For most of us, security is a top priority when selecting door locks for our homes, followed by cost, style and finish. Choosing the best door locks for your doors depends on whether a door is interior or exterior, because each type of door requires completely different locking mechanisms. For example, it would not make sense to install a deadbolt on a bathroom door or a push-button privacy lockset on a front entry door. But before we get into that, let’s learn more about door locks in general and which ones are the most durable.
ANSI grading system for locks & deadbolts
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established three grades for door locks to help identify the quality and durability of locksets and deadbolts. Each product must pass operational and security tests, including cycles, door strikes and weight test. One cycle consists of the knob or handle turning completely to retract the latch bolt and open the door, then it is released, allowing the door to re-latch. ANSI Grade 1 is the best choice for exterior residential door locks.
Grade 1 – Best
Highest grade security available. Meets commercial building requirements and is available for residential uses via deadbolts. There are not standard knobs, handlesets or mortise lockset that will meet ANSI Grade 1 certifications, only commercial lever handles.
- Knobs must withstand 800,000 cycles, 6 door strikes and a 360 pound weight test
- Deadbolts must withstand 250,000 cycles and 10 door strikes (hammer test)
Grade 2 – Better
Meets light commercial building requirements; exceeds standard residential security and building requirements.
- Knobs must withstand 400,000 cycles, 4 door strikes and a 250 pound weight test
- Deadbolts must withstand 150,000 cycles and 5 door strikes (hammer test)
Grade 3 – Good
Meets residential building requirements only and provides minimal residential security.
- Knobs must withstand 200,000 cycles, 2 door strikes and a 150 pound weight test
- Deadbolts must withstand 100,000 cycles and 2 door strikes (hammer test)
Door lock reviews
Deadbolt locks provide the most security on residential doors. The term dead is used, because these locks do not contain springs. A single-cylinder deadbolt is operated with a key from the outside and with a turn button on the inside, and a double-cylinder is operated with a key on both the inside and outside. Double-cylinder deadbolts can pose a danger during an emergency if the key is missing or not readily available.
Kwikset Double Cylinder Deadbolt Review – ANSI Grade 1
This double-cylinder deadbolt is operated by a key on both sides and features a SmartKey cylinder for easy re-keying. It has a fully adjustable latch and deadbolt to fit all standard doors. It is an extremely loved deadbolt by consumers and the ratings are high for it.
Baldwin Single Cylinder Deadbolt Review – ANSI Grade 2
From the Baldwin Prestige collection, this single-cylinder deadbolt can be paired with several knobs from the collection. It features solid zinc construction and SmartKey re-key technology. Customers have given this deadbolt high rankings and it is a dependable deadbolt.
Locksets and handlesets are medium-security entrance door locks often combined with a deadbolt. They have two doorknobs that can be locked from the inside and the outside. One doorknob locks from the inside by turning or depressing a small button, while a key must unlock the outside knob. A handleset features a decorative door handle on the exterior.
Kwikset featuring SmartKey Juno Knob and Double Cylinder Deadbolt Review – ANSI Grade 2
Kwikset featuring SmartKey Tavaris Single Cylinder Handleset with Vedani Lever Review - ANSI Grade 2
For advanced home security and convenience, keyless locks can be used to replace any standard deadbolts on exterior doors. An anti-theft rolling code feature ensures the same code is never used twice, and certain models sound an alarm after the incorrect code is entered more than three consecutive times. Additionally, some systems are compatible with select garage door openers or home security systems.
Kwikset 9140 SmartCode Deadbolt with SmartKey and Z-Wave Review - ANSI Grade 2
The SmartCode touchpad electronic deadbolt is a one-touch locking motorized deadbolt, and it is battery operated, so hard wiring is not required. Its patented side locking bar technology offers improved security by protecting against lock bumping. The lock features customizable access codes for increased security, as well as a back-lit keypad for increased visibility.
