Key engaged deadbolts, fingerprint scanners, or virtual keys?
The world of door locking systems can be very overwhelming and we know that you want only the best to keep your home secure.
In this article, we’ll explore conventional and electronic door lock systems before helping you figure out which is the best door lock system for you.
Keep reading to learn more!
Conventional Door Lock Systems
Locks have been around since the 19th century. Although they weren’t using smart locks or fingerprint locks during that time, they did have some of the classics that we still use and rely on today for our lock services.
The deadbolt is one of the most popular lock options. It’s classic but extremely powerful. A thick bolt slides between the door and the frame and it can only be turned with a key. The more intricate the key the harder it is to pick the lock.
Sliding Door Locks
Sliding door locks are tricky because they are often the easiest to break into. Because sliding doors are usually made of glass or a breakable substance, a sliding door lock is the safest when it can only be turned by a key on both sides.
Lever handle sets are two-piece or full plate locks that feature a deadbolt and a thumb turn. You’ll often find these on the exterior of the front doors. They work by inserting and turning a key and then pressing down on the thumb plate to move the bolt out of the way.
Entry Door Levers
Entry door levels are ideal for a variety of homes because many are ADA compliant, making them suitable for persons of all abilities and great if your hands are full. The key is inserted into the door handle itself and once unlocked, very little force is needed to push down on the level and open the door.
Entry doorknobs are one of the most common types of doorknobs. To operate these round doorknobs, simply insert the key into the knob and rotate. This will release the bolt which can then be moved out of the door frame by turning the knob. While a safe and secure option, they are not ADA compliant and they can be difficult for those with carpal tunnel or similar injuries to operate.
Electronic Door Lock Systems
We live in an age of electronics and our smart door locking and home security systems are no different!
Let’s jump in.
Keypad Door Lock
A keypad door lock features a doorknob or a handle where a key can be inserted in order to operate. The shining feature though is a keypad that allows entry by inputting a series of numbers (usually between 4 to 10) which releases the deadbolt. A keypad door lock is a perfect option for those who don’t want to worry about keys and may also be sharing the code with others.
Most keypad door locks will also offer the option to change the code, so should you need to create a new pin after certain guests leave, you can be assured that they won’t be able to gain access again.
Remote Door Lock
Similar to the clicker that unlocks your car doors, a remote door lock allows you to lock and unlock your door at the touch of a button. This is a great system for those who usually have their hands full and can’t be bothered fumbling around with a key.
Voice Activated Door Lock
If you didn’t think we could get techier, think again! The voice-activated door lock is truly a thing of the future. A simple voice command from you or someone you’ve programmed for the lock to recognize will open and lock the door. This is the perfect solution for a home lock system.
Combination Door Lock
A combination door lock is a great solution that is perfect for a house with elementary or older aged kids. Because many children are familiar with combination locks because of school lockers, the combination lock system is a great backup or replacement for giving a child a key. While combination door locks can still be operated with a key, the combination acts as the ideal peace of mind that if someone gets locked out or loses a key, they can still get back in.
Fingerprint Door Lock
If you ever wanted to live in a movie about the year 3000, we’ve got the perfect solution. A fingerprint door lock that lets you open a locked door with literally, the touch of a finger. Perfect for anyone who is always losing keys or can never seem to find them at the bottom of a bag, the fingerprint lock means that you’ll never get locked out again.
Smartphone (Virtual Keys) Door Lock
Every Airbnb host’s dream is the smartphone lock. Virtual keys can be sent back and forth to users who can then use their smartphones to unlock the door at their convenience. It’s hard to beat this lock for the convenience and practicality that it offers.
Smartphone locks with virtual keys are ideal for both residential and commercial use.
General Smart Lock
A smart lock tends to combine many of the features mentioned above. Most will likely come with a traditional key in case all else fails, but you’ll be able to unlock your door with a voice command, your smartphone, a fingerprint and more. Many smart locks also allow you to set up access schedules, so if people are coming and going, your smart lock will know just who can come in and out.
Most smart locks will also integrate with different smart home systems like Alexa, Siri, Google Voice, Ring, or Nest.
These babies are pretty cool, but they do come at a price.
How to Choose the Right Door Lock System for You
We know that choosing the right home lock can be incredibly overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind during your search.
Consider What Material Your Door Is Made From
Depending on what your door is made from, different locks might be more successful than others.
