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Lock Blog

A resource for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals

How To Know When You Need A Desk Lock Replacement

by Hugo Reed November 27, 2017
Desk Lock Replacement

Desk locks do not get the kind of attention that residential door locks and commercial door locks do, but this does not mean that they are any less important in the roles they play. Desk locks graciously assume the mantle that every lock has to shoulder when it is used in some capacity. These desk drawer locks are meant to keep things safe and secure no matter where they are put to use. Desk locks are used primarily in commercial settings, and are very similar to cabinet locks, in terms of the documents that they are used to secure and they way they are employed.

Anyone who has dealt with locks in some capacity should be aware of the fact that locks require maintenance, even the most robust and unpickable locks that you can find. This is why the ability to know when you have to carry out a desk lock replacement can influence the overall effectiveness of your locks, and the ways in which they are able to keep your belongings secure and protected. Truth is, many people take their desk locks for granted, the same way they don’t care about security in general, so I am not surprised that most people do not know what to look out for when it comes to replacing desk locks. Today I want to take the time to rectify that so tag along as we learn more about desk locks and how to know when you need desk drawer locks replaced.

Reasons For Desk Lock Replacement

Being able to know the right time to conduct replacements for desk locks cannot be accomplished without first understanding the reasons why you will need to replace your desk locks. These two things are directly related and the reasons for a desk lock replacement are somewhat synonymous with the ways to know that you need one. Many of these reasons may stem from issues that may arise with your desk locks or a decrease in their effectiveness at safeguarding your property.

1. Stock Desk Locks

One reason why you will require a desk lock replacement is simply that you have not changed your desk drawer locks since you acquired the desk. This statement applies to desk locks used in both commercial and residential settings. Desk locks are very similar to cabinet locks and the main similarity lies in the way they are manufactured.

Many of the manufacturers who make cabinets and desks provide their own locks, and security is not their forte nor is it their primary concern. Do not take this as a knock against the desk makers of the world, they are masters of their craft and very good at what they do, but security isn’t really something that they do for a living.

These manufacturers make use of stock desk locks that are mass produced, and are not meant to provide a robust security option. By all means, if you do not want to have any form of security on your desk locks, then disregard this entire section, but if you did not care about security then you should not have even bothered getting a desk with desk drawer locks. A majority of these desk locks are either keyed cam locks or small pin tumbler locks that are not necessarily built to withstand much force. Let’s take a look at an example that most homeowners and commercial property owners should be able to relate too. If you were having new locks installed, you would not want to use locks that cave in after some amount of force is applied. Instead, you would opt to use robust deadbolt locks  (such as the Mul-T-Lock Hercular MT5+) or even mortise locks to protect your property.

If you have a newly acquired desk, and you have reservations about the nature of the desk locks, then you should most definitely take some time to have your desk drawer locks replaced. One of the easiest ways to assess the strength of the locks you have in place is to have a commercial locksmith or residential locksmith come in and take a look at the locks. In lieu of that, you can conduct some research on your own, which will help you cross reference the brand of locks that are installed with some of the brands that security experts hate or some of the best security brands on the market.

2. Lost Keys For Desk Drawer Locks

Another clear sign that you will have to replace your desk locks is if you have recently lost your keys or had them stolen. Key control is an important aspect of security, and something that many people have to contend with on a daily basis. Losing your desk drawer locks key may not be as serious as losing your car key, but it is still serious enough to warrant the need for a desk lock replacement. Key control is essentially meant to help minimize the access that people have to your desk locks.

You might be tempted to get a new key cut for your desk locks if you lose your keys or have them stolen, but I believe that desk lock replacement is always the best option in this case. Now, I know that installing new locks might be a slightly more expensive procedure than having a new key fashioned, but it will potentially leave the contents of your desk drawer vulnerable. This is extremely important for people who store sensitive documents and information desk drawers. As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is to compromise the data that is entrusted to you by your clients and business partners.

If you lose the keys to your desk drawer, make sure that you have new desk locks installed and that you also fashion a set of spare keys. In this instance, the spare keys will allow you to regain entry into your desk drawer if you ever happen to break your keys in the lock or if they are stolen again. Spare keys are important in so many different facets of daily life, and they should always be well hidden, but do not use a spare key as a reason to forego desk lock replacement. The spare key will help you gain entry if you are ever locked out and you do not have access to your original set of keys, but keeping a compromised lock in play is a major vulnerability.

