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What Are The Parts of a Lock?

Understanding the components of different lock types is crucial for security professionals and the average consumer. So, what are the parts of a lock?

In this blog, we answer this question and dissect the parts of five different lock types. From traditional deadbolts to advanced smart locks, this knowledge can help you choose the safest lock option and troubleshoot potential issues.

The Parts of a Lock: 5 Lock Types

There are various lock types, from traditional to modern electronic ones. Despite many similarities, the parts of a lock vary slightly from lock to lock.

1. Parts of Deadbolts

Satin nickel deadbolt


The deadbolt is a robust and cylindrical metal piece that extends from the lock into the door frame, providing high security. Unlike spring bolts, deadbolts do not retract automatically and require manual operation using a key or thumbturn.


The thumbturn is inside the door, allowing manual bolt control without a key.

Key Cylinder

The exterior component where the key is inserted. It controls the movement of the bolt when the correct key is used.

Strike Plate

The strike plate is mounted on the door frame into which the bolt extends, reinforcing the frame to resist forced entry.

2. Parts of Lever Handle Locks

Latitude style lever handle lock in satin nickel finish

Lever Handles

Lever handles are pressed downwards to activate the latch mechanism, enabling the door to open. Their accessibility and ease of use ensure compliance with disability access standards.

Lock Cylinder

A key-operated mechanism is situated on the outside handle, controlling the lock's latch bolt.

Latch Bolt

This spring-activated bolt locks the door upon closing. It retracts when the lever is pushed down and extends when released, securing the door.

Turn Button or Thumbturn

Often found on the interior side, it allows the door to be locked or unlocked from the inside without a key for privacy.

3. Parts of Mortise Locks

Black mortise cylinder gate lock

Lock Case

Mortise locks include a sturdy metal box containing the locking mechanism installed into a precut slot (mortise) at the edge of the door.

Latch Bolt

A spring-loaded bolt that keeps the door closed. It is retracted by the handle or knob to open the door and extends automatically when the door is closed.


It provides additional security by extending deeper into the door frame than the latch bolt, operated by a key or thumb turn.

Lever or Knob

Used from the inside to operate the latch bolt. In some designs, a key operates the deadbolt from the outside.


The part where the key is inserted, controlling both the deadbolt and the latch bolt in some mortise locks.

4. Parts of Electronic Locks

Electronic keypad lock with aged bronze finish

Keypad or Card Reader

Electronic locks feature a keypad or card reader that acts as the keying interface, accepting numerical codes or security cards as keys. This allows keyless entry, with the option to change codes or issue new cards for access control.


An electronic mechanism that moves the bolt or latch of the lock upon receiving the correct code or card swipe, securing or opening the door.

Lock Mechanism

Similar to traditional locks, but operated electronically. The mechanism includes a motor or solenoid that actuates the lock.

Power Source

Typically batteries or a direct power supply that powers the electronic components. Backup power options are often included to ensure operation during power outages.

5. Parts of Smart Locks

Smart lock deadbolt set in satin nickel finish

Wireless Transceiver

Smart locks require a wireless transceiver for remote control, access sharing, and real-time alerts through smartphones, tablets, and smart home systems.

Mobile App Interface

Smart locks include a user interface for managing the lock through an app. You can lock and unlock doors remotely, create and manage digital keys, and monitor access.

Mechanical Cylinder (in some models)

Some smart locks offer a traditional keyhole as a backup entry method, ensuring access even if electronic components fail.

Final Thoughts

With this comprehensive guide on the parts of a lock, you have a valuable resource to help you find the best lock and ensure your family’s safety or your business’s security. Shop Hinge Outlet today to purchase reliable, high-quality lock hardware.