A Review of the Best Deadbolts and Locks on the Market

When I was in undergrad, my friend called me in a state of panic. She told me that her apartment was broken into while she was in class. The thief did not use any type of advanced technology to break into the apartment. The thief did not pick the lock and he did not have a duplicate key. He used a simple, yet effective method. He kicked the door in.

Had my friend had a stronger door, the thief would have injured his foot, not broken the door. Having a strong deadbolt, along with some ancillary accessories, can strengthen the door and make it difficult to break through. We will review some of the best door security options available today to help you reduce your chances of experiencing a break-in.

The Best Deadbolts

Deadbolts are one the most effective methods to secure a door. These types of locks are at their best when they are used along with the door's standard lock. Deadbolts are better than spring bolt locks as they can't be moved from their locked position without inserting a key into the cylinder.

Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder

Kwikset is known for their highly-rated deadbolts. The Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder is an ANSI Grade 1-rated lock and it lives up to Kwikset's reputation. Because Kwikset uses SmartKey technology, you can rekey the lock yourself and save money on locksmith fees. While this lock does not have a strike plate; it is designed to handle a significant amount of abuse. Just like the Schlage lock, you can lock and unlock the Kwikset 980 with your finger.

Technical Specifications and Price

  • Price: $56.50
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • The lock is adjustable and fits doors that have a standard thickness
  • Weight: 1 lb.

Kwikset 985 Double Cylinder

The Kwikset 986 lock is nearly identical to the Kwikset 980. The main difference between the two locks is the Kwikset 986 has a double cylinder. Double-cylinder locks require a key to unlock the door from the inside and outside. Single-cylinder deadbolts have knobs on the inside that you must turn to unlock the door. Double-cylinder locks provide an extra layer of security if the door is near a window. Someone who breaks into your home won't be able to reach inside and turn a knob to unlock the door.

Double-cylinder locks increase the strength of the door. However, using these types of locks also have their drawbacks. For example, if you need to quickly escape the home in an emergency, you may have difficulty doing so.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $42.09
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Fits doors with a standard thickness and the lock is adjustable
  • Weight: 3 lbs.

Schlage B66OP

This is one of the most powerful locks available. The Schlage B8660P's Grade 1 ANSI rating doesn't mean that the lock can't be picked, it means it takes a long time to pick it. Schlage locks have a strike plate that makes it difficult to damage the components of the lock. The strike plate also makes it nearly impossible to kick the door in.

The Schlage B660P lever can be activated with the push of a finger, making the deadbolt easy to lock, even if your hands are full.

Technical Specifications & Pricing

  • Price: $158
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • This deadbolt fits door with a 1 ¾" to 2" thickness.
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.

The Best Mortise Locks

You're probably one of the many people who has never heard about a mortise lock. Mortise locks are not as common as a deadbolt, but they do provide greater protection. These locks are set in the door. The mortise locks are more difficult to break because they are recessed into the door. The mortise locks are stronger than a deadbolt.

The greatest factor that you may need to think about when using a mortise lock is the cost. These locks are more expensive than deadbolts. However, the level of security that you get justifies the cost of the lock. Mortise locks are more suited for commercial properties than residential ones. These types of locks may be a bit much for residential use.

Sargent 8225 Exit Door Lock

This mortise lock has an ANSI Grade 1 rating. The Sargent 8225 Exit Door Lock also exceeds the cycling testing requirements by at least 14 times. The installation is simplified due to the pieces of lock coming preassembled. The majority of mortise locks require a professional to install them. However, the Sargent locks are designed for DIY installation. You can also re-handle the lock without having to remove the handle from the case.

What makes the Sargent 8225 lock different from other types of mortise locks is the fact that there is a thumbturn on the inside. The thumbturn makes it easier to unlock and lock the door from the inside. This type of lock is more convenient to use, but it can pose a security issue if the door is near a window.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $498.26
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • The lock fits doors that has the standard thickness of 1 ¾".

