How to Pick a Lock…for Your Front Door

types of locks

How to Pick a Lock…for Your Front Door

Disclaimer: How to choose a lock probably would have been a better title.

If you’re here to learn how to pick a lock and

… it’s your home: you should probably give us a call. We know some great locksmiths who would love to help you out.

… it’s not your home: Sorry, you’re on the wrong how-to guide.

Now, for those of you who are looking for the best lock for your home, we’ve got you covered with a quick breakdown of common types of door locks and the key features of each. Be it from burglars, in-laws, or nosey neighbors, your front door is your first line of defense against uninvited guests, so you need a lock you can trust.

Types of Locks

Traditional Locks

Both are effective, affordable, and they can be paired with your door’s tubular lock (the lock on the doorknob) for added security.


A cylindrical deadbolt lock features a moveable bolt that retracts or extends as you turn the key. When it’s locked, the bolt is positioned in the door jamb and prevents forced entry. Basic, but effective.


Mortise locks function similarly to deadbolt locks in that they feature retractable bolts, but the bolt is attached to the lock body, which is embedded in the door pocket for added security. They are typically more difficult to pick, break, or tamper with than any other lock.

Keyless Locks

Cars have had keyless entry for years. You simply press a button on the keyfob and boom: you’re in. These door locks aren’t quite that simple, but they’re pretty close.

Electronic Locks

Electronic locks function like a deadbolt lock, but rather than a key, they are operated by a keypad. The deadbolt is extended (locked) by pressing a “lock” button and retracted (unlocked) by keying in the correct entry code, kind of like a cell phone.

Smart Locks

Smart locks are electronic locks with the added convenience of being able to connect to your other smart devices via wifi or Bluetooth, meaning they can sync with your home security system and even be controlled with your phone.

Old School vs. New School

Deadbolts and mortise locks


  • Traditional locking mechanisms provide the greatest amount of protection, particularly against forced entry by breaking the lock.
  • Reliable and low maintenance.
  • Available in a variety of finishes and styles to match every home.


  • Require keys specific to each lock in order to operate.
  • Create the need for multiple copies of your house key to be available for family, friends, or other people who need access to the house when you’re away.
  • Make you vulnerable to locking yourself out of the house. (If you do, give us a call.)

Keyless locks and smart locks


  • No more locking yourself out of the house.
  • You can give guests temporary passcodes to gain access to the house without requiring a physical copy of your house key.
  • Connect with your phone and security system to lock and unlock the house with an app.


  • Susceptible to cyber attacks. Tech-savvy intruders could essentially hack the device and unlock it without the proper passcode.
  • As with any electronic device, they can act up and experience connectivity issues or dead batteries.

Choose the Right Lock for Your Home

The best lock for your home comes down to your personal priorities and lifestyle. Do you prefer the convenience of smart locks or the tried-and-true security of traditional locks? Let us know below!

Need a Locksmith? Contact Discount Lock and Key to schedule an appointment or check out our pricing page for more information.

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