All The Information You Need To Know About Mortise Locks. Which One To Buy, Cost, Reviews & More.

Mortise Lock Cylinder

Mortise Lock Cylinder


In This Page:


Mortise Lock – What is it? General introduction

How to choose the right mortise lock? Things to consider before buying a mortise lock.

What type of mortise locks are available? Pros and cons of each type.

Mortise Locks Review – Price, Security & More



A mortise lock is a type of lock that usually is located inside a mechanism in the door and doesn’t stand alone. Inside this mechanism, there is either a latch, like a doorknob latch or a bolt, like a deadbolt bolt.

Mortise locks can be installed as dummy locks(no key option), as regular locks operated with a key(most common) or even as high-security cylinders. In addition, you can change the cylinder at any time as long as the mechanism works fine.

Mortise Lock Position In The Door

Mortise Lock Position In The Door

Mortise locks, along with Adams-rite mechanism, are most relevant installed on the exit door, internal and external door with a lever and therefore we will find those locks mostly in businesses.

In addition, they can be found also on residential doors, but it is less common and less efficient.

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How to choose the right mortise lock? Things to consider before buying a mortise lock.

Mortise Lock Installed On a Door

Mortise Lock Installed On a Door

  • First, estimate what is your budget. Keep in mind that the price of the mortise lock is only a small part of the total cost. In addition, you will need a mechanism and installation by a professional locksmith and therefore try to calculate the total price, including installation.
  • Second, figure out what level of security you really need. Most business will require a simple key operated mortise lock. However, if you are interested in extra security, you may want to install high-security mortise lock.
  • In addition, think about cases that may happen such as lock repair. not only for the mortise lock but also for the mechanism. Therefore, we recommend installing a good mechanism, as this is the more important and more expensive part of the two.
  • Finally, remember that mortise locks can be installed on both sides of the door, one side, or even as dummy lock without a key. Therefore, make sure you understand what you really need before buying one.


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What type of mortise locks are available? Can you explain the difference, pros, and cons of each type?

Choosing the right mortise lock for your office or business can be confusing. Therefore, we gather here the most common type of mortise locks, their functions, cost, security review and more.

Key operated mortise locks:

Key operated mortise lock, like any other type of locks, are the most common ones. In addition, the key can be, depends on the type of lock and brand, more secure as with high-security cylinders, or a basic security as most mortise locks.


What are the pros and cons of key operated mortise locks?


  1. Easy to operate.
  2. Provide basic security.
  3. Inexpensive – Usually the basic mortise lock cost about $10-$20
  4. Key operate mortise locks are available in many colors, shapes, and designs.
  5. Combined with a bolt mechanism, provide very good security as the most business will find sufficient enough.


  1. Cost – Mortise locks cant be bought alone. Therefore, you will need to invest also in a mechanism, which makes it more expensive.
  2. Installation – The installation of mortise locks, and especially the mechanism requires experience. Unlike doorknobs or deadbolt, this is a more complicated task and there will result in a higher total cost.

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Dummy Mortise locks:

Inactive mortise, or dummy mortise lock is basically a cover for the mechanism and nothing more. Therefore, it mainly used for business doors that the owners don’t really want to use. In addition, it can be installed only on one side of the door e.g. from the inside and have an operated key mortise lock from the outside.

What are the pros and cons of dummy mortise locks?


  1. Allow access only from one side of the door.
  2. Inexpensive – Usually the dummy mortise lock cost about $10-$20.
  3. Can be changed easily anytime with a key operated mortise lock.


  1. Limited access- Dummy locks are not very common on a business door as most owners would like to have access from both sides.

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Mortise Locks Review – Price, Security & More

Now that we have a basic idea about mortise locks, we will go over the most common locks that are available in the market for commercial. We choose a variety of manufacturers and types. ( for a more detailed, complete list, you can choose by brand)


Key operated mortise lock – Basic, non-high security:


Ilco mortise lock:

Price: $15-$25

Availability – very common

Security – 2 out of 5

Duplicate extra keys – very easy

Can be opened with CC or bump key? – yes

Easy to rekey? – yes

Ilco mortise locks are the most common mortise locks in the US. Most chances when you see a business door, it has mortise cylinder in it.

This type of mortise can be combined with most Adams rite mechanism and is fairly easy to install

In addition, it can be rekeyed very easily and extra keys are very easy to make.

Moreover, you can get this mortise lock in either Kwikset or Schlage Keyway so it can be easily be matched to other locks at your business.

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Key operated mortise lock – High security:

Mul-T-Lock High-Security Mortise Cylinder-MT5 mortise lock:

Price: $120-$140

Availability – Common

Security – 5 out of 5

Duplicate extra keys – Very hard

Can be opened with CC or bump key? – No

Easy to rekey? – No

When it comes to high-security mortise locks, Mul-T-Lock is one of the best options to choose from.

This type of mortise can be cant be bumped or picked and therefore provides excellent security.

In addition, the lock is very strong, which will make drilling very hard as well.

Moreover, as with all Mul-T-Lock products, it can easily be matched to other high-security locks in your business for convenience.

This would be a good choice for those who are interested in extra security from their front or inner business doors.

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