Searching for the best door locks for your home has never been more complicated because there have never before been so many choices. You are not just choosing between different brands of deadbolts, you now have to choose among several different modes of operation. The range now runs from a basic deadbolt lock with a keyhole all the way to electronic locks that have no keyhole and operate using any one of a number of different identifiers to open the lock. So, the considerations are no longer limited to the quality of materials the lock is made from or the ease with which a particular lock can be picked.
The lock you ultimately choose will be based on several conditions. Of course, these include price and quality, but now, you also have lifestyle-related features to consider that include convenience, ease of operation, level of security, and flexibility. Let’s examine some excellent choices in residential door locks from the simplest to the most advanced. Of course, security is the main reason for having the lock, so we are providing the ANSI grades for every lock for which we could find it. Here is a chart that explains the ANSI rating system:
Schlage makes some of the best quality deadbolt locks on the market. The Schlage B60N 619 has an ANSI rating of 1, meaning that there is no stronger class of locks available. As you can see on the chart of ANSI specifications, ANSI 1-rated locks are built to withstand tremendous force from different angles and with assorted tools. This includes items like kicking or pushing in the door and knocking or wrenching the lock off the door. And, while no lock that has a keyhole can be guaranteed to be pick-proof or bump-proof, this lock comes as close to it as any lock of its kind possibly can. The lock is available with the standard 5 pin tumbler, or, for a bit of added security, you can opt for the 6-pin tumbler model. As of this writing, the Schlage B60N 619 is available for just under $30.00.
Medeco is another top-rated name in deadbolt locks, and the Medeco 11TR50319 is no exception when it comes to strength and quality. It’s also graded ANSI 1, so it withstands the same levels of assault that the Schlage lock does. Medeco has an extensive key-control system that prevents anyone except a Medeco-authorized dealer from copying your keys, and then, only at your express request.
Schlage may offer some level of key control, but it doesn’t seem to be as well-defined as the Medeco system. But, this Medeco lock costs about $130.00, so it’s far more expensive than the Schlage.
Again, Schlage is at the top of the list. The Camelot FE595V features both a push-button keypad and a keyhole and has an ANSI rating of 2. This means it is built to withstand substantial force, but not quite as much as locks with a grade of 1. Again, review the chart for ANSI grading specifics.
This is a simple deadbolt lock, like those described above, with an added keypad to allow entry using either a key or a combination. This is the first level of convenience and flexibility in deadbolt locks, because it allows you to give access to people without having to give them keys. Remember, keys can be duplicated before they are returned, or they can be left unreturned altogether. With the combination feature, once you no longer want someone to have access, you can simply change the code. This is much easier and less expensive than rekeying the lock every time you think someone may have a key who shouldn’t.
This lock requires a battery to operate using the keypad. If the battery goes dead, you will only be able to access the lock with the key. However, the batteries should last quite a while and there is a warning for low battery to give you an opportunity to change it. The Schlage Camelot FE595V runs about $120.00.
The Schlage FE575 offers many of the same features as the FE595, for about 20% less. The major difference between the two is that the FE575 is always locked, except for the 5 second window after the code is entered. When the door closes, it automatically locks from the outside. The FE595 allows you to set it to lock or remain unlocked.
We like the Schlage Sense BE479 because it is a smart lock that operates via Bluetooth and your smartphone, but it also has a keypad and a keyhole, so you have complete flexibility of entry. Most smart locks only work through the app, so if you lose your phone, you could be locked out of your house. Since this lock does not depend on any one entry mode, lost keys or phones won’t prevent you from getting in.
This lock has an ANSI grade of 1, so it offers the highest level of security against physical assault. It is expensive, though, coming in at around $220.00, with special designs going as high as $320.00.
The August Smart Lock is a hi-tech lock does not have a keyhole or a keypad. It is completely electronic and works via Bluetooth and your smartphone. You have the ability to create virtual keys for guests or workers that expire within time periods you set, from minutes to days. As long as you have your phone with you, the August lock automatically unlocks as you approach and locks after you enter. Plus, with individual, unique key codes, you can keep track of who enters and leaves your home and when. The August Smart Lock costs between $149.00 and $279.00. The price difference is based on the connectivity features, not the security of the lock. For example, the more expensive lock will work with other devices in your home, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple Homekit.
As you can see, our research through many sources has consistently ranked Schlage at the top. We did not know this when we set out to write this article, and there was no attempt with this article to push Schlage locks. It just seems that according to the information we have at this time, the top-rated locks in each category are made by Schlage.
Once you decide on the best door locks for your home, call a local residential locksmith to have them installed. A professional who has experience installing locks will make sure your lock is installed right and will function correctly. Your locksmith will also be able to tell you if you need to strengthen areas around the lock, such as the door frame or the strike plate. You are going to the trouble and expense of installing a high-quality locks, so you want to make sure everything will work together to protect your home.