3. Broken Desk Locks

If you have a desk lock that is broken, then you should know that it is time to have your desk lock replaced. In some instances, you might be able to get the desk locks repaired by a residential or commercial locksmith that specializes in damaged lock repair. However, this all depends on the nature in which your lock is broken and the events that might have led up to that. I will elaborate more on this within the next few paragraphs.

Broken locks can come about in a number of different ways. For example, you might damage the internal mechanisms of your desk locks by breaking a key off in the lock. Also, you could potentially damage your desk drawer locks by neglecting proper lock maintenance. Finally, one of the most common ways to end up with broken desk locks is to be a victim of theft or a robbery that involves someone breaking into your desk locks. Now, each of these broken desk lock scenarios can be addressed in different ways.

In most cases, if your lock is damaged as a result of being used in conjunction with a broken key, you will have to undergo desk lock replacement, but this all depends on the extent of the damage done to your desk locks. The same holds true for locks that are broken or faulty due to a lack of proper maintenance. It will usually take the expert opinion of a locksmith to determine whether the lock can be repaired or if it will have to be replaced. However, if your desk drawer was broken into and your desk drawer locks were broken in the process, you should always make it a point to have them replaced even if they can potentially be repaired.

My reason for saying this is simple so please give me a moment to explain. Burglars are creatures of habit, and they often break into places multiple times before they end up being caught. Essentially, if a burglar was able to break into your desk drawer and bypass your desk locks, you should not have your old lock repaired and put back to use. Doing this will give burglars easy access to the contents of your desk drawer, and it will be a breeze for them to compromise your desk locks if they happen to revisit.

The fact that a burglar was able to compromise your locks in the first place should be viewed as a sign that your desk locks have to be replaced. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that these desk locks are the most secure locks in the world, but if there is room for you to enhance your security, then you should always take advantage of that.

4. Need For Increased Security Of Desk Drawer Locks

The sections above highlighted some of the reasons why you might want to invest in increased security when it comes to your desk locks and some of the benefits that this reaps. If you are looking to increase your security in some form, you will not always have to replace your locks. Sometimes building around your current desk locks and investing in other auxiliary security measures will serve you very well.

In order to determine whether this is the right move for you, you will have to assess your security and figure out the way in which your overall security is impacted by the desk locks that you have. Doing so will help you reach the best possible solution to fit your residential security or commercial security needs.

Desk Lock Replacement Solutions

Choosing the right desk lock replacement solution is critical and should not be taken lightly. You have already made the first important step because you understand that you need to replace your desk locks. It would be a shame to have it all fall apart because you chose the wrong desk lock replacement. If you are able to come to the conclusion that you need to change your desk locks, but you go about this the wrong way, then you would have accomplished very little as the end result.

Arriving at a solution for your desk lock replacement is a rather simple process that merely that you pay attention and that you are self-aware of your own skill. Your technical skill will come into play when you are determining whether you want to tackle this upgrade via a DIY process, or if you want to call a professional locksmith to assist you. You will need to play close attention when you are assessing your current desk locks so that you choose a suitable solution that truly fits your needs.

In this instance, you can choose to either have a new lock fitted onto the desk drawer or you could have a hasp installed on your desk. The installation of the hasp will truly allow you to customize your security and let you take advantage of high-security padlocks that you can use as an alternative to desk locks. Arriving at this decision requires a thorough assessment of the role that your desk locks play in your daily activities. Personally, I would recommend a combination of both, especially if you believe you are susceptible to theft and you want to adequately guard the contents stored in your desk. I think a combination of the Prime-Line U 9945 drawer lock and a high security padlock are suitable security solutions.

The combination of a strong desk lock with a high-security padlock will truly help you elevate your security. Allow me to walk you through a perfect example of such a pairing. The use of high-security cam locks, such as the Medeco High-Security 5/8″ cam lock, as your desk drawer locks, combined with a secure padlock like the Stanley Hardened Steel Security padlock, will make your desk drawers extremely difficult to bypass. This might sound like overkill to some, but keep in mind that this example is not meant to be utilized by everyone.


Once you know what to look out for, you will realize that a desk lock replacement is a fairly easy affair. However, do not let the ease of this process fool you. If you take it lightly, you might end up leaving your desk vulnerable and susceptible to theft. Always be mindful of the current state of your locks. The simple act of being aware of your security measures, like desk locks, will help you know when a desk lock might need to be replaced. Constantly practicing this awareness, alongside proper maintenance, is bound to elevate the way in which you approach the security of your desk locks.

Category: Commercial, How To's

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