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Choosing Locks for Wooden Doors - Deadlocks

Bespoke Wood Doors Devon


Choosing the right locks for your external wooden door is important. What makes it difficult is there are so many options to choose from. In this article we're going to take a look at the deadlock.


If you want to know about other locking solutions for bespoke wooden doors take a look at these articles about sashlocks


What is a Deadlock?


A deadlock, sometimes called a mortice deadlock, is a dead bolt within a metal case. Deadlocks are morticed into the edge of a door and not mounted on the surface. They have no handles and are key operated. The keyhole is covered by an escutcheon plate.


How to Choose your Deadlock for Exterior Wooden Doors


  • Choose a repuatable brand. We choose to install ERA Fortress deadlocks to our custom made wooden doors. We don't have a special relationship with ERA, we just feel they provide a good quality product at a fair price. 
  • The right standard. If you're choosing a deadlock, and at the time of writing this article, you will need to make sure it complies with BS3621:2017. The British standard ensures that a lock is tested against common Burglary techniques such as drilling and picking.
  • Check the backset. This is the measurement between the front of the lock and the spindle that operates the lever handles. Typically you will find 44mm and 57mm backsets.


Euro Cylinder or Standard Key Operation?


Deadlocks can be operated by a small key that fits into a euro cylinder. A euro cylinder is an extra component that fits into a euro deadlock. The convinience with a euro cylinder key is it's a smaller key which is easier to live with. However, it is important that a high quality euro cylinder is used to prevent easy break in. A standard key is a cheaper solution but the key is large which may put some people off.


Are Deadlocks suitable for all exterior wooden doors?


While a deadlock complying with BS3621:2017 is a good way to improve the security of a door that only has a sashlock it may not be appropriate for all doors. If we are asked to make a door for a change of use or a new build we would need to use a locking system that complies with Part Q of the building regulations. 


Can I improve the security of my deadlock?


Whilst you can't improve the security of a deadlock you can improve the security of your exterior door by using it in combination with a sashlock. A deadlock adds another locking point without a latching mechanism. A top tip here is to make sure the locks are keyed alike so you don't need two keys to operate both locks. Deadlocks are a great way to secure the lower section of a wooden stable door.




Deadlocks are a reliable and proven way to add extra security to external wooden doorsthat only have a sashlock. Make sure your lock complies BS3621:2017 and cross reference this with your insurance provider. A deadlock may not always be appropriate for your external wooden doors such as cases of new builds and change of use.


If you need a custom made external timber door with a high quality locking system, call us on 01769 572 134 or drop us a line through our contacts page