Best Home Deadbolt Lock in 2024

Last Updated on April 23, 2024

One sided deadbolt
One Sided Deadbolts Have no Exterior Key Hole

The best deadbolt locks for a home in 2024 is a one-sided deadbolt. A one-sided deadbolt is only visible from the inside of the home. From the exterior, there is no indication a deadbolt is installed. It is keyless, can never be picked, can never been bumped, the cylinder cannot be forced over, and it can’t be vandalized.

One-Sided Deadbolts Offer The Best Home Protection

One sided deadbolts are also commonly referred to as half deadbolts, and they are just that…half of a deadbolt.

On the inside of the home, you have a standard thumb turn, but on the outside of the home there is nothing. Nothing can be seen to indicate a lock is installed, making these deadbolts the best deadbolts for home security.

These door locks are installed 1/2 way into the interior side of the door. Since the installation hole does not go all the way through the door, from the outside of the home there is nothing visible that would suggest a lock is present.

One-Sided vs Single-Sided Deadbolts

Don’t confuse these with single-cylinder deadbolts. “Single” refers to the number of sides that the deadbolt has that uses a key, in this case, a single side. The interior side of the lock has a thumb turn that throws the deadbolt locked or open when rotated. Double-sided deadbolts use a key on both sides (the inside and the outside).

If you want our recommendation for best single-sided and double-sided deadbolts, including smart door locks, see our article on Best Lock Brands.

Recommended Brands

The Problems with Traditional Keyed Deadbolts

lock bumping graphic
Lock Bumping

The weak spots in all locks are the spots that can be attacked. For deadbolt locks this means the keyhole and the lock body itself.

  1. Picking: Pin cylinders make standard locks vulnerable to lock picking. Some brands are easier to pick than others, and high-security locks will often have keyways that are much more difficult to pick, but with YouTube, numerous videos exist showing how to pick almost all available locks.
  2. Bumping: Bumping is a technique where a specially made key is used to rapidly hit the pins inside of the lock cylinder, causing the pins jump into place. Anyone with a few dollars and YouTube can get everything needed to bypass nearly all home locks. See our video Demonstrating Lock Bumping.
  3. Drilling: If the above two methods don’t work, drilling is a common entry method. The idea is to aim for the pins securing the cylinder in place, and drill them out so the lock can be opened. With a visible keyhole, criminals know exactly where to drill.
  4. Impact: Locks are rated to withstand a number of hits. How many hits, and by what weight of hammer, determines the ultimate rating the lock receives.

Benefits of the One-Sided Deadbolt

No Exposed Parts

On the outside of the home’s door one-sided deadbolt locks have no visible components to attack. There is no indication that the lock is even installed on the door.

So it has none of the weaknesses above until such a time as it can be determined that a lock is present on the interior of the door.

Forced Entry

No hole to pick, no lock to bump (What is Locks Bumping), nothing visible to pry, break or jimmy open.

Combine this with a door reinforcement kit to protect the door and door frame from forced entry, and you are making this door practically impenetrable.

Numerous Safety Applications

Protection from Someone that Has Your House Key

If you’ve given keys to your home to someone that you no longer want to have access, engaging this deadbolt will keep them out until you can have your home rekeyed to work with a new key.

You don’t have to worry about them showing up unannounced and walking into your home while this lock are engaged.

Child Safety

This lock is also ideal for families with small children in the house.

Once your child is old enough to unlock your existing deadbolt and doorknob, only your constant attention can stop him from running outside on his/her own.

Installing a single-sided deadbolt high up on the door, out of reach, gives you the security benefits we mentioned plus gives you a way to stop your young child from exploring the world unbeknownst to you. ?

More Affordable than High-Security Home Deadbolt Locks

High Security Residential Deadbolt
High Security Mul-t-lock Deadbolt

High security locks are expensive!

They are built with the heaviest materials. They have patented, copy protected keys. They have the highest lock grade. They have pick resistant and bump proof cylinder technology. All of this adds to the cost.

It’s not uncommon to find good, high security deadbolts selling at over $300. And, if you need high security locks for any of the features above, they’re definitely worth the expense!

But, most homeowners do not need all that technology. You just need a pick proof, bump proof lock that can’t be bypassed without destroying the door.

The cost of a one-side deadbolt is under $30 (Price on Amazon).

How to Install a One-Sided Deadbolt

These locks do require a new hole be installed in the door. They cannot simply replace an existing lock.

Because of this, they are not easy to install for most homeowners. Installation consists of drilling the door hole for the lock and prepping the frame for the locks strike plate. You need to be very familiar with tools and carpentry.

Having said that, professional installation of a half deadbolt will only cost the same amount as a new, additional, regular deadbolt installation which is still much less than the cost of a high security deadbolt.

You’ll pay for a service call and about an hour of labor, plus the part you choose. See our article, “What do Locksmiths Charge?

Drawbacks of a One-Sided Deadbolt Lock

The only drawback to this lock is that it cannot be installed onto a door that you regularly use to enter and exist the home.

This is because the deadbolt must be locked from inside the home. There is no way to lock the deadbolt from the outside of the home.

In Arizona, we use our garages as the main entry and exit for the home. So this drawback does not apply.

if you do use an exterior door to enter/exit, you can only lock this deadbolt to protect you for that door when you are inside of the home.

Customer Testimonial

Hello Robert,

A few months ago I had a half deadbolt installed in my front door [by ACME Locksmith] to keep my toddler from being able to open and exit the front door. This device is placed much higher than the regular deadbolt and is only seen from the inside of the house. The intent was to keep the kids in but just a few months later, someone tried to break into my home via the front door (presumably using the “lock-bumping” technique). A key was inserted into the only visible keyhole. It didn’t take long for the dog to start barking and alerted us to the situation. The person left. I felt much safer knowing that if they had been able to “pick” our lock, they would have not been able to get in due to this second unseen lock.

Thank you ACME locksmith for recommending this and also pointing out some other safety recommendations while at my house.

Sincerely, Sharon

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