Engineer's Product Breakdown: Locksets

The Complete Guide to Locksets for Apartments

Your Engineer
Ankit Javeri
Ankit Javeri

The front door of your apartment is responsible for providing a barrier between your home and the outside world, so it is essential to secure it with a strong lock. Often, the most excellent course of action is to replace the lock in your front door. Keep these tips and products in mind when choosing the right lock to use on your front door to ensure a safe living environment.

Choosing The Right Lockset

No one wants to live in a home that does not have a door lock installed. Throughout the years, door locks have been used in keeping homes, families, and valuables safe.

Even though everyone knows the significance of door locks, the rate of people leaving their home unlocked is still alarming. Statistics have shown that a burglary occurs every 18 seconds in the United States. What’s most shocking is that almost 30 percent of burglars get access to the house through an unlocked door.

The numbers above simply indicate that having a secure door lock is one of the most effective ways to protect your house from intruders. Similar to houses, door locks come in various shapes and forms but among the most common types include traditional locks and smart locks.

Traditional locks which are often referred to as dumb or analog locks vary depending on the locking mechanism, security rating, and manufacturer but are usually opened using a key. While there is little advantage to buying standard door locks, it should be noted that these types of locks are less expensive than electrical or smart locks.

In addition, traditional locks are also predominantly activated by a manner in which the key erects the pins inside the lock to complement with the shape of its teeth. In most cases, the locking mechanism in these locks exhibits a myriad of spring-loaded pins that are subsequently discharged into cylinders.

Although this system can be relatively efficient depending on the type of doors you own, it is important to keep in mind that traditional door locks also come with disadvantages. One of them is the fact that cylinder locks can easily be penetrated by anyone who has the know-how to pick locks.

Smart door locks, on the other hand, are normally controlled by the user’s phone or device and can be unlocked through a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection instead of a physical key. While the locking mechanism of a smart electronic locks works similarly to a traditional electronic lock, the upgraded technology does include some added functionality over older electronic locks.

For instance, many smart locks enable the user to set up the lock to systematically open when a person with an enabled Smartphone comes into a pre-defined location and to lock again when the device leaves the building. What is more, is that smart locks do not only provide increased accessibility but also simplify the control of protection since users no longer have to keep track of keys.

While installing smart locks boost connectivity and promotes easier access to offices and homes of the future, it doesn’t come without a few drawbacks. The most striking dilemma for smart door locks that are operated using a phone is the probability of not being able to open the door when the battery dies. It is also imperative to bear in mind that smart lock systems can be hacked, which could prevent users from accessing their premises.

Best in class


Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt

Modern technology with proven mechanics


  • Can easily be installed using a Phillips screwdriver
  • Lock and finish comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Users can create backup keys
  • Smart device integration


  • Expensive
  • Support documentation is lacking
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The Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt is a perfect option for landlords who implement strict curfews to their tenants. It is packed with three distinctive settings that all work conjointly to inform you of out-of-town guests, intruders, and late-night arrivals.

It flaunts a sleek yet secure composition that is geared with a keypad and lock cylinder. What makes it ideal for landlords is that it can hold approximately 30 user codes, thereby allowing them to properly monitor who is coming and going at various times of the day.

Apart from that, the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt is also dandified with an auto-throw deadbolt which can conveniently be activated outside by pressing the Schlage button. It also boasts an auto-handing feature which intuitively pinpoints the direction the bolt needs to be thrown at the time of installation.

It is also Grade 1-certified by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Administration and the American National Standards Institute for its ease of use and strength. In addition to everything else, the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt is likewise graded as the best door lock in terms of residential security, finish, and durability.

Best in budget


Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder Deadbolt

Re-key technology at an affordable price


  • Resistant to lock picking and has passed stringent lock-picking standards
  • Lifetime mechanical and finish warranty
  • Adjustable latch and deadbolt


  • Poor and hard-to-understand instruction manuals
  • Mechanically-hard to rotate
  • Not compatible with other Kwikset deadbolts
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The Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder Deadbolt is not your typical deadbolt lock. It features a SmartKey that is made in polished brass which safeguards everyone from advanced break-in techniques. Also, its SmartKey security protocol also exhibits a state-of-the-art re-key technology which enables users to protect themselves and re-key without the need to call a professional.

