Last Updated on February 7, 2023
The Best Deadbolt Lock for Your Home
The best deadbolt you can install on your home is a one-sided deadbolt. The one-sided deadbolt is a keyless door lock that has never been picked, has never been bumped, can’t be forced over by jamming something in the cylinder, you can’t use a card to manipulate the latch, and no one will attack this lock, because it is not visible from the outside of the home.
If you’re looking for the best single cylinder deadbolt (a keyed deadbolt) visit our article on “Best Door Lock Brands.” If you want to know Our Favorite Smart Locks, check out our article.
The security issues with regular deadbolts.
Security benefits of one-sided deadbolts.
The Negatives about one-sided deadbolts
What is a One-Sided Deadbolt Lock?
Best Budget Deadbolt
Kwikset 663 Series
Best Security Deadbolt
Schlage B80 Series
One sided deadbolts are also commonly referred to as half deadbolts, or single sided deadbolts, because they only have one side.
On the inside of the home, you have a standard thumb turn, but on the outside of the home there is nothing that can be seen to indicate a lock is there, making these deadbolts the best door locks most secure door lock you can install.
These door locks are installed only a little over 1/2 way into 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.
Don’t confuse these with single cylinder deadbolt locks. Single cylinder locks have a keyhole (lock cylinder) on one side and a thumb turn on the other side. If you want our recommendation for best single cylinder deadbolts, including smart door locks, see our article on Best Lock Brands.
The Problems with Standard Traditional Deadbolts
- 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 more difficult to pick, but with YouTube, numerous videos exist showing how to pick almost all available locks.
- 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.
- 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.
Benefits of the One-Sided Deadbolt
One Sided Deadbolts are Keyless Door Locks
By keyless we don’t mean it’s a smart lock. We mean there is only a thumb turn, and no lock cylinder thus, no keyhole.
Standard locks have keyholes. Single cylinder deadbolts have keyhole on the outside of the door and double cylinder deadbolts have keys on both sides.
One-sided deadbolts have no keyhole.
A single-sided or half deadbolt is a deadbolt that has one one visible side (see photo). On the inside of your home, you lock the deadbolt with a thumb turn, just as you would any other deadbolt, but on the outside of your home, there’s nothing there.
No hole to pick, no lock to bump (What is Locks Bumping), nothing visible to pry, break or jimmy open.
In Arizona, side garage doors are one of the most common points of entry for someone breaking into your home. These doors are often behind a brick fence giving intruders plenty of time to work on your visible locks without being seen by neighbors or people walking by.
Then, once someone bypasses the exterior door lock, and are in your garage, they can work at breaking into the home from inside of your closed garage without worry of being seen.
The one-sided deadbolt protects that door and any other exterior door it’s installed on from all types of silent lock attacks (lock picking and lock bumping), It also protects against forced entry because the location of the lock is unknown so criminals won’t know where to drill.
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.
The only way someone will be getting past this door, is to bring out some very noisy tools or using an incredible amount of force, and that attracts unwanted attention.
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.
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. 🙂
Cost Benefits of the One-Sided Deadbolt
You Don’t Need to Buy a High Security Deadbolt
High security locks are expensive!
They are built with the heaviest materials. They have patented, copy protected keys. They have the highest ANSI grade (ANSI grade 1, see “Lock Ratings Explained“). 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.
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?”
The Negative About Half Deadbolts
The only real negative that may dissuade you from using the lock is that it cannot be used on your primary home entry door. That is, the one you enter and exit through.
In Arizona, we mainly use our garage doors for this, so that the very secure one-sided deadbolt can be placed on all exterior doors.
The solution in this case is to install this lock on all non-primary doors, and then install one our Best Standard Deadbolt Locks (preferably the high security lock) on your main access door.
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.
Call us at 480.380.2263 to install these locks on your home today.
Robert has been the Owner of ACME Locksmith, Arizona’s #1 Rated Locksmith, since 2007. Robert’s company has provided locksmith service to over 160,000 Phoenix houses and businesses.