What's new

Deadbolt recommendation?

My family moved into a new house a few months ago, and I haven't changed the locks yet. I may actually have a professional come and look at our front entry because the installation looks poorly done to me.

Our last house had KwickSet locks all around. I really liked the ability to change the keys at anytime without having to change the locks themselves, but I'm not sure if there is a better deadbolt/lock brand out there in terms of security and reliability. I'm not interested in any electronic/mobile app operated locks, just good ole keyed entry. Anyone have a recommended brand/model?
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
I stayed in an Airbnb once that had a Schlage door lock. It was a keypad so they could change the code with each renter. It was the first time in my life I was impressed with a door lock.

They do make regular ole door locks though. May be worth checking out.
- - - Product list - - -
 
Go with the keypad lock. Both my sister and brother have one and they both love them. I used to have one till I moved and so far have not changed the locks.
Besides the key pad they have a key since they are battery operated. Battery seems to last forever though and there is normally a warning when it is getting low.
Didn't mean to go on about it.
 
I've always used Schlage locks, and after watching them withstand the effects of a breaching shotgun basically intact, I'll stick with them. There is no such thing as an impenetrable lock however, so any dead bolt that works reliably should be as affective as any other. Locks only serve to keep honest people out, and if someone wants in badly enough, they'll find a way.
 
I've always used Schlage locks, and after watching them withstand the effects of a breaching shotgun basically intact, I'll stick with them. There is no such thing as an impenetrable lock however, so any dead bolt that works reliably should be as affective as any other. Locks only serve to keep honest people out, and if someone wants in badly enough, they'll find a way.

I agree and I once read about a law making it illegal to bar a door shut. I forget how it was worded but basically if the a law enforcement agency could not break it down it was illegal. I would look for it but I don't even remember what state it was for. I kinda laughed when I read it but at the same time was surprised. Yes, there is a safety reason for not being able to make it that difficult for a door to be broke down. Such as fire, health emergency or?
Had almost forgot about it till I read your comment about the shotgun.

By the way, Schlage makes a keyless lock.
 
I'm not a big fan of keypad locks, regardless of whether they're electronic or mechanical. It's very easy to observe the number you enter. Even if you cover your hand as you enter the number, over time the pressed keys wear, greatly simplifying cracking the number.

Battery-wise they do seem to hold up well. The ones I've seen use a non-standard battery, so finding a replacement may not be easy. OTOH, once found a replacement in a dollar store, so who knows?

I've heard some bad comments on Kwiksets, but have no idea if this is justified. It might be a Chevy vs Ford type argument. The same holds on good comments I've heard about Schlage. A quick check came up with a site giving Kwikset a high rating, so it might be Chevy vs Ford. Have absolutely no info on "bump" or "pick" resistance. A locksmith can re-key any residential lock by shifting the pins in the lock, so that likely isn't a big issue.

My only recommendation is to go with twist-turn deadbolts, the type where you can twist to lock or close on the inside and not use a key. You don't want to have to be looking for your key if you have to leave your house in a hurry. The downside is if you have sidelights: a thief could break out the glass, reach around, and unlock the door.
 
The last time I installed my own locks I think the guy at Home Depot was discouraging KwikSet locks and favoring Schlage for alleged quality issues, and I think Kwikset was a bit less expensive. Those two brands must have the vast bulk of the US market and I suppose there is some advantage in buying a widespread brand in case anything goes wrong and you need parts and someone with experience in working with the particular brand.

Interesting points re the keypad locks. I recently looked into the cell phone activated locks, and it seemed like they were at an early stage, with some problems.
 
I agree and I once read about a law making it illegal to bar a door shut. I forget how it was worded but basically if the a law enforcement agency could not break it down it was illegal. I would look for it but I don't even remember what state it was for. I kinda laughed when I read it but at the same time was surprised. Yes, there is a safety reason for not being able to make it that difficult for a door to be broke down. Such as fire, health emergency or?
Had almost forgot about it till I read your comment about the shotgun.

