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What's behind our door lock Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 19 models in door locks to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based mainly on resistance to a heavy metal pendulum meant to simulate a burglar's kicks.
  • Kick-in as sold
    Resistance to kick-in as sold is how well the lock survived increasingly forceful impacts using the hardware it comes with.
  • Kick-in reinforced
    Kick-in reinforced is the same test using an aftermarket Box Strike in place of the included strike or, for surface-mount locks, 3-inch screws; models scoring Excellent as sold were not retested.
  • Drilling
    Drilling shows how well the lock stood up to assaults with a drill.
  • Picking
    Picking shows how well the lock stood up to the lock-picking efforts of our experts.


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Recommended door locks

Recommended door locks are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Any dead-bolt lock is better than the common key-in-knob variety. We spent weeks prying, hammering, picking, pummeling, and drilling locks, and few scored well. A handful proved far more susceptible than most. If you're looking for information about door locks, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ door lock reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our door lock buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and door lock reviews to help you choose the best door lock for your needs.

Door lock buying guide

Many of the dead-bolt locks tested by Consumer Reports don't provide the level of protection you might expect. A few well-placed kicks or a standard cordless drill was all it took to defeat most locks. Those test results are especially unsettling because forcible entries, such as kick-ins, are the most common type of home break-in. And 67 percent of respondents to our national survey count on dead-bolt locks to help keep their homes secure. Of course, any dead-bolt lock is better than the common key-in-knob variety.

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