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When it comes to the safety and security of your home, you must leave no room for compromise.
The security of your beloved ones and your precious belongings should always be your top priority. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what you need to do to make your home safe and secure at all times.
One of the most common questions we get is what deadbolt lock you should use and what makes a great mechanical deadbolt.
Although electronic keyless deadbolt locks are slowly gaining popularity over the market, mechanical deadbolts are still in use in most residential homes.
If you are not so much into technology, you don’t want to spend extra money on electronic deadbolts, or you simply prefer to stick to the tradition mechanical deadbolts could be the best option for you.
Unfortunately, as there are dozens of different models available with different features and each model offering something unique, choosing the right mechanical deadbolt can be tiring and frustrating.
That’s why we’ve come up with this guide where we discuss what mechanical deadbolts are, what their pros and cons are, and what to look for and what to avoid when buying one.
So, stay with us to find out more about:
- Mechanical deadbolt pros
- Mechanical deadbolt cons
- Characteristics of a quality mechanical deadbolt
Ok, let’s get to the business! We’ll start by discussing mechanical deadbolt pros and cons…
Cheap and Affordable
If money is your number one barrier to a high-tech smart lock, then a standard mechanical deadbolt may be perfect for you.
A mechanical deadbolt will cost you anything between $20 and $150, depending on the build quality and features it has.
Installation costs for mechanical deadbolts are also much lower than for their electronic counterparts.
Of course, choosing the right deadbolt lock requires much more than simply picking out the best deal on the shelf.
You don’t want to go with a superb cheap lock that is likely to wear down within few months, causing you to spend more money on repairs and replacements.
Different styles available
Mechanical deadbolts are perfect for those who are looking to add some style to their front door. No matter your personal style, there is definitely a mechanical lock that is perfect for you.
If you are not sure how to choose the right one, you can use one of many style lock selectors available online to choose the right deadbolt for your home.
Easy to install
Installing a mechanical deadbolt is incredibly easy as it doesn’t involve any wiring or special installation tools.
Some popular brands such as Schlage even offer deadbolts equipped with Snap and Stay technology which allows you to install the lock in a matter of minutes.
Moving onto cons…
Easy to get locked out
How many times have you left your home, close the door, only to realize that you left your keys inside?
With mechanical locks, losing your keys usually ends with an expensive call to your local locksmith or finding an innovative way of breaching inside without causing too much damage.
You will agree that keys can often become a drag, especially if you live an active lifestyle. Going for a walk or a run and having to worry about losing your keys kills all the fun.
That’s why many home owners decide to spend some extra money on mechanical deadbolts that also have “keyless” feature.
Difficult to control access
If you have a housekeeper or a friend that needs to enter home when you are not around requires ether hiding a spare key for them to use or making an extra key they could keep for themselves.
The downside to this method is that you can’t control their access to your home. They can come and go whenever they want and as often as they please.
Next, we discuss what makes a great mechanical deadbolt…
Characteristics of a quality mechanical deadbolt
First thing first, bump resistance…
Bump resistance is one of the most important features you need to look for when buying a mechanical deadbolt lock.
Lock bumping allows anyone with a unique “bump” key to open many of today’s locks within few minutes. Unfortunately, bump keys are readily available and can be bought by anyone online for as less as $5.
Luckily, most lock manufacturers nowadays offer locks that come with unique safety features that make bumping much harder if not impossible. So, when buying a lock, make sure you choose the one that is bump proof.
Drill resistance deals with how easy it is to bypass a lock cylinder by using a regular drill and hardened drill bits to drill through it.
Unfortunately, standard locks don’t stand a chance against electric drills. As a matter of fact, an ordinary cordless drill can disable standard locks in 2 minutes or less. Yes! This means burglars can disable your lock and get in your home in less than 2 minutes.
When buying a lock, look for a model that comes with its cylinder made of hardened metal and which includes several hardened metal inserts to hinder drilling.
Next, we talk about key control.
Key control deals with how easily key blanks can be obtained, which is incredibly important when considering key duplication and the production of bump keys.
Common blanks, like the ones found at your local locksmiths and hardware stores, are available to anyone. This makes duplicating keys and getting bump keys much easier.
While no key is 100% un-duplicable, most leading lock manufacturers take precautions to make sure that real blanks for their locks are not available to the general public.
Of course, preventing unauthorized access to blanks is just one aspect of key control. Making the keys harder to duplicate without specialized key machines is another way lock manufacturers use to make their locks more secure.
Read this article on key control to get more information on this topic.
On to the last point on our list…
Most door locks are scored through the ANSI Grading System which is a numeric representation of how easily burglars can move past this type of protection. Locks can have ANSI grades between 1 and 3.
On the ANSI scale, grade 1 offers the highest level of security and is often described as commercial grade. These locks are also known as heavy duty locks.
Grade 2 locks are not as strong as Grade 1, but they still offer better protection than standard home locks.
Grade 3 locks meet the basic residential requirements. These locks are not as secure as Grade 2 locks and aren’t recommended for use on your main entry point. They should be used on secondary entry points instead.
We always recommend choosing a Grade 1 or 2 lock for extra layer of security.
We hope this gives you a good idea as to what makes a quality mechanical deadbolt. If you have any questions or comments, as always, leave a comment below.