Keyless Locks – Electronic vs. Mechanical

Keyless locks are great and are actually getting to be more common on residential places. It’s probably because they are so handy and you don’t have to worry about keys! Going keyless can make it really easy for your kids to get into the house when they come home from school or other activities. You don’t have to worry about them being responsible for a key. These are also handy tools for if you are known to lock yourself out of your own house (we’ve all been there, don’t worry) and forgot to hide a spare key somewhere outside. You’ll just have to remember a simple code and your in!

 

What’s the Difference Between Electronic and Mechanical?

 

The easiest explanation of each type is that Electronic locks are battery operated and often have a light up keypad, where as Mechanical locks do not require batteries or power of any kind.

 

What are the Pros and Cons?

 

Now, I don’t have either of these fine gadgets on my own home, but I was able to stay in a few condos over the summer (my husband travels a lot for work, and I get to go with him sometimes) and I was able to try out both the electronic deadbolt and mechanical deadbolt depending on the condo we stayed in. So I can tell you what I liked and disliked about each. I found them both way way a million times better than using a plain old school key and that’s the biggest pro of all. But digging a bit deeper…

Our first experience was that of the the Electronic style. It was a dream. So easy to use. We got there really late at night, so it was dark and the keypad lit right up so we could easily punch in the code and entered the lovely condo. It also had a way nice lock button, so when you shut your door to leave, all you had to do was simply push the button and it locked like magic. Again, no silly key! I know that some electronic locks can lock automatically after you shut the door, but this one you had to hit the button to lock, or it stayed unlocked. Now I can’t remember for sure, but it looked an awful lot like this Kwikset electronic deadbolt. The only con I can come up with for this one was that by the end of our one of many trips to this place, the lock was starting to sound really funny. Kinda like it was dying. When we came back on our next visit I got to chatting with the owner of that particular condo and she told me that a guest was locked out because the batteries had died. I don’t know about you, but that’s sorta a scary nightmare! I guess it would be a good idea to hide a spare key (because the keyless deadbolts still have an option for key access) outside in case this happens.

On another one of our visits we were able to use the mechanical style lock similar to this style from Lockey. Again we got there really late at night and it was dark dark dark. Mechanical locks don’t use any kind of power or battery remember? So there was no light up keypad to easily enter the code. We had to use our phones as a flashlight to enter in the dark. No big deal, but the light up keypad is a really nice feature to have. This lock worked really smooth. And how cool is it that it doesn’t use any batteries or power? You will never have to worry about the battery dying on you, which is a huge pro! One thing we really disliked when entering the condo was after you enter the code you have to twist the knob on the deadbolt and hold it and use your other hand to turn your handle (or in this case it was a thumb lever like you would see on a handleset) to get inside. If you don’t hold the knob on the deadbolt before you let go and try to turn your handle it will automatically lock again, then you will have to re-enter the code and try again. A little frustrating. I’m not sure if all the mechanical locks are this way or not, so keep that in mind.

 

Electronic Pros:

  • Easy to use and easily installed.
  • Provide multiple codes of your choice and can be added or deleted whenever you wish.
  • Keypad lights up by touch to make it easy to enter your codes in the dark
  • Come in many many finishes and designs

Electronic Cons:

  • Batteries may die on you

 

Mechanical Pros:

  • Smooth working
  • Easy to use and easy to install
  • Easy to change codes and change as often as needed
  • No batteries
  • Mechanical Reliability
  • Heavy duty

Mechanical Cons:

  • No light up keypad

 

The LL-25 Lever from Linnea

I love when I find a great looking something or other and I can picture having one of my very own. This is usually when I am dreaming of my new home and can pick whatever style of hardware, furniture, light fixtures, appliances… you get the idea. So this great looking something that I found is from Linnea and it goes on a door. Any ideas of what that might be? If you guessed door knob, you are on the right track. I found a door lever! All of Linnea’s door levers are super unique and original, but there is one I really really like and can picture on every one of my doors. This one is really unique. Maybe not an obvious unique, because it’s a pretty simple style, but really it’s very unique. It’s such a simple design, you may not see the most unique part at first, but let me show you why it’s so unique. This is one of the reasons why I like this lever so much.

 

It’s called the Linnea LL-25

You can choose between either a round rosette, or a square rosette.

 

It’s a pretty simple look (a pretty perfectly simple). If you look really close… did you notice how much smaller the rosettes are than a standard lever would have?

 

 

This may be a deal breaker for some, because this lever (as well as any of Linnea levers from the Pristine Collection) requires special door preparation. Now a standard door lever requires what they call standard door preparation – 2 1/8″ diameter bore, where the Linnea LL-25 lever requires special door preparation with only a 1″ diameter bore. The 1″ diameter bore prep is not commonly found, but if you are dying to have this look, you might just have to have all your door specially prepped to fit this style.

