Tips for Choosing the Best Door Lock for Your Home
If you’re going to self-install a lock on your home door, you’ll need to make this decision based on more than price. There are quite a few variables that go into this. The first thing to consider is your door, not too surprisingly.
What Kind of Door Do You Have?
If you have a very solid door with hardware mounted in it already, you’ll want to choose a lock that will fit right into the door without any alteration. Take your deadbolt out and bring it to the store with you—make sure someone’s at home, of course! The people at the store can help you find a match in terms of size. Most deadbolts are standard and the bolt-throw distance can be changed when you mount the lock.
Stick with What Works
If you see a good name brand on your door lock, such as Schlage, just replace it with a similar model from the same company. This is the easiest way to go. If you’re replacing a cheap lock, however, upgrade. Get a name brand lock to replace a cheap, discount-store rattler and you’ll be happy with the snappy, firm hold action of the bolt and the fact that you’ll likely never have to replace it again.
If you have only a key-in-knob lock on your door, you need to add a deadbolt to have any real security. Key-in-knob locks are more about privacy than security and you need to make sure you have a real lock above it to keep the bad people out. This will require a bit of drilling, of course. Be sure you read the lock instructions thoroughly before you install anything. If you’re putting more than one lock on your house, you can buy clamp-on tools that guide your drill and that make it much easier to get a good install.
The best locks for any home take the same key. Make sure you either buy your locks in a keyed-alike set or that you have a locksmith handle the rekeying for you.
As one final tip, exercise some basic shopping sensibilities and really take a look at the lock before you buy it. A good, name-brand lock will be heavy and feel very solid in your hand. A cheap one will tend to be made out of weak metal and will usually be light and, sometimes, obviously shoddy. Make sure that what you buy is solid and sturdy enough for real security.
Guy Mirkuf brings 10 years of experience to the locksmith profession. As an expert in the industry, Mirkuf uses his experience to support both the team at DanLock, a professional locksmith company for Arizona, California, Florida and New York, and his growing writing reputation. Mirkuf loves exploring the topics of safety, alarms and locksmith. Contact Mirkuf at: [email protected]