Source: Kwikset Blog
While there are many forms of home security, from home automation to cameras, the most important thing is undoubtedly the lock and deadbolt. With a wide range of options to choose from, it can be a hassle to find the lock you need. Thankfully, Kwikset recently had a post in which they asked their locksmiths and engineers a few questions, and we’ll summarize it here. The experts in question are Mark Bloom, Chris Taylor, and Michael Winardi.
Knobs, Levers, and Deadbolts
As far as types of locks are concerned, the two types are knobs/levers and deadbolts. A combination of these are typically found on your main entry doors, but Winardi points out, “knobs and levers are secondary security, while deadbolts are your main security feature and the preferred lock when it comes to securing your home.” So buying a good deadbolt is paramount in securing your doors.
Buying new locks isn’t a frequent occurrence for most homeowners. Usually you purchase new locks when you move in, have a renovation, or after a break in. After installing you typically trust that it’ll work well enough, and most people will invest in style rather than researching function. The best thing to do is to purchase a quality lock on day one. Just as you’d want to know how to judge the quality of a wristwatch, there are tips to keep in mind when buying a new lock. The following are a few steps to take to ensure you made the right purchase.
The three main functional categories of locks are as follows:
So the first step is undoubtedly figuring out what function you need the lock to perform. Function determines the level of security that the lock needs, and what level of use it’ll be under. Obviously entry locks need to be of the highest quality, they protect your front and back doors, but privacy and passage aren’t as important. These locks are usually for your hall doors and closets, so security isn’t as important. You may want to get a nicer lock for your bathroom though, trust us.
After choosing function, the next step is determining your lock’s endurance. Endurance here has less to do with how many laps your lock may run and more with its grade. Wait grade, now my lock is being graded? Well, sort of. Residential locks come in three Grades: 1, 2, and 3. Grade 1 locks offer the highest level of security, with 2 and 3 being slightly less secure. While deadbolts come in all three Grades, residential levers and knobs usually only come in Grades 2 and 3. So make sure to buy the highest quality deadbolt available.
Only after considering function and endurance should aesthetics be brought up. Bloom points out that “aesthetics will always be an important deciding factor, but it shouldn’t be number one.” Security is the most important factor, but you don’t want your lock to look ugly either. Thankfully both Kwikset and Schlage make beautifully designed deadbolts and door hardware. So now that you know what to look for, make sure to secure your home with a high quality lock.
And here’s one more tip from Kwikset’s Chris Taylor, “When you’re securing your home, make sure you’re using a Grade 1 deadbolt with a 1-inch throw to maximize security. A throw is the actual bolt that slides into the door jamb and locks the door.”