Jimmy-proof vertical deadbolt locks are great as they offer enhanced resistance against forced entry. Their unique design, which involves interlocking with a strike plate mounted on the door frame, makes it difficult for intruders to pry the door open or spread the door and frame apart.
Most smart locks available today, are designed for single-cylinder deadbolts. So if you’re renting an apartment with a Jimmy-proof door lock, your options are limited as you can’t start drilling holes in the door!
In this article, I discuss two ways you can cleanly retrofit your vertical deadbolt with a smart actuator, to give your door the smarts it needs.
I’ll also discuss some smart vertical deadbolt locks that you can use if you are replacing your existing lock and installing a new one.
Updated May 2023 to remove the Samsung SHS-D500 which seems to be discontinued.
Best Jimmy-Proof Deadbolt Retrofit Options
A quick summary of your options here which I discuss in detail below. You can use an August Smart Lock with specialized adapter from Etsy or for a cheaper option, you can try the SwitchBot Lock which fits over the thumb turn. Both of these solutions are “smart” in the sense that they can be voice controlled and connected to home automation systems.
Best Jimmy-Proof Deadbolt Replacement Options
As I discussed below, I ruled out a lot of models for new installations as I wasn't convinced they were secure enough. That left the Gateman by Assa Abloy and the Samsung SHS-D500 model (which since I published this article is now out of stock so I removed from this list).
While these devices have some nice tech like biometrics and RFID, neither are “smart” in that they cannot be voice controlled by Alexa, Google Home, or Siri; nor can they be connected to smart home hubs. They are both standalone solutions, which is a pity.
Best Jimmy-Proof Deadbolt Retrofit Options
- Biometric Verification: Yes
- Retrofit for Existing Deadbolt: Yes
- Hub Required: No
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi
- Control Method: Voice (Alexa, Google Assistant)
- Material: Metal
- Auto-Lock and Unlock: Yes
- DoorSense: Knows if the door is open, closed, locked or unlocked
The August Smart Lock has a small, sleek design that's 45% smaller than the August Smart Lock Pro, blending effortlessly into your home without overshadowing the interior.
Made from sturdy metal with a brushed metal exterior, this slim device combines style and functionality, offering solid security without compromising looks. I like that it has a simple installation process and how it works with existing deadbolts.
This clever gadget easily turns your current deadbolt into a smarter lock while still allowing you to use your original keys. Installing the August Smart Lock takes about 10 minutes, so you can quickly start enjoying a safer, unaltered home without affecting its appearance.
It integrates with popular smart home systems like Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings, making it easy to control your lock remotely using the August app. Use voice commands, give temporary access to guests, and get door status updates, all while monitoring your home's activity – ensuring peace of mind is always at hand. However, I was disappointed with its short battery life and the need for costly CR123 batteries.
SturdyLock Jimmy Proof Adapter
For the August Smart Lock to work on a Jimmy Proof deadbolt you will need the SturdyLock Adapter.
It is compatible with the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock (4th Gen) and August Smart Lock Pro (3rd Gen).
Ideal for renters and homeowners, SturdyLock's surface-mount design ensures easy installation without door damage. It easily fits doors between 1-3/8" to 2-3/8" in thickness and various styles, like French doors and sliders.
The only drawback is the plastic components might not be durable enough for long-term use.
- Easy installation
- Excellent app functionality
- Compatible with existing deadbolts
- Built-in Wi-Fi, no hub required
- Auto-lock and unlock feature
- Voice control with popular smart home devices
- Access sharing for friends and family
- DoorSense to monitor door status
- Compact design, 45% smaller than previous model
- Short battery life, requires frequent replacement
- Connectivity issues reported by users
- Android app performance could be improved
- Some difficulty syncing with Siri
- Plastic adapters may be less durable
- May require additional devices for certain features
- Voice Control: Siri, Amazon Alexa
- Easy Installation: No tools needed, uses 3M adhesive
- Lock Type: Retrofit for existing deadbolt, doesn't affect the original lock
- Material: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polycarbonate
- Control Method: Mobile App
- Auto-Lock Feature: Yes
- Home Sharing: Yes
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (via SwitchBot Hub Mini)
The SwitchBot Smart Lock provides simple installation for various lock types. Its adaptable design can upgrade existing deadbolts including Jimmy Proof Vertical deadbolts, allowing you to keep your original lock while enjoying smart home benefits.
Installing the SwitchBot Smart Lock is pretty easy - it has a tool-free setup that uses strong 3M adhesive instead of needing hours of effort. This ensures a secure and straightforward installation process.
Unfortunately, some testers and device owners encounter issues with calibration so that’s something to be aware of. Despite this, the SwitchBot Smart Lock impresses with compatibility with Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. This integration lets you control your door's security with voice commands, which is a nice feature.