All you need is the SmartKey tool and a new set of key to rekey your lock. The moment the keys are inserted into the cylinders of the lock and rotated correctly, the SmartKey will subsequently perform a process that will allow your lock to be re-keyed to your new key.

This is an excellent way of providing keys for temporary visitors such as relatives, repair professionals, babysitters, and cleaning experts. It also features a latch that can be adjusted to fit all standard door preparations. Best of all, the Kwikset 980 Single Cylinder Deadbolt comes in five colours, which provides you with several options to fit the interior design of your home.

Everything we recommend

Best traditional Option


Prime-Line E2293 Mortise Keyed Lock


  • More durable compared to traditional cylindrical locks
  • Comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Looks classy and can be installed easily


  • Not recommended for external doors
  • Inside mechanisms are constructed poorly
  • Holes have to be drilled to be mounted
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The Prime-Line E 2293 Mortise Keyed Lock is a rectangular door lock which is made of steel and features an exquisite brass plated finish. It is specifically designed to fit the inside door and generate a robust bond between the frame and the door.

It is also coated with a series of levers and locks that make it even tougher for someone to pick and release its complex lock system. Other than that, the Prime-Line Mortise Keyed Lock also has an E 2293 brass knob which can be utilized to upgrade your interior door hardware or replace broken knobs on old doors.

On top of everything else, this mortise door lock also comes with a lock bolt key which makes it flexible enough to be used as privacy locks for bathrooms, bedrooms, and interior doors. The lock bolt key can initially be activated from both the inside and outside, which further makes the Prime-Line E 2293 a sensible option if you want to save money.

Best Add-on 

Defender Security U 9887 Prime Line Swing Bar Lock

Defender Security U 9897 Prime Line Swing Bar Lock

Additional security at low-cost


  • Sturdy and easy to install
  • Comes with an edge guard to minimize marring of frame and doors
  • Warranted against manufacturing defects for one year


  • Only works as a secondary lock for exterior doors
  • Nuts easily strip the hole
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Packed with heavy metal structure and a bright brass finish, the Defender Security U 9897 Swing Bar Lock provides an added layer of protection and security to any residence thanks to its clip-on locking system. It features a security locking device that can allow a door to slightly be opened for ventilation and safe viewing.

It suits perfectly for tenants who are staying in an apartment for a limited period as the Defender Security U 9897 Swing Bar Lock can easily be installed and removed when the lease is up. Making this door lock a solid buy is its ability to hold maximum pressure that will keep the door from being battered by burglars.

Furthermore, Defender Security 9897 Swing Bar Lock can likewise be folded for easy carry. The package also comes with installation fasteners and shim spacers that can be used for proper leveling.

Lockset Features 

Types of Locksets

More often than not, the most undervalued component of home security is the locks on your doors. Even though people utilize them every day, it is most likely that no one pays attention to the grand scheme of things.

Knowing the different types of door locks is key to understanding their functionality and will help you make better decisions for your facility. Here are some of the most popular types of door locks in the market that would work best for houses or apartment units.

Knob Locks


Knob locks which are dubbed as the most common type of door lock are often the primary method of security for most doors. It is also made up of a lock cylinder which is situated in the knob rather than on the door. Regardless of its sturdy composition, always keep in mind that knob locks should be not be installed in external doors as they can easily be broken into pieces using a wrench or hammer.

Key-operated Security Bolts


Unlike knob locks, key-operated security bolts are quintessential for external doors such as double and French doors. What makes this door lock relatively useful is its ability to smoothly be fitted or surface-mounted into the door without the need to call a professional. It is, however, essential to note that the surface-mounted bolts it has are only as tough as the screws that hold them in place.

Dead Bolts


Doors which make use of deadbolts as a locking mechanism provide top protection against a break-in or burglary. What makes them stand out from a typical door lock is that deadbolts flaunt a specialized locking mechanism that can resist battering or physical attacks. In other words, they cannot be picked using a hand tool or a knife.

Deadbolts are subdivided into three specific categories particularly the single, double, and C deadbolts. The single cylinder deadbolts which can be activated from one side using a key is considered as the simplest among the three while the double cylinder deadbolts can be operated with a key from both sides.

