We are asked time and again if a handle lock provides adequite protection for an exterior entrance door.
The simple answer is NO!
There are many reasons that a handle lock provides inadequite protection for your property. The design and construction of a handle lock lends itself to easy defeat. The latch contains a spring which if not properly installed can allow the spring deadlatch to be forced open using a thin device like a credit card to push back the latch and open the door. In some instances a large enough set of vicegrips or channel lock pliers can be used to defeat the handle lock by crushing the knob and then applying brute force in order to remove the handle and open the door. A well positioned boot to the lock can also break the spring latch and force the door open. If the door opens outward, that is towards you, and the deadlatch is not properly installed then basically any object you can find that will fit between the door and the frame can be used to push the latch back and open the door. Even a flat blade screwdriver will get the job done.
On the other hand, a Deadbolt lock provides a much higher degree of security, especially one that is well designed.
There are many deadbolt manufacturers supplying the market and there are some drastic differences in quality. You can’t expect a dollar store deadbolt to provide your property with maximum security. There are some reasonably decent deadbolt locks available through local retailers and big box stores but you need to know what you are looking for. Our opinion of any locks where the manufacturer claims that the consumer can rekey the lock is really something you should stay away from. Take it from a professional when I say that there have been many instances over the years since these locks have been introduced to the market where they have fallen apart and locked out a property owner. Big box and local stores carry the brand name Schlage. A B-520 model is available through local retailers and offers sufficient protection, however, if you want to get away from a cast metal cylinder and get into a higher grade solid brass cylinder then the Schlage B-560 is the deadbolt for you. These deadbolts are usually only available through professional locksmiths and locksmith supply houses.
A Schlage B-560 deadbolt lock has the following security features built-in:
1) A hardened and tempered steel ring that is hidden by the trim ring that encompasses the lock face and defeats attacks with vicegrips and crowbars.
2) The exterior ring is a maximum security slip ring so that if you do attach a pair of visegrips to this ring it will spin. since the ring cannot be crushed by a set of vice grips you cannot clamp onto the face of the lock, exert brute force, break off the screws and gain entry to the property.
3) The B-560 deadbolt features 1/4″ bolts that sandwich the lock into the door. Virtually impossible to break and takes a considerable amount of work to drill out.
4) The cylinder is made of solid brass and is of a heavy duty construction.
5) The bolt has a hardened tempered steel center that is impossible to cut.
6) When the bolt is fully extended outward from the door it is 1 inch in length and impossible to push back into the door using brute force.
7) The lock cylinder is usually of a 6 pin construction which makes it a little bit harder to pick open.
Our professional advice:
Given the many ways that a handle lock on your door can be easily circumvented it is simply not enough to effectively protect your property. A well built deadbolt lock will cost you a little bit more but in the long run will offer maximum protection for yourself, your family and property.
Security Article Written by: Toronto Locksmith