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Why We Like Mechanical Locks Over Electronic Locks

Mechanical locks have been keeping our homes safe from burglars for many centuries, right? In truth, mechanical locks can be easily picked, and without an alarm or any other security system, they don’t represent a very big obstacle. Electronic locks are much harder to breach and harder to disable. So, does this mean they are inherently better? Well, … not so much. Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both mechanical and electronic locks and see for yourself how they differ.

Mechanical Locks

As we said, mechanical locks have been around for centuries. They’re the first line of defense when protecting your home. Mechanical locks are easy to obtain and install. Any locksmith has an abundance of them in different shapes and sizes. Copying the key is easy, and anyone with the matching key can access what’s behind the door.

These locks are not always very secure. In fact, unless you have a reinforced door with deadbolts installed, even a common burglar can kick your door in. And even if you do, burglars can simply pick the lock, as a mechanical lock is only so sophisticated in its design. In fact, there are guides all over the internet about lock picking, and even you can acquire the knowledge and tools for the job.

Electronic Locks

Electronic locks, however, are much more sophisticated than mechanical locks. Depending on the type, they’ll offer different levels of security. Keypad locks are the most common after keycard locks, both of which require something to be presented to them in order to unlock them. With keypad locks, you need to present a code, and with the latter, you need to bring a keycard. Some locks can be unlocked with a digital key stored in your phone. Biometric locks offer the highest level of security, as they usually require fingerprint identification.

But are electronic locks really safer? In a sense, yes. It’s much harder to crack somebody’s password or copy a keycard or digital key from a phone, not to mention a fingerprint. Locks like these are also harder to disable, as they require you to cut power to the locks and unlock the door. And seeing as most of these locks are now wireless, disabling one won’t disable the others.

Still, a lock is only a lock, and it’s only as strong as the door it’s mounted on. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to mount a fancy and expensive electronic lock on a normal unreinforced door. Plus, the criminally-inclined will always find a way to breach a lock.


Your needs will dictate whether a mechanical or an electronic lock makes the most sense for your security. We are a bit biased towards the traditional mechanical lock, it has proven its worth over centuries, is quite durable, and in most cases does its job — acting as a deterrent to unauthorized entry.

A-1 Locksmith of the Palm Beaches, Inc.has served the West Palm Beaches area for well over 26 years. They maintain a blog on all things security related.


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Written by Jason Rothman

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