Cambridge Mortice Lock

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Cambridge Mortice Lock – What Is A Mortice Lock?

It is now standard practice when you apply for home insurance for the insurer to ask what kinds of locks you have on your home. This can be a wake-up call for many homeowners, who have no idea about the specifics of the lock they have on their front door or any other entry point.

This article looks at one of the most common Canadian household locks, the mortice lock. It will explain how it works, and how to ensure yours is up to a reliable standard.

The mortice lock gets its name from the ‘mortice’, which is the technical term for the hole in the door or frame into which the lock fits. Mortice locks have fallen out of favour somewhat in the US in recent decades, but are still widely used in the United Kingdom and across Europe, and are generally to be found on wooden doors.


There are a few parts which make up a standard mortice lock. Cambridge Mortice Lock

One of these is the lock body, which is the part which sits inside the mortice hole in the door. It fits with another part called the strike plate, which lines the inside of the mortice hole into which the body goes. Another important part is the lock trim, which will be whatever handle, knob or lever is chosen to go on the door. There is also either a cylinder or a lever mechanism, which will control the locking and unlocking of the door.


The lever mortice lock is by far the most common in Canada, and the way it works is fairly simple. The turn of a key in the lock lifts a series of levers into a position which allows the bolt to lock or unlock. The straightforward and uncomplicated mechanism is a big part of the reason why this lock is so popular and widespread on domestic properties in Canada.


Installation of a mortice lock generally requires the services of a locksmith.

It requires specialist tools and a certain degree of skill that makes it difficult for an average person to do, however much of a DIY enthusiast they might be. The locksmith will use a tool called a morticing jig to cut the mortice into the door (the size needs to be very precise or it will not work).

One of the downsides to installing a mortice lock on a wooden door is that it will weaken the structural strength of the door. On the positive side, it offers more versatility in terms of functionality than alternatives such as bored cylinder locks. Mortice locks can be used in conjunction with a wide variety of levers and knobs, as well as parts and accessories from a range of other manufacturers.