Ask a tradesperson


Front door locked (mortice lock) and wont open

Please help my front door, I believe it has an mortice lock from what i've seen on the net but that's about all i know. It's the same wooden door and lock that was installed when house was built over 20 years ago.

Came home a few days ago put key in and turned. Although the key went all way round the door didn't unlock and now nothing will move it.

I've tried all i can think of to open it but nothings working. I'm now thinking i'm going to drill it open, is it easy? I can't afford a locksmith so that's out the picture.
Here's what i've tried

Wiggling key
pushing/pulling/lifting/pushing down door as turning key
Putting thin screw driver in gap and tapping the lock
Doing as above and hitting hard
Throwing screwdriver and hammer at the door
Kicking it

Any advice very much needed please

5 Answers from MyBuilder Handymen

Best Answer

For a mortice lock that will not open even when the key will turn I think you will need to cut the lock with an angle grinder using a thin metal cutting blade please also use gloves and eye protection


Answered 26th Jan 2014

Hi do not drill the lock as you will not know the drill points and if you can't see the bolt you won't be able to use a angle grinder do you have a spare key first as it might be something wrong with the key you are using do you know what the name of the lock


Answered 6th May 2016

something has gone radically wrong inside the lock,a locksmith could probably get it to open but the workings of the inside of a Mortice lock will be unknown to you ,as stated you cant just 'drill it' you need to know where to drill I assume you are managing to get in the house ,if so I would do as stated above and grind through the bolt,the answer above is confusing the type of lock, there is no cylinder on a mortice lock


Answered 2nd Nov 2016

Sounds like a piece called a curtain or bolt thrower has worn . check another key as mortice keys do get damaged over the years .if you drill make sure you're in the right place or you will be in trouble .good luck


Answered 12th Feb 2017

you can try drilling the lock cylinder to see if that will release it, but make sure you have a replacement purchased first. You will need to measure from the edge of the door to the middle of the lock cylinder ( where the key goes in) . This will give you the backset size that you will need. And i would try and get a similar style of lock if possible.
If you manage to release the lock by drilling then you should just need a new cylinder unless you are planning to change the lock of course.
If drilling does not work and you cannot get anything in to release the lock then you might need to cut the staple (the part that sits in the frame) or try and prise the lock assembly away from the door. Hope this helps


Answered 25th Jan 2014

Post your job to find high quality tradespeople and get free quotes

Can’t find an answer? Ask a new question

Question Categories