There are many reasons that you may need to upgrade or change your door locks. One of the main reasons is when you purchase a new home. Another is when you are remodeling and changing your doors. Whatever the reason you should always purchase the best quality lock set that you can afford.
So what features should you look for when making your purchase?
Testing the products at your home center is one of the best ways to understand the different grade levels of lock sets. Lower grade locks will be easy to identify but you may find that medium grade and the more costly locks have a similar quality. What you are looking for is how precise the product is machined and assembled. Door locks are one of the high wear items in your home and they must work well in all situations.
Another consideration is the security features of the lock. Interior doors in residences do not need to be as secure as exterior doors but if you have need to secure an inside door you can make use of exterior door lock sets.
In simplest terms the lock its self is made up of a cylinder that accepts your key and pins that keep the cylinder from moving. When the key is inserted it will align the pins and the door can be opened. If you look at a key each notch either high or low shows how many pins are inside the lock. The higher the pin count the harder the lock is to pick. There are also other features like dual pins and pin shape that can increase the difficulty of picking a lock.
Although we will not be covering how locks are picked in all honesty it should be known that all locks can be picked if the person has enough training and time. For this reason you should know that locks are mainly used to deter honest people or mischief makers.
A skilled professional locksmith can pick most residential and commercial locks in under 5 minutes. Hacks or hobbyist lock pickers may take twice that time but thieves will find a way to circumvent or bypass the lock by brute force. So why even put locks on your doors? Well because they cause the thief to make a choice. Do they risk being scene trying to pick your lock or do they force their way in making lots of noise or do they move to a different target. Our security HowTos will approach various methods that you can use to increase deterrence and reduce your risk.
Another security feature is the design of the Lock’s bolt or throw. There are many features you should consider and one is if you will want to make use of a deadbolt. Deadbolt locks have a longer throw that extends deeper into your door jam. This reduces the possibility of an intruder kicking your door open. Common locks on door knobs have shorter throws but also come in a higher grade hardened bi-metal design. As said pick the best quality based on what you can afford.
Door Chains are basically useless the only good feature they have is that if an intruder does force their way in when the chain breaks the noise it makes could give you a few seconds extra notice.
A keyless lock can be bypassed or picked as fast as any other lock if not quicker. News reports will often mention that hotel rooms that make use of key cards and keyless lock technology are at high risk for thefts. This is a situation where skill is needed to gain access but the difference between a mechanical and electronic key is really not present when someone has access to the right tools or decides that using force to gain access is quicker.
The advantage to Keyless or KeyCard technology is the ability to log door openings. If you are in a commercial setting you may find that a log is used by security to identify who had access to an area and what times they were there. This is a reasonable use of this technology but it must be backed up by other monitoring systems.
Decorative and other features.
With exterior lock sets it is important to check what type of coatings and plating techniques are used to protect your door knob and plates. There are many different choices in colors of metal and surface textures. What you want to know is the thickness and metals used in the plating material and any guarantees they offer.
So now that we have gone over some of the lock set features that you will be looking at when you make your purchase it is time for you to make the trip to the store and find what products meet your needs.
Get some product literature and try the locks yourself.
Remember that choosing a higher grade lock will be worth the money in the long run but don’t get carried away and spend more for a lock that may not be made as well as a cheaper brand or model. Some manufacturers just sell more locks and that is why their high grade set may cost the same or less then a competitors medium grade set.