Window locks can be an important security measure for vinyl windows. Which widely available options are the best ones?
We’ll tackle five top picks, readily available from Amazon, and guide you to the best choice in our Best Locks for Vinyl Windows: Comprehensive Buying Guide. Read on to see our top five picks, all with links to purchase.
Top Five Affordable Locks for Vinyl Windows (2023)
Below, we explore our top five affordable options for vinyl window locks to help enhance security around the home.
These are all easily available from Amazon or other online retailers (Lowes, Home Depot, Rona, etc.) They all provide protection from intruders and burglars. Also, they offer much-needed child-proofing protection for curious kids. They can prevent them from climbing out of any reachable windows.
The Prime-Line U 9809 is a sliding window lock for vinyl windows. The locks feature an easily adjustable jaw with a tight and secure grip. They are capable of opening up to ½” wide. The Prime-Line U 9808 is designed for horizontal vinyl sliding windows but is fully operational on vertical sliding windows.
Most of the reviews and consumer feedback point to security and peace of mind for an extremely low cost. This lock is middle-of-the-road price-point-wise compared to the rest of the list at around $8.00.
Installation is regarded as pretty easy by the vast majority of the customers who opted for the 9809 over other choices.
Things We Like About the Prime-Line U 9809:
- Extremely reasonable price at around ~$8.00 USD per ½” lock.
- Easy installation and easy to move around / adjust.
Things We Don’t Like About the Prime-Line U 9809:
- No rubber inserts to protect the window frame against the teeth of the lock mechanism. Most users report cutting sticky rubber or tack and placing it within the jaws of the lock to protect their windows.
- Need two per window if you are using them to secure partially open windows. One can be knocked off easily by closing the window a bit and ramming it against the lock. This is not good for security. People with vertically sliding doors will want to put one on each side. Those with horizontal windows, however, will need to put two directly next to each other.
A well-built and sturdily manufactured product that depends on perfect alignment during installation. Multiple consumers note that the two sides of the lock need to be perfectly aligned.
In some cases, people would need to add a shim if their sliding windows didn’t sit flush with the frame bar. These alignment issues are why the Phillips screws are included in addition to the one-way tamper-resistant ones.
Things We Like About the Defender Security U 9928 Keyed Sash Lock:
This lock can be used on vertical, single, and double-hung sliding windows, along with horizontal sliding windows.
- They actually work! Consumers with young children report the product working well to prevent them from climbing out the windows.
- Made of durable diecast Zinc.
Things We Don’t Like About the Defender Security U 9928 Keyed Sash Lock:
- The function of the key itself is quite odd. It doesn’t need to be turned, but simply inserted straight in. The latch can then be flipped open. This is a minor quibble for a good-quality product but still warrants mention.
- Installation can be a lot more difficult compared to the other products on our list. Many people have had to make modifications or adjustments based on having angled or misaligned windows.
- Keys and locks look identical, despite being different. Each lock will have a different key. If you’re using multiple products in your home across different windows, this can easily become a little confusing. Imagine the repercussions of misplacing one of the keys.
This set from Zuonai comes with options of 2, 4, or 8 locks and corresponding screws. Made of zinc diecast alloy, they are rust-proof, wear-resistant, and anti-corrosive. A screw-hole counterbore design provides an improved, sleek look. Plus, it reduces the risk of displacement.
They are easy to install, with a 3mm drill required to drill holes into the edge of the window.
The metal sash locks can then be tightened with a Phillips screwdriver. This particular sash-lock features a “cam action” hook that draws the keeper in tight when locked. The latch body has anti-jimmy studs which engage the keeper.
Prevent any unwanted intruders and burglars. Plus, child-proof the home at the same time!
Things We Like About the Cam Action Window Sash Locks and Keeper:
- Most consumers report an easy fix and installation to replace previously broken locks on windows (double pane, in particular). They fit well even on older windows (20-40 years old) as reported.
Things We Don’t Like About the Cam Action Window Sash Locks and Keeper:
- Users report the build is “cheaper” quality when compared to its counterparts, entirely made of metal alloy. Some components of these locks are made of cheaper plastic.
- The photos depicted of the product on Amazon indicate black screws, but the product ships with silver screws. Something to keep in mind if you’re looking to achieve a uniform look.
Another option from Prime-Line, the F 2588 Sash Lock, is designed to fit most single and double-hung sliding vinyl windows. This lock is made of diecast zinc and it can also be used on aluminum or wood-based windows.
This Prime-Line lock features a cam action hook latch to draw the keeper tighter when locked. The product is of good build quality with heavy-duty construction for reinforced security. The keeper is 5/16” with a 2-1/16” mounting hole center. The latch body features anti-jimmy studs which engage the keeper.
This is a good option, in particular for double-hung wood windows.
Much like other Prime-Line products, the product is covered under a warranty. This is due to manufacturing defects for one year from the date of purchase.
