A sliding door lock is a security mechanism that’s installed specifically on this type of door. As you can imagine, sliding doors don’t use the same type of locking mechanisms that regular doors use because they don’t open and close the same day.
Not every sliding door that you purchase comes with a locking mechanism and, in some situations, it might feel safer if you have a means to lock it (especially if you have kids that are out and about exploring the surroundings). Today, we’re going to understand more about sliding door locks and take a look at some reliable products that customers are raving about.
Top 3 Picks
Budget-Friendly Pick: Defender Security U 9858 Sliding Patio Door Lock Pin
Costing next to nothing, this pin locking mechanism is quite reliable for the price, and pretty easy to install as well!
Best for Rental Homes: Securityman Sliding Door Security Bar
When drilling holes is not an option, a security bar like this one is the perfect portable option that can keep the sliding doors locked without you making any structural modifications.
Customer’s Choice: Patio Sliding Door Security Foot Lock
“Easy to install and use. Very secure. Shopped for several locks and this one was clearly the best for the price.” (Customer review)
Types of Sliding Door Locks
There are currently nine different types of sliding lock doors, including the following:
These are one of the most common options on the market because they are easy to add on sliding doors that don’t already come with a locking mechanism. They are installed on the jamb of the door and it’s quite easy for anyone to do it. They use interlocking bolts to hold the door closed, but the mechanism makes some people skeptical about how well they would hold if an intruder forced their entrance. Some models aren’t that reliable in terms of durability because they are made with plastic parts that easily break or are prone to wear and tear.
Mortise-and-hook Sliding Door Locks
These are made to fit inside the door panel. You use the thumb latch to operate the lock hook. If your patio door already comes with a handle hole, it will be fairly easy to install a mortise lock. One of the reasons why people aren’t particularly fond of this type of lock is because it only allows you to lock the door from the inside. As long as you don’t get yourself locked out of the house on the patio, you should be fine.
The Offset Thumb Turn Lock
Similar to the category we talked about earlier because the mechanism relies on the latch being placed on the door and hooking into the receiver that’s installed on the frame. One of the major differences between this lock and the mortise one is that this one has the latch integrated into the handle. Much like the mortise lock, this one will only lock the door from the inside, but you can purchase a keyed version that allows you to open the door from the exterior, using a key.
Sliding Door Loop Locks
Installed on the top side of the door, typically on the interior. Part of it is attached to the door, and the other part, to the frame. These locks can also be used to attach double sliding doors together. Since this model doesn’t have a key, you can only lock the door from the inside.
These offer the benefit of locking and unlocking the door from both sides. There are plenty of styles available and are designed to be mounted in the knock-out hole that commonly found on most types of sliding doors.
Some Door Locks
These use a pin that penetrates the frame of a sliding door panel. The pin is stored when not in use and images in the stationary panel’s frame whenever you want to lock the door.
Will slide into the space located on the lower side of the door jamb, between the wall and the active slider. It acts by blocking the door in case anyone tries to pull it open. It is a viable solution for sliding doors that don’t come with a lock. While some would consider this a rudimentary option, it’s a great choice for people living in rental homes that want to add a locking mechanism to their sliding door without having to drill any extra holes to do it.
These are designed to slide on the sliding glass door’s aluminum track and are clamped in place to stop anyone from trying to slide the door open. They are a popular choice amongst parents that want to keep their sliding doors somewhat opened for fresh air, but want to make sure their toddlers can’t make a run for it by opening the doors.
Patio locks use a spring mechanism that attaches to the bottom or top of the door frame. They come with a larger part that’s attached to the door and a plate that connects to the frame.