 

Another great touch to add to this lever would be a Linnea Privacy Bolt added above.

You could go with a Round Privacy Bolt or a Square Privacy Bolt, like this one here…

Replacing a Vintage Door Knob Only

Vintage (or antique) door knobs go way way back. We can all picture a style in our heads of what one might look like or maybe one we have seen in the past. These are the kind of door knobs I have always loved, even before I was a part of Direct Door Hardware. I just now thought of a time when I was young and my parents wanted to buy a new home and I would ask them what the door knobs looked like in each house they went to tour. I remember them thinking it was so funny that I really wanted to know what the door knobs looked like. And now, I work for a place where door hardware is ordered and shipped on a daily bases. A little ironic.

If someone were to mention vintage door knob, the first style that pops into my head are the porcelain door knobs (my favorite), then I think of the crystal door knobs. There are other styles too like brass that have fancy designs engraved on them, or just simple style ones with a big rectangular backplate. The list goes on and on.

Maybe you have an older home with some of these old antique or vintage style door knobs that need replacing, not the mechanism, just the door knob. You can do just that. Nostalgic Warehouse offers door knobs only with a spindle of your choice (standard, mortise, privacy, or dummy), making it easy to replace your old door knobs without having to buy all new mechanism and going through the hassle of  installing it all.

NOTE: It’s important to know that we do not guarantee that these will fit all the brands out there and some brands may have their own design, so please make sure to take measurements of your existing antique or vintage hardware to be certain you order the correct size of spindle. Nostalgic Warehouse hardware has a 20% restock fee.

You can see all the Nostalgic Warehouse door knob and spindle only options here.

If you need to replace your entire vintage mechanism and door knob and your door knob uses skeleton keys, you can find all the hardware here.

What Types of Ball or Roller Catches Are There?

First, what is a ball catch? A ball catch is usually used on a closet door, but you might find them in other applications sometimes. The ball catch is installed on the top of the door and installed in a hole drilled to fit. A spring loaded ball protrudes from the top of the door which holds the door closed when resting in the strike plate of the jamb above.

A roller catch has the same idea and is also mounted on the top of the door and includes a strike plate that is mounted to the door jamb above, the most noticeable difference really between the ball catch and roller catch, is that the roller catch is a spring loaded cylinder that rolls rather than a ball. Roller catches are probably a little more heavy duty and smoother working, they are also a little more expensive than ball catches. Once we go through with pictures of the different types, you will be able to see the difference between the two.

Our most common ball catch is probably the Sure-Loc Ball Catch

The Sure Loc ball catch is the most common style ball catch with it’s screw down face plate to help keep the ball catch in place. It’s also one of the least expensive.

a couple more with similar designs are:

The Emtek Ball Catch

And the Omnia Ball Catch

Both the Emtek and Omnia catches have square corner face plates like the Sure Loc ball catch, but these two are a little more expensive in price. They are both a little more heavy duty and that may be worth it to you to pay a little extra, your choice.

Be sure to check out the different finishes all 3 of these offer!

The next is really really similar to the 3 above, except it has round corner face plates rather than square. It’s comparable to the Sure-Loc Ball catch (see above), very inexpensive. The Rusticware Ball Catch:

This next one is called a Drive-In Ball Catch from Residential Essentials. This is the least expensive ball catch on the site and probably the easiest one to install, as it doesn’t require chiseling the door where the face plate can be flush with the door and screwed in because it has no face plate.

Now on to the two roller catches we carry on the site. The Linnea Roller Catch and the Emtek Roller Catch. Both are great quality catches that are a little more durable than the basic ball catches, but are a little more expensive.

Don’t forget to check out what finishes all of these offer!

Find all the catches here.

A Knob with Deadbolt Combo

For exterior doors, lots of times you need more than just an entrance door knob – I think it’s actually recommended that you get a deadbolt to go along with your entrance knob. At least that’s what we recommend. Why? A simple answer is to add more security. Deadbolts are a lot more secure than just a entrance door knob because of their bolt that goes deeply into the jamb. The deadbolt might easily be forgotten, and also it can be challenging to find a deadbolt that matches the door knob. This is probably a good time to tell you that there is a solution to this problem. On our site you can find Max Grade door knob with deadbolt combo packs to make is so much easier than you can imagine to order. All you are in charge of is selecting a finish and of course the quantity. It’s as simple as that. What’s also great about these combo sets is that they are keyed alike, so you don’t have to worry about the deadbolt key not matching the door knob key.

