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Keypad locks vs Key locks – A comparison

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Keypad locks vs Key locks – A comparison


Selecting the right lock for your gate isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s often taken for granted by those in the industry and those who have experience, even those who are confident at DIY that being able to chose the right lock is a simple task. This can often lead to people who are looking for a new lock not feeling confident in asking suppliers for help for fear of asking what they believe to be a silly question.

Question that we often get are what is the difference between a keypad lock and a keylock? How does this change how you access a property? Is there a huge difference in cost?

This article will answer these questions and make choosing the type of lock you want a little easier.

They always say to start at the beginning…

What is a keypad lock, and what is a key lock?

There are many different names for both types of locks, from mechanical locks, code locks, bolt- on locks, mortice locks. No wonder people get confused.

A keypad lock ,or code lock is where access is given by selecting a code on the lock. This then releases the handle to retract the bolt. A mechanical code lock means that there is no power source required. This type of lock can come with different handles, in different finishes, and for different box section sides ( thie thickness of the profile that the lock is fitted on to) and can be used with other components to provide a bespoke access control system, but the way the lock itself works remains the same. The majority of code locks can be supplied as a double sided lock, where the code needs to be pressed to gain access but also to exit. With a single sided code lock you punch in the code to enter but then simply turn the handle to exit. They are typically simple to set up and install and the code can be changed to maintain a higher level of security.

A key lock is a type of lock that is locked and secured with a key, simple right? Some of these locks come with handles, meaning they are operated simply by turning the handle to gain access. This can be restricted if you have a deadbolt function which means that the gate/door is secured and can not be opened unless the key is turned and deadbolt is released. These type of locks are typically either bolted onto the gate and through the box section or fitted into the the gate by the steel being cut into, usually at the manufacturing stage. As with code locks there are many variations of these locks depending on the size of gate you have and the finish and functionality that you want.

The advantages of a code lock and when and why you would use one.

The use of a code lock is often seen as a way of both improving the security on a gate or to restrict access only to those who have the code to enter. Where previously you would have seen these used on commercial installations or industrial sites, the improvement in the look of these locks, many being designed with the homeowner in mind and the affordability of these locks have seem them become much more popular, being installed on anything fro a garden gate to industrial units with high levels of traffic passing through the gate.

Looking at purchasing trends and market research with our clients, it’s also apparent that home and small business owners take their security just a seriously as those with large commercial sites, with people happier to invest in security than may have been the case in previous years. Perimeter security and home security upgrades are now something firmly on the radar of all property owners and code locks have become a very popular and practical way to do it.

On domestic properties there are now options for code locks to be fitted on the majority of new and existing gates with different latch sizes available and multiple ways of fitting the locks to gates. It’s now easy to finds a code lock that fits to the front and back face of a timber gate as it is for a heavy duty steel construction. As with all products there are different levels of security available with some locks more suitable for heavy duty applications and some offering the perfect solution for securing a small timber side gate. The different functionality on these locks also mean that there are options to leave the gate as both free exit and free entry until the kepypad is enabled, so at times where you want simple entry and exit without entering the code it can be easily done.

With options for push bar and push pad attachments on many locks it’s easy to see whey these locks are now used on school installations, hospitals, office buildings and care homes, where a simple push to exit option it a key component of their security requirements.


Key locks – Why would you use one and is it the right option for my gate?

From humble beginnings the key lock has always been a popular way of securing property, but with more and more options available and dozens of manufacturers, selecting the right lock, and knowing if it’s the right one for your gate or door isn’t as easy as it used to be.

So, what are the advantages of a key lock, and does it offer enough security for your gate?

A key lock doesn’t mean low security, it often just means it’s the most suitable way to access a property or site. unlock the cylinder and you have free entry and exit using a simple handle, lock it and nobody can gain access. If you’re after a simple lock for a gate then this is ideal, but using a key lock with other access control components can provide you with an access control system that offers more security than a code lock.

By removing a handle on one side of a key lock and having a handle on the inside this can provide you with a simple system that means you can only gain entry if you have a key but you can exit by simply turning the handle. This gives a similar function to a code lock but the keypad is replaced by the use of a key.

Many key locks are also compatible with electrical components such as electric strikes, meaning that you can have a simple lock in place but access it granted electronically by using an electric strike and electric keypad.

With insert locks often preferred by manufacturers you can have a lock fitted that is barely visible, giving an installation that doesn’t take away from the look of the gate and can help reduce the threat of tampering. Bolt-on locks tend to be easier to fit and offer a great option for those looking to upgrade their gates with a simple installation, many locks only requiring between 2-4 holes drilled.

To conclude, comparing keypad locks and key locks helps when it comes to looking at the functions of both but every job is different and there can often be multiple options for each specific installation. It’s always best to know exactly what you want to achieve with your locking system as the majority of the time what you want can be easily achieved. You may want a code lock, but not know which is best for your gate, or you may like the sound of a code lock but by having a key locks and changing the functionality you can achieve what you want at less cost.

If you’re not sure, ask your supplier. An experienced expert on locking systems will always be able to give the options available and help you to get it right without trial and error.

There are so many quality locks on the market that finding the right one can be difficult. All the information is readily available, but being pointed in the right direction is always a good start.