Lock Talk: Deadbolt Locks

Deadbolts from a Maple Grove Locksmith

Bottom line, all exterior doors should be protected by a deadbolt. Deadbolts are the staple of modern home security. They are your front line defense. As a locksmith, I deal with deadbolts every day. I can say that deadbolts are a significant challenge compared to  handles. Although it is true that if someone wants to break in, they will, deadbolts limit the methods of non-destructive entry. When a burglary happens, signs of forced entry will significantly help with your insurance. Some insurance policies require forcible entry to pay the claim. It is best to check your policy to determine the requirements.

Nowadays, many individuals are looking into the addition of electronic deadbolts. Electronic deadbolts do not add much for security over a standard one, but they do increase the convenience of the deadbolts use. In this article we will cover different styles, benefits, and grades of deadbolts.

Styles of Deadbolt

Deadbolts come in two main styles, single cylinder and double cylinder. Single cylinder deadbolts have a thumb turn on the inside and a lock cylinder on the outside. These deadbolts are perfect for doors without glass around them. The second style cylinder is a double cylinder deadbolt. These deadbolts have cylinders on both sides. This forces use of a key on either side of the door to lock and unlock the door. These cylinders are best used on doors with glass nearby. This prevents an individual from breaking the glass and turning the thumb turn.

More On Double-Sided

As stated earlier, double-sided deadbolts are great for securing doors with glass around them; however, there are some concerns related to double-sided deadbolts. In an emergency situation, the key is required to exit the building if the door is locked. This can effectively trap someone inside the house. If a double-sided deadbolt is used, make sure that everyone in the house knows how to get out. This is the most significant downside, and should be considered before going with a double-sided deadbolt.

Benefits over Handles

Deadbolts have many benefits compared to handle style locks. First, they are much longer, thicker, and stronger. This increases the security behind the portion holding the door shut. Second, when kicking in deadbolt protected doors, the frame is typically the part that breaks. Consequently, reinforcing the frame with at least 3inch screws can help secure it to the frame of the house. In addition, you can purchase larger strike plates that will further increase the protection your deadbolt offers.

Last, deadbolts are more secure against bypass type attacks. To ensure your deadbolts are fully secured to your door, make sure the bolt extends all the way out.  This can be tested by throwing the bolt when the door is closed and then again with the door open. The thumb turn should rotate the same distance. If the thumb turns stops short when the door is closed, drill the hole deeper. This will ensure the dead-latch is engaged and your door secure.

Grade of Locks

There are three grades to locks, grades 1-3. Grade 3 locks have the lowest accepted quality for a residential lock. Best uses are on interior doors. Grade 2 is a better quality and a solid lock for most residential applications. Grade 1 is the top grade for residential and commercial uses. Purchasing a grade one lock will ensure your lock has strong material supporting it. This will greatly improve security, durability, and strength. In addition, these locks are often easily adjustable to nearly any door. Grade one locks are mostly used on exterior and high use doors.


Deadbolts have a couple styles, benefits, and grades. Single sided or double sided should be considered on a per door basis. double-sided deadbolts are most often seen on doors with glass around it. This protects against breaking glass and unlocking door. Next, the benefits of deadbolts significantly outweighs that of handles. They are stronger, reinforce-able, and difficult to bypass. Last, it is important to consider grades when securing a door. The grade 1 locks are built to last and often come with addition security features, such as: anti-drilling bearings. Deadbolts are and will remain a significant factor in residential security.