June 15, 2022 | KimElliott | Blog

Tips To Choosing a Deadbolt Lock


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deadbolt lock with keys

What Is a Deadbolt Lock?

A deadbolt lock is a type of lock that has a bolt which is moved by using a key or another access control system. A deadbolt lock does not use a spring, which makes it different from other lock types.

Traditionally, deadbolt locks are made from steel or brass and are not angled or rounded at the end of the lock and are a good way to advance your home security without having to spend an unreasonable amount of money.


How Does a Deadbolt Lock Work?

As deadbolts don’t operate using a spring, just turning the key slides the bolt in and out of the strike plate attached to the door frame. The lack of spring makes deadbolt locks harder to tampered with and prized open with a crowbar, or other tools. The locking mechanism, on a deadbolt is very strong, this offers you an extra layer of security compared to other types of locking mechanisms.


What Are the Most Common Types of Deadbolt Lock?

Euro Cylinder and Turn

This is the most common type of deadbolt lock and contains the simplest mechanism. From the exterior side, you open it with a key, extracting the bolt as you turn it. On the interior side they can be opened without the use of a key but with the use of a thumb turn mechanism. We do not recommend that a single deadbolt be installed on a door with breakable glass windows or a large letter plate. This is because a key isn’t required to open it from the inside, so an intruder could simply break the glass, reach in and turn the thumb screw mechanism to gain entry. For more tips on stopping break ins, read our security tips blog.


Double Cylinder

Where a double cylinder differs from the Euro Cylinder and Turn, is that it requires a key to be opened on both sides of the door. This makes it more secure than a single deadbolt as it can be placed near breakable glass, as it’s not possible to open it from any side without a key. One downside of a double cylinder deadbolt lock is that they can pose a fire risk. In an emergency you will need to locate the key to open the door, and in a panicked sate you might not be able to do that. You can read more about fire safety on the Keytek Website. 


5 Lever BS3621

If you are looking for the most secure option, then the 5 Lever BS3621 might be the deadbolt for you. They are insurance complaint and use a lock on both sides to gain access. They can be used in conjunction with a yale type night latch on a wooden door, for extra security.


How To Choose The Best Deadbolt

Try to find a deadbolt with key control

Key control is a security method for making sure your key is only used by the people you choose. This has many different levels and is unique to each company that issues them. But essentially, it should stop your key from being copied without your knowledge. It can be as simple as having a key that has ‘do not copy’ printed on it. These means if anyone wanted to copy it without your permission, they shouldn’t be able to find a key cutter who will copy it. The next level is installing a deadbolt that comes with ‘patented keys’ this means that any person or company that is found to have copied this key will be at risk of receiving financial penalties. This prevents your key being copied without your knowledge, it will not stop someone giving the original key to another person.


Look for saw resistance

You can find deadbolts that are resistant to saw attacks. This makes it a lot more difficult for an unskilled burglar to force entry to your home. Burglars like to work quickly to avoid detection and this type of lock will delay them. The hope is they will give up and be unsuccessful at gaining entry.

Think about a deadbolt with a hardened case steel

As well as sawing, burglars will use a number of tactics to gain entry to your home; that include pilers, hammers or other similar tools to remove or damage the lock. Choosing a deadbolt with a handed steel case should hopefully protect you from these kinds of break-in attempts. Casing like these will also stop a burglar from tampering with the lock’s mechanism itself, giving you added security.


Get a double cylinder

As we have spoken about, some deadbolts only require a key for the external lock. This can cause security issues if your door has breakable glass in it. A burglar can simply smash the glass, reach in and open the door. A double cylinder deadbolt means that you need a key to work the lock from both side, this would stop a burglar from gaining entry via smashing the window and engaging the lock.


Choosing the right deadbolt for you

It’s important to do your research before buying a deadbolt. You need to consider your budget, the type of door you have and the amount of security you require. Installing the wrong lock could be detrimental to your home security, so always seek out advice if you are unsure. We would never recommend that you install new locks yourself, as if installed incorrectly, your home is at risk of a break in. installing the locks yourself can also make your home insurance invalid, as often insurers require locks to be fitted by a professional locksmith. To find out more about keeping your locks insurance complaint, then read our insurance article.