Last Updated on July 9, 2021 by Tania
Sliding glass doors are a great feature in any home, but it’s important to get sliding glass door locks that will function the way you need. When standard locks just don’t fit the bill, there are plenty of options to keep your house secure.
A very convenient and space-saving solution for your patio, sliding doors are just beautiful! However, they can also bring up certain security risks. Safety for you and your family should not be taken lightly, and something as simple as a good sliding glass door lock can make all the difference.
If you are looking for a solution for the doors in your home, read this guide to discover the popular types of sliding glass door locks and the differences between the options as well.
As you search through all the different types out there, it might be a bit overwhelming. So, this guide is here to help! If you are wondering what are the best and safest locks for a sliding glass door or about the options that are the most budget-friendly, you’re in the right place.
Whether you are needing to replace a broken lock, are looking for something a little more reliable, or simply want a different look or function, there are many options available to you. Plus, there are even locks that can maintain your aesthetic while providing that much-needed security for your home.
Let’s break down the 9 most popular and practical types of sliding door locks. Then, I’ll share where to buy them and even answer some questions people often have about locking their sliding doors.
Why You Need A Lock On Your Sliding Glass Door
The most obvious reason that you need a lock on your sliding door is to protect your home. Did you know that the standard locks that come with sliding doors are not very safe? It’s actually really easy to pick them. Some sliding doors are made with locks that you can even break just by lifting the door off its frame.
The best way to tell if your lock is secure enough is to contact a locksmith. They will tell you how safe it is and whether you need to update it with something stronger.
Types Of Sliding Glass Door Locks
Whether you are trying to update a current door or installing a brand new one, chances are you are going to come across one of these 9 different types of sliding glass door locks. They are the most common and widely-used locks, and they all function in different ways.
Let’s take a closer look at them. I’ll try to explain them so you understand how they work – even if you are a beginner DIYer.
A keyed lock is just like it sounds. It’s a lock that you secure with a key – a lot like a front door. The placement of the lock depends on which type you buy.
This keyed patio door lock is basically a steel pin that keeps your door closed. It requires the key to open it. You install it at the top of your patio door, near the frame.
Here is another keyed locked that you install at the top of the doorframe. It prevents the sliding doors from being opened when they are locked.
If you are looking for a handle with a keyed lock, then you’ll want a Mortise handle, which I’ll explain further below.
Sliding Glass Door Lock Pin
A door lock pin is one of the most affordable and effective ways to lock your sliding door. A lock pin basically uses a thick steel pin to stop the two parts of your door from moving closer together and opening your door.
This Defender Security Door Lock Pin comes with almost everything you need to install it. You can even use it to lock your windows.
Be careful. If you have any doubts about where to screw the pinhole into, please call a contractor. There is a chance that you could drill right into the glass, and that could be disastrous.
Double Bolt Locks
For even more security, check out the double bolt style of locks. It secures the door to the outer frame with two bolts. When the bolts are up, you can open the door. When they are down, it is unable to budge.
Two is better than one. It offers double the strength and is virtually impossible to break.
The most popular brand of double-bolt locks is LOCKiT! It is super easy to install and even easier to use.
Mortise And Hook Style
A mortise and hook style lock requires a pocket (or mortise) to be cut into the edge of the door frame. Most mortise and hook styles require a key to open them. Some sliding door Mortise locks only use a little up and down switch to keep it shut.
This sliding door lock comes with a handle too. It’s one of the most common types of locks you have probably seen people use. It will cost less if you get one that doesn’t require a key to unlock it.
If you want one that comes with a key, check out this mortise sliding door lock. The price goes up quite a bit, but it is more difficult to pick and really easy to install.
A security bar is basically just a bar that you install horizontally in the middle of your sliding door to keep people from being able to open it. This is the easiest of all options to install because it doesn’t require any drilling. It is also pretty affordable too.
Some security bars are set across the middle of the door, while others are meant to be placed at the bottom. This Master Lock security bar works on any type of door – sliding or french. It is completely adjustable and can be as small as 22 inches or as long as 45 inches.
This U.S. Patrol bar is decorative and doesn’t look like a security bar, but it works really well to enforce your door and prevent people from easily opening your door.
There are also patio locks that don’t install in the handle but on the top or bottom of your sliding door track. This patio security lock is easy to install. If you place it at the bottom of your door, you can lock or unlock it with your foot. It works by using a steel bar to keep it in the shut position.
These small locks only take minutes to install and can act as childproof locks too.
Offset Thumb Turn Locks
An offset thumb turn lock looks like a horizontal light switch. You flip it up to unlock or down to lock it. It got its name from the way you operate it – with your thumb.
This Prime Line Handle has an offset thumb turn lock. Since the locking mechanism requires a small pocket in the door frame, you will see lots of thumb turn locks are also called Mortise locks.
Most of these types of locks do not come with a key – they work by securing the door to the lock in the frame via the thumb-operated switch.
Sliding Door Loop Lock
A loop lock is another easy option for beginning DIYers. A sliding door loop lock is a lot like a lock pin, except the pin is shaped like a loop or U. The curved shape gives it more reinforcement and makes it even more difficult to break.
The loop lock is also really easy to install – even for beginning DIYers. It’s also extremely affordable too! The Defender Security Loop Lock is really popular. People love it because it is a very strong lock, and you can install it really high – which is fantastic for child safety. Lots of reviewers suggest you buy better screws than the ones that come in the pack.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sliding Door Locks
Now that you have a better idea of the different types of locks that you can choose from, do you feel a bit more confident about picking one out?
As you pick one out, you might run into more questions. So, here are some of the most frequent questions people have asked. See if your question is on the list.
Can you change locks on sliding doors?
Yes, it is possible to change the locks on a sliding glass door yourself. The type of lock you change will depend on how comfortable you are with DIY projects. For example, changing an entire handle and lock requires a bit more DIY knowledge than installing a door lock pin or security bar.
The best thing to do is to find how-to videos on YouTube and pick out the type of lock that makes the most sense to you.
Are sliding door locks universal?
Manufacturers make universal types of patio door handles with locks that will replace many different types of old handles and locks.
Not all sliding door locks are universal, however. Read the packaging and product description before you purchase it to verify which kind you are buying.
Can you lock a sliding door without a lock?
Yes, there are lots of methods of locking a sliding door without an actual lock. The easiest way to do this is by using a dowel rod or security bar to keep your door from opening. Just place the stick or security bar in the track, and it will keep the door in the shut position.
A lock is always going to be the most secure way to keep your door shut, but a piece of wood in the track is a fantastic short-term solution.
Where is the best place to buy locks for sliding glass doors?
You will be able to find sliding door locks is at your local hardware store. Places like Lowe’s and Home Depot have a large selection. If you already know exactly what kind of lock you want and don’t need to see them in person, shop on Amazon. It’s one of my favorite ways to buy DIY supplies online.
What tools do I need to have to install my own sliding door lock?
This depends on what type of lock you are installing and whether you are replacing something or installing it brand new. You will at least need a power drill that can insert screws easily, along with a level and a measuring tape.
You should also read reviews online about the type of lock you are buying. Some types of locks don’t come with all the screws you need, so you might have to buy more.
Whether your current handle broke, you are child-proofing your doors, or you want to increase security in your house, a new sliding door lock is always a good idea. There are a bunch of options – some are more expensive than others, and some are easier to install.
No matter which one you choose, every option in this list will help you find more peace of mind because you will know that you are reinforcing your door and protecting your home.