Definitely sounds to me like it would be a health and safety type of law, as in barring the door can prevent fire/EMS entry or prevent easy and safe egress should there be a fire within the apartment or home. Same kind of idea as all commercial emergency exits having to be doors that open out. Irregardless, even a barred door isn't immune to being opened with the proper amount of force, and every keyed lock is susceptible to picking, so you're mostly just looking to deter the honest and buy more time to deal with the dishonest.
... My only recommendation is to go with twist-turn deadbolts, the type where you can twist to lock or close on the inside and not use a key. You don't want to have to be looking for your key if you have to leave your house in a hurry. The downside is if you have sidelights: a thief could break out the glass, reach around, and unlock the door.
This is an important thought also. Appropriate styles for each doorway. If you have a door with glass panes, a lock with key entry on both sides is far better protection than one with the latch style.

Truthfully, if changing tumblers quickly and easily is what you want, go Kwikset. I imagine there's no real difference in reliability amongst them and other leaders within the market. I think Lowes sells a Sentry brand lock which functions similarly. Really neat stuff if you want to rekey your house to match your camp and your tool shed :lol:
 
Whatever brand you go with, remember that it is only as good as your door and door-frame.

A glass pane in your door will make it easy to access, and a 150 year old door frame isn't going to offer much resistance.

Without a re-enforced door frame and a good security door, they are really all about the same in security level. The rest falls down to looks and longevity.
 
A glass pane in your door will make it easy to access, and a 150 year old door frame isn't going to offer much resistance.

Umm . . . depends on the 150 year old wood. Knew of one about 160 years old that was solid wood set in solid log walls, with boards covering the chinking. The door would have splintered before that frame went. Most older doors I saw were build like that instead of a set-in frame, as in modern doors. Even in the 1960s I remember a carpenter setting a door in a frame he built himself.

As long as the wood was sound to begin with, and is not subject to insects like termites or powder post beetles, or dry rot, it's likely to stay sound. Have seen mantles made from logs salvaged from buildings over 150 years old.

For modern doors, my old summer job boss always had us fill the space between the door frame and the studs and header until it was practically solid. Someone once tried to jimmy open an exterior metal door he'd set that way, and, failing that, tried to kick it open. I'm told that from the damage and the tracks, they ended up having to use a vehicle as a battering ram to break it open.
 
Umm . . . depends on the 150 year old wood. Knew of one about 160 years old that was solid wood set in solid log walls, with boards covering the chinking. The door would have splintered before that frame went. Most older doors I saw were build like that instead of a set-in frame, as in modern doors. Even in the 1960s I remember a carpenter setting a door in a frame he built himself.

As long as the wood was sound to begin with, and is not subject to insects like termites or powder post beetles, or dry rot, it's likely to stay sound. Have seen mantles made from logs salvaged from buildings over 150 years old.

For modern doors, my old summer job boss always had us fill the space between the door frame and the studs and header until it was practically solid. Someone once tried to jimmy open an exterior metal door he'd set that way, and, failing that, tried to kick it open. I'm told that from the damage and the tracks, they ended up having to use a vehicle as a battering ram to break it open.

You are correct. :thumbup1:
I probably shouldn't have said "150 year old". I just meant an older "modern style" set-in door jamb that is hung with the door. Most of those don't allow the bolt to go into any sort of substantial wood to be very effective. Most bolts seem to be shortened to keep them in the jamb itself these days as well.

Unless you are going with a high security set-up, with either a metal jamb or re-enforced framework around the jamb that a longer bolt rest's into, then you are only going to get as good as the 3/4 inch wood in the jamb.

My poorly worded point was what you re-enforced with your post, the deadbolt will only be as good as the construction around it.
 
I have Schlage locks and deadbolts on 2 doors and Kwikset locks and deadbolts on another. I wouldn't say one is better than the other. Unless you've got a reinforced metal frame, neither will keep anyone out that wants in. I just hope the crappy deadbolts give me enough time to grab a loaded firearm if I'm home. I also have an alarm system that I keep active whether I'm home or away. If all you plan on doing is installing new over-the-counter Schlage/Kwikset locks, you may as well just do it yourself and save the ridiculous install charge.
 
The best manual deadbolt locks are made in Japan by a company called Miwa. These are expensive, but are tamper-proof, un-pickable, and reliable.

