Guide to Buying a Lock

A lock is the most reliable machine that you use everyday.  That means that you may only buy a lock once in your lifetime.  How do you get good at buying the right lock?  This is the motivation behind writing this guide.  I want you to get the right information to buy the right lock.  Buying the right lock the first time means that you won’t have to buy another lock for decades.


Choosing a lock based on price can lead to buying a low quality lock.  As the price goes down so does the quality of the lock.  The worst part is that to a novice, all locks can look alike.

+Graphics of graph showing low price and low quality

+Photo showing good quality lock and low quality lock.


Choosing a lock based on quality can lead to buying an expensive lock.  As quality goes up so does the price of the lock.  The highest price lock won’t work on all doors.  Making sure you have the correct lock for your door, your needs and your budget is shown in the process below.

+Graphic showing lock types:  Mortise, Tubular, Cylindrical, Panic Bar


It is easy to become overwhelmed when looking at similar locks with vastly different prices.  There can be a 40x difference in prices between two locks for your front door.  The lowest price lock may not work on your door, the highest price lock may not work on your door.  My suggestion is to shop based on the features that you like best.  Here are some common features of locks:

Type (must match your door)

Easy answers:

Match the finish of your new lock to your existing door hardware.  If you knob is brass, get a brass coloured deadbolt.  If your mailbox is brushed stainless steel, get a brushed stainless steel deadbolt.

Style is a matter of personal choice.  You can look online or check out your neighbours doors.  Once you see something your like share the photo with our locksmith and we will find your a similar style.

Match the type of the lock to the installation already on the door.  Modifying the door to change the lock type can add labour to the price of the lock.

Simple guide to grade:  Grade 1 – Best quality and longetivity.  Designed for heavy use.  Grade 2 – Medium quality.  Designed to be used in commercial applications where it is used hundreds of times per day.  Grade 3 – Residential quality designed to be used twice a day.

The latest generation of keys cannot be copied.  New keys are made by code and you keep that code on a private key order card.  When you want additional keys bring the card into the store.  Then we can make you more keys.

+Show photo of different keys

Still not sure?  Call a professional locksmith to help you find the right lock for your door.