Which deadbolts work the best?

June 6, 2011 3:33:20 PM PDT
Just last week, we told you summertime is the worst when it comes to home burglaries, and the most common tactic is kicking in the door. Consumer Reports just tested 19 deadbolt locks and can tell you which ones will protect you and which ones won't!

Besides the kick-in test, technicians spent weeks sawing, picking, wrenching and drilling to see how secure locks are. In all, Consumer Reports tested 19 locks.

"If you have a standard door lock like this, choosing any deadbolt is going to be a big improvement," said John Galeoafiore with Consumer Reports.

A significant problem is weak strike plates.

"Most of the locks come with a strike plate like this that attaches to the door frame and the bolt goes into it. The problem is that they're very thin metal, and the screws are short, so it can't attach to the home's framing," Galeoafiore said.

All too often the strike plates failed Consumer Reports' tests.

Of all the locks tested, only one passed all of Consumer Reports' tests. It's the Medeco Maxum deadbolt that costs $190. It's the only one a drill couldn't get through.

Testers also recommend the Falcon model D241 for $55. While it isn't drill resistant, it did well in all of the other Consumer Reports tests.

If you already have a deadbolt, Consumer Reports says there's an inexpensive way to strengthen it. Replace your strike plate with a heavy-duty one. Consumer Reports recommends the Mag High Security Box Strike that goes for $10.

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