There isn’t much point of a door unless it has a good lock. And for a lock to be categorized as “good,” it must have a number of features, such as being impervious to lock-picking.
On the other hand, the door itself must also be strong enough to handle inordinate amounts of pressure, to the effect that it can withstand the force of someone trying to kick it down. That’s where the necessary benefits of a good deadbolt are felt.
Taking the time to figure out what the best door handleset is for your door is of crucial importance in ensuring your safety and convenience. But don’t worry—we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to.
Let’s get started.
In a hurry? Just take a look our top 7 picks of door handles and locks below,
- TMC Front Door Handleset – Best Value Handlest
- SCHLAGE Camelot Front Entry Handle – Best for Right-Handed Door
- Schlage FE595 CAM 626 – Affordable Keypad Handleset
- Kwikset Dakota Single Cylinder Handleset – Affordable Handleset
- Kwikset Tavaris Single Cylinder Handleset – Best for Exterior Doors
- Schlage Lock Company Camelot – Best for Entry-Door
- Kwikset Austin Single Cylinder – Best for Aesthetic Value
7 Best Door Handlesets in 2020
So let’s get right into our picks of the best door handlesets currently available on the market. We’ve put a lot of research into this list, so you can rest assured.
1. TMC Front Door Handleset – Best Value Handlest
- The purchase includes 4 keys, eliminating the need to make copies
- Delivers impressively in terms of aesthetic value
- Easy to assemble and install in just a few steps
- Extremely well-made, despite its relatively low price
Whether it is an interior door handleset you’re looking for or exterior door handlesets at a great price, this beautiful set from TMC with its black rubbed-bronze finish is bound to impress you.
The keyed mortise lock is the first thing we’d like to discuss in regards to this handleset. Its simple mechanism makes it easy to enter and exit any room in which you place this handleset.
One of our favorite things about this handleset is that it has a reversible handle. This allows you to fit it in both right-handed and left-handed doors, so once again, it’s perfect for any room.
And because it has a standard size, you don’t need to worry about whether it’ll fit your door. All the same, the included latch is adjustable, with a reliable deadbolt.
All of that being said, it should be known that this door handleset is somewhat prone to rusting in certain conditions. So if you live in a particularly wet/humid climate, we would recommend looking elsewhere.
2. SCHLAGE Camelot Front Entry Handle – Best for Right-Handed Door
- Very easy to install - does not require additional drilling on your door
- Operates smoothly despite its heavy, well-constructed body
- Comes in color options of aged bronze, bright brass and satin nickel for different aesthetic purposes
- Included hardware makes it very easy to set up
- Comes with a universal backset latch-bolt which can fit back set applications of either 2-3/8 inches or 2-3/4 inches
Schlage is an easily recognizable name on the market for quality locks, deadbolts, and handlesets, and there’s a really good reason for that. The features on this “Camelot”-style entry handleset will hopefully speak for themselves.
The exterior grip handle is extremely well-made; it will feel heavy and expensive in your hands, despite the entire set not actually being that expensive at all. Furthermore, the operation of the handleset is butter-smooth, allowing effortless entry and exit.
This handleset is fully compatible with the majority of American doors (measuring 1 3/8 inches to 1 3/4 inches); since it’s right-handed, though, be careful not to select it for a left-handed door (unfortunately, the handle is also not reversible!).
We love how this thing looks, as well. Coming in 3 different finishes–aged bronze, bright brass and satin nickel—this thing, once again, looks and feels way more expensive than it really is, which is something we can all probably appreciate.
3. Schlage FE595 CAM 626 – Affordable Keypad Handleset
- Illuminated keypad for usability in low-visibility conditions
- Constructed from premium-quality, durable metal
- Equipped with universal deadbolts and latches to fit most doors
- Effortless deleting old or adding new key codes
- The lack of keys increases overall safety
- Available in aged bronze, antique brass and pewter, bright brass, satin nickel, brushed chrome, and satin chrome finishes
One of the aspects of keyed locks that can make them somewhat frustrating to deal with is having to keep track of all the keys that fit it. And if your home has multiple family members, that problem is even more pronounced, given the higher chances of a key being lost.
The solution is, of course, a keypad-operated door handle and lock set. This one that we’ve chosen from Schlage is available at a great price for those who are just beginning to consider a keypad lock set.
The keypad, with its premium metal construction, promises years and years of service. The back-lit display ensures that you’ll be able to access it even in low-visibility conditions. Plus, the added Flex-Lock feature enables you to effortlessly switch between automatic re-locking and unlocking mode. Just turn the button, and you’re good to go.
By using a keypad lock, you are essentially eliminating the use of keys, the benefits of doing, which are plenty. However, the use of keys also provides benefits, which is something Schlage has kept in mind; accordingly, it also comes with a locking option.
So with this handleset, you’re getting the best of both worlds. We really see no reason to skip out on it!
