All About the Different Types of Door Locks

There’s more than a few (or few hundred) options when it comes to entry door locks. This quick guide is a glimpse at what’s on the market, how each selection operates and their varying price points.

Front Door Left Open with Key in Lock

Front Door Left Open with Key in Lock

Photo by: Scott Cramer

Scott Cramer

There are a number of reasons you may way want to change the locks on your entry doors. Perhaps you have moved into a new home and want to take an extra step of precaution or you simply want to update your entry with a stylish set of new hardware. Whatever the reason may be, there are numerous options available, from keyless entry and remote-controlled locks to traditional locksets — and they are all available in the most current finishes and styles to fit your personal preference and your budget. 

However, before you head off to the store to purchase or order a new set, there are a few things you should take with you. First, you’ll need to take a couple of measurements. Measure from the outside edge of the door to the center of the doorknob (or the space where the knob will be on new door). Also measure the thickness of your door. If you want the lockset to fit into existing holes, you’ll also want to measure the diameter of this hole (or holes) as well as the deadbolt diameter and the width and height of the faceplates. Having these on hand will save you multiple trips to the store. It may also be a good idea to take note of the finish on your doorknocker, light fixtures, and any other accessories you have at the entry if you would like these to coordinate with your new lockset. 

Types of Entry Door Locksets

Keyless Entry

For convenience, remote-control locks can’t be beat. They work in a way similar to a remote lock on your car, with the code changing automatically after each entry. This ensures your safety and gives you the peace of mind that other controls will not be used to enter your home. Some models on the market now, also allow you to open the door with the touch of your finger or with the aid of your SmartPhone. You can purchase these at home improvement stores for anywhere from $100 - $500, depending on the brand and additional features included.

Keypad locksets, which feature numerical pads with a code or codes that you can set yourself, are another version of keyless entry. If you own a rental property that has frequent turnover of guests — perhaps a condo at the beach or house on the lake — keypad entry can be especially useful for allowing guests to easily enter without the exchange of keys and can also eliminate the possibility of lost keys. As with the remote control locksets, these range in price from approximately $120-$500. 

Traditional Key Locks

Perhaps, the most standard lock for entry doors is a keyed entry. Make certain to choose a lock that is resistant to picking. These locks retail for anywhere from $30-$150 at home improvement stores, and they are available in a variety of styles and finishes to coordinate with your exterior’s design. 

For added security, consider a lockset that has both the keyed entry mentioned above and a deadbolt. As one of the most popular locks for entry doors — especially front entries — these sets come in a range of styles from contemporary to traditional, and start at $60-$100. You can also add a deadbolt to an existing keyed lock; these may be as little as $15 when purchased separately. If you choose to add a deadbolt, allow 18-24 inches between it and the regular lock to ensure you keep the integrity of your door intact. 

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