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What do I need rim lock or mortice latch

What do I need rim lock or mortice latch?

One of the most common questions we get asked by customers is ‘Do I need a rim lock or mortice latch to go with the handles’? Luckily it’s probably simpler than you might think. A rim lock or latch sits on the surface of the door whereas mortice locks and latches are in the door and both are operated by a spindle.


The vast majority of internal and external pairs of handles come with a square spindle (expect some modern combo sets and some handles for UPVC doors). These types of square spindles will fit both rim locks, rim latches as well as all types of mortice lock or latch.

Check: The spindle will fit through the square hole in the lock or latch. The vast majority of spindles are approx 7mm square and should fit both new and antique locks or latches.


        Box latch  

Tubular or box mortice lock or latch? (AKA pocket lock)

Like the rim lock and latch, the difference between the mortice lock or latch is that the lock comes with a key, whereas the latch is just operated with the handles. Unlike the rim locks the mortice locks and latches need to fitted in the actual door which is why they are sometimes called pocket locks (a pocket is cut into the door for the lock to sit in). The difference between tubular and the box is just the size. Some modern tubular latches have an integral lock but as a rule tubular don't have a locking mechanism and box latches sometimes do.

Check: If you already have the holes for the handles in the door check the distance between the door edge and the spindle centre on the lock or latch. (AKA as the backset)

Check: If you already have holes for the face plates, check the replacements are the same size or larger.

Check: The edge of the door is flush with the frame and the keep will fit. 


Davenport rim lock and Regency rim latch


Rim lock or rim latch? (AKA surface mounted lock or latch)

Essentially they are the same , a rim lock comes with a key to lock the mechanism and a rim latch doesn't. Sometimes a rim latch comes with a thumb lock (especially for bathrooms) that can only be operated from the inside. The latch bolt from the lock or latch spans the gap between the door and the frame (jamb) and recesses into a keep.  Some rim locks are duel handed so fit both left and right handed doors others are specific.  

Check: That the keep will fit on your frame (you might have to chisel out some architrave for the keep to fit).                      

Check: Some doors that open outwards may not be suitable for a rim lock or latch as the frame and the door aren't flush.

Check: That the rim lock or latch you are looking at is the correct handed model, then check again.

Check: If you already have the holes for the handles in the door check the distance between the door edge and the spindle centre on the lock or latch. (AKA as the backset).



Here's our current stock of antique rim locks and latches 

If you need any help or advice on rim locks or latches, new or antique please contact us. We also offer an Antique Door Furniture Restoration service.                

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Alison packer - February 19, 2017

I am having to put doors in my house which are fire doors. Can I fit your old rim locks on to a fire door do you know? Thanks Alison

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