Humans have been making high security locks for over 1100 years. That means there are a lot of contenders fighting for the title of the best high security lock.
That’s where this article comes in.
Relying on years of experience as a licensed locksmith, we know what it takes to take the crown as the best house lock.
Keep reading to get our breakdown of the best traditional and digital high security locks on the market.
Aren’t All Locks the Same?
You might be wondering how there can be a “best” door lock … aren’t all locks the same? Despite looking the same from the outside, the mechanisms between locks vary wildly. Luckily, ANSI grades can help you identify the level of protection a lock offers.
The door lock grades provided by ANSI are made with help from the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) and the standards developers. These grades also distinguish between high-security locks that cost more but offer higher protection and lower cost options for low-risk situations.
What Makes a Lock Safe?
The strength of a lock comes from its resistance to the five methods of “breaking in.”
1) Picking – Although it’s not very common, picking a lock is the most classic way of breaking in. This is what you see in TV shows where they use a paperclip and hairpin to magically break into a house in seconds.
2) Raking – This way is very similar to picking, but a special tool is used. This tool pushes two or more tumblers (inner locks) simultaneously, making the process much faster and easier.
3) Bumping – Bumping a lock is the easiest way to pop open a lock. The perp doesn’t need any practice — all they need is a bump key. A bump key is placed into the lock, an external force like a hammer, hand, or brick is applied to the key and POP… the lock is opened.
4) Pick Gun – Picking a lock traditional takes practice and patience, with a pick gun, the user simply places the long tip in the lock and waits. After enough “tries” the gun’s tip will push all the tumblers up and release the lock.
5) Drilling it – There’s not much here to explain. Locksmiths don’t like drilling locks, but burglars do. It’s loud, it’s destructive, and it leaves evidence of a break-in, unlike the other methods. This very much a “last resort.”
You should only choose locks that make performing the methods listed above difficult or flat out impossible. While it makes a locksmith’s job harder, it can often make a thief’s life completely miserable. That’s why we recommend you only use ANSI Grade 1 Locks.
ANSI Grade I
ANSI Grade 1 door locks offer the highest level of lock security. Not only are they nearly impossible to pick, but they are also resistant to tampering with the lock’s parts like removing pins, screws, etc. These are the only locks you’ll see used in high-security and commercial settings like banks and office buildings. That’s how you know they’re good enough to provide home security.
When buying ANSI Grade 1 locks, you should search for a burglary-resistant lock. These locks will have a higher number of internal pins. This makes the key difficult to duplicate, and the lock can withstand a significant amount of force, thereby preventing lock bumping attacks.
Traditional Vs Smart Lock
With the rise of smart homes where everything from the coffee pot to the litter box is connected, it’s no wonder you see more and more smart locks on homes. But what’s the difference between a smart lock and a traditional door lock?
The main difference between the two is convenience. Smart locks have features such as auto-locking, fingerprint scanning, guest codes, and many more that traditional locks can’t offer. These features do come at a cost though.
Smart locks also have another layer of vulnerability that traditional locks don’t have to account for, which is the cyber threat that smart locks face. This means that smart locks have to fight two battles: the physical and the cyber. That’s why we recommend keeping smart locks reserved for low-risk uses.
Best “Traditional” High Security Lock Winner
The Kwikset SmartKey and its deadbolt counterpart have been the best door locks for over a decade. These locks are kick-in resistant, bump proof, pick resistant, and saw resistant all with a single key.
The interior structure is entirely different from anything on the market, making the classic break-in methods useless. Every locksmith knows that there isn’t much to be done about unlocking a Kwikset SmartKey lock. They won’t even bother trying to pick, rake or bump it because drilling through the lock is the only option.
Another great benefit of the Kwikset Smartkey is that you can change out keys much easier than it would be to, say, change your car keys.
Loved by locksmiths and feared by thieves, this should be your first choice when looking for a new door lock.
Best “Smart” High Security Lock Winner
Not many smart locks on the market can boast a grade 1 ANSI rating. That doesn’t mean you have to settle, though, there are still some great options. The best of those great options is the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt.
It has all the features you want from a smart lock without sacrificing security:
- Controllable from anywhere
- Built-in alarm technology senses potential door attacks
- Easy to set up and program
- Assignable guest codes or guest phones
- No fees or subscriptions
- Automatic locking
Which one is right for you?
At the end of the day, these locks are so good that you won’t regret picking either one. If cost is not an issue and you are looking for the most convenient option, then spending the money to pick up the $200 Schlage Sense is your best choice. Whereas if your priority is safety and you don’t mind using a traditional key, then go with the Kwikset SmartKey.
Remember that even the best lock in the world is ineffective if not installed correctly. So when the time comes to install your new door lock, you can call us at (941) 400-1038 and we’ll install it for you professionally.