What to Look for in a Sliding Door Lock
Aside from analyzing the types of sliding door locks we talked about earlier, there are a few more things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for such a product. The list of must-know information includes:
What you’re going to use the lock for
There are two main reasons why people use a door lock for sliding glass doors. One is to keep their kids safe and the other is to prevent illegal entry. One of the most important factors that you should consider is the reason why you need a lock. Generally, a childproof lock is the best choice for people who have a specific reason for getting one. These childproof sliding glass door locks are ideal for swimming pool doors. Having a burglar-proof door lock is a must-have if you want to prevent intruders from getting into your home. There are types of door locks that can also serve as childproof AND security measures. If your goal is to prevent unlawful entry and keep children away from restricted areas, then you should shop for locks that can be used both ways.
How easy it is to install
The last thing anyone would want is to spend an extra amount to install a sliding door lock that you already paid good money for. In most cases, you don’t have to hire a professional to install the new lock, as most models are pretty easy to install even if you’re not exactly an expert.
How resistant the materials are
Naturally, you want to opt for locks made from quality metal materials, which are corrosion-resistant and can support quite a bit of wear and tear.
If it’s compatible with your existing sliding door
Different materials are used to make sliding glass doors. Most of the time, a door lock will work for any sliding door. However, if it has certain features, it might be more compatible with some sliding doors and not so much with others.
Who else will be using the lock?
You should also consider the needs of the people living in the home when choosing a door lock. For your child’s sake, make sure that the lock you use is strong enough to prevent them from accessing dangerous areas. However, if you’re living with elderly relatives, you want them to be able to use the lock as well.
Pros & Cons of Sliding Door Locks
Are you still confused about whether or not to choose a sliding door lock? Then let’s review some of the pros and cons of these products so that you can determine whether or not to buy one for your home:
Pro: They can discourage burglars from the get-go. A sliding door lock that’s visible from the street can help deter would-be burglars.
Con: They could be easy to pick. Since there are a lot of sliding door locks that rely on a mechanism rather than a key, they might be easier to pick by a savvy burglar.
Pro: You will find peace of mind knowing the lock is there. Regardless of the type of sliding door lock you buy, it’s important to note that these products provide greater security and peace of mind.
Con: They could slide off the tracks. A sliding door lock usually has tracks or grooves that are similar to the ones on the glass. This issue can be very irritating to homeowners and their safety is at risk.
Pro: They keep children safe. Especially if you have toddlers exploring the world that are lurking and waiting for the moment you’re not paying attention to sprint out unsupervised towards the pool. That’s why it’s important that sliding door locks are child-resistant.
Pro: They are easy to use. Most of the time, people don’t have to spend a whole lot of time to install the lock. This is why it makes sense to invest in a good quality product.
Con: Components are mostly exposed. Most people prefer to have their equipment concealed. This is especially true when it comes to security equipment, like a lock on the door.
Pro: They aren’t expensive. Aside from being simple to use, a sliding door security lock can also be budget-friendly.
How Safe Is a Sliding Door Lock?
Long story short: having a sliding door lock is ten times better than not having any locking mechanism at all. Granted, sliding door locks don’t have the same ability or technology that you see in entrance door locks, but technology is always evolving and it won’t be too long until we can get the same level of security from a sliding door lock as we do from a regular entrance door lock.
If you check out the section where we talk about the advantages and drawbacks of these locks, you will see that there are limitations to what a sliding door lock can do, with parts that are mostly exposed, units that are sometimes made with cheap components, etc.
Best Sliding Door Locks
When you’re looking for a reliable mortise lock, here is one that could serve its purpose. It comes with a surface mount adjustable mechanism that uses inward hooks to close the door. It measures 1.205” H x 0.75” W x 11.75” D and requires 0.89 inch backset, plus 3 15/16 inches screw hole spacing. It’s made primarily from steel and provides a reliable locking mechanism for your sliding door.
If your sliding doors don’t have handles and you could use a pair that comes with a locking mechanism, here is an option suitable for you. As you can tell from the product pictures, this handle set can only be locked from one side, so make sure you don’t get locked outside or you might have to go all the way around to another door.
This is another handle set that’s made with a steel hook and promises to keep intruders outside and children indoors. It has an universal design that should be easy to install on a wide variety of sliding doors. It’s a thumb-turn model with a die cast inside pull available at a really good price for people looking for some extra peace of mind.