Yale YRL-220-ZQ-605 Digital Lock Review - Ansi Grade 2
This touchscreen lever door lock integrates with z-wave technology which is carried by hundred of companies so you can integrate it with other equipment. It’s easy to install and you can have a separate code for each family member. Codes can be 4-8 digits and you can even give out codes to frequent visitors like the housekeeper or babysitter. You can be notified each time someone enters and leaves your home or even unlock the door remotely for unexpected visitors that you’d like to let inside.
Schlage BE469NXCAM619 Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Nexia Home Intelligence & Alarm Review - ANSI Grade 1
The Schlage Camelot has a standard lock design that fits most residential doors and features a durable, fingerprint-resistant touch screen, which protects against fingerprints and smudges and ensures wear patterns remain undetectable. The motorized, tapered bolt design automatically locks and unlocks when a user inputs a code. It has an auto-lock feature that automatically re-locks the door after 30 seconds if the door is left unlocked. The built-in alarm technology senses movement of the door and alerts homeowners with an audible alert, and Nexia Home Intelligence enables remote locking and unlocking.
Mortise locks are used on many types of residential doors, including storm doors and stress convenience over security. The lockset consists of a flat, rectangular box that fits into a recess in the door from its edge and includes two faceplates with knobs and keyholes. The latch operates from either side except when the outside knob is locked, and the deadbolt operates by a turn of the inside knob.
Defender Security ENTRY E-2293 Mortise Lockset Review - ANSI Grade 2
Wright Products VMT115PB Accents Serenade Mortise Lockset Review - ANSI Grade 2
Digital devices constantly overtake their analog counterparts, and now that includes the locks on our homes. Smart locks with Bluetooth-enabled deadbolts and fingerprint scanners soon are already on the market. Additionally, a company called Goji created a smart lock with a built-in camera that takes a picture of anyone activating the lock and sends a real-time picture alert to your mobile phone, providing you with visual confirmation of who is accessing your home. Goji completed its funding goal on the crowd funding website Indiegogo on August 3, 2013, which will help manufacture the lock. However, as of September 2015 the locks have yet to be on the market. You can reserve a Goji Smart Lock for less than the retail price of $349.99. The following state-of-the-art door locks are engineered for maximum security and technology performance.
Kwikset Kevo 925 Bluetooth Enabled Deadbolt - No ANSI Grade Yet
The Kwikset Kevo uses your iPhone and select Android devices as your key and includes a fob for touch-to open option without a smartphone. The mobile app sends notifications of lock activities and enables you to manage the lock. You can even share eKeys with family and friends as needed. The SmartKey deadbolt cylinder provides a backup with a traditional key and offers security against lock picking and bumping.
iTouchless Stainless Steel Bio-Matic Fingerprint Deadbolt Door Lock Review - ANSI Grade 1
Never worry about using a key again with this lock that uses fingerprint recognition technology. This deadbolt model uses the latest biometric entrance technology and can replace most deadbolt locks without drilling an extra hole. It provides access to 150 fingerprint users and 78 passcode code users and includes 2 backup keys. It can be configured for either left swing or right swing doors.
August Smart Lock Review – No ANSI Grade
This device uses your smartphone to unlock your door for you. You can still unlock it the old-fashioned way, but with this device you are able to allow guests in and out of your house without a key. All you do is send them an invite and choose a length of time they are allowed to enter your home. Whether it be the plumber, friends staying from out-of-town or family you can allow them in your home without you changing up your schedule for when they arrive.
Prime-Line Products U 10385 Door Strike Review
Buddybar Door Jammer Review
Common Home Security Tips
The quality of a door lock does not matter if it is not locked. Sometimes people forget to lock a deadbolt when leaving, but it is also important to remember to lock your doors when you’re at home. Most intruders prefer to enter a home through unlocked entry points. Additionally, doors and their hardware occasionally need maintenance, because a poorly maintained door makes it easier for a burglar to enter your house.
What door lock are you using?