The 8 Best Keyless Deadbolt of 2020 (January Update)
Last update on 2020-02-19 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Locking and unlocking anything from the bedroom window to the gate deadbolt is a habit, but it can become dull. Making the deadbolts smart and keyless seems like the next logical step. But what would be the best keyless deadbolt to pick?
In order to answer that question, I’ve listed my top picks for the best smart locks that don’t require keys. In addition, I’ve provided a detailed buyer’s guide; it will help you find the best smart lock with all of the features that suit your safety needs.
Did you know that by not only securing your door 24/7, you should also secure and monitor your drive way. Here is our guide on the best driveway alarm for 2020 as we have reviewed it in-depth to give you the most reliable product today.
Comparing the Top-Ranked Keyless Deadbolts
Keyless deadbolts are the future, so are you willing to jump on the bandwagon and get one? The list below contains some of the best choices for you.
Not many deadbolts can store up to 100 different passcodes, making Schlage Encode a top contender for the best out there.
In many ways, the two Schlage Encode products are similar, which means that no matter the Trim, you’re getting top quality.
The Best Keyless Deadbolts — My Top Picks of Early 2020
Last update on 2020-02-19 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Schlage Camelot Keypad Deadbolt
The name Schlage is quite common among keyless deadbolt enthusiasts. In fact, throughout this list, this brand will be one of only three to appear. That’s right, Schlage products are so good that they can fill up almost half of a top list in 2020!
The very look of the Schlage BE365VCAM716 Camelot is fantastic. The retailers describe it as “aged bronze,” a black exterior finish with a bronze-looking lining and black-and-white keys. Of course, it’s available in a multitude of different colors, including all-white, antique brass, pewter, and so on.
Though this lock fits on most standard doors, you can still customize it to fit on any lock. More importantly, it’s incredibly easy to set up, and anyone can do it.
Creating and deleting access codes on the Schlage Camelot is easy. And I do mean “codes” — plural; this little device can memorize up to 19 different user codes so that you and your family members can use it without any issues. While you input those codes, you don’t have to worry about the keypad giving away anything. Thanks to state-of-the-art silicone coating, the numbers do not wear down.
Last update on 2020-02-19 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
2. Kwikset SmartCode 913
Earlier, I mentioned that Schlage was the second most-reviewed brand on this list. Well, the top spot belongs to Kwikset. A grand total of four products will be featured here — half of the whole list to be precise. And let me clarify — Kwikset has definitely earned this privilege, as SmartCode 99130-003 913 will show.
The 913 is an interesting lock. Just like Schlage Camelot, it comes in many different designs, including Venetian Bronze, Satin Nickel, and Polished Brass. And while it is a keyless lock with a BHMA Grade 2 rating, it also has a traditional key slot. Personally, I love it when a lock provides multiple options for safety.
But what made me put 913 on the list weren’t the looks or the key slot, but rather how easy it is to lock. The backlit keypad allows 16 different codes to be stored onto the deadbolt. It also has an auto-lock function for up to 30 seconds and a one-touch locking system.
The 913 is easy enough to install and doesn’t require you to drill new holes in your door. However, you do need to buy batteries for it. In addition, check if the lock will fit your door. I should stress that the 913 is made to fit all standard door sizes, but I still advise checking before you buy it.
3. Kwikset SmartCode 888
We’re back with Kwikset; the 888 seems visually similar to other popular Kwikset products out there, with it featuring a simple six-button keypad. It also provides no more than three color and design choices. However, you will not be disappointed by how this electronic deadbolt works.
With the 888 on my door, I can record 30 — I repeat, 30! — different codes for extra safety. In addition, I can use an app to check my lock status from a distance and perform some remote locking if I need to. Most importantly, the 30-second auto-lock feature will keep me safe in case I run out of the house and forget to secure the front door.
This amazing deadbolt works via a wireless connection to a home hub, which I sadly had to buy separately. The technology it uses to connect to the hub is Z-Wave, which updates its firmware regularly and offers a wide wireless range. To put it briefly, the remote access is quick and seamless with this deadlock bolt. I would definitely recommend the 888 for those of you who have integrated smart homes.
4. Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt With Century Trim
What can you say about Schlage Encode Smart with Century Trim other than 100 access codes?! That’s right; this deadbolt can store up to 100 different codes, which I don’t see too often in electric lock products. Family members, friends, dog walkers — anyone can use this lock if you spare a code for them.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with Schlage Encode. This product works well with Amazon Alexa, but it’s also compatible with Amazon Key and Google Assistant. These platforms will let you know when the battery is low on the Encode. In addition, you can lock and unlock the doors using simple voice commands.
