What Are The Types Of Garage Lock4

What Are The Types Of Garage Lock

Garage locks are a great way to keep your garage safe from unwanted intruders. There are many different locks on the market, but knowing which one is best for you can be challenging. 

This blog post aims to help you pick the best lock by educating you about each type and giving your opinion and recommendations based on what we often see in the field. Are you getting frustrated by your clutter and garage organisation? Here at Garage Storage Solutions, we offer extensive professional organising and declutter service.

How Does A Garage Door Lock Work?

A garage door lock works by blocking the door track with a bolt, most commonly through a sliding lock or a T-handle lock and release system. 

There are various garage door locks, some affixed from the inside and outside, and each is serving specific purposes based on the type of garage door you wish to lock.

Types Of Garage Door Locks Include:

Regular Locks

There’s certainly no shortage of high-security locks and associated features available on the market, most of which can be fitted by a competent DIYer. Depending on how big a security upgrade you are contemplating, you may want to think about

Side Door Bolts 

The most common type of lock used to secure overhead doors is the slide lock or latch. This lock uses a latch that slides into a pre-cut hole in the vertical track from the garage door. 

This prevents the door from rising while the lock is engaged. Therefore, it is not recommended that a slide lock be used with an automatic garage door opener. 

Homeowners often forget the slide lock is engaged while running their opener, burning their motor up and bending the top garage door section in the process.

A popular choice for homeowners, these are commonly used for most types of garage door designs. 

Side door bolts are installed on the inside of the garage door, making them invisible from the outside. As this makes it much harder for an intruder to tamper with the door, he may well not bother.

Deadbolt Locks 

These provide extra reinforcement for the garage door itself. You can also get critical lockable deadbolt locks for even greater security. 

Deadbolt lock styles take a considerable amount of effort to move without a key, which discourages would-be intruders from breaking in.

Slide Garage Door Locks

Slide door locks are installed inside the garage door and function just as it sounds, with the lock installed in alignment with a hole in the track for a bolt to pass through.

Found On

These locks are usually found on gates but can be fitted on most garage doors as an additional layer of security.


  • Sliding bolts make it harder for burglars to peel the door from the frame with a crowbar as the door is fixed within the frame.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to install yourself.
  • Inaccessible and invisible from outside.
  • Multiple sliding bolts can be installed for extra strength.
  • It can be used in conjunction with other locking systems. However, extreme caution needs to be exercised if used with an electric sectional door to ensure the door is not operated with the locks in place. 


  • When locked using the sliding bolts, the garage door cannot be accessed from outside – pedestrian access, or access via a property, is required.
  • Bolt keep requires a hole drilled into a plate in the ground.

Garage Door Handle Locks

For additional heavy-duty security for up and over garage doors, garage door defenders are hard to beat. 

The lock consists of a large arm fixed in front of the door, locked to a concrete base with a padlock. The defender’s arm is positioned on top of the ground and restricts the door movement. 

Garage door defenders are an excellent visual deterrent, plus provide a very effective means to secure your garage.

Rather than using a traditional lock, advanced technology has also produced electronic locks using fingerprints instead of keys to operate the lock. 

State-of-the-art systems support multiple fingerprints, allowing numerous authorised users to gain access. 

While a more costly option, electric garage door locks are among the most secure options available and may well prove to be a worthwhile investment to protect your home, its occupants and contents.

Garage door handle locks are very rare. They are usually found on older garage doors that have to be opened manually. 

This type of lock requires a key to open the door. Unfortunately, due to garage doors being exposed to rain, snow, heat, and other extreme weather, it’s widespread for these locks to need replacing more often than locks on internal doors.

Found On:

This type of lock can be fitted to most types of garage doors. 


  • The defender’s welded steel casing shields the padlock itself.
  • They are designed to be a visual deterrent as well as a physical one.
  • A real challenge to break in a brute force attack.


  • Space is required outside the garage to instal the defender. This may get in the way of a vehicle on your driveway, for example.
  • It can be costly.

Multi-point Locking System

What Are The Types Of Garage Lock2

A multi-point locking system is key operated and fitted to the body of the door. When the key is turned, the door is bolted into the frame and locked at multiple points, offering a higher level of security than a traditional single lock. 