Schlage L9040

This lock is more for use by government, medical, and educational institutions. If you desire to have a home that's as secure as a government office, you should use this lock. The Schlage L9040 has an ANSI Grade 1 rating. It also exceeds the one million close/open cycle rating.

Vandlgard is a feature of the Schlage L9000 series. Vandlgard has a reinforced strike plate that stops tampering that can occur from standing on the handle, hitting, or kicking it. This lock is virtually impossible for a thief to break.

Technical Specifications & Pricing

  • Price: $351.65
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Case Size: 4 7/16" x 6 1/18" x 1"

Grainger Yale Privacy 8800 Mortise Lock

This lock has a Grade 1 rating and is fire resistant for three hours. The documentation for the Grainger 8800 states that this lock is for use in minimum security prisons. Needless to say, this lock will guard your home well.

The lock does not have visible screws, making tampering with it difficult. Just like the Sargent lock, the Grainger lock also has a thumbturn to make unlocking and locking the door from inside the home easier.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $364.00
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Fits a door with 1 ¾" to 3 ¾" thickness

Best Keyless Entry Locks

Trying to get your key out when your hands are full can be frustrating. Locks with a keyless entry lets you enter a combination to get into your house. With a keyless entry system, you don't have to worry about grabbing a key to get into your home. Keyless entries are convenient, but they often only have an ANSI Grade 3 rating. The grade 3 rating means that these types of locks are vulnerable to picking.

Kwikset 909 SmartCode

The Kwikset SmartCode lock has a lot of positive aspects to it. First, the lock is easy to install. There's nothing to wire and you don't need your entire toolbox. The lock is installed easily with just a screwdriver.

The second aspect of this lock that makes it something you considered is that it functions using four AA batteries. The lock has a battery-level indicator that will prevent you from being locked out due to dead batteries. The SmartCode lock automatically locks after 30 seconds, so you no longer need to worry about whether you left the door unlocked. Also, the equipment comes with a lifetime warranty.

Technical Specs and Pricing

  • Price: $78.00
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 2
  • Size: 6" x 6" x 6"

Schlage BE365

The Schlage BE365, like the Kwikset, is a keypad deadbolt. This lock makes it easy for you to enter your home without needing to use your key. If the batteries die, or your code doesn't work, the lock does have a key override. It is easy to replace the batteries in the BE365, but you will need to use a screwdriver.

This lock will not lock automatically, but you won't need to enter a code to lock it. Like other Schlage products, this one comes with a rekeying feature.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $100.20
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 2
  • This lock fits doors with a thickness that between 1 3/8" and 1 ¾"

LockState LS-DB500-SN

LockState standouts as a keyless entry system because you can program one-time use codes for any guests staying in your home. You can also program permanent codes for up to six members of your household. The LS-DB500-SN also has a remote control that works up to 30 feet away from the door. The remote control allows you to unlock the door from your car.

LockState does have an auto-lock feature. Unfortunately, the critics of this lock say that the auto-lock feature tends to malfunction. Also, the lock can be used on right- and left-handed doors.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $106.78
  • ANSI Grade: Not ANSI rated

The Best Bluetooth/Smart Locks

The main difference between keyless locks and smart locks is the fact that smart locks are linked to your phone. Because these locks are capable of home automation, you can unlock the door simply by having your phone near it. Other features of smart locks include having the ability to crate limited-use passcodes for your guests. Even if you are away from home, these guests can have access to your home via a smartphone.

Kwikset SmartCode Z-Wave Touchscreen Deadbolt

The SmartCode can hold up to 30 user codes. It also has a 20-minute fire rating. Unfortunately, this deadbolt only has an ANSI Grade 2 rating. This lock is Z-Wave compatible, so you can program it to automate certain aspects of your home. For example, you can set the lock to turn on the lights when you open the door.

