For most of us, security is a top priority when selecting door locks for our homes, followed by cost, style and finish. Choosing the best door locks for your doors depends on whether a door is interior or exterior, because each type of door requires completely different locking mechanisms. For example, it would not make sense to install a deadbolt on a bathroom door or a push-button privacy lockset on a front entry door. But before we get into that, let’s learn more about door locks in general and which ones are the most durable.
ANSI Grading System for Locks & Deadbolts
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) established three grades for door locks to help identify the quality and durability of locksets and deadbolts. Each product must pass operational and security tests, including cycles, door strikes and weight test. One cycle consists of the knob or handle turning completely to retract the latch bolt and open the door, then it is released, allowing the door to re-latch. ANSI Grade 1 is the best choice for exterior residential door locks.
Grade 1 – Best
Highest grade security available. Meets commercial building requirements and is available for residential uses via deadbolts. There are not standard knobs, handlesets or mortise lockset that will meet ANSI Grade 1 certifications, only commercial lever handles.
- Knobs must withstand 800, 000 cycles, 6 door strikes and a 360 pound weight test
- Deadbolts must withstand 250, 000 cycles and 10 door strikes (hammer test)
Grade 2 – Better
Meets light commercial building requirements; exceeds standard residential security and building requirements.
- Knobs must withstand 400, 000 cycles, 4 door strikes and a 250 pound weight test
- Deadbolts must withstand 150, 000 cycles and 5 door strikes (hammer test)
Grade 3 – Good
Meets residential building requirements only and provides minimal residential security.
- Knobs must withstand 200, 000 cycles, 2 door strikes and a 150 pound weight test
- Deadbolts must withstand 100, 000 cycles and 2 door strikes (hammer test)
Deadbolt locks provide the most security on residential doors. The term dead is used, because these locks do not contain springs. A single-cylinder deadbolt is operated with a key from the outside and with a turn button on the inside, and a double-cylinder is operated with a key on both the inside and outside. Double-cylinder deadbolts can pose a danger during an emergency if the key is missing or not readily available.
Kwikset Double Cylinder Deadbolt Review – ANSI Grade 1
Price: MSRP .10 (less on Amazon)
This double-cylinder deadbolt is operated by a key on both sides and features a SmartKey cylinder for easy re-keying. It has a fully adjustable latch and deadbolt to fit all standard doors. It is an extremely loved deadbolt by consumers and the ratings are high for it.
Baldwin Single Cylinder Deadbolt Review – ANSI Grade 2
Price: MSRP $41.00 (less on Amazon)
From the Baldwin Prestige collection, this single-cylinder deadbolt can be paired with several knobs from the collection. It features solid zinc construction and SmartKey re-key technology. Customers have given this deadbolt high rankings and it is a dependable deadbolt.
Locksets and handlesets are medium-security entrance door locks often combined with a deadbolt. They have two doorknobs that can be locked from the inside and the outside. One doorknob locks from the inside by turning or depressing a small button, while a key must unlock the outside knob. A handleset features a decorative door handle on the exterior.
Kwikset featuring SmartKey Juno Knob and Double Cylinder Deadbolt Review – ANSI Grade 2
Price: MSRP $73.00 (less on Amazon)
This combo pack provides two locking points: keyed entry and a deadbolt. It features SmartKey re-key technology, a fully adjustable latch, and double cylinder deadbolt.
Kwikset featuring SmartKey Tavaris Single Cylinder Handleset with Vedani Lever Review – ANSI Grade 2
Price: MSRP $232 (less on Amazon)
A single cylinder handleset, it can be locked or unlocked by a key on the outside, or the turn button on the inside. It features a fully reversible interior lever that fits both right-handed and left-handed doors and SmartKey re-key technology.