Deadbolts have become the lock of choice for many people to protect their homes. In some areas, it is even required to stay up to code. These days, deadbolts come in many different varieties. Finding the right one for in or outdoor use is a matter of how much security you want.
The biggest difference between deadbolts is single and double cylinder locks. Single cylinder locks are more common with a key lock on one side and a thumb knob on the other. These are great for indoor use or exterior... doors in locations you feel comfortable in. For extra security, a double cylinder includes a key lock on each side. These are common in exterior doors and windows where you want added protection.
If you are in the market for a new deadbolt, check out these top picks.
Most people prefer the simplicity of a single cylinder deadbolt. Therefore, the best lock you should look at is the single cylinder Prime-Line Products SE 15361 SEGAL. This deadbolt sticks to a traditional, no frills design so you don't have to worry about a complicated installation. The high strength bronze alloy will also keep the deadbolt protected from outside abuse.
Mount this lock in any 1-⅜ to 2-⅜ inch wood or metal door. If you are looking for extra security, the lock’s jimmy proof design will prevent forced entry using a traditional lock pick. The lock comes with two keys to share with family members if you use it on an exterior door.
A good deadbolt should be easy to install and simple to use. It also helps to be able to replace a lost key quickly if necessary. The Kwikset Single Cylinder lock comes with many standard features common with interior or exterior locks. The lock works with a key from the outside and the turn of a knob on the inside.
If you happen to lose your keys a lot, the lock’s re-key feature will get you going again by following a simple set of instructions to prepare a new key. This will keep you from having to replace the entire lock if you lose the key. Since it is easy to install on a variety of doors, this lock also makes for a great extra layer of security on doors with existing locks. Add this as a second lock for extra peace of mind when necessary.
Many people hesitate to go with a budget option when searching for a deadbolt. While many budget locks will fail after a little bit of tampering, the Brinks 2717-109 Single Cylinder lock can hold its own. This deadbolt meets the ANSI Grade 2 security standard for locks, which means it can handle picks, drills, and bumps. The all metal construction also makes this a good option for people looking for a budget lock that will look good with any style of door.
The deadbolt includes a one inch long bolt that will fit doors between 1-⅜ to 1-¾ inches in thickness. A 4 way latch fits on the other side of the door for additional protection. Its anti-pry shield can help you protect the door from the rear side, so no one can jimmy the bolt open from the space in between the door and frame.
Single cylinder deadbolts are extremely popular with indoor use. Double cylinders, on the other hand, tend to be the lock of choice for outdoor use because of the extra security they provide. When using a single cylinder on an exterior door, you will want an extra tough lock like the Prime-Line Products U 9970. This deadlock will stand up to extra abuse with a die cast construction and brass colored finish.
The design of the deadlock includes a couple of additional features to prevent tampering. A tamper-resistant shutter guard will keep people from messing with the bolt or separating the lock from the door. The crossbolt design will also offer extra resistance from traditional deadbolts since it connects to more solid metal on the latch side.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
If having good security on both sides of the door is a priority for you, the double cylinder deadbolt is the best option. Having a key lock on both sides of the door will prevent people on any side from getting undesired access. On windowed doors, they are also handy if someone breaks the glass to turn the knob from the inside. Brinks’ 2718-119 Double Cylinder will give you this type of security with an all metal construction.
The lock can resist lock picking, drilling, and forceful shoves using a combination of its one inch deadbolt, anti-pry shield, and all around solid construction. The internal locking pins are made of steel which is perfect for standing up to saws and other small, slender tools that can fit through the cracks. Be sure to keep your keys for this one around.
Forgetful people who find it difficult to keep track of a key often like turning to the more advanced deadbolt options. Features like keypads and smart access are becoming more and more common. The Schlage BE365VCAM619 Camelot sets itself apart with the option for keyless entry. It starts with the same solid construction all the locks on this list have to resist tampering.
When you lose or don't want to use the key, a keypad is located front and center on the outside. The keys are made of silicon so they will resist wearing out over time. There is also a low power indicator for when the battery needs to be replaced. Rest assured that even when there is no power, the deadbolt will remain locked. Installing and using the lock takes just a few minutes to set up a custom key code. If you want to use it right away, the keypad comes with two preprogrammed codes as well.
Following the trend of everyday items becoming more and more smart, advanced deadbolts are now capable of integrating directly with home security systems. The Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot is one of the best options when you want top security and easy access for yourself or other family members. It is rated with the highest residential security rating of ANSI Grade 1, so it will stand up to even more abuse than other locks on this list.
The smart features begin with a touchscreen located right on the lock, allowing you to input key codes from this screen. For homes with automation systems, you can hook it up to lock or unlock the door from your phone. This is a good feature if you want to be able to control access to your home while your children or pets are by themselves. Finally, the lock includes a built in alarm so you or your neighbors will know when someone is trying to break in through tampering.
Despite all the smart features many deadbolts have, sometimes you only need a basic setup to get the security and privacy you want. A single-sided deadbolt is a perfect example. Kwikset’s 663 Single-Sided lock is just enough for anyone wanting to reinforce the security on outside doors or add some extra privacy on bedroom doors.
The lock skips any need for keys, and is meant for rooms where people want to lock themselves in. Since you can only lock it from the knob side, it is difficult to lock and forget. The one inch bolt and tamper resistance features will still provide the same ANSI Grade 3 security that has become the standard level of protection in the industry.
At The Spruce, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.