If your door is made from PVCu, you’ll likely have a multipoint locking system that runs the length of the door. These doors are very secure and any lock system will be successful in keeping you and yours safe. Make sure that you purchase a lock with an anti-snap cylinder.
Sliding doors are often easy for intruders to gain access too because improper locks are used. We suggest using a key-operated bolt on the inside as well as the outside. This prohibits the window from being broken and a bolt from being turned from inside.
Wooden doors should have a reinforced night latch with a deadbolt. This means that one turn of the key locks the latch while another key rotation puts the deadbolt into place. This is a simple safety solution for heavy wooden doors.
Who Is Using the Keys?
If you’re running an Airbnb or frequently have house guests in and out, a conventional door lock may not be the best option unless you’re prepared to set up key retrieval systems.
Smart locks where virtual keys can be sent via smartphone are a fantastic idea for those who need to frequently give access to friends, family or guests.
If you have young kids who need to get into the house after school, a physical key might be fine for older and very responsible children, but a fingerprint door lock might be ideal for those who tend to forget where they left their keys. It’s hard to leave a fingerprint behind and there’s no need to remember numbers!
Learn Lock Grades
The lock industry grades locks on a 1 to 3 scale. Grade 1 locks are the most difficult to disable. They have hardened cylinders so they can’t be easily snapped and they have unique pin combinations that are incredibly difficult to disable. Grade 3 locks are weaker but will likely be more affordable than Grade 1 locks.
This information isn’t always listed on packages so you might need to check with the company or do a quick Google to find out how the lock is graded.
How Much Can You Spend?
This is, of course, one of the ultimate questions. Locks aren’t cheap, but paying for the damage done because of a break-in or replacing stolen items is probably more expensive than the lock in question.
Check with your insurance to see if they offer a discount for certain types of locks or if they’ll still cover break-ins if certain types of locks are used. Many insurance companies will be more supportive of deadbolt style locks, so it’s worth looking into before you commit to a certain lock type.
Go With the Top Locks of All Time
If you’re still unsure about which locks are the best for you, why not stick with the classics?
Here are the top locks of all time that are sure to keep your home secure:
- RR Brink
- Corbin Russwin
Any of these lock companies will be a great choice and they all offer a wide variety of lock options, from smart locks and virtual keys to classic key-operated deadbolts and entry doorknobs and door levers.
Secure Your Home More
Securing your home with a sophisticated door lock is just one step in the process to a safe home or business. There are a huge variety of smart home security systems that work in tandem with locks.
Here are a few top options.
Nest is known for its ease of use. It involves indoor and outdoor cameras, a doorbell, alarm, and smart lock that can all be viewed and controlled from a smartphone app.
This smart home security system is a great investment for those who like to have everything in one place.
While originally focused on doorbells, Ring Alarm now offers full home security solutions. With everyone from keypads and contact sensors to motion detectors and cameras, Ring Alarm is an ideal home safety solution. Everything is controlled from a smartphone app and you can also upgrade to have 24/7 professional monitoring.
If you’re on a budget, Blink XT is the perfect security solution. Cameras can be viewed via the smartphone app and the app will even alert you when motion is detected. Cameras are wireless and can operate on battery power. You’ll also be able to use a two-way talk feature and night vision to make sure that your home or commercial business is completely safe.
Guardzilla 360 Outdoor
With 360-degree cameras built to withstand an apocalypse, you’ll know that your home is completely safe. Everything is controlled from a smartphone app and features include high definition video and two-way talk.
Vivint Smart Home
Vivint is a superb option if you don’t want to install anything yourself. You purchase the security parts that you want and the company installs them. You pay a monthly subscription fee that includes 24/7 monitoring and remote access. The system is so advanced that it can even detect broken glass and you’ll be able to monitor everything from the smoke sensor to carbon monoxide and the thermostat.
You’ll be able to control everything from a panel installed on your wall where you’ll also be able to talk with Vivint’s team.
Remember that smart home episode from The Simpsons? We’re pretty sure they were using Vivint.
Upgrade Your Door Lock Today
Now that you know just what to look for in a door lock system, it’s time to purchase and get it installed for the safest night’s sleep that you’ve ever had.
If you’re located in Round Rock, Texas, get in touch with us today. We offer 24/7 emergency support for all of your lock needs, from car lockout to lock change. With our licensed locksmiths and 30 minute response time, we’ll make sure that you get exactly what you need with an upfront price.
Get in touch today for a quote about lock installation or for immediate locksmith help!