At Lothian Locksmiths we often get asked by our customers, “What is the difference between deadlocks, deadlatches and deadbolts?” It’s a great question and we understand the confusion that can occur, especially if you don’t know the benefits for each, along with the security differences.

So that we can help others learn more about each lock type and the differences they bring, we have created this article as a bit of an explainer. Also we should mention a few popular and trusted lock brands in the UK, Yale, Abloy, Mul-T-Lock, Asec, UNION, EVVA, Banham. In particular we are a fan of Yale as is the one that has a range of locks in each category, though the others are also great and reliable lock makers.

TIP! You want to be sure you cover all locks in your home before you begin painting. If you accidentally get paint on your lock, your key may no longer work.

We mentioned Yale as it is probably the most popular name in the locking world and it’s also one of the oldest international brands. One of the most popular and recognisable lock designs created by Yale is the cylinder pin-tumbler lock. An to give you an idea of Yales popularity and experience, this lock was patented in 1861! At Yale, they have been dealing with individuals, families, and businesses with their number one favourite thing (security) everywhere on the world for more than 200 years..

TIP! If a locksmith provides you with a quote, and then increases the cost when he gets there, be wary. Many of them will run this scam in order to get more money from you.

Like your distant grandparents before you, you can be safe and secure in knowing that by fitting Yale locks to your entryways, doors and windows will give you a total peace of mind. Whilst knowing the research Yale perform each year, will give you genuine feelings of serenity and full assurance for your family and property. Yale is one of the most seasoned worldwide brands on the planet and presumably the most popular name in the locking business. The Yale history catches significant developments that have innovated the advancement of Yale, and evolved the lock industry as a whole.


A deadlock is a type of lock that when in deadlock mode can only be unlocked with a key. Yale produce the Yale Chrome Plated Double Cylinder Deadlock (SYDK/DCYL/CP) which is shown here..

On one side of the lock is a keyhole and on the other is another keyhole and turnable knob. When in deadlock mode the knob is inoperable. This is to increase security and prevent thieves who gain entry via a window for instance being able to escape via a deadlocked door.

TIP! Many people think they will never need a locksmith, but it’s a good idea to find a reputable locksmith in your area before you actually need them. Get on the computer and look around for a good locksmith in advance of any problems.


While deadlocks are great to provide a high level of security care must be taken to not leave them in deadlock mode when you are at home. Otherwise in an emergency, such as a fire, you could be trapped inside if you don’t have the key with you.

Fortunately, Yales Deadlock and other brands overcome this. When not in the deadlock mode you are able to use the handle to unlock and open the door from the inside.
This type of locking mechanism is popular in both commercial and residential properties to provide high levels of security.


Deadbolts have the same functionality as a deadlock. As can be seen in the images, typically the locking bolt extends out of the lock allowing it to go into a wall to secure the door. As this puts a single metal bolt from the door into the wall it makes forcing the door open almost impossible when a deadbolt is locked.

Also known as a Mortice Lock, a popular model from Yale is the P-5211 Security Deadbolt. This is a cylinder operated lock that has a thumb turn operation on inside and is key operated from outside. These are a great secondary lock, though you have to turn the bolt from inside to lock it so if you are in you can either lock it manually or leave it off. Then when you leave property you can lock it from outside with the key. It is a very robust and reliable lock, easily lasting 7-10 years without any noticeable wear.

TIP! Get a receipt when the work is done. Though the majority of locksmiths can be trusted, some do try to scam customers.

Yale has various types of Deadbolts, each with their own set of features, one of the most secure is the Yale P-M562-CH-67 PM562 British Standard 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock. This Deadlock is a high security lock that is ideal for external wooden doors and the single dead bolt is locked from either side of the door using the key.

It is approved to British standard BS 3621:2007, Police Secure by Design and is recommended by insurance providers the highest level of certification currently available making them one of the best locks for wooden doors.

It is easy to identify if you have a 5 Lever insurance approved mortice lock by checking the face plate, where the BS Kitemark will be clearly visible.

