What is a Mortise Lock?

There are two main types of locks that are used on residential locations. These types are a tubular lock set and a mortise lock set. To those outside of the locksmith industry it could be hard to differentiate which lock should be used in which situation. Fortunately we at Phila-Locksmith are here to break down exactly what a mortise lock is and what advantages it has. Mortise lock sets are commonly seen in both a commercial and residential setting and can be a healthy addition to the security of your home or business. Mortise locks can be operated with both a cylinder or a lever. Typically on a home in the United States a door cylinder is used to give it a more traditional look.

How does it work?

Mortise lock sets are difficult for the average homeowner to install by themselves without professional help. Rather than drilled like a normal tubular lock with a single hole through the door. A pocket or “mortise” needs to be drilled into the side of the door frame using specialized equipment. The reason a mortise lock needs to be installed like this is that the lock is a combination of both a deadbolt and traditional lever or knob. A mortise pocket also allows for the lock to hold a heavier return spring which is what gives a mortise lock added security benefits over traditional tubular locks.

What are the benefits of a Mortise lock?

The main benefit to installing a mortise lock is the increase level of security that it offers. By putting both the deadbolt and knob locks into the same lock set higher security is easily achieved. This is because of the heavier return spring that we mentioned above which makes the lock much more difficult to pick or break into. Any residential or commercial location that is looking to upgrade its exterior security without spending a large sum of cash then the mortise lock may be a great choice for you.

Mortise locks will likely increase in popularity as time goes on, simply because of their added security benefit and the amount of durability it offers. There are also a wide range of types of mortise locks which you would be able to select from for your home or business.

Burglary Streak in Philadelphia Area

Over the past week we have seen an influx of burglaries in the Philadelphia area and as a security company we want our customers to be aware. The Main Line has been target to a recent string of burglaries that have left home owners out of a large amount of cash and valuables. Specifically within the Main Line, the townships of Lower Merion and Penn Wynne have seen atleast 11 burglaries in the past week alone, raising concern for residents. These townships are specifically being targeted because of their affluence and wealth since criminals believe they can be in for a large score. So far, they have. Burglars made off with nearly $500,000 worth of jewelry, cash and designer bags from one home in Villanova earlier this week, no arrests have been made.

What can residents do to protect themselves from burglars?

In order to defend your home from burglary there are two main aspects you need to take into account; the aesthetic of the house and also the physical security capabilities. From an aesthetic perspective you do not want your home to seem like there is constantly no one in the residence. If you do have to leave your home for multiple days it is important to remember to not leave mail or newspapers to pile up, this is a tell tale sign for burglars that no one is home. Another technique that some people use when not in their homes is to leave a light on. Just giving the burglars an impression that your home is constantly occupied by multiple individuals can be enough to detract them from attempting to break-in.

Of course if a burglar does attempt to break into your home you want your outer layers of defense to be as strong as possible. This is where a professional locksmith can help. A locksmith can install high security deadbolts as well as other security features that will have you feeling at ease. Some residents in the Main Line however are taking even bigger steps. Recently one resident of Villanova decided to install closed circuit television cameras in order to catch any would be burglars in the act.

Remember to stay safe and lock the doors!

Phila-Locksmiths Debate: Who has the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia?

For years it has been discussed and intensely debated, who has the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia? Just by asking a few members of the team here at Phila-Locksmith and you find some varying and fiery opinions. So we spoke with a few members of our locksmith team to see exactly who people thought is the King of Philadelphia cheesesteaks.

Jack, Garage Door Repair Specialist: “For myself, it is hard to name exactly one cheesesteak which stands head and shoulders above the rest. However I think that some of the best cheesesteaks I have tasted come from the smaller shops and not the big guys you constantly hear about. Since I operate in a mobile fashion I get a chance to go all around the city to complete different jobs and like to try a different place each time. It’s kinda like you get to sample each section of the city which each have slightly different tastes.”

Joe, Locksmith: “Best cheesesteak? Easy. It’s Geno’s. They’re open all night and there is nothing like completing a lockout in Passyunk late at night and riding straight over for a steak afterwards. The first thing you think of when you think Philly cheesteak is that glowing neon sign, and there is a reason why.”