4. Kwikset Dakota Single Cylinder Handleset – Budget Handleset
- Durable construction makes it ideal for use on exterior doors
- Fits both left-handed and right-handed doors thanks to universal handing
- Integrates SmartKey technology for effortless re-keying in a matter of minutes
- Available in satin nickel and polished brass finish options
- The deadbolt is ANSI/BHMA Grade-3 Certified
This next handleset from Kwikset is undoubtedly one of our favorites, for which there is one primary reason: SmartKey technology. Exclusive to Kwikset, this is a mechanism that allows you to re-key your Kwikset lock using an included keying device in a matter of minutes.
That makes this handleset ideal for houses with multiple key-owners who are prone to misplacing their keys. It’s also a great solution if you’ve loaned your keys to someone, and they’re taking a while to return it, thereby hazarding your safety.
Beyond that, the handleset by itself is a nifty little thing. Available in two attractive finishes, this makes a perfect option for those looking for an affordable entry door handleset that will nevertheless not compromise on performance.
The interior knob on this thing is outfitted with universal handing: that means it will easily fit both left-handed and right-handed doors, which translates to one less hassle for you to undertake.
5. Kwikset Tavaris Single Cylinder Handleset – Best Exterior Doors
- Comes with an adjustable latch for all standard doors
- Ideal for use on exterior doors with both left-handed and right-handed use
- Integrated SmartKey technology makes re-keying by yourself a walk in the park
- Available in 3 elegant and aesthetically appealing color finishes
This next handleset is also from Kwikset, and it’s ideal for those of you with a bigger budget. There are a lot of things to love about this set; keep reading to find out how it ended up on our list.
Part of the Signature Series line by Kwikset, this handleset is ideal for use on exterior doors. With sturdy construction and intuitive design, this set does its best to ensure your safety and security.
Furthermore, the interior lever is fully reversible; that means that this handleset accommodates both left-and right-handed doors. Yep, it’s just a world of convenience with this handleset.
And of course, like most Kwikset handlesets, this one also comes equipped with SmartKey technology; if you read the review above this one, then you already know about the benefits of a system that allow you to re-key a lock so swiftly and effortlessly.
Now, even though this might make us sound shallow, we’d love to talk about this thing’s aesthetic appeal. Constructed in a style that is bound to make your visitors think that it’s a designer lock, it’s also available in 3 tasteful finish options: polished chrome, satin chrome, and satin nickel.
All in all, we think this is a great little handleset with features that could easily place it at a higher price point but is instead priced super affordably. What’s not to love?
6. Schlage Lock Company Camelot Handle – Best for Entry-Door
- Included through-bolts are fully adjustable, able to move 1 ½ inches to fit the majority of door holes
- Very easy to assemble and set up; does not require additional drilling
- Comes in aged bronze, bright brass, and satin nickel to complement all aesthetics
- The extremely durable body ensures years of uninterrupted operation
If you thought that we could continue writing about front door handle lock sets without mentioning Schlage for the third time, then clearly, you had another think coming. This highly-rated handleset is available at a nearly unbelievable price, and it has all the features of the Camelot handleset that we all know and love.
This thing will easily go on any door measuring 1 3/8 inches to 1 3/4 inches; featuring full compatibility with the majority of American doors is something we all look for in our handlesets, am I right?
We love how durably constructed the exterior grip handle is; despite its relatively low price, it basically makes handleset feel much heavier and more expensive than it really is. And what about its performance? Smooth as butter! There’s no way your guests/neighbors will be able to tell how much you spent on this without guessing way outside the price range.
We all love a reliable, good old-fashioned front-entry door handleset, like this one. Without a doubt, it will serve you for many, many years to come. That being said, there is a lack of a reversible handle to consider; make sure to check that this handleset will fit your door properly before purchasing.
7. Kwikset Austin Single Cylinder UL Handleset – Best for Aesthetic Value
- Available in elegant Venetian bronze and satin nickel finish options
- Features SmartKey technology that allows you to re-key by yourself in just a few steps
- Comes with an adjustable latch that will easily fit all standard doors
- Ideal for exterior use due to its durable construction
- Will retain its original looks and bearing several years down the line
We’re ending our list of reviews with another beautiful set from Kwikset with a host of great features that you’re going to love reading about, whether or not you end up buying it.
First off, we actually want to take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this handleset is. The design is simple, yet elegant, and because it comes in both chrome-nickel and Venetian bronze finishes, you can rest assured that it will seamlessly fit into the unique architecture of your home.
But it doesn’t matter how good it looks unless it also performs well, which this thing definitely does. Equipped with SmartKey technology like the majority of Kwikset’s other handlesets, this thing makes it easy to re-key your lock if you’ve misplaced your key, are moving out, or have lent out a key that hasn’t yet been returned.
Furthermore, this handleset has a fully reversible interior lock. Add in the adjustable latch, and you have a universally compatible door handleset that not only looks beautiful but performs according to all your expectations.
And once again, Kwikset impresses in terms of price. Although this model is slightly more expensive than other affordable options on the market, we think it’s a huge steal given the features it’s equipped with.
