Can You Replace A Mortise Lock With A Cylindrical Lock?

The use of mortise locks may have decreased over the past years, but they remain a common way to secure a home. However, the majority of people prefer the modern cylindrical type of lockset. This begs the question: can you replace a mortise lock with a cylindrical lock? We’ve extensively researched this topic and here’s what we found out.

Yes, you can replace a mortise lock with a cylindrical lock assembly. You’ll just have to remove the mortise lock first and fill the excess space that might appear once the cylindrical lockset is in place. After preparing the area for the new knob set, you just have to install the faceplate on the doorjamb, insert the doorknob into the door, and test the mechanism to make sure that everything works fine.

Just keep reading to learn more about the things to consider when replacing a mortise lock with a cylindrical lock assembly.

Hands removing a door lock. Can You Replace A Mortise Lock With A Cylindrical Lock

What is the difference between mortise and cylinder locks?

When it comes to selecting the most effective locks, there is a common question that emerges. Would a cylindrical lock be preferable or would a mortise lock suffice? Well, this isn't a simple question to answer because these locks differ significantly. The following are some of the key distinctions between a mortise lock and a cylinder lock.

Mortise Lock

mortise lock with keys installed in a wooden door

A mortise lock, which is used in both residential and commercial buildings, needs the removal of a pocket, or mortise, from the door where the lock is to be fitted. A common mortise lock assembly usually comprises of the following:

  • The lock's body or the section that is put inside the prepared mortise hole in the door.
  • A lock trim that can be chosen from a variety of lever, handle set, and pull designs.
  • A strike plate that strengthens the holes punched in the frame to accommodate the latch or deadbolt.
  • A keyed cylinder that regulates the locking and unlocking actions of the lock body.

Cylindrical Lock

Installation door knob with lock, woodworker screwed screw, using screwdriver

A cylindrical lock is fitted through the door and is equipped with a knob or lever on either side that, when spun or pushed, retracts the latch. The major advantage of this type of lock is its simplicity of installation. The door is drilled with two holes, one for the lock chassis and the other for the latch bolt, one through the door's face and also the other through the strike edge.

How do you change a mortise lock into a cylinder?

Changing a mortise lock to a cylinder one can be such a difficult undertaking to do. But by following this guide, the task would just be as easy as it should. Before starting the project, you must first ensure that all the tools and materials necessary are prepared. These include a table saw, a screwdriver, a tape measure, a woodblock, a wood glue, a pin nail gun, a chisel, a miter saw, and most importantly, the lock assembly.

Remove the Old Lock

1. Unscrew the inner faceplate to the door's edge, removing the plates that cover the faces of the doors. Instead of a drill, use a screwdriver to remove all screws. Remove the faceplates, using the screwdriver to pry them up if necessary. Remove the lock from the door's edge.

2. The lock mortise's depth, width, and height should all be measured. To fill it, slice a block of wood using a table saw and miter. Apply adhesive to all surfaces of the block that will be inserted and slipped into the door. Using a pin nail gun and 1-inch nails, start nailing through the door's top and bottom, to keep it attached until well-glued.

3. Begin placing the folded paper template including the lock on the edge of the door at the right height. The usual interval between each deadbolt is 42 inches, but for a convenient installation, the lock bolt hole in the door frame should be aligned perfectly.

Install the New Lock

1. Each of the holes located at the center is marked for the door's face and edge by inserting a pencil through the paper template. Drill it through the door's front, focusing on the mark, with a 2 and 1/8-inch hole saw. To avoid splintering, put steady pressure, but forcing the saw is not recommended; rather, enable it to cut through the opposite side.

2. With a 1-inch paddle bit, bore the lock bolt hole through the marked edge of the door. Drill it through the face of the door until you hit the spherical mortise opening you created.

3. Trace the bolt collar plate's outline around the hole. Cut the material from the outline to a depth of 1/8-inch with a sharp wood chisel. After sliding the deadbolt lock assembly, insert the two screws into the door's edge. Attach the two fixed screws inside this door after placing the barrel lock into the holes of the lock assembly.

4. The door frame's striker plate should be uninstalled. Set up the two mounting screws after installing the replacement deadbolt striker plate. To test, close and lock the door. For a suitable fit, adjust the striker plate as needed.

How do you remove a stuck mortise lock?

A stuck mortise lock is a pain to deal with, but surprisingly, the method is as easy as pie but requires a set of things to do. Just get a thin cutting disc for an angle grinder and cut the bolt between the door and the frame—if you're careful, you won't even touch the frame or the door.

Are cylinder locks secure?

Many facilities are beginning to install cylinder locks in their units. Because they are kept internally within the storage unit, similar to front door locks in your home or apartment, these are the most secure locks available. Because the locks don't protrude from the unit door, they can't be cut. They are strike-proof, drill-proof, and pick-proof, just as disc locks.

A cylinder lock looks like a standard door lock when installed. They are around the same price as disc locks and are extremely sturdy.

How much does it cost to change the locks?

The price of changing locks is determined by the type of lock you wish to purchase. A Grade 1 lock, for example, will almost certainly be more expensive than a Grade 3 lock on an outside door. Keep in mind, however, that the cost is not solely monetary. It's crucial to keep in mind that changing locks is a lengthy process.

An expensive lock is better if you want to make your unit more secure. However, it's impossible to say that it's safe just because a lock costs a lot of money. High-security locks, on the other hand, are more expensive than regular locks. The same may be stated for deadbolts and their classification. A Grade 1 lock will almost always be more expensive than a Grade 2 or Grade 3 deadbolt.

In Closing

Preparation and rigorous adherence to the method are required when replacing a mortise lock with a cylindrical lock. Always keep in mind that safety is crucial not just while installing locks, but also when maintaining them.

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