My door has two of these locks. The inside levers have two buttons which must be pushed to turn them, making them child-resistant.

proxy.php


The deadbolts themselves not only extend into the door frame, they have a claw which reaches up and grabs onto the frame.

proxy.php


The key is a medical-type which is impossible to copy. A micro chip is embedded in the key, which must be used to access the outer doors and elevator.

proxy.php
 
Unless you are going with a high security set-up, with either a metal jamb or re-enforced framework around the jamb that a longer bolt rest's into, then you are only going to get as good as the 3/4 inch wood in the jamb.

Very true.

There used to a a sort of fix for dead bolts. It was a metal cup attached to a substantial screw that went all the way into the stud. Don't know if it's still available.
 
When I moved into my home 19 years ago, I installed Kwikset Titan locks. They are a high-security version of the standard Kwikset lock. The Titan locks use a six-pin tumbler rather than the standard five-pins. That make them harder to pick. They also have beefier hardware such as rolling pin inside the bolt so it cannot be sawed through. These locks are still available, but are not generally sold at your big box hardware stores.

However, for convenience, I love the keypad locks. I have a couple by Schlage and one by Kwikset. With the keypad locks, you can set a temporary code for babysitters, repairmen, etc. as well as having a permanent code. The will cost several times the cost of a standard lock, but are a real convenience..

Of course, these days, they make locks that will connect to your smart home automation controller. Thus, you can monitor the locked/unlocked status of the door on your smartphone. Some will unlock your door automatically upon sensing the presence of your cell phone via Bluetooth. Although being able to open the door using voice control might seem like a great idea, until the voice controllers develop reliable voice recognition, allowing voice control of locks is a serious security loophole. A burglar could stand outside your window and yell at Alexa or Google to open the front door, making the job much easier. So do not expect that feature anytime soon. Connected locks will cost nearly double the cost of a standard keypad lock.
 

kelbro

Alfred Spatchcock
We have quite a few rental properties and the programmable keypads are great. Re-set when tenants move out and keep a backup code programmed as well.
 
Abloy is a good choice (I have their Mul-T-Lock deadbolts and padlocks around home and the cabin and have been pleased). Another choice for high security would be ABUS or Medeco. The keys will cost more and need to be reproduced by an actual locksmith but that's part of their value. A while back a few employees from the valet parking outfit at the local airport were running a scam where they'd take a house key from a customer's ring, get a copy cut at Home Depot and knowing the customer's travel schedule would be able to case & rob the house with relative ease. Having a key that Home Depot, Lowes, etc. can't reproduce eliminates that kind of threat.

As others have said, reinforce the frame, strike plate is also good. Might want to look at a supplemental device like the Door Guardian flip lock.

As for keypads, I've yet to see a consumer electronic one that ticks all the boxes for security, durability, longevity, ease of use and the ability to defend against hacks & attacks. I do however like the Simplex mechanical push button locks.
 

shavefan

I’m not a fan
Abloy is a good choice (I have their Mul-T-Lock deadbolts and padlocks around home and the cabin and have been pleased). Another choice for high security would be ABUS or Medeco. The keys will cost more and need to be reproduced by an actual locksmith but that's part of their value. A while back a few employees from the valet parking outfit at the local airport were running a scam where they'd take a house key from a customer's ring, get a copy cut at Home Depot and knowing the customer's travel schedule would be able to case & rob the house with relative ease. Having a key that Home Depot, Lowes, etc. can't reproduce eliminates that kind of threat.

As others have said, reinforce the frame, strike plate is also good. Might want to look at a supplemental device like the Door Guardian flip lock.

As for keypads, I've yet to see a consumer electronic one that ticks all the boxes for security, durability, longevity, ease of use and the ability to defend against hacks & attacks. I do however like the Simplex mechanical push button locks.

Interesting about the airport valet scheme. I used airport valet weekly for many years. They got the spare key on a dedicated "valet key ring", and my personal key ring with all my keys went with me on my travels. Nothing in my car to indicate my home address either.

Agree with the posts about reinforced door frames, a point often overlooked.
 
Top Bottom