Best and Worst Door Locks for Your Home


Now that you’re ready to move into your new home, what’s the first order of business? Changing out all of the old locks, of course.

The locks on your doors are some of the most vulnerable entry points to your home. They’re designed to let you in while keeping the bad guys out. So it’s important that you get the best lock for your money.

Consumer Reports recently surveyed nearly two dozen popular locks on the market. A trio of reasonably priced locks got the “recommended buy” mark from the magazine. However, none was stellar enough to be recommended as a “best buy.” But the locks Consumer Reports liked include the Kwikset 980 ($30), the Baldwin Prestige 380 ($40) and the Falcon D241 ($55).

So while it’s entirely possible to pay in the triple digits for a lock — especially in the electronic lock category — the good news is you don’t have to.

Just one word of caution: You still may want to stay away from really cheap locks. Among the lowest ranked door locks was the Master Lock 5261D ($13), the Gatehouse DLX71 ($12) and Kwikset 660 ($17). Yet the two lowest-ranked locks of all were both mid-market: Prime-Line Segal SE 15361 ($50) and the Weslock 671 ($30).

In our increasingly digital age, many people favor electronic door locks over traditional ones. If that sounds like you, the only electronic door lock to get a recommendation from the magazine was the Schlage Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Alarm BE469NX CAM 619 ($200).

Consumer Reports offers this advice if you’re going to buy a new lock:

Look for locks with a 1-inch-long dead bolt and a reinforced-metal box strike.

Use 3-inch-long mounting screws during installation to lodge in the framing beyond the doorjamb.

Don’t forget about a high quality lock on the door that leads from the garage into your home.

Choose dead-bolt locks over the common key-in-knob variety. The latter can easily be opened with a credit card.