Burglars have different techniques of breaking into homes and kicking a door down is one of them. But you probably have heard deadbolts are the best door locks that can prevent a break-in, yet wondering if they can actually withstand a forced entry like kick down? If that sounds like you, then this article has valuable information for you. So let’s dive in!
Can you kick down a door with a deadbolt?
Generally speaking, deadbolts are sturdy locks that can withstand kick in and other forced entry attempts. However, a door with a deadbolt can still be kicked down if the door itself is not solid.
So, to protect your door against kick in, you want to make sure both the lock and door are of high-quality grade. See our guide on how to secure your front door and other entry doors here.
That said, let’s take a more detailed look at deadbolts—the different types and ratings.
Types of Deadbolts
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A deadbolt is what it is—a locking mechanism that requires a key to retract the bolt—to lock and unlock your door. However, they are different types of deadbolts, and you may want to learn about them to help you get the right ones for your door.
If you’re ready, then let’s head right into it.
1. Single Cylinder Deadbolt
Single-cylinder deadbolts are designed with a single keyhole on the exterior. They’re durable locks—depending on the brand and grade.
The locks are perfect for residential homes and are quite popular. You can use them on interior doors and some selected exterior doors. But you should check their ratings to see if they’re ideal for front doors and other entry doors.
2. Double Cylinder Deadbolts
Unlike single-cylinder, the double cylinder deadbolts are designed with keyholes on the interior and exterior of the lock. The locks are considered more secure than the single-cylinder locks, as you can lock them when you’re inside and outside.
Double cylinder deadbolts can be used on residential and commercial properties—not prone to burglars’ attacks. However, the locks are not allowed for residential homes in some States, so you may have to note that.
Overall, the locks are secure and can protect your door from a kick in and other forced entry attempts.
3. Electronic Deadbolts
You may call them smart deadbolts, keyless deadbolts, Wi-Fi deadbolts, and so on. These deadbolts are designed to allow you to lock and unlock your door without using a physical key. However, they still maintain the status of a deadbolt as they’re not completely keyless.
Most electronic deadbolts feature a keyhole that can be engaged with a physical key. It may be a single or double keyhole—but this depends on the brand/model and what you want.
4. One-Sided Cylinder Deadbolts—with Exterior Trim
You probably have seen a deadbolt with no exterior keyhole. That’s a typical one-sided cylinder deadbolt. They are designed with one keyhole—on the interior, while the exterior is covered with a plate. These types of locks are commonly used on back doors that do not require opening them from the exterior.
You can find them in small businesses back doors and some homes, though not quite popular in residential homes. You should only use them on your back doors if you don’t open them frequently.
Like other deadbolts, they are strong and could withstand forced entry based on the grade.
5. One-Sided Deadbolt Without Outside Trim
This is also a one-sided cylinder deadbolt designed for back doors. It’s the same as the one mentioned above, but differs slightly—as it has no outside trim.
You can install it on a door, and it won’t show any sign of a deadbolt on the exterior door.
These types of deadbolts are used on back doors and are somewhat recommended for security purposes; burglars may have a hard time looking for the exact position of the lock, as there is nothing to show the position of the deadbolt on the outside of your door.
How are Deadbolts Rated?
Deadbolts, as rated by ANSI/BHMA, are grouped into three classes—Grade 1 to 3. This grading is based on sturdiness and overall performance. And that determines the lock suitable for commercial or residential use. Here’s a more detailed look at deadbolts ratings:
Deadbolts rated Grade 1 are perfect for commercial and residential properties. The locks are tested and confirmed to withstand kick in and other forms of forced entry.
More so, the locks can endure over 1 million rotation cycles. For improved security, you should install Grade 1 deadbolts with longer set screws and latch bolts.
Overall, Grade 1 deadbolts are the best for residential and commercial properties in terms of strength to withstand break-ins.
Grade 2 deadbolts are meant for residential doors but not as strong as Grade 1 deadbolts. They are also cheaper than Grade 1, perhaps the reason most homeowners prefer to use them.
Though they’d secure your home, they are considered average and not the best for front doors and other entry doors. You may consider using Grade 1 deadbolts for entry doors and Grade 2 for other doors.
Grade 2 locks may also be considered as low-grade commercial locks.
Grade 3 deadbolts are the least in this ranking, so they’re not the best locks to prevent kick down and other break-in attempts. However, they’re still better than some cylinder locks and deadbolts that aren’t graded.
So, if you must use Grade 3 deadbolts, ensure you don’t use them on entry doors. You may use them as support locks where you have other sturdy locks.
They can also be a good fit for privacy doors that require keyed locks.
Note: BHMA recently changed its grading system from numeric to alphabetic scale—A to C, which is the same as 1 to 3.
Which Deadbolt is Best for my Doors?
As you have read, they are different deadbolts available, and each one is rated Grade 1, 2, or 3. So to choose a suitable one for your door, you want to first consider the door you want to install the deadbolt on.
For commercial doors, go for commercial grade locks based on the ANSI ratings. Commercial Grade doors are stronger than other deadbolts and can withstand frequent locking and unlocking, as well as offer the best security for commercial properties.
For residential locks, Grade 1 deadbolts are well suited for front doors and other entry doors, while Grade 2 deadbolts are ideal for interior doors.
You may opt for a single cylinder, double cylinder, or other types, but ensure you select them based on the ratings. More so, note that some States building codes do not allow double-cylinder deadbolts, you may want to check that too to ensure you don’t go contrary to the laws.
You probably found this article based on this search query — “can you kick down a door with a deadbolt?”—and we did give a succinct answer to it early on. So if you read this far, we want to say thank you for taking the time to read our blog and we hope you found the article useful.
To recap, a sturdy deadbolt on a solid door can withstand a kick down. So the best way to prevent a kick down is to have the right deadbolts and good quality doors.
Got any related questions or recommendations? Let us know in the comment section.