How to Choose the Best Garage Door Lock

If you love your garage as much as we think you do (you must be on this site for a reason, right?) then there is no question that the thought of someone breaking into it has at least crossed your mind at some point. Be it the project that you’re working on inside, the expensive tools you don’t want stolen, or just the fact that your garage is too dear to you for your heart to accept strangers messing around in there, you need to keep your garage secure. And the simplest way to do that is to lock your garage door with a quality lock that does the job for you.

Garage door locks come in a lot of different types. Some are extremely simple but still do their job remarkably well while others boast fancy new features that truly make sure that your garage door only ever gets accessed by you. Deciding what type of lock you need will require you to first analyze your needs, then study the different types of locks available on the market, and finally make a purchase depending on your needs as well as your budget. So, let’s simplify things and help you make the right choice.

Manual or Automatic?

The first decision you will have to make is to decide whether the garage door lock you want to get should be manually operated or an automatic variant. To put it simply, manual locks offer much less variety when it comes to design and operation but are quite reliable and need little maintenance while also being easier to understand and repair. Automatic locks on the other hand can offer a lot more possibilities and be much more convenient, but will understandably cost more and require more maintenance and repair skill or cost should they get damaged in some way. For further help regarding this matter, feel free to read our post discussing exactly this decision.

If Manual, Go Sturdy

Let’s say you decided to get a manual lock for your garage door. Some people are perfectly happy with the added hassle of having to get out of their car to unlock or lock the garage door themselves for the benefit of a simpler lock that is extremely reliable and doesn’t depend on electricity and other systems to function properly. The best thing you could do when choosing a traditional manual lock would be to get an expensive and sturdy one.

Expensive manual locks still don’t cost nearly as much as automatic ones, and there is no cost of installation required either. And sturdy doesn’t just mean getting a bulky lock. That alone is not going to be that useful if the brand is not a particularly good one. Get yourself a lock that is sturdy in its construction as well as its function. Get yourself a manual lock from a brand that is known for producing amazing locks that are extremely difficult to break in to.

If Digital, Go Complex

Now, let’s say you want to go for an automatic lock. Preferably one that you can open from inside your car, else what’ll be the purpose of choosing that over a manual one? If you do go for such a lock, try to choose an unlocking mechanism that cannot be that easily fooled. For example, a simple 4-digit passcode lock wouldn’t be that hard to crack if your would-be thief is a patient person. On the other hand, a fingerprint scanner to open the garage door would be much harder to break open.

See What Features It Ships With

When browsing automatic garage door locks, you will begin to notice something. Recent newer models seem to be adapting a policy of doing more than just locking a door. Automatic locks nowadays aren’t so much as locks as they are full security systems. What this means is that a ton of automatic garage door locking mechanisms nowadays ship with a lot of extra features that may just save your bacon.

These features can range from anything including tripping alarms to sending out alerts to you as well as the local authorities or a professional live monitoring service you can subscribe to. These systems are pretty much what security systems for whole houses come with nowadays, so this is much more than a lock but might just be worth the money.

Can Your Door Lock Function Without Power?

Some automatic garage door locks rely solely on electricity to run, whereas others can have a backup system in case your power goes out. The last thing you want is your garage door lock to start keeping you out instead of potential burglars. Though unlikely, you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a power failure in your district, and thus you should plan accordingly. It’s always better to be prepared, and an automatic garage door lock that can function via backup power is a good way to be so.

Does It Have an Emergency Release?

Another thing to consider is going for an automatic lock that can be opened from the inside in case of some sort of emergency. Emergency release systems are standard in normal garage doors, so make sure whichever lock you go for features one too. This, or a manually operated system that can only be fiddled with on the inside are crucial not just for helping you escape in the case of an emergency, but also for opening up the garage door in the case of a power outage so you can at least park your car inside.

If Still Concerned, Go for Both

If the security of your garage door is what concerns you most; more than convenience or ease of maintenance, and your greatest need is that no one but you should ever be able to enter your garage, then the best garage door lock you can get for yourself would be a combination of both. With a manually operated sturdy beast of a lock backing up your automatic locking mechanism, you’ll be inconvenienced a little but you will definitely be much safer. Bonus points for getting the best of both worlds and making a truly secure garage that deters thieves just by looking at it.


In the end it all comes down to not being cheap when getting a lock and common sense. For best results, just the presence of a lock is not enough; go one step further and take other precautionary measures that you should be taking anyway. These include the steps people recommend for keeping your whole house safe from burglars and include taking measures like keeping edges of your house lit up as well as in clear view of the whole street without the presence of any hidey holes a thief could utilize.

In the meantime, if you’re up for it, we’ve got a lot of other articles we’re sure will help you make your garage a better place as well. Why not read our related post on a guide to keeping unwanted intruders out of your garage? Or perhaps our guide to garage safety will help you make the garage not just safe from thieves, but also a safer place to work in for yourself.