The multi-point system distributes the weight throughout 3, 5 or even 7 points and is, therefore, harder to break into.

Found On:

Multi-point locks are typically fitted on uPVC, aluminium or steel garage personnel doors. However, they can also be provided to timber pedestrian doors.


  • Available in keyed alike or standard differ variations.
  • Suitable for steel, uPVC, aluminium or composite doors.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Easy to install yourself if the door/frame allows. 
  • Only one cylinder is required to lock the whole mechanism. It’s also easy to change/update the cylinder if needed. 


  • Depending on your current door, you may need to replace the frame and the entrance to accommodate a multi-point locking system. 
  • You’ll have to remember to lift the handle when locking the door to engage the complete mechanism. It’s relatively easy not to close these types of systems properly. 

Ground Locks

These locks fasten the bottom of the garage door (usually the T bar) into the ground via a padlock or something similar, making it difficult to jack up. 

Found On

These types of locks are generally fitted to roller shutter doors (manual or electric).


  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to install yourself.
  • Stops the doors from being jacked up via a crowbar or car jack.


  • Depending on the ground lock, it may be easy to bolt, cut off or pick (although you may consider a garage door defender to mitigate against this – see below).
  • If you have an electric garage door, you’ll need to remember to take the lockout before you run the door. Otherwise, you’ll cause significant damage to the motor (although you can purchase lock isolators to stop this from happening). 
  • Space is required outside the garage to instal the defender. This may get in the way of a vehicle on your driveway, for example.

T-handle Garage Door Locks

The T-handle lock is the most commonly used lock you will find on metal garage doors. Rather than using conventional keys to (un)lock the door, this type of locking mechanism uses a hard-to-replicate, cylinder-shaped key to operate the handle.

Garage door mortice locks are better suited for use with wooden garage doors. These tend to be used with thick door designs where bolts are unsuitable. 

Locks are fixed to both sides of the garage door, using a deadbolt locking mechanism for total protection.

T-handle garage door locks, named for their shape, function more like that of a traditional door lock you’d find in your home, requiring a key to be inserted to unlock the handle that needs to be turned to open the door. 

This handle is installed to the outside of the door, and the key used is usually an atypical cylinder shape.

This type of lock has a handle in the shape of the letter “T” installed outside the garage door. 

On the inside of the door is a cable system that attaches to two bolts. These bolts are secured into the track and are only released when the “T” handle lock is turned. 

To turn the handle, the correct key must be used. Again use caution installing this lock together with an automatic opener. Running the opener with the safety engaged will cause damage to your operator.

Found On:

These types of locks are generally fitted to single skin/standard up and over garage doors. However, we’d recommend adding additional waves to your door if it is solely relying on this.


  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to fit yourself without professional help.
  • It offers a convenient handle and locks to open and close the garage from the outside.


  • Vulnerable to brute-force attacks involving bashing or snapping the lock off the door, enabling burglars to access the garage.
  • No protection against peeling or crowbar attacks targeting the bottom or sides of the door.
  • Typically these locks are pretty easy to pick.

We recommend installing additional locks to secure the door to the ground, such as a garage door defender and sliding bolts in the bottom corners.

Electronic Locks

Some garage door openers like the side mount jackshaft 3800 by Liftmaster use an electronic lock. 

These motors engage and disengage the lock automatically before operation. The device is similar to a slide lock, except it is automatically controlled before operation.

Bullet/Pin Locks

Generally found on roller shutters, pin locks fit through the shutter curtain and into the guide rails preventing the shutter from being forced upwards. They’re typically locked and unlocked via a key. 

Found On:

These types of locks are generally fitted to roller shutter doors (manual or electric).


  • Inexpensive.
  • Stops the doors from being jacked up via a crowbar or car jack.


  • If they’re fitted on the inside, it means you’ll only be able to open the door internally. 
  • You’ll need a welder to install these yourself. 
  • If you have an electric garage door, you’ll need to remember to take the lockout before you run the door. Otherwise, you’ll cause significant damage to the motor (although you can purchase lock isolators to stop this from happening). 

