Choosing the Proper Lock Sets

The wrong locksets can make your doors frustrating at best and unsafe at worst. You need different types of locksets for your bedroom and bathroom doors than for your exterior doors. The four main categories of residential locksets are:

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  • Push button knobs
  • Push button locks
  • Dead bolts
  • Handle sets.

Locksets for exterior doors are called entry locksets, exterior locks, or keyed locks. You can lock or unlock entry locksets from both sides of the door using:

  • A key
  • A button
  • A throw latch

However, the mechanism depends upon the type. In general, these locksets are heavier and more durable than interior door locksets. They're also much more secure. Never choose an interior doorknob for an exterior door. Handle sets are normally used on the outside of entrance doors, and in combination with a key lock.

If you want to increase your entry door's security, make sure your exterior doors have deadbolts that are either part of the lockset or installed separately. The deadbolt should have at least a one-inch "throw,"meaning it extends a minimum of one-inch beyond the door's edge. The deadbolt should also be made of case-hardened steel.

For interior doors like those in bedrooms and bathrooms, push button locks are most commonly used because, in most cases, those door are only locked when someone is inside the room. Unlock the door from the inside simply by turning the knob. For vacation homes that are occasionally rented or loaned out, or for homes with roommates, keyed interior doors may be more appropriate.

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