Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Attempting (and Failing) to Drill Open a Schlage Deadbolt

Schlage B60N deadbolt (top)

A common attack against deadbolts involves drilling out the mounting screws so the housing can be removed and the bolt retracted with a screwdriver.  On most Grade 3 deadbolts, this can be accomplished in less than a minute (provided one knows where to drill).  Also, the noise created by doing this is minimal, making it an effective method for criminals to gain entry.  For this reason, I offer my customers the Schlage B60N.  Like most Schlage deadbolts, this one comes with a reinforced housing designed to thwart drilling attacks.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of this product, I attempted to drill out one of the two mounting bolts on a used B60N I had acquired from a previous job.  I mounted the deadbolt on a stand of various locks and attempted to drill it open using a Ridgid lithium ion cordless drill and a Craftsman cobalt bit set, intended for drilling metals.

I marked off my drill point and proceeded to drill the outside skin of the housing.  I continued to drill, but could barely make as much as a scratch in the metal plate underneath.  After repeated attempts, I was unable to penetrate the plate.  I ended up having to utilize a different tool to destroy the plate (I will not go into details here).  After several minutes of using the different method, I finally penetrated the plate, revealing a small hole, exposing the mounting screw.

Failed drilling attempt; protective plate barely scratched!
After several more minutes of drilling I was finally able to get the mounting screw to back out.  Keep in mind that even though I was drilling into the bottom of the mounting bolt, I still had to drill quite a way before it would turn.

When all was said and done I had drilled out one of the two mounting screws.  However, it would not be possible to accomplish this with a regular drill and bit—additional tools were necessary.

I would estimate if someone knew what they were doing and had all the necessary tools ready to go, it would take them about fifteen to twenty minutes to overcome one of these deadbolts.  Again, I would contrast this against most deadbolts, which can easily be penetrated this way in less than a minute and with fewer tools.

If after reading this you would like to upgrade your security, you can visit our website and request an appointment for a free consultation.