Choosing a door lock

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Choosing a door lock

Thinking that it's time to upgrade your door hardware? If you're replacing your door, refurbishing it, or even just replacing your door lock, you need to determine which type of door lock is the best for you. There are many types of front door locks available. You can use this process to determine which is the right choice for your exterior front door.

Modern conveniences - Electronic door locks

Today’s door lock market has a lot of options - and the options keep getting smarter. One difference with today’s locks is the ability to use technology to make door locks smarter. Some companies offer door locks that include a keypad to access, which could make entering the home more convenient if lost keys are a common problem, or you need a way for multiple people to enter your home, like a cleaning crew or dog walker. Some electronic door locks can be accessed via your smartphone or tablet, so you can open your door remotely.

If you like modern conveniences or you are a person who often worries about whether you locked your door when leaving the house, consider sensor technology for your entry door. Insynctive® Technology, which is proprietary to Pella Windows & Doors, allows you to check to see whether your door is opened or closed, and locked or unlocked using a special sensor. These sensors can be installed during manufacturing and require no drilling into the door.


Types of mechanical locks

If you don't like the idea of an electronic point of entry and you are more comfortable with a traditional keyed entry, there are four types of mechanical locks you can choose from including door knobs, door levers, handle sets, and deadbolts.

Door knob lock

Door knob locks are the most common type of locks. They are affordable and easy to install. Door levers are similar to door knobs in that the key hole is in the center, and they both lock by immobilizing the knob or lever.


Door levers may be easier to open if you have your hands full, like when bringing groceries or children inside. Many homeowners like to supplement their door knob lock with a deadbolt. A deadbolt lock extends into the doorframe, providing additional security.



You may be most concerned with the function of your door lock, but the look can be important too, especially when you are considering a front door lock. When choosing locks for side or garage doors, the visual appeal may not be quite as important.

Handle set

An option popular for front doors is a door handle set, which can look more sophisticated from the outside. This type of door lock is more aesthetically appealing and can give your door a solid, upscale look, a plus for front doors where you’re considering curb appeal. Typical handle set come with a deadbolt to provide another locking mechanism.

Lock Grading System

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) give locks a grade based on their strength, security, and lifespan. A Grade 1 lock is expected to last for 800,000 lock-unlock cycles. A Grade 2 lock lasts for about 400,000 cycles, and a Grade 3 lock lasts for about 200,000 cycles.1

Additional options for door locks

Re-key technology

Re-key locks are a middle ground between electronic locks and traditional mechanical locks. Re-key locks use traditional keys, but they allow you to easily change the key that opens the lock. With a re-key technology, you don't usually have to worry about completely replacing your lock even if you lose your key. You can simply use the SmartKey® learn tool to adapt your lock to a new key.

Multi-point locking system

A multi-point locking system secures the door at multiple points – typically on the top, middle, and bottom - with one lock mechanism. This multi point lock system involves three dual action deadbolts that all respond to the same key turn. A multipoint door lock takes more force to break through versus a standard lock system.

How to choose a door lock

How to choose a door lock

When considering which front door lock is right for you, consider the convenience, security, ease of operation, and grade of your options. You want a lock that fits the appearance of your door and your home, but more importantly, you want one that will keep you and your family safe.


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