Buying Guide for Door Handleset
Before you decide on the best door locks for home security, you should strive to have a better understanding of the various types, and the differences thereof. Those are discussed below, along with delineations of other important features.
There are two main lock types that you need to look out for cylindrical and mortise.
Cylindrical locksets come with a rounded body meant to fit into a large hole created in the face of the door. The lock has a mechanism intersecting with the latch bolt, which is inserted into a smaller hole on the edge of the door.
If you're opting for a cylindrical lock, then you should also consider buying a deadbolt lock to ensure the door's security. This is because cylindrical locksets usually don't include a security deadbolt.
Mortise locksets are the kind that we have mostly reviewed in this article. They have a large rectangular body which is accommodated by a corresponding rectangular opening, called a mortise, bored into the edge of the door.
The body of the mortise lock comes with mechanisms that accommodate the knob, latch, lever handle, and deadbolt. The lock is engaged and disengaged using buttons at the edge of the door.
Exterior doors all require a deadbolt to be fitted into it. Since a deadbolt is separate from the handleset, they are more difficult to infiltrate through picking, sawing or jimmying.
It works like this: once you turn a key, a thick, solid metal bolt slides into the door frame and strike plate. This has the effect of bolting the door closed. The type of deadbolt that you choose for your handleset will determine how secure the door is.
Interior / Exterior Lock:
One important consideration is whether the lock will be utilized on an interior or exterior door. Interior handlesets are geared towards providing privacy rather than security.
Accordingly, they come with a push-button lock; this makes them ideal for bedroom and bathroom doors.
But you will be more interested in exterior doorknobs, as handlesets fall into that category. They are heavier and are also more durable as their primary function is to ensure the security of your home.
Some exterior handlesets can be locked and unlocked from either side of the door. This is achieved using a button, a key, or a throw latch - the necessity varies from one situation to another.
Strike Plate / Strike Box:
Unfortunately, no matter how much you shell out for your door handleset, the hardware that comes with, it can sometimes be somewhat weak. This includes the strike plate, which is affixed to the doorjamb in order to accommodate hole(s) for the door’s bolts.
However, because strike plates go on the doorframe instead of the body of the house, they are more susceptible to breaking-and-entering efforts. Basically, they provide little resistance to kicking in.
A solution to this is selecting a lock that incorporates a box strike with screws. This fortifies the door to stay in place, especially when someone is trying to kick the door down. Alternatively, if you do buy a lock with a strike plate, then consider buying an aftermarket box strike and screws. It's not much to spend - around $5 to $10 - but it's much safer.
Before deciding on the right handleset, there are a few other things you have to keep in mind.
This is basically the measurement that spans between the door's edge and the center of the hole or rectangle that is created for the handleset. Unless you cross-check this information, you'll end up with the wrong handleset.
The thickness of the Door:
The most common measurements of a door's thickness are 1 3/8 inches of 1 3/4 inches. If it's an exterior door, it's likely to be thicker. You have to make sure to buy a handleset that will fit your door's thickness.
The Door's Orientation:
Basically, is it left-handed or right-handed? If it opens towards you, the side on which its knob is situated is going to determine its orientation, i.e., e.g. if it opens towards you and its knob is on the right, it's a right-handed door.
The price range for door handlesets is vast. You can spend as little as $30, or you can shell out up to $800. As you may already know, the price is usually a reflection of how well you can expect the handleset to perform.
In general, we recommend investing in handlesets between $100 and $200. That seems to be the safe spot where you can depend on the lock to be reliable, and also able to complement the aesthetics of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a cylindrical and mortise lock?
Ans: A cylindrical lock comes with a round body that fits into a hole made in the door's face. A mortise lock is rectangular in shape and fits into a rectangular opening. Mortise locks are easier to operate, but require a separate indentation to be made.
2. What is the purpose of a deadbolt?
Ans: A deadbolt requires a key to be operated. This serves to enhance the security of your door handleset.
3. How does an interior lock differ from an exterior lock?
Ans: Exterior locks are sturdier as they are meant to provide security from external influences e.g. kicks. Interior locks are meant to support your privacy, making them ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms. However, they're somewhat easier to penetrate.
4. Do I really need to get a box strike?
Ans: That depends; how important is security to you? Ultimately, handlesets with strike plates won't offer the kind of resilience those with box strikes will, simply because of how they are installed.
5. Will my chosen handleset fit my door’s dimensions?
Ans: The vast majority of handlesets are made to fit doors measuring from 1 3/8 inches to 1 3/4 inches. Why not take a few measurements first to be sure, though?
When it comes down to it, choosing the best door handleset is pretty difficult given all the great options available on the market.
That being said, we’d be remiss not to set apart the Schlage Camelot Front Entry Handle; not only does it have lots of great features, it’s also priced very affordably.Whichever one you choose, we hope your doors are always locked securely. Good luck and stay safe!