Although the Kwikset SmartCode does not have an ANSI Grade 1 rating, the Z-Wave compatibility is why the lock is on this list. Also, you can rekey the lock yourself should you lose one of its keys. This deadbolt automatically locks after 30 seconds.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $202.50
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 2
  • The lock can fit doors with a thickness between 1 3/8" to 2"

August Smart Lock

This lock had a tremendous effect on the security industry. It doesn't use a key. The locks work by using virtual keys. The lock automatically locks itself when someone leaves the home.

Each August Smart Lock key is unique. Because of this, the lock maintains a log of everyone who goes in and out of the door. You can monitor the log yourself, in real time, using your smartphone. You can also use your smartphone to unlock the door from wherever you are. This feature lets you give people access to your even when you are away.

This lock is compatible with the Apple HomeKit, letting you use Siri to control the door's lock. If you would rather use an ANSI Grade 1 lock, you can use a different lock and still use August. Changing the lock would on replace the interior part of the lock.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $199
  • ANSI Grade: Not ANSI rated
  • Dimensions: 3.39" x 3.39" x 2.22"

Schlage Camelot Touchscreen

Schlage makes several Grade 1-rated locks, the Camelot Touchscreen is one of them. This lock offers an additional layer of security. It is equipped with its own alarm system that begins monitoring from when the handle was touched until the door is opened. The Camelot has three alert settings: Forced Entry, Tamper, or Activity.

Should someone attempt to open the door with the incorrect code, the Camelot will send a notification to your phone. Repeated incorrect attempt to open the door will trigger the Forced Entry alert, allowing you to contact the police. Because the Camelot's touchscreen is resistant to fingerprints, you don't have to worry about someone using smudges to determine the security code.

Technical Specifications and Pricing

  • Price: $189.00
  • ANSI Grade: Grade 1
  • Dimensions: 5.12" x 4.5" x 9.25"

Best Security Extras

Having a quality lock can keep your home protected. However, security extras like strike plates and door jammers can increase the level of home security. Here are some recommendations for extras that will help you prevent thieves from entering your home.

The StrikeMaster II Pro

The door frame is one of the most common weaknesses of a door. Reinforcing the door will only cause a thief to go after the frame and try to pry it out of place. The StrikeMaster II Pro will reinforce the frame, protecting it from damage. The additional metal layer and extra-long screws help to make the door frame nearly unbreakable.

Cocoweb Door Jammer

Door jammers don't prevent locks from being picked. However, they do make it hard to open the door from the outside. The Cocoweb can withstand up to 350 pounds of force. Because it has 40 different height settings, it will fit most doors. Another benefit of buying the Cocoweb is the fact that it comes in a package of two. You can use this product to secure two doors.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Lock

The American National Standards (ANSI) is a grading system that measures the level of security that a lock provides. Locks that are graded by this system undergo substantial testing. The results of the tests are separated into three basic grades:

Grade 1: Best

These locks are able to handle up to a million open-and-close cycles and 10 strikes of up to 75 pounds.

Grade 2: Better

These locks can handle no more than 800,000 open-and-close cycles and five strikes of 75 pounds.

Grade 3: Good

Grade 3 locks can handle up to 800,000 open-and-close cycles and can withstand two 75-pounds strikes.

It is highly recommended that you use Grade 1 locks. These locks provide the highest level of protection and are less likely to get picked.

Invest in a Solid Door

You can improve your home security by replacing doors that have a hollow core with solid wood or metal ones. Hollow-core doors are more vulnerable than a solid wood frame. Solid doors are more expensive, but they are worth it. These doors are very difficult to break down.

Avoid Doors That Have Windows in Them

Think about all the doors that have windows installed in them. Anyone of those windows can be broken to allow a thief to enter and unlock the door. It won't matter how secure your lock is if thieves can reach in and unlock the door. Don’t invest in a door with windows. If you need to see outside, install a peephole.

Reinforce the Door

The most common entry point into your home is through the door. Make sure the door is secure by investing in deadbolts. Thieves tend to go for easy targets. If you have a strong door and home security system, you can avoid the annoyance of having your items stolen.