Speaking of locking and unlocking, the keypad of Schlage Encode is spectacular. It’s a touchscreen, fingerprint-resistant device that will allow one-touch locking. For that extra safety, it also comes with a built-in alarm system that senses potential lock breaches.
Like all top-rated Schlage products, the Encode takes minutes to install. All you need is a screwdriver. Moreover, it fits most doors on the market, so you don’t have to worry about sizes.
5. Kwikset Powerbolt 2
The Kwikset Powerbolt 2 is what I would call a perfect beginner’s lock. For example, it doesn’t store as many codes as other products on this list (it caps out at six). Nor does it offer the best BHMA rating (it’s at Grade 3). In addition, it doesn’t come with batteries, but that’s to be expected from most locks at this point.
However, I didn’t put the Powerbolt 2 on this list for no reason. Though it contains only six code slots, it offers guests a one-time PIN for temporary use. As someone who has friends that visit once every three months and stay over, I find this option extremely useful. After all, they can enter the house at will, and once they leave, the device deletes the guest code.
Like most top-of-the-line Kwikset locks, the Powerbolt 2 has an auto-lock function and a backlit keypad. More importantly, it’s easy to install and doesn’t require any extra hole-drilling. Since it fits most standard doors, nearly anyone can use it.
6. Kwikset 264 Electronic Deadbolt
The 264 is quite similar to Powerbolt 2 in many ways. For example, they are both BHMA Grade 3 products, which I’m not the biggest fan of. In addition, they can both store up to six different codes at most. Personally, I don’t mind that, but there are people who need more than six for various reasons.
However, the cool thing about 264 and Powerbolt 2 being similar is that they both get to be on this list. After all, this deadbolt has impressive features to offer, such as one-touch locking and auto-locking. In addition, the guest code feature is back, and your guest can enter it on a backlit keypad that won’t wear out.
To me, the best thing that 264 has to offer is its alarm system. If someone tries to get into the house and enters the wrong code five times, the alarm will go off. In addition, the keypad will become useless for 45 seconds. It’s an interesting failsafe that’s simple but works wonders.
7. Schlage Encode Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt with Camelot Trim
Is that another Schlage Encode? Well, it is, but this one has a neat little Camelot finish. And since both Camelot and the other encode are on this list, it would be a shame not to include this deadbolt, especially since it has a lot to offer.
Just like the other Encode, this lock works well with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Amazon Key. It will fit any standard door, and installation takes roughly a few minutes at most. Moreover, the Wi-Fi feature enables it to sync up with other smart devices such as tablets or smartphones.
But can it store 100 access codes like the other Encode? The answer is a definite “yes.” Anything with that many access codes deserves a spot among the best deadbolts in 2020.
8. ULTRALOQ U-Bolt Pro
Finally, we have a product that’s not a Schlage or Kwikset! The final entry on my list, the U-Bolt Pro, is quite different from everything you’ve read thus far. It’s a fingerprint deadbolt with Bluetooth capabilities, several different unlock methods, and nifty design.
As a biometric deadbolt, the U-Bolt pro allows users to scan their fingerprints with a 360° identification. In addition, thanks to the Ultraloq app, you can enter the door without even pressing the lock. To be precise, there are a few ways the U-Bolt Pro allows you to unlock it:
- Shaking the phone using Magic Shake
- Clicking an option on the Ultraloq app
- Approaching the door with your smartphone Bluetooth setting on
- Allowing the lock to scan your fingerprints
- Using an actual, physical key
One more feature I adore is adding extra keys to your passcode. That way, if someone is spying on you, they will see you enter a “wrong” PIN. In reality, your pin is “squished” in-between two strings of useless numbers.
Finally, there’s the Micro-USB slot for external charging. If the battery is low and you need your lock to work for just a little bit longer, simply hook up an external battery via USB, and you’re good to go.
- 360° fingerprint identification
- Several manual and hands-free unlocking methods
- External USB charging possible
- Additional numbers to your passcode for added safety
- Able to grant access to your friends and family
- Quite challenging to set up
- Ultraloq app takes time to connect properly
The Buyer’s Guide to Keyless Deadbolts
Lets Start With Security
Your house needs to be secure. That is the primary duty of a front door deadbolt lock, keyless or otherwise. But in this section, I’m not referring to the safety of an entire home but of the smart lock itself.
Some deadbolts have features that will guarantee their own safety from intruders. For example, some are tamper-proof against most household tools. Others have keys that don’t wear out after long-term use. If the keys show signs of wear and tear, anyone can guess your entry codes and have easy access to your home.
