High Security Locks: Protecting Your Assets

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Brokor, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    We will often see deadbolts and entry sets for homes in any store, from Wal-Mart to Home Depot and Lowe's, Sams club, and local hardware stores. For the average homeowner, a standard American style lock set (keyed knob and deadbolt) looks pretty much like any other, and it is only the advertising on the package which attracts them. On such packages, we will often see "high security", or "pick and bump resistant", and even "drill resistant". While these are all true to an extent, we must remember that none of these locks are actually high security. Some of these big name locks sold in the U.S. will claim to be 'maximum security' --do not trust the hype.

    There is absolutely nothing high security about these locks.

    What makes a lock "high security"?

    First, you want to recognize the trademarks of a true high security lock. The body will be solid metal, it could be brass, steel or another alloy. The major brand name locks you find at your hardware and home improvement stores will be a cheaply made (hollow) cast metal body, which is light in weight and not drill proof. A quality lock should have a housing which is solid metal.

    Some of the most respected brands of real high security locks are: Medeco, Assa, Mul-T-Lock, and Abloy. I would even add Angal to this list, since I own some of them and have tested these locks myself. The Angal deadbolts are (Mul-T-Lock clones) made of solid brass or steel, they literally weigh several pounds and are absolutely designed to take any beating. They also have stainless pins and all stainless tumbler pins with serrations. The thing about Angal locks is, they are a fraction of the price of Mul-T-Lock types of locks, but offer the same (or very near to it) protection. Side by side, an Angal lock torn apart and gutted will prove just how much quality you are getting, even if it is a Chinese lock. I purchased Angal locks from Amazon for about $70 each. One good thing about the dimple keyway design, is that most Americans are just not accustomed to them. This gives you an added advantage against picking to add to the brute force entry resistance.

    You should know that there's no such thing as an "unpickable" lock. One reason these true high security locks are so secure, is key control. Each manufacturer of high security locks I listed should have key registration cards and "do not duplicate" on the keys, with no blanks available at stores. You must have your card serial number and follow procedure to receive duplicates, often only available from the manufacturer. This doesn't mean bump keys cannot be made by criminals, but it does make it very difficult.

    The lock should have a patent, the key should have a "do not duplicate" message or "patented". The high security locks will also cost more money than typical locks (hundreds of dollars), and will have a housing/body made of solid metal. High security locks also have hardened steel pins to prevent most drilling of the keyway, a reinforced body, and security pins. The keyway will also be very limited or uniquely designed, often resulting in a strange shaped key. Most high security locks follow the dimple design, with grooves and channels and keys are flat and squared off.

    keys-schlage. A Schlage key. Typical of most standard locks found in the U.S.

    keys-mult. A Mul-T-Lock HIGH SECURITY key.

    You don't have to take my word for it --do your own homework. I know I can pick most standard U.S. locks in seconds, especially the ones touting to be grade 1 high security. But, A Mul-T-Lock is just not possible for me to pick (yet). Even highly trained and skilled locksmiths would have a terrible time picking a real high security lock, and would not even try it without specialty tools. But, a quality dimple pick set and a lot of patience and skill can do it in time. A locksmith will most likely drill a high security lock, and you should know if you actually have one by the information I provided. Oh, by the way --you aren't gonna go drilling a high security lock with drill bits off the shelves from Home Depot, either. The kind of bits it takes are very expensive, and criminals often do not have these tools. Nope, they aren't carbide, either. Ask a locksmith. Even they hate drilling high security locks like Assa.

    If you have the money and really believe in securing your home and belongings, go with a Mul-T-Lock, a Medeco, or Assa/Abloy. In fact, the very best lock I can recommend if money is not an obstacle is Assa. If you are on a budget or do not want to spend the extra cash, the next best thing would be an Angal lock. To me, nothing else would be acceptable (unless you live in the middle of nowhere)...
    Grandpa Patch, 3M-TA3, Gnarly and 7 others like this.
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    On the subject of Angal locks --
    Here is a video of a picking of an Angal (padlock) to give you some idea of how secure these locks really are.

    I buy my Angal locks through Amazon, the vendor is named "Locks4U24". They always ship very quickly. (U.S. vendor) Only registered vendors can sell the Angal locks.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    One side note. The message "do not duplicate " should never be relied upon. That message can very easily be covered by nail polish, plastic dip, or just tape.
    Grandpa Patch and Brokor like this.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Good info Brokor.
    Brokor likes this.
  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Here's a close up look at an Angal deadbolt I have compared to a Brinks "high security" deadbolt.

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  6. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    The most interesting part of people spending extra money on marketing (Ultra High Security) is that the locks are often installed next to a window in residential scenarios. At that point, the locks are only there to keep the honest people out so don't really need to be ultra secure. I'm not familiar with the Mul-T lock. Will look into it.
  8. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    @melbo Well said.

    As homes have windows, I have more confidence in the Pitts than I do the locks.

