Both Mechanical Electrical locks & Electro Magnetic locks have their place in the market, even with their respective pros & cons. However, it is important to know which lock will be best suited for your specific needs.
1. Electric Strike Locks (Surface or mortise, normally mounted in frame)
2. Electric Rim Locks (Surface mounted)
3. Electric Mortice Locks (Hidden & mounted inside of the gate or door)
4. Electric Hook Locks (Normally mounted on sliding door or gate)
5. Electric Pin Locks (Normally mortise fitted into aluminum door)
There is a big range of each kind, of different qualities & price ranges.
It is advised to discuss your pacific need/application with a qualified & experienced locksmith to ensure you have the correct information.
* For security gates, a decent Rim lock is normally the best security. The Cisa Elettrika with its claw bolt feature (almost like a hand gripping a handrail) has a 2000 lb holding force, which makes it very secure, highly difficult to get through, even when using basic burglary tools.
* The Standard Electric Rim lock has a wide range of different quality & pricing available on the market. Here the Cisa and Iseo products is generally better than other lesser well known brands, should you decide to make use of an Cisa Electric Rimlock.
* VERY IMPORTANT: Make very sure you buy the right one as there are about ten different models each for its own application and if you buy the wrong one most companies does not like to exchange electric locks. I have seen many locks fitted incorrectly as the person bought the wrong lock and fitted it anyway. Sometimes even upside down to make it work, only to have endless problems with it afterwards. Any qualified locksmith should be able to give you good advice on what will meet your needs the best.
Once again there is a whole range of Electric Strikes available. Some no-name brands are really cheap and horrible products to use efficiency wise, and some of the branded products offer very little security if not fitted right. An electric strike is normally fitted in/on the frame of the door (compared to an electric lock which is fitted to the gate or door). The Electric Strike has a little “door” that releases when it is triggered via a release button or other other means of trigger like a tag, remote or fingerprint reader. The majority of Electric Strikes is acceptable for basic access control, but offers little security as it normally can be opened very easily with a sharp object like a knife or screwdriver. There are better products on the market that offers excellent security like the Eff Eff of Adams Rite. However, they still need to be fitted correctly, and will only be secure in certain applications.
Secondly the latch part of the system which is the door should also be the right kind to ensure a secure system, and to prevent the latch part being pushed back when the door is closed.
Cisa Products control the market with a fairly extensive range for the different applications.
* PLEASE NOTE: ONCE AGAIN IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SELECT THE CORRECT LOCK AS THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY THE WRONG LOCK WILL NOT OFFER GOOD SECURITY & WILL RESULT IN ENDLESS PROBLEMS.
* Is the lock for a aluminum or wooden door or a steel gate?
* What is the width of the frame (as the locks has different widths and specifically to be accommodated by different frame widths)?
* Which way does the door or gate swing (inward or outward)? This determines what lock will work best.
There are two specific locks that looks identical in many ways, but has a 3 mm backset difference, which most people will not pick up when they are looking at the lock. Should you buy the wrong one, it simply will not fit. Thus, leaving you with having to make another trip to the shop to exchange it.
Electric Hook locks are fairly new in the market and is mostly for sliding gates and doors. Cisa has a few quality products on the market, that will work for most applications. When installing an Electric Hook lock, the alignment is of utmost importance as a incorrect fitting can damage your lock and render it worthless when slamming it closed.
Although there is a place for them in the market, the Pinlocks on the market in South Africa are not of high quality, and we normally steer clear of them. There are certain applications where they work well, however the pin have to be aligned perfectly with the hole in the frame to allow the door to always lock. If there is other options available, I personally would use the Pinlocks as a last option.