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Deadbolt Lock 101: Everything You Need to Know About Deadbolt Locks

by Wander Yang 19 Feb 2023 0 Comments
Deadbolt Lock 101: Everything You Need to Know About Deadbolt Locks

Home security is something that can never be taken lightly! And one of the first things you need to do to keep intruders at bay is to have your door locks reinforced. You need something which will be more than capable of keeping unwanted visitors out. But of course, you wouldn't want your convenience to be compromised either. This is where a deadbolt lock can prove to be the perfect solution. Yes, with deadbolt locks, you get the best of both worlds, convenience, and security!

What's A Deadbolt?

So let's start with the obvious question. What exactly is a deadbolt lock, and why do so many people prefer it? It's basically a lock bolt moved by either an access control system or by turning the key. But there's a catch. It does not use a spring!

These locks are heavier and thicker compared to standard spring latches and are made from steel or brass. If you want to ramp up your home security, these offer you a pretty cost-effective solution.

Mechanical & Smart Deadbolt Locks

Why Do They Call It A Deadbolt?

Because they are dead! Yes, we are not exaggerating! As we have mentioned, these locks do not use a spring. So while spring latches can be pushed back manually, these ones can't. Hence, they are called deadbolts because they are pretty much unmovable. Sounds interesting, right?

What Are The Parts Of A Deadbolt Lock?

We bet you want to know more about how these deadbolt locks work. After all, this is about your home security. Naturally, you wouldn't want to take any chances. So let's find out more about the major parts of deadbolt lacks that make them a worthy choice for your home.

Deadbolt Locks Parts Diagram


These are present in single-cylinder deadbolts too. Depending on the direction they are turned, the thumb-turns will keep the door locked and unlocked.

Turn Piece (CAM BAR)

This one's connected to the thumb-turner and extends into the exterior of the lock. When you turn the key or punch in the access code, the turn piece will move with the thumb-turner.


This is the main part. It's part of the lock placed into the strike plate, which keeps the door locked. If the deadbolt is not inserted into the strike plate, the door will open automatically.

Cylinder Collar

This is the solid, round metal you see covering the lock's body which protects the lock from being picked or tampered with. The shape of the lock is such that it's not easy to grip it with pliers or a wrench.

Strike Plate

This will be installed on your door frame on the opposite side of the deadbolt. When the bolt is pulled away from the strike plate, the door unlocks.

Connecting Screws (MOUNTING SCREWS)

Naturally, the lock has to be held together, which is what the connecting screws too. These are usually hidden and covered.

How Does A Deadbolt Lock Work?

The deadbolt lock is unlocked either via a key or through an access code. The lock's cylinder comprises pins of various sizes. And there are springs on top of these pins that keep them aligned. When the correct key is used or the right access code is punched in, the pins align, and the door is unlocked.

Remember, that if you put in the wrong code or key, the pins will not align, and hence the cylinder will not turn.

Why Is A Deadbolt Lock Better Than A Traditional Latch Lock?

Why do most people prefer deadbolt locks these days rather than traditional latch locks? Because the deadbolt's bolt does not use a spring! Typically, the spring of a traditional latch lock can be compressed and moved, which can unlock the door.

But this cannot happen in the case of a deadbolt. This lock will only be opened when the cylinder is rotated correctly.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Deadbolt Locks?

Deadbolts are definitely pretty secure, but that does not mean they don't have any drawbacks. You need to be aware of both their pros and cons to figure out if these locks will be a suitable choice for your property.

Pros Of Deadbolt Locks

  • A deadbolt lock is not easy to break through as it's made from machined steel. They are harder to pick and tamper, too, because the cylinder will not rotate easily.
  • Despite the high security they offer, deadbolt locks are actually pretty easy to install. In fact, you can do the job yourself too.
  • Deadbolt locks are less costly compared to smart locks while ensuring that your home security is not compromised.

Cons Of Using A Deadbolt Lock

  • If you have double cylinder locks, dealing with emergencies can become problematic. The lock will not open quickly even from the inside unless you punch in the code or insert the correct key.
  • Although deadbolt locks are indeed pretty secure, they can still be picked and disassembled. So you will need to take some other measures for your house security.

What Are The Types Of Deadbolt Locks?

You will come across various types of deadbolt locks in the market, and you have to figure out which ones will be perfect for your use.

Single Cylinder Deadbolt

These have a keyhole on the outer side with a thumb turn on the inner side of the door. The lock will be inserted into the strike plate when it's turned.

This one's suitable for houses where there's no glass door or window within at least 40 inches of the thumb turn.

Double Cylinder Deadbolt

This one's activated by a key from both the external and internal sides of the door.

Smart Deadbolt Lock

This is one of the technological innovations designed for your convenience. With this deadbolt lock, you get keyless convenience. The best thing about this lock is that you don't have to carry around a bunch of keys with you. The lock has a keypad in which you have to punch in the access code.

Some other beneficial features of this lock include the options of temporarily disabled user codes, one-time user codes, and so on. These also have a lockout function.

Some smart deadbolt locks even use radio frequency that locks and unlocks the door when you are 30 feet away. So forgetting your password wouldn't be an issue.

Are Deadbolts Safe? Can A Door Locked With A Deadbolt Be Kicked In?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your security. Deadbolt locks are harder to be kicked in because they are made from machined steel. Of course, this depends on the type of deadbolt lock you have installed too. And you also need to ensure that your strike plate is upgraded.

But if you have a high-quality, sturdy deadbolt lock installed, the risk of break-ins will be reduced to a great extent.

How Much Does A Deadbolt Cost?

Keyless deadbolts can cost you somewhere between $50 and $200. Of course, this depends on the type of lock you buy. For single cylindrical deadbolts, you can expect to pay $20 to $70.

How To Install Deadbolt Locks?

It's up to you to decide whether you want to get professional installation for your locks or do it yourself. If you want to manage it yourself, here are the steps to follow.

  • Mark center holes on the face and edge after positioning a paper template on the door edge. Use a hole saw to drill the face hole. If you want to prevent splintering, make sure to drill from both sides. Use a spade bit to drill the edge hole.
  • Now insert your deadbolt lock into the edge hole and mark the outline. After chiseling out the mortise for the deadbolt, screw the deadbolt to the edge of the door.
  • The deadbolt mechanism has to be screwed to the door, wherein the turn level will be on the inside while the keyed cylinder will be on the outside.
  • Use a felt-tip pen to mark the end of the deadbolt.
  • Close the door and throw the bolt, which will leave a mark on the doorjamb. Now use the strike plate to mark the deadbolt hole and drill it in the jamb with a spade bit.
  • Mark the mortise outline for the strike plate with a utility knife and cut it out. Finally, set the strike plate in jamb mortise and secure it with long screws.

For more installation tutorial video, please click to access our installtion guide page.


Deadbolt locks are definitely one of the most secure options to improve your home security. However, it’s vital that you learn more about their features and benefits to ensure that you use them in the best way possible. Furthermore, make sure that you buy your deadbolt locks only from a reliable place. Remember, it’s your security at stake. Do not leave anything to chance!

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