- Easy to install
- Compatible with various lock types
- No need to replace the original lock
- Auto-lock feature
- Voice control through Siri, Alexa, and others
- Remote access with app and hub
- Works with Euro style and mortise locks
- Keypad Touch add-on available
- App and watch control options
- Notifications and alerts for lock status
- Inconsistent performance reported
- Jams and calibration issues encountered by some
- Weak adhesive may cause detachment
- Can be glitchy
- Alexa integration not always reliable
- Firmware updates necessary for some features
Best Jimmy-Proof Deadbolt Replacement Options
- Lock Type: Keypad
- Dimensions: 2.36 x 1.18 x 0.04 inches
- Finish: Polished, Rectangular
- Control Method: Voice
- Power Source: 4 AA batteries (not included)
- Origin: Korea, Republic of
- Fingerprint Access: Up to 20 users
- Door Thickness Compatibility: 35-65 mm
Gateman and Yale are both owned by Assa Abloy so you’ll notice that this lock is virtually identical to the Yale YDR41A
With the G-Swipe Fingerprint Lock, you get top-notch security, which uses a Vertibolt Rim mechanism for enhanced protection. The sleek Hairline Keypad hides fingerprint-scanning technology, making it discreet. Plus, Easy Scan 2.0 quickly confirms users, offering both convenience and safety.
I like the simple installation and effective auto-locking feature of this fingerprint lock. You can add a classy touch to your home with the sleek Diamond Cutting design. It's shiny finish and rectangular form give a modern look to any space. With compatibility for door thicknesses from 35-65 mm, it fits various entryways smoothly.
Easily control access for up to 20 users with master-PIN, user-PIN, one-time PIN, and visitor-PIN options. The helpful voice guide makes operation a breeze, with English and Korean language options. But, be aware – not following directions can make programming difficult.
- Auto-locking feature works well
- Sleek appearance
- Easy installation process
- Compatible with sliding doors
- Fingerprint recognition
- Programming can be challenging
- Requires 4 AA batteries (not included)
- Not suitable for all door thicknesses (35-65 mm)
- Doesn't support smart home hubs or voice assistants
Things to look out for when making a decision
When considering smart lock compatibility, look for products that integrate with existing setups, such as the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock (4th Generation) and the SwitchBot Wi-Fi Smart Lock. These locks are compatible with popular smart home hubs, enabling control via voice commands or apps.
Ease of installation and setup is vital for a Jimmy-proof vertical deadbolt smart lock. Both the August Wi-Fi Smart Lock (with the SturdyLock adapter) and the SwitchBot Wi-Fi Smart Lock offer straightforward installation and setup processes, fitting on existing deadbolts and requiring minimal hardware.
The Gateman option require more invasive installation which will take longer.
Security features and encryption are essential for smart locks. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock utilizes biometric verification, door sense technology, and a keyhole-free design.
It's crucial to choose locks with robust security mechanisms and encryption protocols to protect against unauthorized access and potential hackers.
Remote access and control capabilities are significant aspects of smart locks, allowing you to lock and unlock doors from anywhere using a smart device or voice control. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock and SwitchBot Wi-Fi Smart Lock provide push notifications, access management, and voice control through popular assistants.
Power / Batteries
Lastly, consider battery life and power backup options when choosing a smart lock. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock operates on batteries and should be replaced periodically. Some locks, like the Gateman G-Swipe, offer low-battery alarms and emergency power options to ensure continuous functionality.
What is a Jimmy Proof Deadbolt Lock?
A Jimmy Proof Deadbolt Lock is a unique type of lock designed to provide enhanced security for doors.
It features a surface-mounted vertical bolt that slides into a sturdy strike plate, making it resistant to forced entry techniques like lock picking, prying, and “jimmying” with a crowbar or other tools.
Why is it called a Jimmy Proof lock?
The term “Jimmy Proof” originates from its ability to withstand attempts at “jimmying” the lock.
In the world of locks and security, “jimmying” refers to the act of breaking or bypassing a lock using force or tools.
This lock's name highlights its effectiveness in preventing such attempts.
How does a jimmy proof deadbolt work?
A Jimmy Proof Deadbolt works by having a vertical bolt that securely fastens into the strike plate mounted on the door frame.
When the key is turned, the bolt slides up into the strike plate, providing a strong and secure connection.
This vertical bolt design makes it difficult for intruders to pry the door open or force their way in, ensuring your home stays secure.
How I Tested
For this article on Jimmy Proof Vertical Deadbolt Smart Locks, I conducted extensive research on various smart locks for doors and ways to smarten up these types of locks. This research included reading various threads on Reddit, watching a number of relevant Youtube videos, and checking out the specifications and reviews of the main devices for sale for both retrofit and new installations.
I take my recommendations seriously and ruled out a number of Jimmy-proof smart locks from brands like Sonew, Xbroom, Dioche, and CfoPiryx where I wasn’t convinced they would be suitable for improving one's home security.