A rim lock is a type of locking device, albeit it can be used as both a latch and a lock. It was first manufactured and used some two centuries in Europe. Since rim locks have been in use for many years, they are available in different types and designs. While some may in fact be antique, most rim locks available today are replicas of the early Victorian rim locks. Rim locks can be used on any type of door (wood, metallic and calamine).
1. As Auxiliary Locks
As the name suggests, in a rim lock, a rim is attached to the outside of the door. A key can be inserted into the keyhole provided in the rim to open the door from the outside. The actual lock is placed on the inside of the door and can be open with a latch/lever. Further, if you pull door shut, the door will lock automatically by using a spring loaded device. Owing to its design, a rim lock is unable to provide complete security. Hence, it is rarely used as a solitary (or the only) lock on the main/exterior door. The design of a rim lock is such that it can be forced open with something as simple as a credit card. For this reason, a rim lock is mostly used as an auxiliary lock on main door to provide additional security or as a decorative element. It is best used in conjunction with deadbolt and mortise locks.
2. As Indoor Locks
Since rim locks are not suited for maximum security, and hence, they can only be used as auxiliary locks on outer doors. However, they are more often than not used on inner doors such as bathroom and bedroom doors. Inside your house, you do not require high security, you simply need a locking device that looks aesthetic and provides you with some privacy. Rim locks are perfect for this simply because they are available in such a wide range of designs. Regardless of your home décor, you are sure to find a rim lock that suits your style.
3. As Decorative Locks
Despite the fact that rim locks do not provide complete security, they have remained popular and are still around. Perhaps, the main reason for this is that they can be used as decorative locks, adding charm and elegance to any door. You can purchase antique locks at a steep price from any antique dealer or online. These old locks are mostly restored, particularly there internal mechanism, so you need not worry about functionality. You can also easily find several replicas that can serve your purpose and your pocket. These locks can be used to dress up any door or room, especially if the interiors are also fashioned in an old-school style, and are available in brass, wrought iron,and wood. Some of the rim locks are finally crafted with the designs and carvings of dragons, fairies, and animals. For your main door, you can use an extremely decorative rim lock to give a grand appearance.