J Arm Lock

Most people don’t know that every automatic garage door opener has a built-in lock feature. The operator arm on the trolley locks into place when the garage door is in the closed position. 

This prevents the garage door from being lifted by hand. Chamberlain Liftmaster named this feature PosiLock, although nearly every garage door opener has this feature.

Mortice Deadlocks

Mortice deadlocks are rebated inside the garage door itself, with a flush finish. Unfortunately, these locks are not spring operated, meaning you have to turn the key to ensure the door is locked/unlocked.

Mortice deadlocks usually come in two options; a five-lever and a three lever lock assembly. As expected, the three lever lock is less secure as it has fewer levers increasing the risk of key duplication. 

If you’re using one of these locks to keep your garage door secure, we’d recommend nothing less than a five-lever mortice deadlock.  Garage storage wall hooks should form part of any garage makeover as they provide a clean and really easy way to lift anything from your garage floor and have it accessible via your garage wall.

Furthermore, if the budget allows, go for one that is BS3621 approved. This extra accreditation will mean the lock has a few additional security measures, such as rigid plates to prevent drilling.


  • Modern 5-lever designs offer enhanced security as they are more challenging to pick, especially when accredited to BS3621. 
  • Allows keyed access from both sides.
  • Not spring operated, making them harder to force open.


  • Only suitable for wooden doors.
  • A rectangular pocket may need to be chiselled or drilled out of the door to fit the lock.

Keyless Coded Garage Door Locks

Digital, keyless locks provide an exceptionally high level of security, and they operate entirely without the use of keys. 

Create your entry code to type into the keypad to gain access. Keyless locks will deter intruders since they can neither guess the password you have set nor damage the system to force entry.

Finally, if your home has an intruder alarm system installed, this can easily be extended to cover your garage too. 

Place door sensors on the garage door and any side/rear pedestrian entry points. For easy installation, choose a wireless alarm system.

Some prefer keyless coded garage door locks and use a personalised code to lock and unlock their garage doors. 

These keypads offer flexibility, and in the event, a code is compromised, it can easily be set up with a new regulation (as opposed to having to rekey or replace a lock if a physical key is misplaced). A lock without a keyhole also can’t be picked.

Disadvantages Of Traditional Garage Door Locks

While the above options are all-sufficient for garage door theft prevention, they may not be the most efficient, depending on your situation. Traditional garage door locks provide very little security or peace of mind.

For instance, these are all manual locks that require you to lock and unlock by hand whenever you need to open the garage door. 

For those who park in the garage or use the leading garage door as an access point into the home, you’ll constantly be unlocking and locking your door each time you pull out the car or need to go in and out.

Thus, unless you’re planning on going out of town or won’t need access to the garage from the outside (or need to leave from the inside), a manual lock is reliable and will provide peace of mind.

Alternatives To Traditional Garage Door Locks

But, if you need a more “everyday” lock, what do you do?

Let’s get back to basics.

The point of any lock is to prevent something from opening when you don’t want it to—that’s the bare minimum. Beyond that, though, the safety should be convenient and not some cumbersome activity if it doesn’t have to be.

Take the lock on your car as an example. A large percentage of you reading this right now have a key fob to allow you to lock and unlock your car. 

Some of you probably don’t even have to click a button…you walk right up, the car recognises your key is nearby, and voila.

Now, say when you’re renting a car—have you ever had to go back to the “old school” system of sticking your key in the door? Not fun, right? In and out, unlock and lock, every single time.

That’s kind of what it’s like with a manual garage door lock. You have an automatic door. You have an opener that allows you to open that door with a click of a button. But now you also have a lock to unlatch before you can get going physically.

There has to be a better way, right? (Hint: there is!)

But first, think about how criminals break in through a garage door. With an ordinary automatic roll-up door that many homes have, thieves target the safety release mechanism and gain access to your garage by simply sticking a coat hanger through the door, reaching up to the emergency release, and disabling it with a slight tug. (Yes, that’s it!)

Now, when you think about the manual lock examples above, they primarily function by preventing the garage door from running up its track and thus, locking it in its current position.

