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7 Types of Deadbolts and How to Choose the Right One for You

types of deadbolt locks
Last Updated on August 5, 2022
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As a home or business owner, it's important to make sure that your security is up to date. This includes having the right type of deadbolt locks in place.

There are many different types of deadbolt locks available on the market, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

In this post, we'll take a look at the most common types of deadbolt locks and discuss how they can benefit you. We'll also provide some tips for choosing the most secure deadbolt lock for your needs.

So, if you're interested in effectively upgrading your security, keep reading!

What Is a Deadbolt?

A deadbolt is a locking mechanism that is typically used in conjunction with a doorknob to secure doors. They use a key or thumb turn to engage a bolt that extrudes into the doorframe.

Deadbolts are commonly used on exterior doors because they provide a high level of security against forced attacks—such as kick-ins.

Types of Deadbolt Door Locks

There are seven main types of deadbolt locks on the market today. They all work pretty much the same, but each has specific characteristics that will affect how well they work in certain situations.

1. The Single-Cylinder Deadbolt Lock

What is a Deadbolt Lock

First up is the single-cylinder deadbolt. This type of lock uses a thumb turn on the inside of the door and a key on the exterior side.

These are the most popular deadbolt used on household front doors and are typically used in conjunction with a doorknob latch lock.

They are ideal to use when you want quick access in one direction (such as during an emergency) while restricting access in the other direction.

Single-cylinder deadbolts should be installed at least 40inches away from any glass or a window to prevent someone from breaking the glass and turning the thumb turn.

2. The Double-Cylinder Deadbolt Lock

The double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key to be used on both sides of the door.

This type of deadbolt is often used on entry doors to provide an extra level of security and prevents someone from being able to break in by reaching through a broken window and turning the thumb turn from the outside.

Safety is a huge factor when using these types of deadbolts. Because the door is locked from both sides, fast egress such as during a fire becomes difficult. In most cases, there are specific laws and building codes you need to refer to before using.

3. Electronic Deadbolt Lock

how to change the code on a schlage lock

Electronic deadbolts are a popular choice for homeowners seeking a reliable and convenient way to secure their homes. These locks offer the same security and durability as their mechanical counterparts, but with the added benefit of a keypad or touchscreen.

This allows you to program a unique access code, so you never have to worry about losing a key again. They are not connected to your WiFi or other smart home technology.

They are also referred to as "Non-connected locks" which means they are a closed system and are not connected to your WiFi or other smart home technology.

Whether you are looking for a simple way to secure your home or want the latest in smart home technology, electronic deadbolts are an excellent option.

4. Smart Deadbolt Lock

There are many benefits to using a smart deadbolt lock over a traditional electronic or mechanical lock.

Smart locks can be connected to your home network, either directly to WiFi or other smart home technology. This allows you to use your smartphone for easy programming and access anywhere in the world!

As long as the lock is connected to your WiFi or smart hub, you can check the status of your lock and command it to lock or unlock remotely.

In addition, some smart locks also come with additional features such as tamper alerts and automatic locking. These added features give you peace of mind, knowing that your home is secure even when you’re not there.

If you’re considering a smart lock for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the lock is compatible with your existing door hardware. Most smart locks will work with standard deadbolts, but it’s always a good idea to check before you buy.

Second, think about how you’ll be using the lock. If you plan on giving family or friends access, look for a lock that offers multiple user codes. This way, each person can have their own code and you can keep track of who comes and goes.

Finally, consider the features that are important to you. Some locks offer basic security, while others come with a host of additional features like tamper alerts and automatic locking. Choose the lock that offers the right combination of features for your needs.

5. Rim Deadbolt

example of a rim deadlock

A rim deadbolt lock is a type of lock that is installed on the inside surface of a door, typically near the doorknob. This type of lock is operated by a key from the outside and a thumb turn from the inside.

Rim locks are a great way to add extra security to a door in which a traditional deadbolt can not be installed. They are also easy to install, typically requiring only a screwdriver.

The main downside to a rim deadbolt lock is that it is not as strong as a traditional deadbolt, because it is mounted to the door. This means that it can be easily broken into if someone is trying to force their way into the house.

6. Vertical Deadbolt Lock

A vertical deadbolt lock is a type of door lock that is attached to the doorframe at the top, rather than the side. This provides extra security against burglars, as it makes it much harder for them to pry the door open with a crowbar or other tool.

Vertical deadbolt locks are larger than other types of locks, but they provide a high level of security. If you are looking for a strong and reliable door lock, a vertical deadbolt lock is an excellent option.

7. Mortise Deadbolt Lock

example of a mortise lock

If you're looking for a high-security option for your home or commercial locks, mortise locks are a great choice. These locks are made with a metal body that houses both a deadbolt and latch lock, making them difficult to force open.

Mortise locks require a rectangular pocket (known as the mortise) to be cut into the door, making them even more difficult to tamper with. This makes them even more difficult to break into.

While these features make mortise locks more secure, they also tend to make them more expensive than typical cylinder locks. However, for homeowners who are looking for the highest level of security, mortise locks are definitely worth the investment.

What Type of Deadbolt Is Best?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best type of deadbolt will vary depending on your needs and budget.

However, a few guidelines to follow are:

  • If you just want the benefit that a deadbolt provides, consider picking a standard single-cylinder deadbolt.
  • If you can't install a deadbolt into a door, consider looking into rim deadbolts.
  • If you don't want to worry about forgetting or losing keys, or would like to easily give or revoke access to your home, consider looking into electronic or smart deadbolts.
  • If you want the best security you can conjure, consider looking into a more expensive mortise deadbolt.

Deadbolt vs. Deadlock

"Deadlock" is a term that represents any type of door lock that requires a key to lock and unlock it and are most commonly used on exterior doors. Deadbolts and deadlatches are a type of deadlock.

Deadbolt vs. Deadlatch

A deadbolt is a type of lock that uses a bolt to secure a door in place. The bolt is usually metal and is thrown or retracted with a key, thumb turn, or other electronically. Deadbolts are an added security measure that reinforces doors against brute force attacks.

A deadlatch (also referred to as a spring bolt) is similar to a deadbolt in that it uses a bolt to secure a door, but the bolt is spring-loaded and automatically throws into place when the door is closed. In order for the bolt to be retracted, a doorknob or lever must be turned. The shortcomings of deadlatches are that they can easily be manipulated by bypassing attacks such as "loiding." If not installed correctly, they can also be opened using a credit card or knife.

Both deadbolts and deadlatches are susceptible to key-cylinder bypasses such as:

Ideally, you want to use both a deadbolt and deadlatch on your exterior doors to provide the most security.

Final Thoughts

The best deadbolt for you will depend on your needs and budget.

If you just want the benefit that a deadbolt provides, consider picking a standard single-cylinder deadbolt. If you can't install a deadbolt into a door, consider looking into rim locks or mortise locks instead.

Electronic or smart types of doors are a great option that mixes traditional deadbolt security with convenience. And if you want the best security you can conjure, consider looking into a more expensive mortise deadbolt or high-security door lock.

Just remember to always install and use your deadbolts correctly and that using the right type of deadbolt is an important part of protecting your home. By following the guidelines in this article, you can be sure that you're choosing the best type of deadbolt for your needs.

Thanks for reading!

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