Probably one of the easiest locks to install is the patio door latch, such as this one right here. It’s available in four finish options, so it can blend in with the existing decor and match the frame of your sliding doors. You have three size options to choose from and it works with both metal and wood doors.
Designed for sliding doors, this handle set comes with a flush-mounted mechanism and a keyed exterior, making it super easy to control what stays inside and what stays outside the house. It comes with a keyed cylinder lock, hooks in four different lengths, and two keys. You also receive the installation instructions necessary to put everything together.
A simple door lock pin can go a long way in keeping those patio doors closed, especially since installing products like these is quite simple. This particular pin set is made with a hardened steel pin and a retaining ring for placing it in whenever you’re looking to lock the doors. You don’t even have to close them all the way, as you can lock them in a ventilating position too!
Another product that’s easy to install is this sliding door and window lock. With its surface-mounted design, this product blends in with the surrounding, so you can’t even tell it’s there. It works with a whole other variety of doors too, including sheds and utility doors. It comes with a key to keep it locked, which makes breaking it significantly more difficult.
A sliding door foot lock might be just what you need to prevent your children from dashing outside. It promises to withstand up to 1,000 pounds of forced entry tension, which is pretty impressive considering how small this lock actually is. It has two channels that allow it to either lock the door entirely or leave it locked in a ventilating position. It can be installed either on the top or the bottom rail.
In the end, if you don’t want to drill any holes or make any modifications to your sliding doors, you can always purchase a security bar, like this one right here. It can be adjusted at a length between 19 and 51 inches and basically keeps the door shut from the inside. Since you can place it at any door height, it can easily be put out of the reach of children that desperately want to go outside. It comes with a two-part bar, an anti-lift lock, four end caps, five flathead screws, and a double-sided thread screw.
What is the best lock for a sliding glass door?
Some of the best locks for sliding glass doors are those that come with an alarm that triggers if the lock has been compromised. This will alert you in case of an invasion, but it might also make the robber reconsider their decision. However, while efficient in letting you know there’s a problem, this alarm could also be triggered for the wrong reasons, like your child trying to open the door to go outside.
How can I make my sliding door more secure?
Installing a lock is a great way to add some extra security to your sliding doors. Some other methods include adding an alarm sensor, using window film, adding a rod in the tracks, and even installing a security camera with a motion sensor.
Are there locks for sliding doors?
Yes. In fact, you have a wide variety of options when it comes to locks for sliding doors, so make sure to check out our section on “Types of Sliding Door Locks” to get an idea what you can find if you start shopping.
How do you lock a sliding door?
Aside from installing an actual lock, there are a few tips and tricks on how to lock a sliding door using other methods. There are not something we really endorse but some people swear by these methods, so we figured we might as well inform our readers in case they don’t have the possibility to buy and install a lock:
- You can use a dowel rod to lock a door without a lock. This is a simple and effective way to secure the sliding door. To make it work, cut the rod to size and place it on the track. The dowel is attached to the inside of the sliding door. If anyone tries to break into your home with this in place, they will have a hard time getting in.
- Armor Latch is a sliding door security device made by Armor Concepts and it comes with a lifetime guarantee. The latch for the sliding door has to be mounted on the frame or the handle. For the patio door, the latch has to be mounted on the top part of the door.
- A slider lock is very simple to install and it doesn’t require tools. This lock works by placing it on the track of a sliding door and using the thumbscrews to secure it.
It takes an average burglar about a minute to enter a home for a robbery. Not only does having a front door secure your home, but it should also have extras built in to protect the exterior. A dual point lock is an important component to consider when choosing a sliding patio door. You can also choose a keyed lock to secure the door.
A slide-locking bar is an added security feature that’s often overlooked when it comes to sliding door locks. It fits the bottom of the tracking door. When placed on the door, it will not open even if the latch is in a locked position. This is a great security measure that works when used correctly.