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Multipoint Lock Glossary of Terms

The first image is a general diagram of a multipoint lock in door with labeled parts. Click to enlarge.

Click on the thumbnail to see a diagram further explaining/showing how the term is used.

American Style vs. European Style Profile Cylinders:
Two differently-shaped cylinders commonly used in locks. Both have single/double/dummy cylinder options, but they are shaped differently. The euro-profile cylinder is the same shape from front to back; the American has a face for the key and ends in a flat rod which goes through the handle-hole. (Pictures show differences in actual cylinder, cylinder hole on lock gear and the front-view of the cylinder through the escutcheon)

Automatic and manual designation refer to the operation of the lock. The locking points on automatic multipoint locks automatically engage when the door is closed—without any manipulation of the handle. Manual locks require a turn of the handle in order to engage the locking points after the door has been closed.

Auto-Release Roller Strikeplate:
Strike plate for auto-release roller; different from standard roller strikes; using a standard roller strike with auto-release roller will NOT work.

Distance from edge of door to center of handle

The slant of a spring latch—or any locking rod or protrusion—that determines the handing of the door.

Deadbolt Throw:
How far out the deadbolt protrudes on a lock—distance from edge of faceplate to end of deadbolt

The faceplate of a handle; usually designated as interior or exterior escutcheon plate to signify its location on the door.

Refers to pieces of a multipoint lock that are attached to the central lock box and extend either upwards or downwards from it.

The visible part of the lock that runs up and down the edge of the door; typically sits flush with edge of door

Flat Cam:
Uncommon type of locking device on multipoint locks; similar in operation to common multipoint roller. Slides up and down to engage.

The right- or left-handedness of a door as usually determined by the bevel of the spring latch on a multipoint lock.

Handle Cylinder Hole:
Square-shaped hole through which spindle is inserted

Handle Height:
Distance from bottom of door to center of handle

Insulated patio door; this is a particular patio door made by Peachtree, which features the IPD mortise lock, which can be used as a single-point or multipoint lock.

Lock Box / Lock Gear / Main Gear:
The central/main mechanism of a multipoint lock, located at the handle location of the door. There is typically a spring latch and deadbolt at this center point, but the other locks above and/or below that central point are operated at the lock by the handle and key/thumbturn.

Locking Devices:
Any type of mechanism that locks the door by engaging with a strike; in a multipoint lock, these are connected to the main gear and are thus operated and controlled with the central handle; some examples of locking devices are included below:

Hooks: Hooks engage with a by extending outwards from a lockbox and into a cavity in the door jamb or passive door.
Shootbolts: Shootbolts operate at the top and/or bottom of a door and extend into the floor or top of the door jamb, thus keeping the door in place.
Rollers: Rollers slide up and down on the faceplate of a multipoint lock; when engaged, they slide down into a curved strike, and the door cannot open until they are disengaged and lifted up out of the strike.
Tongues:Tongues extend out from the lock and into a cavity in the door jamb or passive door when engaged.

Locking Positions: Distance from center of door handle to each of the locking points on the lock

Mishandling Device: Anti-slam device that must be depressed (door must be in frame) in order for the locking devices to engage. Not all doors feature mishandling devices.

Overall Length: How long the lock is from top to bottom; *note: this can be different than the height of the door.

Passive vs. Active: These terms are most frequently used in association with paired or French doors. The active door actively engages either a locking point(s) or spring latch when handles are turned. The passive door is presumably less-frequently used and features dummy handles which do not operate; in French doors, the passive lock receives the engaged latch or lock(s) of the active door.

PZ: Distance from center of cylinder/key to center of handle

Single Cylinder / Double Cylinder / Dummy: Different functions of cylinders that can be used with multipoint locks; single cylinders are keyed on one side and feature a thumbturn on the other; double cylinders are keyed on both sides (check your fire code before installing one of these in your home); dummy cylinders are not keyed on either side and are typically used for interior doors.

Spindle: A rod that typically connects two handles together through the handle-hole on a lock; rectangular-shaped so as to be able to move the mechanism when the handle is turned.

Strike: A lock or latch receiver secured in the door jamb (or floor for bottom shootbolts); strikes are required for spring latches, deadbolts and all other locking points. They are typically a metal plate of some sort affixed over a mortise, which captures the latch or lock. Different types of strikes are required for different types of locking devices.

Multipoint Lock Handle Terms

Active: Keyed Cylinder with Inside Thumbturn: This function includes a key cylinder located on the outside of the door and a thumbturn on the inside. It is most commonly used on exterior doors where access from the outside is restricted by the use of a key. The thumbturn allows the door to be locked and unlocked from the inside.

American Cylinder VS Euro Cylinder: Two differently-shaped cylinders commonly used in multipoint locks. European cylinder has same shape from front to back; American cylinder has a face fr key and ends with a flat rod at the back. Click on thumbnail for more details.

Left or Right Handing of a Door: The handing of any door is always determined from the outside of the door; to determine handing, stand on outside of it and locate the door's hinges. If the hinges are on the left, it is a left-handed door. If the hinges are on the right, then it is a right handed door. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger diagram.

Dummy Pair: No Key and No Thumbturn: This function has no key and no thumbturn. Both the inside and outside handles are in a fixed or rigid position, meaning they do not move at all. This is commonly used on interior doors that are non-active and do not have a multipoint lock.

Half Dummy / Half Passage: Non-Keyed with No Thumbturn: This function has no key and no thumbturn. It is commonly used with an inactive multipoint lock, such as on a set of double doors leading out to a patio. The inside handle will operate the locking devices, while the outside handle remains fixed or rigid.

Escutcheon / Back Plate: An escutcheon plate can come in many different shapes and sizes. It is a decorative item that surrounds the cylinder hole and/or handle. It also helps protect the lock cylinder and the surrounding area from wear.

Handle Spacing / PZ: The handle spacing or PZ is the measurement between the center of the handle hole and the center of the cylinder hole.

Inactive: Non-Keyed with Inside Thumbturn This function includes a thumbturn on the inside of the door and no key cylinder on the outside. Inside handle will operate lock while outside handle remains fixed or rigid. Commonly used on exterior doors where access from outside is restricted. Thumbturn allows door's deadbolt to be locked and unlocked from inside only.

Passage: Non-Keyed with No Thumbturn This function has no key and no thumbturn. It is most commonly used on interior doors that are not required to be locked, such as a hallway or closet door. However, this function can be used with a multipoint lock that does not have a deadbolt.