Rim Locks

If you’re looking for a new rim lock you might have heard of them by their other traditional name, a vaughan lock. These locks were originally used in homes in England and Ireland, in Australia they are traditionally installed on panelled doors in heritage homes and sit lower on the door than a standard handle. For the other side of the door you will require an escutcheons (a keyhole plate), some of our models include this plate, others you will need to select as an optional add on when ordering. You will also require a pair of mortice knobs which are supplied with a threaded spindle. Read more about what is a rim lock on our information page.

A rim lock is essentially a deadbolt style of door lock, they’re modelled on a traditional style locking mechanism and they have a distinct antique appearance about them. As a security option they’re not ideal for main entrance security, as they have a very simple internal working structure. However, they are perfect for interior use, especially where a room needs a bit of extra privacy.


With their unique look and a traditional style of key, having rim deadbolt door locks in your home can add to the decor and give your guests something to talk about. Everyone will remember them as the keys are interesting to look at, and it gives the outside of the door a very clean and minimalist appearance.


As a rim lock is installed on the outer panel of the internal side of the door, they are reasonably easy to install for the DIYer. In general, you’ll only need to drill some holes for the screws and an entrance hole for the key. Although if you’re not used to the usual installation techniques and positioning of door looks, you may need a professional to complete this. When you buy a rim deadbolt door lock in our online shop, you can add an optional mortice knob. While not necessary for the deadbolt to work properly, mortice knobs do allow for easy access. However, if you prefer the clean look of only the keyhole and its faceplate, then you can buy the deadbolt lock as a standalone item.


These traditional style deadbolts are available in a variety of colours, finishes and designs. You can choose from, black, polished brass, or vintage. They can absolutely set a room and add to your existing style. They’re a lot of fun to use and much more appealing than the standard push button locks you find on most internal doorknobs. Having a physical object to lock a door gives it a level of interactivity that you don’t see in many modern styled homes.


With origins in the 1800’s a rim lock has an old-fashioned appearance. If the home you're renovating is being designed to fit into a certain period, you can be sure that having these deadbolts installed will add to the overall design of the home.

What Is A Rim Lock Doorknob?


Essentially it is an older style of the modern deadbolt. It was invented before internal mortice locks were available or suitable for the job of locking the doors to a home. Entrance doors used to be much thinner and this made an internally housed deadbolt nearly impossible to fit. Rim deadbolt door locks are attached to the outside of a door, and they use a ‘skeleton’ style key to turn the locking mechanism and open the door.


You can still find rim locks in use, but this is usually on older style homes, and you probably won’t find any in a large town or city, besides on old sheds and outhouses. They are not great for general home security and have mostly been phased out. But what they are perfect for, is adding that little something extra to the internal decor and theme of your home.


If you’re upgrading your current home security, you could have a look through the locks and latches section of our website. We also stock, passage latches, privacy locks, mortice locks, euro style locks, and dummy handles.

Are Rim Locks Good for Security?


We wouldn’t recommend installing these locks on the front door, or any entrance door to a home. This is because the internal structure is very simple. Although they come with a key, they can be opened by manipulating the internal paddle and this can be done with almost any type of object.


Modern door locks are made up of a series of pins that, if not set at the right height, will stop a cylinder from turning. The rim lock does not have these, instead it has a bar with a notch in it, the key fits into the notch and when turned it pushes the bar (or deadbolt) away from the locking plate. It can be very easy to manipulate this bar and unlock the door.


They are also attached to the door using only a few screws. They are quite weak and can often fail by someone kicking or shoulder charging the door. If you are interested in putting one on the front entrance door, we’d suggest having other bolts and locks installed in addition to the rim lock to make your security tighter.


We have found that the best use for rim deadbolt door locks for basic internal home security. You could lock off an internal door for many reasons, such as guest areas, bathrooms, or closets and other small rooms. They are excellent, and a stylish solution, for where you need to keep people from entering a certain area easily. Perhaps you have a home office and need a simple deadbolt to keep the kids away for a few hours a day.

Buying Your Rim Locks


Our online shop is available at all hours and you can buy rim locks at any time. We ship Australia wide and offer a 21-day return policy, if there is something not quite right with your purchase you can return them easily. We have a huge variety of items available to suit any project, feel free to look through our hardware section to find the next perfect item for your current project.