The first combo pack is the Max Grade Watson Knob with Deadbolt Combo. You can see in the picture below that the Watson door knob is a simple round shaped door knob and is available in Polished Brass, Satin Nickel, Aged Bronze and Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes. The deadbolt is a Single Cylinder Deadbolt.

Next is the other combo set – The Max Grade Baker knob with Deadbolt Combo. The door knob style (Baker door knob) is an egg shaped style of door knob which is a little more unique compared to the Watson (see above). This set is also available in Polished Brass, Satin Nickel, Aged Bronze and Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes. The deadbolt is a Single Cylinder Deadbolt.

Modern Cabinet Hardware

Judging by the name of our site – DirectDoorHardware.com, you may think that all we have is door hardware for your basic front or interior doors of your home. Well, then you would be wrong – you’ll find we are much much more than that. For example, what if you are looking for cabinet door hardware? You might be surprised how many styles of cabinet hardware we have to offer. Cabinet knobs, cabinet pulls, cup pulls, finger pulls (we don’t have a category for finger pulls, but here is an example of one here and here), ring pulls, wire pulls, bar pulls and even appliance handles. So if you are looking to remodel your kitchen (or maybe a bathroom) then check out some of the cabinet hardware from Berenson.

Berenson has a wide selection of cabinet knobs, cabinet pulls, cup pulls, finger pulls and appliance pulls. I think they have a great amount of styles to choose from in any of the five categories. I talk about modern styles all the time, and I am not about to stop anytime soon. Berenson has some awesome modern style cabinet hardware that would look great in any remodeled modern kitchen or bathroom. Any of these will work on your cabinet doors or drawers. I will show you a few that I really liked.

Cabinet Knobs:

Here is a great unique style from the Vibrato Series in Verona Bronze. It would look great on anything, door or drawer.

And another called a finger pull. This 32mm CC pull is in polished chrome finish and attaches to the top of a drawer or the bottom of a cabinet door. It’s very small and is barely seen. So if you want a cabinet knob/pull, but don’t want to take away from your beautiful modern cabinets, this would be great for you.

This next one is the Berenson Euroline Series 128mm CC Pull in aluminum finish

Have you ever seen brushed Black Nickel? This finish is really cool, here is the Berenson Euro Moderno 64mm CC Cup Pull in Brushed Black Nickel.

I really like this one too the Berenson Euroline Series 160mm CC Pull in Polished Chrome.

 

This should give you a little taste of what Berenson has to offer. Happy shopping!

Modern Bath Hardware

I think that bathroom hardware can easily be looked over or forgotten, unless you are remodeling your bathroom of course, but lets not forget that bath hardware can definitely make a room if you look closely.

If you are remodeling and need something that’s a little different but can go with nearly anything, you should look over some of Linnea’s modern bath hardware! Linnea has a great selection of bath hardware that is modern design and stainless steel, which is sure to fit into almost any style of bathroom. I mean really, stainless steel will match any wall color, tile, and cabinet. Modern styles can be really simple and perfect for whatever you may be going for. Also, Linnea is really high quality hardware and take great pride in that. Linnea’s products are made to last and follow the latest trends!

Here are a few examples of some of Linnea’s modern bathroom hardware:

Starting with towel bars, one on the more simple side is the Linnea TR1920: Comes in 750mm CC, 600mm CC, 450mm CC, and 300mm CC. If you want to check out the rest of the series, check here.

OR, if you are looking for something a little more unique, the Linnea TR-5042 towel bar may do the trick. For matching series, check here.

Next is an example of a perfect and simple towel ring: The Linnea TR1950-C. It will go with anything! It’s also part of the same series like the first towel bar we showed you above – check here for the Sydney Series.

Can’t forget toilet paper holders! Let’s class em up shall we? How about with the Linnea TRH-800 Tissue Holder – from the Sydney Series:

Here’s another more unique from the Charlotte Series called the TRH-845 Vertical Tissue Holder. It’s installed vertical just like you see it below:

And last but not least, check out some great looking Robe Hooks:

Linnea 5 Hole Hook Plate

From the Manhattan Series, the HK188 Hook

Modern Levers for Exterior Doors

I know I have said many many times that modern design is what majority of people are going for in their home or office today. So because modern is so popular I think it makes one of the more interesting topics for people to talk, or in my case read/write about.¬†Modern homes and buildings are everywhere you look now, and it’s important for modern homes and buildings to have modern hardware! There are lots of different types of modern style hardware to drool over – from door knobs to house numbers. And when you love modern, it’s probably going to end up on your front door, because the front door is the best place to make a first impression. Like maybe a great modern lever would look rad?