As with deadlocks a deadbolt that is in deadlock mode can only be opened with a key even if it has a handle. As such care needs to be taken to not deadlock people inside a building in case of emergency.

With the increase in security that these locks offer, deadlocks and deadbolts are a very common feature in many homes and commercial properties today. These types of locks can be used on their own, however are often alongside a regular latching lock. When used in conjunction with another lock, a deadbolt is usually placed above the door handle.

TIP! Check the Better Business Bureau to find out if a locksmith is truly reputable. This can help you identify any person trying to scam you.


A deadlatch takes the benefits of a deadlock and add a latching function. While a deadlock either needs a key to lock the door, or to turn a knob to move the bolt into lock mode. A deadlatch will automatically lock itself whenever the door is closed. This makes leaving the house quicker and you can be safe knowing the door is locked behind you.

You may have noticed the Yale 77 series traditional nightlatch (shown in image). This is the Original Yale Lock that is all so familiar classic styling. The deadlocking snib function enables the latch to be held back or deadlocked internally. Whilst its nightlatch is key operation from the outside and has a knob handle for operation from inside.

Top Pick: Yale P-85-DMG-PB-40 Deadlocking Nightlatch
The Yale P-85-DMG-PB-40 Deadlocking Nightlatch (shown in image) is an extremely popular model in the UK and for good reason. These locks are key operated from the outside and lever handle operated from the inside.

The latch automatically deadlocks on closing the door and the snib function (bolt hold back button) enables the latch to be held back. The inside handle can also be deadlocked by a reverse turn of the key in the cylinder giving additional security (when deadlocked in this manner the latch cannot be opened from the inside only from the outside with the key).

TIP! Find a locksmith who has current credentials and stays active in learning more about his trade. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’ll be reassuring to know your locksmith is staying on top of current trends.

As mentioned this deadlatch combines the security and functionality benefits of a deadlock.

Here are the three main functions:
1. Passage Mode: The latch is locked in the open position allowing the door to open and close freely.
2. Safety Mode: The latch and the rear handle are active. This allows the door to lock when the door is closed requiring a key to open the door from the inside. Or the rear handle can open the door from the inside.
3. Secure Mode: This is essentially the deadlock mode. The latch is free to move so the door can be pulled close and will lock. Then the only way to get open the door from inside or outside is with a key.

TIP! Ask any locksmith about his or her experience up front. Check to see if they have operated from a single location the whole time.

By having an active deadlock on your front door is a great way to ensure that intruders cannot simply open the front door from inside allowing them to steal large objects easily. But you don’t want to have a deadlock active on your front door when you or anyone else is home.

Fortunately the latest models of deadlatches, such as the Yale 85 series, come equipped with anti-deadlock devices. This means that when you unlock the deadlocked door from the outside, the deadlatch mechanism from the other side of the door is also automatically unlocked. Thus preventing someone getting deadlocked in once they get home.

TIP! Make sure that the locksmiths credentials check out. You can get this done by looking up the address where the business was, and then contacting the phone number they gave to you.

Locks and Insurance

Today, most insurance companies require you to have one of these “dead” locking types of mechanisms installed on your doors and windows for you to benefit from full insurance cover. The reason for this is that these types of locks offer greater security and are not easy to pick. This means that burglars cannot easily leave your home with larger items in the unfortunate event of a burglary.

Staying safe and secure whether you are in West Lothian, Edinburgh or Glasgow areas is vital, no matter where you live. Ensure your properties locking devices are up to date by requesting a security inspection from Lothian Locksmiths. We only use and recommend the best lock brands in Scotland to ensure you get quality products. Also our workmanship is backed by a full 12 month guarantee. Join the long list of our satisfied customers and give Lothian Locksmiths a call today.


Did you like the tips?

There you have it, some free expert locksmith tips sure to make your home more secure. If you are in need of any locksmith services in any of these areas (West Lothian, Bathgate, Broxburn, Armadale, Whitburn Livingston, Harthill, Edinburgh or Glasgow) do contact Lothian Locksmiths. You can do this by calling us on 0791 682 2146. You can as well send an email to

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