How to Choose the Right Door Lock


Your door locks determine the level of security your house has as they are the first line of defence. A good door lock minimises the chances of burglars targeting your home or any other forceful break-ins. It’s, therefore, important to match a lock to its intended purpose. This article analyses different locks and lists the considerations to be taken into place when choosing the right door locks.

Types of Locks

Locks can be broadly classified into two categories; the deadbolts and the knobs or levers. The deadbolt locks are better than any lever or key-in-knob and are considered as the primary level of security. The knob/lever knobs are considered as secondary security.


Deadbolts are the best locks for exterior doors for a high home security system. Deadbolts can be acquired as a separate set of a deadbolt and a lockset that are mounted separately or as a single set that combines both features. One should consider the following features while choosing a deadbolt:

1) A deadlocking latch bolt. This feature prevents the lock from being jimmied by burglars using a credit card.

2) Double cylinder deadbolts. Double cylinder deadbolts require a key to open from both the inside and the outside. This feature prevents burglars from simply breaking the glass on the door and turning the knob on the inside.

3) The grading of the deadbolt lock. All locks are tested by third- party companies using a standardised procedure to ensure correct grading. A deadbolt with a grade 2 rating by an authorised grading company is suitable for most homes as it offers the required level of security. Grade 1 deadbolts provide extra security features at an extra cost which is uneconomical and unnecessary for most home owners. Avoid deadbolts with a grade 3 rating as they are offer low-security features.

4)Saw resistant deadbolts. Saw resistant bolts contain a free spinning hardened-steel pin at the middle of the deadbolt. When one tries to cut using a saw, the pin will resist the saw as it is hardened and will also slow down the cutting by spinning.

5) Key-controlled deadbolts. This means that you know everyone who makes a copy of your key as the locksmiths must keep a record of all the copies of controlled keys they make.

6) Hardened case steel and bevelled casing features. This means that the casing is hardened against things such as a hammer and when struck the object being used slides of making it hard to take a good blow on the lock.

Deadbolt locks are only economical when installing on exterior doors because of the price range and the high level of security they offer.

Handle Sets and Keyed-Entry Locksets

Keyed entry locks are exterior locks which are supposed to work in tandem with deadbolts. They can be found as separate sets or as a single joined set called a handle set. The handle sets are better because you unlock both in a single motion. The features to look for while choosing these types of locks include the ones mentioned under deadbolts plus the following features:

1) A lock with a six-pin keying system which is a little bit expensive than the five-pin but ensures more security.

2) Dual torque springs to prevent the knobs from sagging.

3) A universal keying system. This is a feature that allows one to use a single key to open all locks in a house.

Privacy Locks

These are used in all interior doors to ensure no accidental entry in rooms. They can be locked using a simple turn or a key. One should look for the following features when choosing a privacy lock:

1)A pinhole emergency release on the outside which is useful in case someone is trapped inside.

2) Grade 3 rating. This provides the required security on interior doors.

3) A lifetime or tarnish-free finish.

Selecting door locks and knowing where to install them is one important feature of physical security. One should choose carefully and buy the best locks as per what they are intended for and the budget in place.

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