Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Deadbolt Lock

Stephanie Shaykin
Updated September 28, 2021
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Deadbolts are commonly used on exterior doors, and many families sleep more soundly and securely knowing they have one installed. 

Installing a deadbolt lock has many benefits. Still, you need to determine if it makes sense for your household before buying one. There are many different deadbolt locks on the market, and you can see which one is the best fit for you.

Types of Deadbolt Locks

There are many different types of deadbolt locks to choose from, each with its own benefits.

Single-Cylinder Deadbolt

A single-cylinder deadbolt lock has a thumb-turn lock inside, and the outside has a keyhole for locking and unlocking. This type of deadbolt secures your home with a simple turn of a knob, making them quick to lock and unlock when coming and going.

Double-Cylinder Deadbolt

The double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key on both sides. So when you lock the door from the inside, you need to use a key for added protection. 

Keyless Locks

There are two popular keyless lock types on the market: keypad locks and smart locks.

Keypad locks require a numerical code to lock and unlock. Smart locks use Wi-Fi networks to lock and unlock the door wirelessly. No keys? No problem. 

They're also convenient and efficient if you have dog walkers or babysitters who need access to your home. You won't have to give away multiple sets of keys!

Deadbolt Grades

The Builder's Hardware Manufacturers (BHMA) created the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) grading system for deadbolts. This grading scale ranges from 1 to 3, with 1 representing the highest grade and most secure locks and 3 representing the lowest grade. This system takes into account the lock's longevity, toughness, and latch length.

Grade 3

These deadbolts are tested to withstand 800,000 openings and closings. They have a five-eighths-inch latch bolt and will hold up against two strikes of 75 pounds of force. They're graded the least secure of the three grades.

Grade 2

Deadbolts in this category are nearly identical to grade 3 deadbolts. They have the same test openings and closings, and the same latch bolt size. The distinction is that these deadbolts can withstand five blows of 75 pounds of force.

Grade 1

These are the most secure deadbolts and are often used in warehouses to secure doors and windows. The latch bolt is a whole inch long, and the deadbolts receive one million openings and closures before approval. These deadbolts can endure 10 strikes from 75 pounds of force.

Benefits of Deadbolt Locks

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According to locksmiths, deadbolts are the key to home security. Here are some benefits of having a deadbolt installed:

Protected Entry

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR), in 2019, 55.7% of burglaries involved forcible entry. Deadbolt locks provide a much tighter seal for your doorframe and are made from machined steel, making them more durable than traditional locks. The key takeaway is it’s better to have a protective barrier to help deter burglars than the bare minimum.

Inexpensive Options

The cost of a deadbolt lock and installation depends on the lock you choose. Deadbolts are inexpensive and can cost anywhere from $10 to $45. In contrast, smart locks cost upwards of $100. You can install a lock on your own, or a local locksmith charges around $135 to $145. Depending on the type of deadbolt you choose, you can expect to pay $145 to $245 for labor and the locking mechanism.

Easy Installation

Deadbolts are quick and easy to install. A local locksmith will be able to install your deadbolt lock in one brief appointment.

Deadbolt Lock Disadvantages

Deadbolts are stronger and more difficult to compromise than other locks, but they’re not entirely impenetrable. Break-ins can still happen no matter which type of lock your doors have. 

The best thing you can do is to learn how to protect your home from burglary by taking steps like limiting spare keys you give away and installing an alarm system. You can also install a home security door and frame reinforcement kit to add an extra layer of protection to your door and frame.

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