the cylinder housing. Because some of the pins are in the housing, the cylinder cannot turn, thus ensuring that the door stays locked. Then, when the key is inserted into the lock, the key notches move the pins up into the housing so that the pairs are completely on either side of the shear line between cylinder and housing, allowing the cylinder to turn. The incorrect key, on the other hand, will move the pins to wrong levels so that they are still stuck in between housing and cylinder.

While there are other kinds of deadbolt locks, and other kinds of door locks, these are used as an example of common household locks so that you can understand how they work.

Manual Door Locks versus Electronic Door Locks

Both kinds of locks function in essentially the same way. 459838_35454449But comparing the one to the other, you’ll see that there are a few differences. Mostly these are in what the “key” is. For manual locks, the key is an actual handheld key that you insert into the locking mechanism. With automatic locks, the key may be a preprogrammed password or series of numbers on a keypad, or it may perhaps be a digital key on your phone. In either case, the “key” must be authorized in order to successfully open the lock. Both kinds of locks will work for your home security; however, many argue that electronic or automatic locks are more secure. Because for a manual lock you have to insert the key from the outside to reinsert the latch or bolt into the door frame, many people neglect to lock this on their way out the door. That is why it is so easy for housebreakers to get into homes during the day, because they are not as fully locked as they could be. But with automatic locks, the lock automatically falls into place with the deadbolt securing the door to the frame. You don’t have to remember to lock the door as you leave.

Whichever kind of lock you have for your front and back door, as long as you’re using them, you can experience home security. With automatic door locks, it’s even easier – no handheld key to lose, just a phone in your pocket or code memorized and tucked away in your head. These make home security more automated and easier on every homeowner without making it easier on the housebreaker.