The C deadbolt, meanwhile, is a combination of both and displays a thumb turn structure that can be locked with a key. It provides the greatest security and flexibility among the three.

Mortise Locks


Built using a lockset of internal systems, mortise locks are door locks that are used on external doors of commercial residences and apartments. It is comprised of locksets that can store either levers or knobs and are often made up of a cylindrical structure.

Mortise locks also provide a cam and set of the screw which develops an impenetrable locking system. It is, however, fundamental to take into account that the cylinder structure of the lock varies depending on the lengths and heights of different kinds of doors.

Rim Lock


Rim locks are locks that are normally installed on the inside surface of the door. It features a combination of a key cylinder locking mechanism that is sometimes called as the night latch.

Rim locks are often the lock of choice for a listed and heritage property since it does no damage to the woodwork when fitting. Likewise, rim locks can also be unlocked through an electric release mechanism which immediately discharges the lock bolt from the keeper that is installed externally.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Lockset

Security is critical to feeling protected in an apartment. Dissimilar to houses, apartments only have one primary access point, which simply indicates that the entrance door needs to be as stable as possible. In choosing a door lock, every landlord or tenant should consider these attributes to keep their homes safe.



In buying door locks, always be mindful of the kind of lock of you need. It is important to remember that there is not one type of lock that will comprehensively work for every door. Each lock is developed with distinctive purposes.

At present, there are a wide variety of residential locks that homeowners can pick from which include everything from deadbolts, handle sets, door levers, and smart locks. Each of these locks is designed to fit for both interior and exterior doors, although some are suitable for specified purposes.

Ideally, it is most desirable that the front door of your apartment must always have at least a single deadbolt since it does not extend extensively into the door frame. Also, defining the primary function of locks will enable you to determine the degree of endurance and security your lock will need to live up to.

Security Grade


Speaking of security, it is also a must for every homeowner to take the security grade of their door locks into serious consideration. As a homeowner, you should be aware that a majority of lock manufacturers go through numerous testing procedures to ensure the stability and quality of their locks.

Most of the time, these locks are tested and rated by authoritative bodies that include but are not only limited to the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Administration and the American National Standards Institute.

Typically, the locks are evaluated based on the amount of force it can bear and the number of cycles it they can withstand before it starts to decline. These numbers are geared towards providing the buyer with a general idea of the durability, authenticity, and the security of the lock.

Lock grading starts from Grade 1 to Grade 3. Each grade offers several functions that can meet the needs of any apartment doors. By simply paying attention to the grading of the locks, homeowners are not only able to figure the strength of each lock but also select the proper lock that can offer them maximum security for a reasonable price.



The costs to change locks largely depend on the type of lock you want to be installed. Costs and security are significantly compelling in recognizing the ways commercial property owners view the price of door locks and other aspects of protection.

The truth, however, is that while most people know the importance of security, they also consider the cost and try to disburse less money if they can. Another misconception most homeowners fall into is that security means having to break the bank in terms of cost, but this is simply inaccurate.

In choosing the types of locks for apartment doors, it is important for everyone to assess the factors that influence its price and the installation process. Always refer to the Iron Triangle business concept, which primarily details and evaluates the quality, speed, and price of the product to get the best possible deal.



Knowing what your lock can do is crucial in the selection process. Most locks especially smart locks, are equipped with high-end features such as anti-drill, anti-pick, and anti-bump which work together to keep your home secure from progressive break-in methods.

Homeowners and landlords alike should also be able to pinpoint whether the lock of their choosing is consistent with other smart technology they own to ensure a smooth-sailing experience. Smart locks that are brimming with remote access capabilities are recommended for users who want to control and keep track of their home security from remote locations.

It is, however, most appropriate that you should opt for smart locks that will complement your lifestyle and can easily fit in your automation plans to save money in the process.



The composition is an aspect that is primarily taken for granted in choosing door locks. You should make sure that every door lock you purchase must be made of high-quality metal to cultivate the standards of top-notch security. Otherwise, it will not serve its purpose of providing reliable security door lock that is hard to damage or break.

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