Commercial Door Lock Types: Complete Guide (2024)

Selecting the right door lock is pivotal in commercial and residential security. It is the guardian of your enterprise’s safety, data, and personnel.

This guide navigates different commercial door lock types and options to fortify your commercial building effectively.

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Top 6 Types of Commercial Door Locks

1. Keyless Entry

Keyless entry systems are revolutionizing access control by eliminating traditional keys in favor of digital solutions. Digital unlocking methods include codes, smart cards, and biometric recognition.

Keyless entry systems offer enhanced security features, including time-specific access codes and audit trails for monitoring entry and exit activities. Many of the best commercial door locks use keypad door locks for security.


  • Elevated security through unique access codes and biometric verification.
  • Streamlined access management with the ability to instantly add or revoke credentials.
  • Reduced risk of lock picking and lost keys.
  • Effortless keyless entry installation with user-friendly instructions and compatibility with standard door configurations, minimizing installation time and hassle.


  • Dependency on power sources or batteries, with potential vulnerability during outages.
  • Possible privacy concerns with biometric data storage.
Keyless Door Lock

2. Electric Strike

An electric strike lock features a standard lockset that interacts with an electrified strike plate. Upon authorization, the electric strike unlocks, allowing the door to be opened without manipulating knobs, levers, or panic bars.

An electric strike locks the door when authorization is removed or after a preset time. It is ideal for a comprehensive access control system, providing security and convenience for both pedestrian and vehicular entry points.


  • Seamlessly integrates with electronic access control systems for centralized management.
  • Versatile and compatible with various lock types, including mortise and cylindrical knob locks.
  • Durable, designed for high-frequency usage in commercial settings.


  • Installation complexity may require professional assistance.
  • Operation is electricity-dependent, necessitating a backup power solution.
Electric Strike Door Lock

3. Magnetic Locks

Magnetic locks, or maglocks, use an electromagnetic field to secure doors. When energized, the magnet mounted on the door frame tightly bonds to a metal plate on the door, creating a secure lock.

Magnetic locks are commonly operated through an access control system, which can be integrated with door closers, keypads, card readers, or biometric systems for entry authorization.


  • Provides strong, tamper-resistant holding force.
  • Quick and easy to operate for access control.
  • Can be connected to fire alarm systems to unlock in emergencies automatically without operating a lockset or panic bar.


  • Requires continuous power supply to remain locked.
  • Not as mechanically secure as traditional locks in power outages unless equipped with a battery backup.
Magnetic Door Lock

4. Restricted Key Systems

Restricted key systems utilize keys that can only be duplicated with proper authorization, typically managed by the lock manufacturer or a professional locksmith. Such a commercial-grade lock ensures that keys are only copied with explicit permission, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized copies.


  • Enhanced control over who can duplicate keys.
  • Increases security by limiting key distribution.
  • Ideal for hierarchical access systems within commercial buildings.


  • Initial setup can be more costly due to proprietary technology.
  • Managing authorization can become complex in large organizations.

5. Master Key Systems

Master key systems allow multiple locks to be opened by a single key while having individual keys for each lock. It is particularly useful for commercial buildings requiring different access levels for various staff members or departments.


  • Simplifies key management by reducing the number of keys needed.
  • Enables controlled access to different areas within a commercial property.
  • Flexible and can be expanded or reconfigured as needs change.


  • Security can be compromised if the master key is lost or stolen.
  • More complex to set up and manage than standard lock systems.

6. Mortise Locks

Mortise locks are integrated into the door itself, offering a high level of security. These locks combine a locking mechanism housed within a mortise cut into the interior doors and a lever or knob to operate the lock. They are commonly found in commercial environments due to their durability and strength.


  • Offers superior security and is difficult to breach.
  • Durable design suitable for high-traffic commercial doors.
  • Aesthetic appeal as hardware can be more seamlessly integrated into the door design.


  • Installation is more involved, requiring precise door modifications.
  • Typically more expensive than cylindrical locks due to complexity and construction.
Full Mortise Lockset

What’s A Commercial Door Lock?