Steve, Safe Specialist: “When most people think cheesesteaks they go straight for your Geno’s, Jim’s, Pat’s or wherever but I will tell you that my favorite place to get a cheesesteak has to be Chickie’s & Pete’s. The cheesesteak itself not amazingly good but when you get a great combo of a cheesesteak and crab fries, it really makes the meal.”

Mike, Dispatch: “Born in the northeast, I have to go with Steve’s, they just have the best tasting steak. Hands down. You gotta love the american whiz and the roll is what really makes a great cheesesteak.”

It seems that the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia is a crown that can never be decisively won, and will continue to be debated for more time on end. We may not ever know what the best cheesesteak in Philadelphia is but it is clear that the best locksmith service in Philadelphia is clearly Phila-Locksmith.


How has the locksmith industry changed?

Locksmithing is one of the oldest professions there is. With over 4,000 years since the first lock was created and used, there has been a large about of change in the area of locksmithing simply because of time and technology. To understand where the locksmith industry has come from it is important to look at where it is currently standing.

The most common form of locksmith now is the mobile locksmith service that companies such as Phila-Locksmith provides. These are when a “locksmith” comes to your home to complete a wide range for repair or installation services, whatever it is you may need. However, these “locksmith” are not truly locksmiths by definition because they no longer make the lock themselves from scratch.

Due to the rise in mass production and the ease that machines allow us to produce a large amount of locks it is no longer necessary for a locksmith to spend hours handcrafting his own locks. While this advancement in technology is great for ease of use a certain amount of security has been lost in recent years with the rise of cheap locks. Some cheaper versions found in stores can actually have the same key as another lock in a different box, leaving someone unknowingly with a copy of your house keys. When locksmith created their locks by hand, each lock was completely different and constructed so that every lock would turn out slightly different.

Just because locksmiths no longer create their own locks does not mean that they are any less skilled then they once were. While the creation of cutting edge lock technologies can be easy the maintenance of these locks is very difficult. This is especially true with respect to car lock and key functions. The advent of transponder keys has been a revelation in the automotive security sector. In order for cars with transponder keys to start they must have a matching key that fits the lock but that key also must have a computer chip within the top of it to send an electronic message to the car to have it start. Which means no chip, no starting your car.

This high end technology has led locksmith to become half locksmiths half computer programmers, this trend only looks to further itself in the future as new higher security locks are being manufactured. We are already seeing bio-metric readers being used on residential homes, which allows you to lock and unlock your front door with just your fingerprint, so the future of these technological advancements is limitless.

Why call a locksmith?

We all know that if we are locked out of our home, car or business we can call a locksmith to get back in without having to damage anything. However, what other situations can a locksmith be helpful? Locksmiths have evolved over the years to be able to complete a wider range of services which includes some that people would not normally think of. On Phila-Locksmith’s main webpage we described the different situations which could lend themselves to calling a locksmith. The article can be found here


Some of the other services which a locksmith can complete include:

  • Garage Door Repair
  • Ignition Change
  • Transponder Car Keys

Locksmith Terms – Part 1

Not everyone is an expert in  the locksmith industry so in an effort to expand knowledge as well as understanding of our articles. Philadelphia Locksmith’s team, is going to provide you with a list of defined locksmith terms.

Locksmith Terms

Access Control – physically being able to regulate traffic to a given area

Angularly Bitted Key – type of key bitting that is found most commonly in Medeco and Emhart locks

Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA) – the largest organization of locksmiths in the world, drives industry wide advancements through training and education

Biometric lock – requires a physical input such as a finger print input to unlock

Key code – alphanumeric code used by a locksmith to identify the unique cuts needed for a specific key

Key blank -an uncut key that can be cut by a locksmith to fit a specific lock

Master key system – system of locks which can be opened by one key on an individual basis and a “master key” which can open all of the locks

Torsion wrench – lock picking tool used to apply torque to a lock’s pins

Transponder key – automotive key which sends sends an electronic frequency to the cars main computer which only enables that key to start the car

Check back with us soon for our continued locksmith term archive!