Clera Windows + Doors Blog

What makes a lock a “deadbolt?”

A deadbolt is one of the most commonly used methods for locking a door. They provide users with extra security, and are much more effective at keeping unwanted people out of your home or office. They work by lodging a one inch bolt into a recessed space within a door’s frame. Once in place, the possibility of forced entry becomes greatly reduced. This is because the bolt itself is constructed out of solid steel; when locked, it would need a considerable amount of force to break through.

The bolt itself can be activated in many ways, depending on the type of deadbolt mechanism you are using. At Clera, we offer standard key locks as well as electronic deadbolts. In essence, however, all deadbolts share a few common characteristics. Here is a list of the component mechanisms; knowing how they work can better help you install and service them, as well as be aware of how intruders could break in.

The mechanisms of a deadbolt

  • Key-accessible outside cylinder (keyhole)
  • A “throw” or bolt that is locks/unlocks when activated
  • A thumb turn on the internal side of the door
  • Horizontal-throw deadbolts can potentially be pried open; a vertical or surface mounted lock provides extra security.

All deadbolts come equipped with a key-accessible outside cylinder. This is where you insert your key and turn the lock. The outside facing side of the deadbolt will have one, which gives users the ability to lock and unlock the bolt on when entering and exiting. The key works by activating the mechanism inside the lock that moves the bolt.

The latter will not move until the key is turned, unless of course you are using an electronic or remote-access system. With these models, the bolt is activated when the user enters a code on a keypad, or by pressing a button (with remote access units). It is important to remember that even these models will come equipped with a key. You will not need to use it to lock/unlock the door, but it is available as a safety precaution in the event that the electronic system stops working.

The bolt is also called the “throw,” because it is not automated. The user must activate it manually via the key or other methods already discussed. Another common characteristic among deadbolts is that they all have a thumb turn present on the inside of the door. As stated before, electronic and remote operated models do not require use of the thumb turn, but it is present in any event.

Most standard deadbolts are equipped with horizontal throws, which means the bolt slides sideways into door jamb. They provide a lot more security than a standard key lock, but can be pried open with a crowbar by intruders. A vertical or surface-mounted lock will work to prevent such efforts, as the throw becomes interlocked in a set of metal rings that are installed on the door frame itself.

More About Clera Doors – With a Style You’ll Love

Clera entry doors, patio doors, sliding doors, garden doors and storm doors are designed to exceed the requirements of the Canadian elements, beautifully. Clera offer enduring exterior door systems made from steel or fiberglass, as well as custom sliding patio, gliding french and storm doors.


1 Comment

  • Avatar for Ed Ed says:

    Great blog! You guys did a really good job explaining what seems to be simple; I personally did not the bolt was called a throw. Food for thought I guess.

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