Mortise locks and cylinder locks are popular solutions in the door security space. They offer a great level of security in residential, commercial, institutional, and critical facilities.

Choosing the best among the two can be challenging for new facility owners. To make the job easier, we created this comparison guide where you can learn the basics and key differences between mortise and cylinder locks easily. Scroll down further to know more!

Let’s Start with Basics

What is a Mortise Lock?


A mortise lock is an ideal security solution for commercial facilities where frequency usage is high. In comparison to other locks, it is heavy, sturdy, and built with highly durable material to last for a long time.

Architecture engineers started installing mortise locks in Europe and United States in the 18th century to add better security and class to residential homes and commercial buildings. With time these locks were redefined and innovated constantly to meet the emerging security demands of the developing world.

Mortise lock offers excellent reliability, strength and designed specifically to knock out all types of vulnerabilities. Plus it is easy to accommodate all kinds of doors by constructing a mortise pocket inside and provides incredible door security.

Advantages of Using a Mortise Lock

  • Different notches and levers present inside the mortise lock work together to offer a great level of door security than other locks.
  • Mortise locks are available in different sizes depending on the security applications and needs.
  • Mortise locks come with dual locks, so it is possible to lock the door from inside as well as outside.
  • People who love aesthetically pleasing locks with retro touch often go with a mortise lock, thanks to its appearance.
  • Another advantage of using mortise locks is because they come with a passage, deadlock, and privacy function, so you can conveniently lock and unlock the doors without any problem.

Disadvantages of Getting a Mortise Lock

  • Mortise locks don’t offer an automatic locking option, which is readily available in most types of locks.
  • Difficult to install, because the technician needs to construct a mortise pocket for setting up this lock on the door.
  • Not compatible with doors where the thickness is less than 35mm.
  • Don’t offer a promised level of security with wooden doors

What is a Cylindrical Lock?


A cylindrical lock is a common type of lock popular in commercial, residential, and institutional facilities. It is easy to install and available in a wide range of finishes, styles, backset dimensions, thickness, and strike options.

For installing this type of lock, technicians drill two holes of the same size. One in the face of the door for placing the lock chassis and the other on the door’s edge for latch bolt. The entire process takes around 20 minutes.

These locks are available in three grades, depending on the security needs.

  • Grade 1 Cylindrical Locks – Ideal for large facilities where the frequency of use is very high
  • Grade 2 Cylindrical Locks – Perfect for small-medium scale enterprises where human traffic is moderate
  • Grade 3 Cylindrical Locks – Popular security solution for homes and apartments

Advantages of Using a Cylindrical Lock

  • As explained above, the installation of cylinder locks is pretty straightforward and doesn’t demand any special construction. This makes it ideal for all types of doors.
  • Secondly, cylinder lock keys are easy to replace and don’t require replacing the lock again.
  • Available in single and double cylinders to offer even better security and features.

Disadvantages of Getting a Cylindrical Lock

  • To upgrade the security of your door, you have to install an extra deadbolt with the cylinder lock that comes at an extra cost and requires construction.
  • Grade-1 Cylinder locks are easy to pick with the help of different tools and knowledge. This makes your residential facility vulnerable to potential threats and risks.

Key Differences Between Mortise & Cylinder Locks


Mortise locks offer more security functions and features compared to cylindrical locks. They come with. passage, deadlock, privacy, and entrance lock functions and ideal for different applications.

Installation Process

The installation process of cylinder locks is easy and requires drilling of two holes of the same size. This operation takes just 20 minutes. On the other side, mortise locks require a mortise pocket to be cut into the door prior to installation.

Availability of Grades

Cylinder locks are available in 1,2 and 3 grades so you can choose one among them depending on your security priorities, needs, and usage frequency. When it comes to mortise locks, they don’t offer this level of customizable power.


Mortise locks cost more because they are more durable, secure and offer more functions than cylinder locks. Plus they come with extra installation costs. On the other side, cylinder locks are more economical and convenient for locations with minimal security needs.

Availability of Deadbolt

If you want a door lock with both deadbolt and latch for better security, it is a good idea to go with a Mortise lock. However, cylinder locks don’t come ready with a deadbolt, so you have to get that installed separately.

Application and Security Level

If your facility gets hundreds of visitors a day and desires a greater level of security then installing a mortise lock will get the job done for you. It is more durable and sturdier than a cylinder lock and can easily endure decades of use. This level of security expectations is hard to meet with cylindrical locks.

Best Mortise & Cylindrical Locks Brands in UAE, Qatar & Africa:

Here are the pioneer brands that design and build world-class and redefining mortise and cylindrical locks.


Coming to the conclusion, both cylinder and mortise locks are great door solutions. Depending on your level of security needs, facility type, human traffic, budget, and door type, you can install any of the two locks and safeguard against potential risks and threats.

If you are still having confusion choosing a mortise or cylinder lock for your facility, let our security experts at Stebilex Systems help you. They are renowned system engineers and designers with decades of experience in access control and security. Kindly contact them here

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