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Difference Between Magnetic and Electric Locks : Right Choice to London Locksmith

Are you faced with a dilemma about the type of door lock to install on your building? You are not alone; this is also one of the issues most real estate project teams face as both magnetic and electric locks are generally used in commercial buildings. 

This article contains detailed information regarding the difference between the two types of door locks – Magnetic and Electric. It covers major differences between the two, the pros and cons of each, and features. Thus, read this article to the end, and you will be able to decide the best suitable door lock for your building.


Primary Differences between Magnetic And Electric Locks


  • Power Requirement

Electric locks are fail-secure, while magnetic locks are usually fail-safe. In simpler terms, fail-safe means that magnetic locks need the power to lock the doors; if not, it will remain open while electric locks use power to open the doors, and if power is lost, the door will remain locked.

  • Composition

Electric locks like the Banham el4000 have interconnecting parts, making them suitable for providing high security. On the other hand, magnetic locks do not have interconnecting parts and are not ideal for providing increased security.

  • Power Dependency

Magnetic doors have high power dependency. Without electricity, the doors will become inactive. Thus, they depend on power availability to be operational. However, with electric locks, even when the power is out, they will remain secure.

What Is An Electric Strike Lock?

Electric strikes are commonly known as electric locks. However, the terminology strike is primary since even magnetic locks are technically electric. Thus, the electric strike is a mechanically operated door lock that releases the door when the mechanical parts are activated. The activation can result from pressing the panic button or using an electronic key card and fob reader if outside the building. The beauty of using this door lock is that even with a power outage, the door remains secure, and the panic bar can be used to release the door too.


How Does It Operate?

The electric strike is an upgraded version of traditional strikes and uses electromechanical door locking for proper functioning. It comes with a motor, energized strike, and a latch. When triggered using the panic bar or electronic card, the motor signals the electric strike to release the latch, and the door unlocks. Since it is fail-secure, even with a power outage, the door will remain locked. Also, it only secures the outer part of the door, preventing unauthorized persons from accessing the area.

Features Of Electric Strike Locks


Electric strikes are installed inside the door frame


The motor within the electric strike is controlled by electricity. It requires an electric trigger for the door to be operational. Some of these triggers include a keypad, a key fob, a wireless sensor, and an electric card reader.

Electric locks secure only one side, which is the inside of the door. Thus, for those inside the building, the door will always remain open for them to get out. However, if you are outside, you will need authorization to get inside.

It has an unlocking device for opening the door during a power outage. When the power goes off, one can use the panic bar to unlock the door.


  • Pros Of An Electric Strike


Affordability: They are more economical compared to magnetic locks

It is fail-secure: This type of lock maintains security even after the power outage as the doors 
remain locked, thus, preventing unauthorized persons from accessing the building or the secured area.

One side security: This can be an advantage or a disadvantage. As an advantage, it helps control traffic from a single direction.

Greater security even with a power outage: After the power goes off, the doors will remain securely locked, and those inside the secured location can unlock the doors by pressing the bar.

The installation process of such locks is quick and easy.


  • Cons Of An Electric Strike Lock

    It is not compatible with all doors, especially those with aluminum frames or hollow structures.

    If the electric card for opening the doors is lost, it can be expensive to replace it.


The installation process is complex: Installing electric strike locks requires skills and precision. Therefore, it is necessary to search for a qualified installer. Further, ensure the electric strike chosen perfectly matches with the door lock bolt. ‘Banham locksmith London by London Locksmith 24h’ is the term you need to search for to make the right purchase.

What is a Magnetic Lock?

Magnetic locks, commonly known as maglocks, require constant availability of power to operate. A magnetic lock comprises electromagnetic and armature plates. Thus, electromagnetic locks are reliable and provide maximum security for the users. They are commonly used in hotels, offices, and residential facilities. It is electric power supplied to the magnets that keep the doors locked.


How Does It Work?

It is essential to understand how this type of lock operates to help in making informed decisions. This electromagnetic lock uses electric currents to produce magnetic force to help the door withstand a certain pressure level, especially when one tries to force your way in.

They operate on the primary principles of electromagnetism. As the current passes through these components, they attract, and the door is locked. The lock consists of an electromagnet and armature metal plate. The electromagnetic part is attached to the door frame, while the armature plates are attached to the door.

Scientifically, when the magnetic flux is created between the armature metal plates and the electromagnet, a force greater than 9000 pounds is produced to keep the door locked, and without proper authorization, it is not possible to access the locked area. The authorized personnel requires an access reader to cut the power supply from the electromagnet and hence, release the lock. However, if the power goes off, one can easily gain access as there is no electric current that keeps the two parts locked.

As a result, maglocks are fail-safe devices which means they need the power to remain locked. If the area you are securing does not require high security, magnetic locks can be a better choice. 

Different types of mag locks are available, and London Locksmith is known for being the best renowned Banham locksmith provider in London, who can assist with the selection and installation process.

  • Pros of Electromagnetic Locks

Adaptability: It is possible to increase the locking force. If you wish to increase the retention force between the electromagnet and metal armature plates, increase the amount of current passing through that electromagnetic field, and the door will be firmly secured.

Easy to install: compared to the electric strike, magnetic locks are easy to install. You do not need a highly skilled professional to do the installation. This is because it does not have interconnecting parts, making it easy to install and operate.

Easy to lock: In case of an emergency, the doors can easily lock or be unlocked.

Strength: On average, magnetic lock doors can withstand a force of up to 12000 pounds.

Provide security on both sides of the door: A magnetic lock keeps the door locked on both sides. Thus, if a thief gets locked inside without proper authorization, they will remain there until someone finds them. Similarly, unauthorized persons cannot access the locked area without authorization.

  • Cons of Magnetic Locks


Require constant power supply to provide security: Without power, the door will remain unlocked, increasing the chances of being accessed by unauthorized persons.

Expensive to maintain: Since it requires a constant power supply, it can be expensive to keep up with the cost of electricity. Also, there is a need to have a backup generator for providing electricity during a power outage.

Magnetic Lock Features

Magnetic locks require a magnetic charge to maintain the door locked. When the power is lost, the magnet loses charge, and the door remains unlocked.

The lock is made up of two components. The first is electromagnetic, which is attached to the doorframe, and the second is the metal armature plate that is usually attached to the door.

Comparison Of Features And Functionality Of Both Types




The electric strike uses an electromechanical door locking process by replacing the traditional strike with an electronically controlled strike. To access the locked area, one has to use the control device to trigger the strike plate and release the lock latch.

On the other hand, a magnetic lock operates, bypassing the electric current through the electromagnet installed on the door frame, which creates a charge that bonds the metal armature and the door electromagnet.

Power fail mode

An electric strike is fail-secure, meaning that the door will remain locked even after a power outage. However, it is fail-safe in the case of a magnetic lock, and if the power goes out and there is no backup generator, the door will remain unlocked.


Electric locks are installed inside a door frame, and wires pass through the frame. There is a need for professional guidance during the installation process. The magnetic lock is mounted on the face of the door frame and does not require a professional to do the installation.

Which to choose?

Consider the following factors when deciding on a suitable door lock for your building.

location of the door: Is it the external door of the building or the inside doors for various offices?
Intended function

Safety or security concerns: For locks that provide maximum security even with a power outage, go for the electric strike door lock.

Budget: Each type of lock costs differently. Visit trusted locksmiths like London Locksmith 24h which are the best Banham locksmith in London and get the exact cost of your preferred lock.

How Can London Locksmith Help?

  • Provide 24/7 services
  • Offer all types of locks, including Banham el4000
  • Specializes in repairing all types of locks

Contact us today!