If you plan on buying the best smart locks, you ought to get familiar with American security lock standards. Two U.S.-based organizations rank locks based on how safe and durable they are:
- The American National Standards Institute or ANSI
- The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association or BHMA
Both of these organizations put deadbolts through a series of tests in order to check their security grade. So my suggestion is getting any keyless padlock with an ANSI/BHMA rating of Grade 1 or Grade 2.
However, even a high grade by ANSI or BHMA isn’t a 100% quality guarantee. After all, what they deem “the best smart lock” might not work for your home. To avoid any problems, try to get several deadbolts and test them out if possible. Doing some basic market research is another option if you don’t have the money to spend on trying out different locks.
Home devices such as keyless locks need to provide access to the owner. In other words, the very first thing you see, i.e., the display, ought to be clear and fingerprint-proof. Moreover, a good, strong backlight will help you lock and unlock the door at any point during the day.
But those are locks with physical keys. With the advent of new technology, electronic keyless touchscreen locks are rising in popularity. Products such as Yale Assure and the August Smart Lock Pro provide users with a sleek, futuristic design and easy but safe use. Yale Assure, for example, allows you to enter access codes using your smart device. On the other hand, the August Smart Lock Pro works on existing deadbolts by locking the doors once the owners leave the house. You simply need to install the native app on a smartphone and connect the deadbolt to your Wi-Fi. The minute you step out, the August lock does its thing and doesn’t unlock until you come back. Interestingly, August doesn’t have a real “display” to speak of, but most smart deadbolts like Yale Assure do.
Best smart locks always sport a long battery life. My experience has taught me that nothing beats a product’s native power source, as it’s built to last. Naturally, you can always buy additional batteries, but always make sure they offer roughly the same performance and battery life as the original one you get with the deadbolt. Yale Assure, for example, comes with its own set of batteries.
Of course, batteries can die for a huge number of reasons. In that case, I advise buying a smart device with a key lock option. That way, you reduce the risk of locking yourself outside.
I briefly mentioned getting a smart keyless lock with an option to use a regular, old-fashioned key. However, that’s just one of many features you ought to look into when going deadbolt shopping. Having a standard lock can be a bit of a hassle, after all. Whenever you are coming and going, you need to perform the tedious task of entering the code over and over again. Therefore, some convenient “shortcuts” can really help you out.
First off, getting a key fob or app-enabled remote access will save you time. Instead of entering your door code manually, you can push a single button on a fob, and you’re in. On the other hand, you also have voice control locks. Any of these features is convenient if your hands are full when you need to open the door and get inside.
I’d also advise getting a deadbolt with an auto-lock feature. Leaving the house for a second just to do some shopping nearby happens quite often. And instead of having to lock my front door, I can just set the auto-lock timer and let it lock itself after a number of seconds.
Entering codes to lock doors isn’t exactly an ancient practice, but it’s not new either. Right now, you have biometric fingerprint bolts that scan the fingers of you and your family members. But if you can’t afford a high-end biometric model, you can always settle for basic bolts, touchscreen or otherwise.
Remember, user codes need to have long strings of numbers so that the potential intruder doesn’t guess them easily. More importantly, I’d suggest getting a deadbolt that can support several different codes at once, as well as the ability to change them whenever you want.
Most people tend to skip style and design in product reviews. I can understand that line of thinking since the appearance of the product doesn’t really matter as long as it does what you need it to. On the other hand, some users focus on the design too much, which is also detrimental. In my opinion, you need a good combination of style and practicality.
For instance, I used to live for a short while in a wood-and-stone country house. Despite it being in a safe area, I opted to buy a decent keyless deadbolt. The town I lived in offered two types; one looked like a futuristic, gray lock cylinder, while the other had a neat wooden finish. The reasons I picked the wooden one are simple:
- It looked neat
- The performance of the product was rated as better than the gray, futuristic bolt
- It blended with the house
Sometimes, it’s good to get a deadbolt that doesn’t stand out from the rest of your home. However, never buy it at the expense of quality.
An electric deadbolt, especially a smart one, tends to come with complicated descriptions that new users don’t understand all that well. Broadly speaking, there are three technical terms you need to know about when it comes to connectivity: Bluetooth, RFID, and Z-Wave.
