Nowadays, more and more electronic locks are used on to secure home safety. Electronic locks are a kind of locking device that locks and unlocks by means of electric current. According to the function of electric current, there are fail-safe or fail-secure types. Fail-safe locks are locked automatically when powered on, such as magnetic locks and electric bolt locks they are fail-safe locks. Whereas fail-secure locks are unlocked automatically when powered on, for example, an electric rim lock, is the most commonly used fail-secure lock. As the electric rim lock is widely used in the world, today we talk about the electric rim lock, what they are, how to use and does it fit in your house.

Rim lock vs electric rim lock

A rim lock is a lock that is surface mounted to the door, most of them are in simple design and have a single lever and sliding bolt. Traditional rim locks’ opening method is mechanically controlled only, you have to open the door by using keys, turning the knob, or pulling the handle.

An electric rim lock is a kind of rim lock, but also a kind of electronic lock. It not only has the same function as traditional rim lock but also has a function controlled by electric impulse, which makes electric rim lock more convenient than rim lock, as it is mechanical and electrical control to unlock. Besides, remote control to open the lock is available when connecting the lock with other electrical devices. The most commonly used electrical devices are the intercom, video door phone, door bell, exit button and access control keypad, these products make you obtain a simple home safety access control system.

How does an electric rim lock work?

As said above, because electric rim lock belongs to rim lock category, it has the same mechanical working function as rim lock if not connect the electric rim lock with power supply or other electronic equipment. Using the electric rim locks as a mechanical lock, the lock is opened by keys from the outside and by pressing the push button or turning the knob from the inside. Even if power is cut off when you connect it to the access control system, manual opening of this lock still allows you to unlock it.

Since the benefit of electric rim lock is controlled by electric current, so how does it work? As the picture shows below, most of the parts of electric rim lock are metal pieces, but the most important thing is there are two coils inside of the lock, that connect the two wires of the coils to the power supply when the power is given to the coils, it produces magnetism to attract the curved bar, which releases the deadbolt latch, thus the lock is opened.

How to unlock an electric rim lock in an access control system?

(1) Electric rim lock wiring diagram

To integrate your electric rim lock into the access control system, you have to wire the lock to a power supply. Is known that a home safety access control system also includes other electric devices like an exit button, access control keypad, reader, intercom, video door phone or doorbell, etc., These electric devices are always connected with the electronic locks for the purpose of remote control by a low voltage pulse, an electrical impulse will be given to the electric rim lock at the moment of using the devices, so that the lock will be unlocked. In the below diagram, you can see the basic wiring of Tolock’s electric rim lock in the door entry system. The diagram is showing electric rim lock, but the wiring theory for other electronic locks is similar, such as motorized rim lock, electric bolt lock, and magnetic lock, an electric impulse will tell the power supply to lock or unlock.   

(2) Electric rim lock installation

Electric rim locks are suitable for both wooden doors and metal doors, they are easy to install as they are surface mounted on the doors. You may install it by following the below instructions, but if you are not a DIY person, have a professor fit the lock for you.  

  1. Take into account the side where you will install the lock (right side or left side), and confirm a suitable height on your door, align the installation template(normally provided with the lock, if not, you can use the lock body instead of the template) to the edge of the door leaf, mark the cylinder location on the door, cut a hole with suitable size to embed the external lock cylinder.

2. Place the cylinder cover on the external lock cylinder, attached the external lock cylinder through the hole in the door, place the fixing plate through the bar of the external cylinder, then fix it with screws.

3. Remove the two screws on side of the electric rim lock to separate the lock cover and the lock body.

(1) Attached the lock body to the door and fix it into the door with screws.

(2) Place the lock cover again and screw it.

(3) Make sure the strike box to be installed on the door frame match the lock, and mark its locations.

(4) Remove the two screws on the top and bottom of the strike box to separate the strike box and the bracket inside.

(5) Screw the bracket on the door frame

(6) Place the strike box again and screw it’s top and bottom, then screw side holes on the strike box so that it is more tighten to the door frame.

(7) Connect two wires to the power supply.

What to pay attention to during the installation?

  1. Remind to buy the electric rim lock with a right opening or left opening to suit your door. Usually, electric rim lock is universal for right and left openings, for a new door, you can choose any opening of it, meanwhile, if you are replacing a new electric rim lock with an old door, you need to carefully choose the right or left opening to fit the hole which used on old lock because the hole location for right opening and left opening electric rim lock are different.