The levers above are both from Linnea. The first one (LL-95), is one of the more unique styles Linnea carries and the second one (LL-148) is just classic don’t you think? Check out more modern levers from Linnea and other brands like Baldwin, Emtek, Nova, Omnia Schlage and Sure Lochere.

 

So what if you really do want the modern levers for your exterior doors and it’s not offered as a keyed entrance function? OR – The modern lever you like is available with a keyed entrance, but you’d hate to have the bulky keyed cylinder ruin or take away from the design – what can you do then?

There’s no worries! This problem can easily be solved with an extra little device called a deadbolt. A deadbolt is used mostly on exterior doors and have a keyed cylinder and when the key or turn lever is turned a bolt locks the door in place. So all you would have to do is install a great looking deadbolt above your passage function modern lever. Providing security and style.

Note: It’s always best to try and stick with the same brand, that way the finishes are guaranteed to match.

Here are some great looking deadbolts with a modern taste:

Linnea Round Deadbolt (DBR200)/Linnea Square Deadbolt (DBS200) – Also check out more modern deadbolts from Linnea and other brands here.

Keying Instructions

One of the most common questions we get about door hardware has something to do with if we can get their locks keyed alike. The answer is usually a simple yes of course we can! But there are a few things to keep in mind if you do want your locks keyed alike. So first, it’s probably a good thing to know that not all brands of the door hardware you may be interested in can be keyed alike. We like to recommend that it’s best to choose all your hardware, if possible, from the same brand. Another good reason to choose all your hardware from the same brand is because finishes from different manufactures (although they may have the same name) may be slightly different than one from another brand.

We understand that there may be some cases where you may just have to mix brands. In the past we were not able to key many brands alike, but things have changed. So you still may ask the question, “Can all my locks be keyed alike even if they are from different brands?”… The answer? – It all depends on what brands you choose. All brands have their own standard keyway, but some brands can install other keyways upon request. So if you choose brands that offer the same keyway (from the list below) there should be no problem if you request all your locks to be keyed alike. Example: If you make sure the brand you like are listed under the same keyway, like the Schlage keyway, and you choose Schlage and Sure-Loc brands – we can key them all alike. If it’s still confusing contact us.

The 2 main keyways are Schlage and Kwikset keyways.

BRANDS THAT OFFER SCHLAGE KEYWAY (SC1): Schlage, Sure Loc, Weslock, Emtek, Max Grade, EZSet, Omnia, Nostalgic Warehouse, Grandeur, Fusion

BRANDS THAT OFFER KWIKSET KEYWAY (KW): Kwikset, Sure Loc, Weiser, Baldwin, Max Grade, EZSet, Emtek

NOTE:

  • Schlage only allows their own Schlage keway.
  • Kwikset only allows their own Kwikset keyway.
  • Weslock comes standard with it’s own Weslock keyway (but if requested, it can use a Schlage keyway).
  • Weiser uses only the Kwikset keyway

 

We can also do master keying. This means that you can key all your locks so that one master key can open all of the doors. Usually used in commercial applications. This does have an extra charge per lock, unlike keying alike where it’s free.

So just remember to specify that you want your locks keyed alike either by phone or if you are placing your order online there is a customer comments box where you can leave a note asking to have your locks keyed the same.

New Spring Pivot Hinges

First of all, we have a new brand to introduce to the site called Bommer. We will be adding more new items from this brand to our site in the near future. Right now we have only a few items added, and the items are called Spring Pivot Hinges. One is heavy duty and the other is more of a medium duty spring pivot hinge.

So basically how this spring pivot hinge works is that you would mount the set to the top and bottom of your door and it works like a double acting hinge, meaning that this hinge can pivot in both directions, or in other words the door can swing both in and out. A few examples where you may most likely find these type of doors are in department stores, the doors in the back of the store where they keep storage and restaurants, the doors leading to the kitchen areas, so the people working there don’t have to set things down to open the door – it makes it easy for them to bring out a big plate of food hands free. My grandma also had the swinging doors, saloon style leading in to her kitchen before they remodeled. I am sure you can think up several other places these style doors are found, and they are more common than one might think.

The Bommer Spring Pivot Hinges are made with anti friction bearings, have a steel mechanism, the spring tension can be adjusted to fit your specific needs, and these also have a hold open capability when opened about 85 degrees. You don’t have to worry about getting the handing when ordering, because these are non handed hinges, making it one less thing to have to figure out when placing your order. The difference mainly between the medium duty and the heavy duty is the maximum door weight limit. The medium hinges can only hold up to 90 lbs, which may be all you need – where as the heavy duty hinge can hold up to 150 lbs.