Things We Like About the Prime-Line F 2588 Sash Lock:
- Affordable alternative to a much more expensively priced sash lock by brands like Pella or Kolbe.
- Provided you make sure of proper measurements before installation, most of the feedback on the installation process is positive. This makes the Prime-Line F 2588 loos as easy to install as the rest of their line of window locks.
Things We Don’t Like About the Prime-Line F 2588 Sash Lock:
- Screws have been reported breaking off in multiple reviews for the product. The product listing also does not specify the size of the mounting screws. They end up being much smaller than those used on most window latches.
- Consumer feedback mentions that it’s much more lightweight and noticeably cheaper than that of higher-priced brands. This is despite the supplied receiver being of decent build quality.
The cheapest option on our list, the Prime-Line F 2801, is also quite highly reviewed. This product receives plenty of positive consumer feedback. This may help support its purchase for use with vertical sliding, single-hung, or double-hung vinyl windows. It’s important to note that these are specifically for use with vertical sliding windows.
These are a little cheaper in build quality. It’s made from vinyl, although the latch features a steel spring with a corrosion-resistant, zinc-plated finish. Mounting hardware is included. This is an easy do-it-yourself install, provided you have a screwdriver and a drill. The mounting hole centers are 2-5/16”.
The latch is spring loaded. In this case, to unlock you would pull the tab back in the middle of the latch (slide the locking clip back). Most reviewers “can’t complain for the price,” which signals that despite the flimsier vinyl material, the product does work.
Things We Like About the Prime-Line F 2801 Vinyl Window Tilt Latch:
- Super easy installation. No drilling is required unless you need to adjust the fit compared to the ones previously installed on your windows. Some consumers mention having to drill a hole into the top frame of the window when one of the mounting holes didn’t work.
Things We Don’t Like About the Prime-Line F 2801 Vinyl Window Tilt Latch:
- The installation instructions contained aren’t very clear. This is a minor gripe because most people can figure out the appropriate installation with some common sense.
- A couple of consumers report extremely low build quality. One or two mentioned that the product fell apart on them (springs popping out) before they could even complete the installation.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vinyl Window Lock
If your only concern is child-proofing the home, the material used to make the lock might be a little less relevant. Plastic or vinyl is fine. If you want to protect against possible intruders or burglars, you’ll want to make sure you opt for something made of a metal alloy, like zinc or steel.
Sash locks are by far the most commonly available window lock, where they lock into a sash. These allow you to partially or fully shut the window. Keyed locks would be our number one recommendation, as they provide the most security. The only drawback is remembering where you put the key!
If you have double-hung windows, you’ll want to guarantee that the window lock will hold both windows shut. We specifically mentioned the choices in our review that are practical options for those with double-hung windows. We know they can be a nightmare for security reasons.
If you don’t already have locks on your windows, any of the aforementioned choices on our list will help to provide much-needed security. Even if you simply need to replace previously broken, old, worn-down, outdated, or weak pre-existing locks on your windows.
Is Prime-Line a Reliable Brand?
Yes. Prime-Line is a reliable and reputable name in the door and window hardware industry and stands as “North America’s largest manufacturer and supplier” of these products.
Located out of San Bernardino, CA, they also offer a one-year manufacturer warranty on all of the four locks of theirs featured in this article. That covers the product across any sort of manufacturing defect, separate from Amazon’s return policy.
Founded back in 1978, Prime-Line has established itself over the last couple of decades as a mainstay in the home hardware industry. They supply retailers like Lowes with safety and security products.
The consensus among consumers and reviews points towards Prime-Line as an easily available but high-quality product, at an affordable price point.
Our Top Pick for Vinyl Window Lock
We offer two top picks when it comes to locks for vinyl windows, depending on your needs! If you’d like an option that provides the highest level of security possible, especially if you live with younger children, we’d recommend the Prime-Line Defender Security U 9928, which specifically has a Keyed Sash Lock.
This means windows can only be opened with the provided Sash Key compatible with the specific corresponding tumbler of the lock installed on the window. Most of the reviews mention using the product in homes with children to protect against high elevation (falls), with good results.
This lock is durable, high-quality, and affordable. It provides security for aluminum, vinyl, and wood sliding windows. It’s also usable on vertical, single-hung, or double-hung, and horizontal sliding windows.
As such, it offers the most versatility and compatibility with a wider range of windows. As long as you measure appropriately before purchasing and installing, most people have no problems.
The Defender Security U 9928 is our number-one choice. We do offer the alternative of the Prime-Line F 2801 Vinyl Window Tilt Latch for those wanting something more budget-friendly.
The quality of construction on it is a little lower, but for an easier install and straightforward fix, the F 2801 is another good choice.
Just note that the Prime-Line F 2801 can only be used on vertical sliding, single-hung, and double-hung windows.