A commercial door lock is designed to meet the security needs of school classroom, businesses, institutions, and public buildings.

Unlike residential locks, these are built to withstand high usage and potential breaches, offering advanced features like access control, programmable keypads, and integration with broader security systems.

There are different types of commercial door locks to protect assets, information, and people in commercial spaces, from heavy-duty deadbolts and commercial-grade door locks to sophisticated electronic locks.

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Who Uses This Type of Locking System?

Commercial door locks are utilized by a wide array of facilities, including but not limited to offices, retail stores, schools, storage rooms, hospitals, hotels, and government buildings.

Most commercial buildings (sometimes even residential buildings) that require higher security and durability from their locking systems due to high foot traffic or the need for stringent access control will benefit from these specialized locks.

Commercial door lock installation is essential for business owners, property managers, and security professionals seeking to safeguard their premises.

Tips When Choosing A Commercial Door Lock


Selecting a commercial door lock begins with prioritizing security. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) [1] rates high-grade locks, with Grade 1 being the most secure and suitable for entry points with high traffic or potential vulnerability. Locks recommended by the Builders Home Manufacturers Association also offer high security.

Look for locks featuring solid metal construction, anti-tamper mechanisms, and drill-resistant components. Evaluate the security challenges your facility faces—whether forced entry or burglary—to choose a lock that effectively addresses those concerns, ensuring your premises and assets remain protected around the clock.

Easy Integration

Modern requirements mean your commercial door lock should seamlessly integrate with existing security systems. Opt for locks connecting with CCTV [2], access control systems, and alarms, providing a unified security solution.

The integration enhances overall security and simplifies management and monitoring, allowing real-time alerts and updates on security statuses. Consider future-proofing your security by choosing locks that offer flexibility in upgrades and compatibility with new technologies as your business evolves.


Smartphone-enabled locks offer unparalleled convenience and control, allowing you to manage access to your premises remotely. These locks often feature app-based control for locking and unlocking doors, issuing temporary keys, and monitoring entry and exit logs.

Ideal for businesses with fluctuating access needs or operating across multiple locations, smartphone-enabled locks reduce the need for physical keys and allow instant adjustments to security settings, ensuring only authorized individuals can access your facilities.


Convenience is key to maintaining your business’s day-to-day operations without compromising security. Look for locks that offer flexibility in access methods, such as keypads, key cards, and biometrics, to accommodate the varying needs of your employees and visitors.

Consider locks that allow for easy rekeying or changing access codes to adapt to staff changes quickly. A balance between robust security and ease of use ensures your locking system enhances, rather than hinders, the functionality of your commercial space.


What is the difference between commercial and residential door locks?

Commercial door locks are designed for higher security levels, durability, and handling high traffic, conforming to strict industry standards. Residential locks prioritize ease of use and aesthetics, focusing on protecting homes at a lower usage frequency.

What is the most commonly used commercial lock?

Cylindrical lever locks are the most commonly used in commercial settings. They offer a balance of security, durability, and ease of use for high-traffic areas.

What is the strongest type of door lock?

Mortise locks are considered the strongest type of door lock due to their intricate locking mechanism embedded within the door, providing superior security and resistance to tampering.

What makes a door a commercial door?

Commercial doors are built to withstand heavy usage and environmental factors in business settings, often made from metal or reinforced materials, and equipped with commercial-grade locking mechanisms to ensure security and compliance with safety codes.

What grade is a commercial lock?

Commercial locks are typically ANSI Grade 1, indicating the highest level of durability and security suitable for commercial applications where the highest protection against physical attack is required.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the right commercial door lock is crucial for securing your business, ensuring durability, and meeting the unique demands of commercial use. Whether you’re considering a keyless entry, an electric strike, or a high-security mortise lock, understanding the specific needs of your commercial space is key.

Need help navigating the options? Contact Safe and Sound Security for a free consultation. Our experts can guide you to the best locking solutions tailored to your business’s security requirements.

Request a free consultation today and secure your commercial space with confidence.

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