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An electromagnetic lock, magnetic lock, or maglock is a locking device that consists of an electromagnet and an armature plate that the magnet clamps onto with sufficient force to prevent the door from being opened. Electromagnetic locks can easily open in an emergency using any electrical signaling method. The strength of the lock, i.e. the holding force, can easily be increased by increasing the current.

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With so many maglocks to choose from, where do you start? Maglocks are varied and often door-specific. Barzel Lock offers a Maglock Buying Guide to help you choose your maglock.


Frequently Asked Questions about Maglocks

This is a door that is locked via an electromagnetic lock, or maglock.

An electric current that moves through a wire with multiple coils, around an inner core (a solenoid). The lock is set-up by fixing the plate of magnetic metal to the door and the electromagnet to the door frame, creating a magnetic attraction.

Electric strikes are electromechanical door locking devices that work in combination with a mechanical locking mechanism, such as a lock set or a panic bar. Magnetic locks are electromagnetic door locking devices that work independently of the mechanical door latch.

An electric door strike is a mechanical lock used in conjunction with an electronic device that is fitted to the frame of a door and aligned to the door latch to hold it securely in place. Electric strikes can be used on single action inward or outward opening doors, as well as on double doors.

The price for a maglock will be between $50 and up per door for a single door access control system.

Magnetic locks are always DC devices and will operate with 12 or 24vDC. They use up to 1200 pounds of holding power but operate on a 3 watt power consumption - this makes them cheaper to run than a conventional light bulb.

Failure to release is usually because of problems with the power source. Either the latch might not be properly placed in the electric striker, the magnetic lock may not be properly aligned or the power supply could be insufficient.

The above problems can disrupt the locking mechanism and limit the power supply from the source. Failure to lock is usually associated with the door, e.g. an improperly hung door or a warped door frame. Worn out hinges or improperly installed door closers would also contribute to the malfunction.

Using a screwdriver, unscrew the top panel of the maglock. Remove the back panel from the lock to reveal the security lugs. Remove the security lug from the lock using an allen wrench. Repeat on the other side of the device. Once lugs are removed you can remove the security screws from both sides of the lock with the allen wrench. You can now slide off the top mounting plate to complete the disassembly.

Every maglock comes in two halves. The thicker half is the electromagnet itself, which connects to the power supply. This is the piece that you will connect to the door frame. Begin with the thinner metal piece of the lock. First close the door then mark off the location using a pencil.  Now you can drill the holes. Once you’re sure that the holes are in the right location you can mount the thin plate to the door and tighten the screws. Now move on to the magnetic half of the lock. In order for the lock to function optimally it’s important to have the two halves of the maglock aligned perfectly. Close the door then line up the magnets and mark off the position on the doorway. You can then drill your holes. Check that everything is aligned correctly and if so, screw the thick maglock plate into the door frame, making sure the two plates are flush together.

By design, maglocks require a constant supply of electricity to remain locked, therefore they are fail-safe only. When the power is out they cannot function from either side.

This is where the difference between fail-safe versus fail-secure openings comes in. Maglocks require constant power to stay locked, making them fail-safe. That could lead to an unsecured opening in the event of a power outage. On the other hand, fail-secure locking functions require power to unlock a door. They should be used on doors where entry security is a concern since they will remain locked during a power outage.

We need to put effort into protecting our homes. Our front doors are the point where most burglars will attempt entry. For your peace of mind, you’ll want the best front door lock or front door lock set to protect your family and your home. But apart from the quality of the material the door is made from, a front door is only as secure as its locking system.