So, then, the only other way to “lock” your door from being opened when you don’t want it open is to protect that cord from being accessed.

The Garage Shield

With everything said above, we are looking for a locking solution that doesn’t require manual work every time you’d like to leave and return home while also not compromising your overall security, as just mentioned, right?

The Garage Shield acts as just that—a shield that blocks a coat hanger or hooks from ever reaching the emergency cord. 

It’s an easy install within minutes, allows for everyday use of the emergency cord, and allows you to use your garage door as intended—without the need to lock and unlock upon each use manually. 

It’s a garage door anti-intrusion device that also allows you to go about your day efficiently.

In the end, when it comes to locking your garage door, you have options. With each, do due diligence when assessing your situation and needs—from convenience to safety, the overall safeguarding of your garage and the points to which your garage grants access, and of course, the protection of your valuable belongings and loved ones on the inside.

What To Consider When Buying A Garage Door Lock

Level Of Security

When deciding how much to invest in your garage door security, you should consider the value of items stored within and whether or not access to the rest of your property is available via the garage.

If you require a higher level of security, you may wish to use multiple locks, using the guide above to choose the most suitable depending on your garage door.

Durability, Strength And Weatherproofing

Most locks will be manufactured from stainless or galvanised steel, so they should be pretty corrosion-resistant. 

If you live near the seaside, or the lock you’ve bought is not from a reputable manufacturer, we’d recommend that your locks are regularly inspected to ensure they are undamaged.

Which Lock Should I Buy?

The most secure locking systems should enhance or counteract any known vulnerabilities with the door’s design. 

Therefore, the type of lock you should buy very much depends on the kind of door you have. Below is a summary of which lock you should use depending on the door that you have:

Main Vehicle Entry Garage Doors

What Are The Types Of Garage Lock

Manual Roller Shutters

Suppose you have a manual, spring operated, manually operated shutter, in addition to the built-in lock that should already be present on the door. In that case, we’d recommend installing a pair of bullet locks and a ground lock for even greater security. If you had to choose just one, though, we’d go with the bullet locks as they’re harder to break off.

Electric Roller Shutters

An electric roller shutter that has been installed internally will already be pretty secure as the lock is concealed within the gearing of the motor. 

If you want to add additional security, however, consider installing two bullet locks. We’d also recommend purchasing a pin lock isolator so that you mitigate the risk of running the shutter whilst the locks are inside and damaging the motor.

Single Skin Up And Over Doors

In addition to the T-handle that is already likely installed, consider a padlock and latch bolting it to the side of the frame for an easy upgrade. 

Otherwise, you may also consider a form of ground lock/garage door defender for increased security. You may also consider a sliding crane bolt type lock, but these may cause you more hassle as they can only be opened from the inside.

Side Hinged Garage Doors

If your door is a side-hinged garage door, it has more in common with a side garage personnel door than a traditional garage door. 

Depending on the material of your side hinged garage door, different locks will vary in suitability. See the next section below.

Side Garage Personnel Doors

Steel Garage Side Door

If your side door is made from steel, it’ll already likely come with a euro cylinder fitted. Ensure the euro cylinder has an anti-bump, anti-drill and anti-pick features and is done correctly. If not, you’ll want to replace it.

Otherwise, you may wish to upgrade your whole locking system to a multi-locking point system, but you may need to change your door and frame for this.

Alternatively, replace the lock with a digital or another keyless lock for ease of use.

UPVC Garage Side Door

As above, it’ll already likely come with a euro cylinder fitted. Ensure the euro cylinder has an anti-bump, anti-drill and anti-pick features and is done correctly. If not, you’ll want to replace it.

Wooden Garage Side Door

You’ll likely already have a mortice deadlock in place. If it’s only a 3-lever mortice deadlock, consider upgrading to a 5-lever mortice deadlock. 

The number of levers should be stamped on the faceplate of the lock if it’s a decent manufacturer, so you should be able to tell the difference. You may also consider doubling up with a night latch and rim cylinder for additional locking points. Be sure to find smart garage shelving solutions when packing and storing your belongings. From a simple, one-room project to a cross-country move, a professional organiser like Garage Storage Solutions can help to make your life easier.

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