Most of you already know about Bluetooth. Locks with Bluetooth connectivity will easily sync up to your smart device, and you can use them remotely. It’s similar to radio frequency identification or RFID; using radio waves, you can lock and unlock a deadbolt using key fobs or cards. Z-Wave, on the other hand, is a bit different. Using smart device tech, you can sync up your entire house to react to opening and closing doors. Right now, Z-Wave is the pinnacle of deadbolt security science and remote access tech, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Z-Wave is just one part of a huge topic related to home automation and home compatibility. Modern locks for doors and gates need to connect to as many Cloud and automation services as possible. For example, my relatives in New York have linked their own deadbolt to Amazon Alexa, while my next-door neighbor uses Apple HomeKit for his home compatibility needs. It’s a great way of truly making your home “smart,” from the most high-tech devices such as computers to simple ones like door locks.
Nothing can be as important as your safety. Whenever I set out to write a top list, I try to feature products that will give you the most peace of mind. In my opinion, the eight deadbolts that I covered will do just that.
But what do you think? Is there a choice that you didn’t agree with? Please let me know in the comments below; I’d really appreciate your input.
I don’t like pointing out the obvious when doing product reviews, but sometimes, it’s inevitable. The reason people keep asking this question is that they simply hadn’t heard of any other deadbolts but the “classic” metal ones. And that’s perfectly fine — no one can know everything at once.
So a keyless deadbolt is precisely what its name suggests — a deadbolt that doesn’t require any keys. Usually, they have other names, such as keyless locks, smart locks, smart deadbolts, electric deadbolts, etc.
An electric, smart deadbolt has moving parts called actuators. An actuator will connect the bolt to a tiny motor that’s within the door frame or the door itself — once you activate an electrical impulse, the bolt locks into place.
That impulse can come from a variety of sources. You can activate it via a key hub, a card reader, or a wireless remote sensor. Most of these remote sensors come in the form of Bluetooth connections with smart devices such as tablets or phones.
You can install a keyless entry deadbolt in a completely new door or remove an existing bolt and replace it. But before you do, you need to choose your access code in advance. Luckily, some companies will do it for you. If they don’t, simply follow the instructions closely and do it manually yourself.
The precise process of installing this type of deadbolt can be found online. I personally advise using it, but if you’re unsure about it, contact an expert.
Kicking down any door with a wooden frame is possible. There are even detailed instructions out there, though some are better than others. In brief, if your door is old, solid, and of a decent construction, it won’t go down easily. Usually, it’s the new wooden doors that suffer from a few kicks of the boot. The same can be said about some doors made of hard plastic or light metal.
Incidentally, I don’t have to tell you that kicking someone’s door down can turn violent pretty quickly. (unless you’re the police). However, sometimes, you might have to do it in case of an emergency (fires, flooding, fumes, or even extreme cases, such as hostage situations).
Single-sided or one-sided deadbolts are amazing. They only appear on the inside of your front door, leaving the outside flat. There are no holes, no knobs, nothing but a flat, wooden surface. As such, they are extremely secure for any home. You can’t really break into a house that uses single-sided deadbolts unless you literally drill into the wood. At that point, however, people will hear you and contact the authorities.
Honestly, it depends on the manufacturer. People are already divided on this matter, mainly because keypad locks have tons of issues. For instance, anyone can guess your access code if you don’t regularly clean the front screen. In addition, most of these locks are electronic, so once the power goes out, you can’t get inside. Finally, users can either forget their codes or entrust them to the wrong people. If either of these situations happens, you’re in deep trouble.
However, despite these flaws, keypad locks have lots of advantages. To put it simply, the best keyless deadbolts will not fail in keeping your home burglar-free.
This question is another one of those that have divided the users and that have no clear answer. I’ve personally read dozens of articles where people have tested electronic locks and tried hacking into them using the latest methods, and none of them were successful. However, that doesn’t mean that an electronic deadbolt lock is impenetrable. Burglars can combine user carelessness and technical skills to break into just about any home.
Personally, I always urge people to use both old-fashioned and smart methods of keeping their homes safe. Yes, I own a keyless smart security system, and it works like a charm. But just to be on the safe side, I have both a keyhole and a door chain. You never know when these low-tech solutions might come in handy.
No door lock is completely secure. As horrifying as that sounds, any lock can be broken, hacked, damaged, crashed, or even melted (yes, I’ve come across melted deadbolts before).
Normally, people think that old-fashioned locks are better than new ones. After all, they are sturdy, hard, difficult to break, and easy to operate. However, both history and reality have shown us that not even these will stop potential burglars.
Smart locks have their own fans among the users. People praise them for their convenience and keyless appearance. Still, even the most sophisticated electric lock isn’t entirely safe.
Ultimately, it depends on the current market. The most secure locks in 2020 will probably be the locks most people are buying. I emphasize “probably” because it’s only a matter of time before somebody breaks into a home using these locks. It’s also inevitable for a new, improved lock to appear on the store shelves in time.