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Most burglaries involve criminals forcibly entering your home, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics—and that includes coming through your front door. But even if you’re diligent about locking up, you need a good deadbolt to thwart thieves.
That’s why CR engineers conduct kick-in tests using a custom-built jig that swings a 100-pound steel battering ram against a locked door. They repeat the test eight times, with the ram raised to increasing heights—or until the lock fails.
“In our brute-force kick tests, the cause of failure is more often than not the short screws used to attach the strike plate to the door frame,” says Misha Kollontai, CR’s test engineer for door locks. “When this is the cause, replacing the included strike plate with a reinforced strike, which costs as little as $10, improves the lock’s resistance to kicking by magnitudes.”
After putting dozens of locks to the test, we’ve selected six of the best from our door lock ratings. The list has models from Bosma, Eufy, Kwikset, Medeco, Schlage, and Yale. We’ve also included four models to skip. These performed poorly in our physical challenges and/or our tests specific to smart locks. CR members can click on each model name for detailed ratings and reviews. (And if you’re worried about thieves breaking in through windows, see our home security system ratings.)
Best Standard Door Lock
CR’s take: The Yale Premier Single Cylinder YH82 is one of the strongest conventional deadbolts you can buy. It stands up well to kick-ins as sold and receives a Good rating for drilling, which is the highest score of any standard deadbolt in our ratings. Other locks are better designed to resist picking, though. This Yale lock also comes with a lifetime warranty on its internal mechanism and its finish.
Best High-Security Door Lock
CR’s take: The Medeco Maxum 11TR503-19 is the strongest deadbolt across all of our lock categories. It rates Excellent for drilling, withstands kick-ins very well, and is designed in a way that makes it very difficult to pick.
Best Electronic Door Lock
CR’s take: If you want a door lock with a keypad but don’t want it to connect to the internet or your smartphone, consider this Schlage Touch Keyless FE375 CAM electronic deadbolt. It receives an Excellent rating for its resistance to picking and proves difficult to drill and kick in. This Schlage comes with a 25-year warranty on its internal mechanism and a five-year warranty on its finish.
Best Smart Lock
CR’s take: The Kwikset Obsidian 954OBNZW500 is the strongest smart lock in our ratings, at least when it comes to its strength against brute-force attacks. In our tests, it receives an Excellent rating for drilling thanks to its keyless design, as well as high marks for kick-ins and lock picking. The only thing about this lock that might make you consider other options? It uses a special wireless network called Z-Wave. That means you’ll need to connect it to a smart home hub that supports Z-Wave devices, such as a Samsung SmartThings smart home hub, Hubitat smart home hub, or Ring Alarm system. Still, the lock offers a number of useful features, including a touch-screen keypad for PINs, an access log to track who comes and goes, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Best WiFi Smart Lock
CR’s take: More and more smart locks are coming to market that connect directly to WiFi without the need for adapters and hubs, making setup easier and less complicated for consumers. The best model with built-in WiFi in our ratings is the Eufy Smart Lock Touch & WiFi. It receives strong scores in our brute-force tests for kick-ins and picking, and even manages a Good rating for drilling despite not being a keyless model. It also performs well in our tests for ease of remote access, convenience, and connectivity. Its features include a fingerprint scanner for one-touch unlocking, a touch-screen keypad for PINs, auto-locking, an access log, and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Best Retrofit Smart Lock
CR’s take: The Bosma Aegis is a retrofit smart lock, meaning it only replaces the interior side of your deadbolt, allowing you to keep using your existing keys. In our tests, it receives high scores across the board, including an Excellent rating for ease of remote access. It also comes with plenty of features, such as auto-locking, auto-unlocking, voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, electronic keys, an access log, a door open/close sensor, and a tamper alarm to warn you of a possible break-in.
Worst Door Locks
CR’s take: The LockState LS electronic lock is highly susceptible to drilling, picking, and kick-ins as sold. This lock simply won’t do much to protect your front door.
CR’s take: The MiLocks BLEF-02SN is a Bluetooth-only smart lock that can’t stand up to drilling, picking, and kick-ins as sold. It also performs poorly in our tests for ease of remote access and convenience. All of that means this lock is neither very strong nor smart.
CR’s take: The MiLocks ZWF-02BN smart lock is very easy to drill, pick, and kick in (even when reinforced). There are stronger, more feature-rich smart locks worth considering.
Yale Edge Series YR82EB
CR’s take: The Yale Edge Series YR82EB is a weak deadbolt that can’t stand up to drilling, picking, and kick-ins as sold. There are better options for the money.
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