Lever locks are used extensively in the doors of residential homes as well as commercial buildings. Some homeowner's insurance companies even require their insured customers to have lever locks on all their doors. It's an otherwise basic precautionary measure that protects against break-ins and intrusion. But what exactly is a lever lock?
Overview of Lever Locks
Also known as a lever tumbler, a lever lock is a type of lock that, as the name suggests, uses levers to open the door in which it's installed. Lever locks feature multiple levers. When you insert a key into a lever lock and turn the key, it will move the individual levers into the appropriate position. When this occurs, the lock will disengage, allowing you to open the door in which the lever lock is installed.
Components of a Lever Lock
Although there are several different types of lever locks, they all feature a few basic components. As previously mentioned, they feature multiple levers, each of which consists of a flat piece of metal (typically steel).
In addition to levers, lever locks feature a component known as a stump. The stump is secured to the end of a bolt and is designed to prevent the respective bolt from moving until all the levers are properly aligned in the appropriate position.
Lever locks also contain washers. A washer, of course, is a circular-shaped piece of metal that's placed around bolts or similar fasteners. In a lever lock, washers are used between the levers so that the levers raise when the key is inserted and turned.
3 vs 5 Lever Locks
Most lever locks feature either three or five levers. Generally speaking, the more levers a lock has, the greater the security it offers. Therefore, five lever locks are less likely to be picked than five lever locks.
In the United Kingdom, five lever locks with the British Standard (BS3621:2007) is used as a requirement for homeowner's insurance. Additionally, police departments throughout the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States, often recommend the use of lever five lever locks to protect against break-ins and intrusion.
The Problem With Lever Locks
Lever locks aren't immune to picking. There are special lockpicking tools designed to pick the lever locks. Known as a curtain pick, it's inserted into the keyhole. When pressure is applied to the curtain pick, it's able to move each of the levers into the appropriate position.