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How To Install Portable Door Lock [Step By Step Guide]

Have you heard of portable door locks? They are handy devices that can add another layer to your safety. But how do you install one? In this post, we have laid out our research with a step-by-step guide to help you!

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Portable door locks typically come in two parts. The first part is a metal plate that fits into the door strike plate and bolts, while the second is a wedge that holds the lock in place.

Here are the basic steps to installing a portable door lock:

  1. Open the door
  2. Position the metal plate against the door strike plate
  3. Close the door
  4. Lock the plate in place with the wedge or screw

Depending on your lock design, you can also hook the wedge into any other locks or handles on your door.

And that's it! You now have an extra layer of protection from the outside. Keep in mind that while portable locks come in different shapes and sizes, the principle of using them is the same. If you want to learn more about portable door locks and how they keep you safe, keep on reading!

Hand holding door knob, white door and wall, How To Install Portable Door Lock [Step By Step Guide]

How To A Install Portable Door Lock

As the name suggests, a portable door lock is a portable, handheld mechanism that you can use to reinforce the locks on your doors. While they can come in different shapes, they mostly follow the same method of installation.

Hand holding a door knob opening a white door

1. Open The Door

For the lock to work, you will need to have access to the strike plate of your door knob. This is the metal plate screwed into the door frame where the door bolts lock into place.

2. Position Metal Plate Against Strike Plate

Portable Door Lock white background

Get the first part of your portable door lock. This will be the metal plate. This usually has one or two holes that you must align to the door strike plate. Make sure they are level with each other so that the door bolts can still lock into place.

3. Close The Door

Now you can gently close the door. Ensure that the bolts have popped into the strike plate and that it cannot be pushed open.

4. Lock The Plate In Place

The second piece of the portable door lock is the wedge. Attach this wedge to the protruding piece of metal plate and press it against the door. Tighten the tension knob to keep it in place. Now your door is locked!

Why Should I Use A Portable Door Lock?

Door Latch classic door knob close up

Portable door locks are recommended mostly for travelers—for example, those who live in dorms or are staying in Airbnbs, where security is not the most reliable. In these types of places, you may not be sure who or how many people have access to your room.

Another reason to use portable door locks is to protect yourself from break ins. Even without a key, someone with malicious intent could pick your lock or try to break the doorknob. With a portable door lock in place, the door will stay closed no matter how much the lock is compromised.

You do not have to live in a dorm, apartment, or Airbnb to use a portable door lock. Homeowners can use the for different rooms in the house. They are especially handy for doors that do not have the best locks.

Another scenario where you would want to use a portable door lock is to keep kids out of work areas. Let's say you are working with hazardous equipment in the basement. Having a portable door lock installed will keep curious kids from wandering into the room without you noticing.

Are Portable Door Locks Safe?

Portable Door Lock red key

Portable door locks are effective and safe. However, their biggest caveat is that they only work on doors that go inward. This also means that you can only use them while you are inside the room you have locked.

So, while portable locks can certainly protect you while you are asleep or at least in the room, you will have to find other security measures once you leave it. Consider keeping any valuables in the room inside a locked safe or hidden away.

Try not to leave any valuables behind if you are only staying in a room for a short time. Hotel rooms without a locked safe can be worked around, as you can ask the front desk to keep your things safe for you.

Besides not being able to lock your door from the outside, there are not many downsides to portable door locks. Just be sure to check if it is still working as it should every once in a while to avoid any failures, unlikely as they may be.

How To Unlock Portable Door Lock?

A person opening a wooden door

Unlocking a portable door lock is just as straightforward as installing one. Simply unscrew the wedge that is holding onto the metal plate and open your door like normal.

The interesting thing about portable door locks is that some wedges come with holes that hook into deadbolts or door handles. You can use these to your advantage and provide a better seal to the lock whenever you do use your portable door lock.

Unlocking and installing a portable door lock can take some practice. Keep in mind that if you are not used to having the portable door lock installed, you could fumble a bit when opening the door.

Not knowing how to properly unlock your portable door lock can be a safety hazard in the case of an emergency. Familiarize yourself with how your portable door lock works so you can get used to it as soon as possible.

When in doubt about how to use your particular lock, you can always check the product instructions. These usually come either in a booklet or printed on the packaging with your lock. You can also try other portable door lock alternatives.

Best Portable Door Lock 

With all of the brands out there, picking out the right portable door lock can be overwhelming. This is especially true when shopping online. You might also be unsure which product is the most reliable since you cannot test it out for yourself.

When shopping online, we recommend you stick with the product option that has the best reviews. Here are a few portable door locks that we found on Amazon that you may find suitable:

Addalock Portable Door Lock

Click here to see Addalock Portable Door Lock on Amazon.

When you look up portable door locks, one of the top results you will get is the Addalock brand. This brand is the most trusted, with one of the highest online customer reviews. The only downside with Addalock is that it is quite pricey, though some might argue that its function is worth the cost.

Normally, Addalock retails for $31 on Amazon. If you are lucky, you can purchase it for 51% off.

AceMining Portable Door Lock

Click here to see AceMining Portable Door Lock on Amazon

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Addalock, the AceMining portable door lock is a more affordable dupe. Both brands have similar ratings with decent online reviews. The AceMining lock installs the same way as an Addalock.

Make sure to check out the specifications in the item description before you the product. No matter which brand you are buying, you need to ensure that the product is compatible with the type of door bolts you have.

DoorJammer Portable Door Lock Brace

Click here to see DoorJammer on Amazon.

This portable door lock is a little different from the last two. Instead of fitting into the door strike plate, this one goes on the floor. The plate part is then jammed under the door. You then screw it into place, and this will prevent your door from opening, even when unlocked.

Strike plate-fitting portable door locks can usually only fit standard bolt sizes. Using a DoorJammer is a great alternative for doors with irregular bolts. 

DoorJammer is a bit pricier than the AceMining option. It is usually at $24 on Amazon.

Master Lock Door Security Bar

Click here to see Master Lock Door Security Bar on Amazon.

The final option in this list is a little more intuitive to use than the others. This lock is a retractable bar that sandwiches between the bottom of your door and the ground, keeping the door shut.

This type of lock costs as much as the DoorJammer. 

Wrapping Things Up

Hand holding door knob, white door and wall

Install your portable door lock by fitting the metal plate into your door strike plate. Shut the door and then screw the accompanying wedge into place. Once secured, no one will be able to open your door, even if it is unlocked.

You should get used to locking and unlocking your door this way, so you can use the portable lock more efficiently. Portable door locks are perfect for people in apartments, dorms, or hotels.

Portable door locks can only lock from the inside while you are in the room, so invest in other security measures if you want more protection when outside.

Did you find this post helpful? If you did, check out our other articles before you go!

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