Subscriber Discussion

Mortise Locksets

Hi Brian,

I am in training all week and have been catching up by watching the recordings. While watching week 3 session 1 I came up with a question.

During the class I think you mention that with a mortise lockset that sometimes a strike with two keepers is used to allow for the dead bolt and dead latch. We had a locksmith tell us that it was better to swap out the lockset with a cylindrical lockset and install a plate to cover the hole left from removing the mortise lockset.

Was that correct?


Hey Brian:

For reference, here is the type of strike I was mentioning:

I do not necessarily agree with the advice of that locksmith. If a door has previously been specified to have a mortise type lockset, it generally has been deemed as at least a 'security sensitive' opening. Mortise locksets are typically costly, and they are not the 'default door prep' for light-duty openings. In contrast, cylindrical locksets can be purchased quite inexpensively and typically are used on less vulnerable doors.

Fundamentally, having a separate deadbolt and latch is seen as a 'higher security' solution (ie: two points of securing the door, vs a single point) In this way, mortise locksets are 'more secure' than cylindrical locksets.

In most cases, pulling a mortise set and swapping it out with a cylindrical leverset can be considered a 'step down' in hardware. Granted, this is pure opinion on my part, but I think many door hardware types hold the same opinion. While a mortise-prepped door can be adapted for a cylindrical lock quite easily, it still may require a variety of door wrap plates and strike blanks like you mention.

The locksmith you spoke with may have been able to use a less expensive strike, but he ultimately recommended you buy/sell new hardware, strike blanks, and more labor time installing everything than if attempting to use the mortise lock already in place.

Interesting, thanks!

Incidentally, the 'double strike' shown above is used for seperate bored cylindrical locks and deadbolts, not mortise locks.

I listened to the playback of the class, and I made it sound like double strikes are required for mortise locks. This is not the case. Typically for mortise hardware, a 'single' strike with a large pivot 'keeper' or jaw width is used. See examples below:

Excellent, thank you for clarifying.

You must also include the "hold open" option for the keepers of deadbolts if you wish not to use a key to retract them. The hold open feature holds the keeper open until the deadbolt hits the close feature upon door closure.