    All a lock does is keep an honest man honest.
    Homer Simpson and Motomom34 like this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    It doesn't matter how good the lock is, if its badly installed or inappropriate for where it is, and how it will be used.
  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I will be buying one of these when it finally is on the market...

    Bowley Lock:
    How It Works

    I keep up on security, especially the true high security market. Nearly any lock can be defeated, but it's up to you to decide if you're gonna make it really hard for the criminal to do or not. As far as I see it, my property is MINE. I am going to protect it by investing in quality locks, the best I can afford, anyway. Understanding home security is essential, and having good solid doors without windows and actually using window stops and quality locks will help considerably. The lock is the final barrier for the thief, and an alarm system is only a deterrent factor. Some people have dogs, the bigger the better -but any noise maker will do. I use motion detectors and hard-wired trip lines at key points. All criminals will work their way to your master bedroom because that's where the cash and jewellery will be. I am not saying that's where YOU keep it, but it is a statistical fact that if you center your concerns on limiting the burglar from freely walking into your home, you've solved your problems without having to expend a great deal of effort sealing it up like a fortress. Most will simply move on to easier pickings.

    A criminal will first try every point of entry which is away from prying eyes, so if you have windows and doors not visible from the street or a neighbor's home, that is a critical area to focus on. Even fake cameras can be a deterrent, although I prefer to use the real thing.
    Grandpa Patch, melbo and Georgia_Boy like this.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Very nice.;)
  12. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

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  13. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    And there's Lockman28's review of the demo Bowley:

    I DO have a steel frame and steel paneled door by the way. ;)
  14. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Steel doors would stop and home invasion; however, for a thief, it's the windows that are the easiest entry.
    Grandpa Patch likes this.
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    The steel door and frame must be followed by secure hinges and steel rod inserts at the hinge and/or along the hinge side of the door.

    When I did high security jobs I made my own steel rod security pins.

    As always this security should be built into the structure but can be added later it just takes more time and money for an after build install.

    The steel rod security pins are required now with the easy use of a battery powered Sazall.

    Simple to make and hard to beat by the most experienced thief and impossible to detect unless it is an inside job.

    You take a soft steel outer body, place a loose fit drill rod in the center of the soft steel body. Install as needed.

    The whys and hows of an attempted pry job by the thief.

    The thief has already chopped the hinge pin body off and expects to pry out the door, no go since with the door closed the door and door frame prevent removal since the steel rod security pins now prevent movement. The thief will either try to saw cut or torch cut or other to gain entry. This will increase time on site and may end up with a fire.

    The steel rod security pins work by having the outer body soft and easy to attach in some manner to the door frame. Once the steel rod security pins outer body is welded in then a matching secure point is made in the door. To finish the install the drill rod or other super hard material is inserted into the hollow shell and secured shut. The pin must be able to move freely inside the shell for its purpose is to spin if a saw attempt is made or to end up as a mass with the slag from a torch job.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
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  16. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Hinges aren't exposed or reachable --they are heavy duty and improved already. Steel plated frame covers door that opens inward, welded tight 1/4" stock and hardened lag bolts underneath inside the casement to break any saws. Tight hallway prevents movement to kick in the door, with deadbolts and steel cage outer door. Alarm system and security cameras with live alerts to cellphone. No police needed, I won't show up to take names. No windows. Most recent range target posted proudly on the door with a smiley face and "this is you" message. Any further questions?
    Grandpa Patch and kellory like this.
  17. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Not bad;) portable oxy/ acetylene would be a 2-3 minute key, or a bottle jack and post, would do, or bodyshop hydraulics, but nothing subtle. The right tools will open any door quickly.
    A cut off saw would breach that door in less than a minute, that's why fire stations use them.
    But I like the lock, for what it is.:)
  18. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    And 99.999999% of burglars will not have these tools, especially the meth heads who comprise the vast majority of burglars these days. You are absolutely right, too --the right tools WILL open a door efficiently. Now, if I could only find a bank that went out of business and snag a vault door and reset that baby...of course, this would mean 12" thick steel reinforced concrete walls and ceiling and floor...and then it dawns on me I don't own anything that valuable anyway.
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  19. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Around here, thieves hit construction sites for any tools or materials they can steal, to be resold or pawned. Some do get used first. ( for the record, a cutting torch is the only tool that cannot be forensically matched).
    And thieves are not lazy. I have seen some rather impressive break-ins.
  20. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Yes, but I have specialized in home security, and it's just not reasonable to conclude the majority of break-ins occur in the manner you suggest. In fact, most are rather simple and require either nothing at all or the use of a hammer or a crow-bar. And, although I very much enjoy discussing security with you and everybody else, I would like to keep this topic primarily about deadbolts and locks to assist folks. You and I can start another thread on this if you like. I see no harm in what we have thus far, it does add some extended information which may prove useful.

    New topic on home security added: Physical Security: Home Security Ideas | Survival Monkey Forums
    kellory likes this.
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