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How Much Do You Know About Rim Locks?

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Rim locks are a common fixture in many older homes. You may have come across a rim lock, but not actually know what it is. I don't blame you for not knowing about rim locks, and I wouldn't blame you for treating them like any other lock. However, rim locks are not just any locks. In addition to its unique design, rim locks have a rich and fascinating history, just like many other locks.


Rim locks are fairly old locks, and their core design hasn't changed much over the years. This is one of the reasons you will usually find rim locks available on much older buildings. Let's start by learning a little bit about rim locks.

Electric Rim Lock

Electric Rim Lock

What is a rim lock?

A rim lock is a surface mounted lock. As the name implies, surface mounted rim locks are affixed to the surface of the door. Rim locks can be screwed to the surface of the door. I will discuss the installation of rim locks in more detail later. These locks are not suitable for entry doors, but you can easily find rim locks for interior doors. Most jamb locks were originally made of cast iron. Replicas are usually made of iron, brass and nickel.


Rim lock refers to the method of installation, which is the surface mounting method. Rim locks usually use a slide latch or deadbolt as their locking mechanism.


Sliding latches are pressure operated and spring loaded. When pressure is applied, the latch retracts and when pressure is released, the latch extends. Most rim locks with sliding latches use a handle and knob. Deadbolt, on the other hand, is used with a key.

Electric Rim Lock

Electric Rim Locks

The key is used to engage and disengage the lock or retract and throw the bolt. Another unique feature of the rim lock is that the key can operate the lock from both ends of the keyway, as shown in the figure. Rim locks and rim sash locks are the main types of rim locks. The latch is used to secure the rim lock, while the combination of deadbolt and latch is used for the rim sash lock.


If you were to evaluate a rim lock based on appearance alone, you would conclude that rim locks are very different from the other locks you have come across. You would not be entirely wrong in this assessment. Most rim locks are locks with guards. Guarded locks utilize guards to prevent unauthorized access in the event that the wrong key is used.


The key that applies to your rim lock will be properly shaped so that it can easily pass through the guard when in use. As you may know, this type of lock is very different from the more common pin tumbler locks, which work by separating the pins on a shear line.

Electric Rim Lock

Electric Rim Lock

Things to remember

Rim locks are surface mounted locks. They are mounted on the face of the door. Most other locks have the lock body mounted on the door.


Rim locks can be easily screwed to the face of the door.

After installation, the entire lock body of the rim lock is visible.

The term rim lock usually refers to the method of installation, not the lock itself.

Rim locks utilize a spring-loaded sliding latch or deadbolt latch.

Some rim locks combine both locking mechanisms. These locks are referred to as rim locks.

Most sash locks are guarded. Guarding locks utilize barriers inside the lock or on the keyway to prevent unauthorized entry.

Phone: 13590964930

 Published date:

July 23, 2022



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