Mortis mechanism on Adams Right mechanism

Unlocking the Mystery of Stuck Mortise Mechanism Doors: A Locksmith’s Guide


Mortise mechanism doors are commonly found in both residential and commercial settings due to their durability and reliability. However, even the most robust lock systems can sometimes encounter issues, such as doors getting stuck or lost keys. In this blog post, we will delve into the complexities of a stuck mortise mechanism door and discuss the locksmith’s solution of drilling the cylinder to regain access. So, let’s explore this common problem and discover the locksmith’s expertise in resolving it effectively

The Mortise Mechanism:

Before we dive into the solution, it’s essential to understand how the mortise mechanism operates. Unlike standard cylindrical locks, mortise locks are installed within a pocket or “mortise” in the door.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary:

mortise or less commonly known as mortice

a hole, groove, or slot into or through which some other part of an arrangement of parts fits or passes

especially a cavity cut into a piece of material (such as timber) to receive a tenon ( a corresponding projection)

These locks consist of a latch and a deadbolt, providing increased security. When the key is inserted into the cylinder, it rotates, engaging the locking mechanism and allowing the door to open or lock securely.

The Challenge of a Stuck Mortise Mechanism Door:

Despite their robust design, mortise mechanism doors can occasionally become jammed and do not open. This situation can arise due to various reasons, including a misaligned strike plate, a broken latch, or a malfunctioning cylinder. Regardless of the cause, a stuck door can be frustrating and even pose security risks in some cases.

Drilling the Cylinder: The Locksmith’s Solution:

When all other attempts to open a stuck mortise mechanism door have failed, locksmiths often resort to drilling the cylinder as a last resort. Although it may sound drastic, drilling is a precise and strategic technique that allows locksmiths to gain access to the lock without damaging the entire door or lock mechanism.

The Process:

The Process:

  1. Assessment: An experienced locksmith will first examine the door, assessing the severity of the situation and determining if drilling is indeed necessary. They will evaluate the condition of the lock and weigh the potential risks and benefits before proceeding.
  2. Selecting the Right Tools: Locksmiths employ specialized drilling tools designed specifically for this task. These tools allow them to precisely drill into the cylinder without causing damage to the surrounding components.
  3. Drilling Technique: With expertise and finesse, the locksmith will drill through the cylinder, gradually removing the lock pins and tumblers. This process allows them to manipulate the lock and successfully unlock the door.
  4. Replacement and Restoration: Once the door is successfully unlocked, the locksmith will replace the drilled cylinder with a new one, ensuring the security of the property. They will also inspect the overall condition of the lock and recommend any necessary repairs or upgrades.


While a stuck mortise mechanism door can be a frustrating and inconvenient situation, professional locksmiths possess the expertise and tools to resolve the issue efficiently. Drilling the cylinder is a last resort, carefully executed to regain access without causing extensive damage. If you find yourself facing a stuck mortise mechanism door, it’s crucial to rely on a qualified locksmith to ensure a safe and effective resolution. By entrusting the task to a professional, like Caliber Locksmith LLC locksmiths, you can regain access to your property while preserving the security and integrity of your lock system.

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