2. Adjust the latch bolt direction for the inward door or outward door. Most of the doors are inward, so the default setting of the latch bolt is for inward doors. However, if your door is outward, you need to adjust the latch bolt direction before installing the lock.

3. Make sure the rim lock and strike box keep about a 5mm gap, it is a safe distance to ensure the lock is performing well. Below diagram for reference.

4. The lock is installed to the door by screws, it is suggested not to weld the lock as it may have the risk of burning the coils inside. If you want to weld the rim lock to the door, disassemble the coils from the lock first, be careful of the springs inside the coils, if they are lost, it will cause problems. After welding the lock, re-assemble the coils to the lock. Here are pictures of Toplock’s electric rim lock to tell how to disassemble the coils.

How to test the electric rim lock

After installing the electric rim lock, you need to test it to ensure it’s working well to protect your house’s security. If there are any functions that do not work, you should adjust the lock or fix it.

You should use keys to open the electronic rim lock, and check whether the lock is opened smoothly. If you find the key is hard to turn or the lock is hard to be opened, the reason to cause this problem may be the lock body and strike box are not match, which leads to the lock latch getting stuck. Another reason may be the external lock cylinder is not match to lock body well when install it. Try to adjust these two parts and make sure no problems with the key opening.

You might also open the door by pressing the push button, this is a very important mechanical opening way from inside, as most of the electric rim locks include a push button for inside opening. What we have to remind is that, for the double-cylinder electric rim lock, the push button not only has a mechanical opening function but also can be locked with keys. To conduct this function, you need to consider what you want the lock to perform. (1) Turning the key directly on the internal cylinder, the button locks, which means the button loses the mechanical opening function, you must open the lock by keys inside or by low voltage pulse. (2) Press the button and at the same time turn the key on the internal cylinder, by this way the lock stays at unlock status, which we call is “passenger function”. It is easier for you or your family members, or your colleagues to enter or exit. But the passenger function is not a must on all the electric rim locks, you may confirm this when you buy a lock.

You should also test the lock’s connections to the access control system. Most people choose an electric rim lock is wanting a smart door entry system, so you need to ensure everything in this system is functioning properly. Try to use the intercom, video door phone, doorbell, exit button, or keypad that you connect to the lock, and test if the lock can be opened or not. If some electronic devices cannot open the lock, you may not connect the wires correctly, check the electric rim lock wiring diagram and make it connected in the proper way.  

Important tip: Electric rim lock will be opened in 1 second, don’t apply continuous power to the lock for more than 5 seconds, otherwise, the coils of the lock will be overheated, which may cause the lifetime of the lock is shorten.

Scope of application

Electric rim lock is easy to install, suitable to access control system, and its price is not as expensive as smart locks and digital locks, thus it is widely used in many places. Residential buildings, communities, houses, offices, schools, factories, and warehouses are applicable. At the same time, electric rim locks can be used on most the doors such as anti-theft security doors, wooden doors, metal doors, and aluminum doors. Hence it will be a good choice to fit your door among all kinds of electronic locks.

Toplock electric rim lock 

Toplock is a 17 years electric lock manufacturer, we have various electric rim locks with different specifications and export a great demand of electronic locks to different countries and regions. Recently we produce electric rim locks for world-renowned brands in the lock industry and security industry, main market is in Latin America, for example, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and also Turkey, Russia, Algeria, etc.,

For the different target markets, the requested electric rim lock is slightly different in its configuration. For example, Pakistan needs electric rim lock with rain cover; Mexico needs electric rim lock with a fixed cylinder; Brazilian like a black electric rim lock with a fixed cylinder; Peru is popular with the yellow electric rim lock. Therefore it is important to know what kind of electric rim lock are the best sales in your market.

Below are some options on the electric rim lock when you choose a lock. If you are new in electronic locks, Toplock’s experience can provide helpful market info and suggestions to you.

(1)Roller latch or hook latch.

(2)Fixed cylinder or separated cylinder


(4)Cylinder length

(5)With rain cover or not

Per Toplock customers’ feedback on electric rim locks, the marketing is positive and sales volume keeps increasing rapidly. The reason for the good sales is we keep producing locks of excellent and stable quality, we care about every detail on the lock, the material quality, the surface treatment, the workmanship, and the full functioning test.

Electric rim lock is an ideal electronic lock to be used in your door entry system and access control system. No matter whether it is used as a mechanical lock or used as an electronic lock, it is a perfect choice for your door. If you are considering buying this lock, you may visit our Toplock website to know more information, hope we can help you.