What is the general term for the locks in these photos?

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The trademark name is Codelock, and I would call them electronic locks or keyless locks, but is there another term, especially for the kind that operates by mechanical rather than electronic means?

5 Answers 5


More generically, this is a type of "combination lock," i.e. a lock opened by entering a sequence (combination) of numbers.

  • I assume by "mechanical" OP means locks where the physical selection of each digit directly operates the internal tumblers which will allow the lock to open. As in the rotatable digits on a suitcase lock. In my youth there was a kind we used to (mistakenly) call "barrel locks" - a thumb-sized 4-digit combination lock that closed a short chain loop for securing bicycles. Trouble was, you could always feel a slight looseness on at least one of the digits if you pulled the chain gently while going through 0-9 (then another would become looser). Understandably, they don't make them anymore... Sep 7, 2011 at 22:19

Are you looking for keypad?

A miniature keyboard or set of buttons for operating a portable electronic device, telephone, or other equipment.

You could call that a keypad lock, but generally one would say it's either "locked by keypad" or "electronically locked."

  • I've seen the term keypad lock used, and more specificically mechanical keypad lock for locks like these. Pushbutton lock is a slightly more concise description, and avoids confusion with digital keypads.
    – ajk
    Sep 7, 2011 at 15:15

Where I work we call those locks "cipher locks"

Do a Google Image search on "cipher lock" and you'll get a series of pictures looking very much like the ones you posted.


The most common term for these in the US is electronic lock, but in the UK we usually call them digital locks or digilocks. I think that's a more accurate term, and it doesn't exclude the mechanical type.

  • 1
    'digital' can refer to more than electronics -- consider its meaning in relation to fingers. Sep 9, 2011 at 1:26

The locks in your picture appear to be electronic, but there's a mechanical version that's very common in the US and commonly known as a "Simplex lock." I believe that "Simplex" is a trademark, but I think people in the US apply it to all such locks regardless of the manufacturer. (Or maybe there really is only one company making all these locks.)

An alternate term for these locks is "pushbutton lock" or "pushbutton entry lock".

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