A Comprehensive Guide to Cabinet Locks

A Comprehensive Guide to Cabinet Locks

When it comes to cabinet locks with keys, there is a great variety on the market. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the options, especially when all you need is a simple childproof lock or a lock that you can handle from your phone. This guide explores everything you need to know about cabinet locks, from their definition and applications to the various types available, covering their functionality, potential pros, and cons.

What is a Cabinet Key Lock?

Cabinet key locks are devices designed to secure cabinets and provide access control. They protect valuable items, confidential documents, and help maintain a clutter-free and organized space. Cabinet keyed locks come in various types, each serving specific purposes.

Types of Cabinet Key Locks

Cam Locks

Cam locks consist of a cylindrical housing containing a metal cam. When a key is inserted and turned, the cam rotates to engage with the cabinet's strike plate or loop, securing the door closed. Widely used for office furniture, filing cabinets, mailboxes, and display cases, they are also suitable for cabinets with swinging doors. Cam locks are known for their easy installation and use, providing basic security for cabinets. They are cost-effective and available in various sizes to fit different cabinet types. However, they may offer limited resistance to forced entry compared to more robust locks, and some models could be susceptible to picking or manipulation.

Deadbolt Cabinet Locks

Deadbolt cabinet locks feature a sturdy bolt that extends into the cabinet frame when the key is turned. This bolt secures the door firmly and provides a high level of security. Deadbolt cabinet locks are commonly used in cabinets with enhanced security, such as safes, confidential document storage, and cabinets containing valuable items. They offer superior strength and resistance against forced entry attempts. Their robust design provides reliable protection for high-security applications. Due to this, deadbolt locks may be more expensive than other types of cabinet locks. They require a larger cutout in the cabinet door, which could affect the aesthetics of some cabinet designs. Additionally, the installation process might be more complicated than simpler lock types.

Sliding Cabinet Locks

Sliding cabinet locks are designed for cabinets with sliding doors. They use a key to engage a locking mechanism that secures the sliding door in a closed position, preventing unauthorized access. Sliding cabinet locks are commonly used in glass display cabinets, showcases, and cabinets with horizontal sliding doors, providing secure protection for valuable items and merchandise. These locks offer effective security and easy operation with a key for sliding doors. They are often discreet and do not interfere with the cabinet's aesthetics. However, sliding cabinet locks may be incompatible with specific cabinet designs or materials. Sometimes, the sliding doors might require modification to accommodate the lock, which could affect the cabinet's original construction.

Magnetic Cabinet Locks

Magnetic cabinet locks use magnetic force to keep the doors closed. The combination includes a magnetic key and a magnetic lock. When the key is placed on the exterior of the cabinet door, the magnet inside the lock attracts and secures the door shut from the inside. Magnetic cabinet locks are popular for childproofing cabinets in homes with young children. They are also used in healthcare settings, offices, and display cases where a clean and hardware-free appearance is desired. Magnetic cabinet locks are invisible from the outside, preserving the cabinet's aesthetics. They are easy to install, and there is no need for drilling into the cabinet surface. They provide quick and convenient access for adults while keeping cabinets secure from children. However, magnetic cabinet locks may provide weaker security than other lock types, making them less suitable for applications requiring high-level protection against unauthorized access. The magnetic keys must be kept safe to prevent accidental loss.

Combination Cabinet Locks

Combination cabinet locks allow users to set a combination code either by turning a dial or pressing buttons. Later, you use this combination to open the lock. Combination locks are used in various settings, from offices to gym lockers and school lockers. Keyless operation eliminates the risk of losing keys, making them convenient for shared spaces. These locks provide reliable security without the risk of key duplication, and combination codes can be easily changed, enhancing security. However, if the combination is forgotten, accessing the cabinet may become difficult. Users need to memorize or store the combination securely. The dial or buttons might wear out in certain situations, affecting the lock's functionality.

Push Button Cabinet Locks

Push button cabinet locks are similar to combination locks, except for a series of buttons instead of a dial to enter the code. Users press the buttons correctly to align the internal tumblers and release the lock. Push button cabinet locks are commonly used in cabinets, drawers, and other secure storage areas. They are ideal for scenarios where keyless entry with ease of use is preferred. As with combination locks, there's no need to carry keys. The push-button design offers a quick and straightforward way to unlock cabinets, and codes can be changed easily for enhanced security. However, forgetting the code may result in difficulty accessing the cabinet. Users need to remember or securely store the combination. Also, mechanical wear and tear over time could affect the buttons' responsiveness.

RFID Cabinet Locks

RFID cabinet locks use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to grant access. Users get RFID cards or tags that contain unique identification information. When the card or tag is placed near the lock's sensor, it communicates with the lock's reader, granting access if the ID is authorized. RFID cabinet locks are used in offices, hotels, healthcare facilities, and secure storage areas. They offer a convenient and contactless way to access cabinets and are suitable for situations with multiple users. RFID cards or tags are easy to carry and replace if lost. Access can be restricted to specific individuals, enhancing security. However, an RFID system's initial setup cost may be higher than traditional key-based locks. In some cases, signal interference could affect the lock's functionality. Batteries in the locks and cards/tags need periodic replacement.

Smart Cabinet Locks

Smart cabinet locks are equipped with integrated smart technology, enabling remote control and monitoring. They can be operated through a smartphone app, voice commands, or connected home systems. Users can lock/unlock the cabinet from a distance and receive notifications of access activities. Smart cabinet locks find applications in various settings, including smart homes, offices, and businesses seeking advanced security and convenient access control. With remote access and control, you get the ultimate convenience. You can manage access permissions, track usage history, and receive real-time alerts. Integration with smart home ecosystems allows seamless automation and monitoring. However, the initial setup and integration with smart systems may require technical expertise. Also, the pricing is higher for this type of lock. Finally, dependence on technology may pose challenges in case of connectivity issues or device malfunctions.

Child Safety/Childproof Locks

Child safety locks are designed to prevent kids from accessing cabinets and drawers. These locks typically use latches, straps, or magnetic mechanisms to secure the cabinet doors or drawers, requiring a specific action or tool to release the lock. Child safety/childproof locks are used in homes with young children, childcare facilities, schools, and public spaces to ensure child safety. These locks prevent curious children from opening cabinets, reducing the risk of accidents or ingestions. They are easy to install and remove without damaging the cabinets or requiring tools. However, child safety locks might be inconvenient if you need to access cabinets frequently. Children may sometimes figure out how to bypass certain childproof locks. Also, regular maintenance is required to ensure the locks remain functional and secure.


With dozens of options available, you can explore a wide selection to find the perfect lock for your cabinets and confidently secure your belongings. Take a look at the locks that we offer at our store to find the best solution for your needs.