4.5 of 5 stars
Having dealt with a variety of home security concerns over the years, and having watched videos showing products that are supposed to help secure doors against forced entry efforts such as kick-ins and prying, I was very interested to take a look at the Door Armor MAX Plus set from Armor Concepts.
What is Door Armor?
Armor Concepts is a company focused on providing “effective, affordable security solutions”, with a Made in USA product line that covers exterior and interior access points, including sliding glass doors and doors with sidelights. They do not offer security doors; in fact, their products are add-ons that are meant to help secure the doors already installed in your home, whether you are a homeowner, rental property manager, or provider of oversight for a vacant property. These products are all purposely designed to be installed without a need for expensive tools or specialized construction skills.
For this review, Armor Concepts supplied me with a Door Armor MAX Plus Combo Set (MSRP $99US) for an exterior door. The Door Armor MAX Plus combo set includes a Pry Shield, a Jamb Shield, two Door Shields, and two Hinge Shields. This provides the user with products to protect against both kick-ins and prying efforts. It is available in several finishes (white, aged bronze, and satin nickel) to make it both unobtrusive in your decor and less noticeable to visitors, which brings the “gray man” concept quite literally to your doorstep. In this case, I received a white product; the powder-coated hardware was sturdy and attractive, with no visible flaws in the finish. It felt solid – having only seen the product on video, I honestly expected it to be thin, flimsy, and flexible; I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the quality of each piece in the set.
What is the Door Armor set like to install?
Unfortunately for my family, there are some issues that precluded us being allowed to actually install the Door Armor MAX Plus Combo Set. These were not unforeseen, so I tag-teamed on this review with a close friend who is a homeowner. After looking everything over, it seemed to both me and my husband that the kit would be easy to install and not at all time-consuming. My husband was particularly impressed by the length of the screws used for installation – as many of us have been taught, a door is only as strong as the screws holding it in place, and the most basic contractor installations may use screws that provide very little security in the long run. My friends concurred. They also appreciated the lack of need for specialty tools. According to them, the installation of the set on their chosen exterior door took under 40 minutes with just one person on the project. There was no need for another set of hands, though a second person might have been able to work alongside and cut a little time off the installation.
All of us felt that the instructions were clear, concise, and simple enough to follow. What is particularly impressive is the warranty note in the pack – there’s a lifetime guarantee against kick-ins, so Armor Concepts will reimburse a certain amount (depending on which kit you have installed) toward your deductible should a criminal somehow be able to kick in the door post-installation. They also offer a 90-day satisfaction guarantee – clearly, the company stands behind their product, which is so nice to see these days!
You have options.
While the door products we were sent were specific to an exterior, solid core door with no sidelights, Armor Concepts does recognize there are other needs out there. Both on their website and through a variety of retailers, they offer products for securing various types of exterior doors, as well as interior doors. After seeing how sturdy the exterior kit was, I’ve recommended that some family and friends with each type of door set-up look into their products; I’m also planning to pick up an interior door kit when we retire to our “someday” home and can really do what we want for creating a safe space to retreat to in an emergency.
Because a big part of being prepared is affected by budget, I made sure to look at the prices of Armor Concepts’ goods. While some of us might not be able to go through and tackle every door in the house, one could very feasibly plan to better secure a door at a time, or save up to do them all at once.
Here’s what we didn’t like about it.
The one issue my friends ran into after installation is that the combination of pieces in the kit added thickness to their door that made it REALLY stay closed. That is, of course, wonderful from a security standpoint and part of the point of the product. In reality, though, it became a problem for the residents of the home for day to day use. Not only could the younger children not open the door at all, due to the tight fit, the older children and one of the adults had a very difficult time getting the door open. Their solution was to take one portion back off for now. Another option might be to plane down the door, but some folks might not have the tool for that or feel comfortable doing so (particularly renters who cannot make permanent changes to their homes). That is the only thing that gigged this kit, so none of us are complaining! We’ve all agreed that we’ll be looking at more Armor Concepts offerings in the future and most definitely recommend them to others.
I received one (1) free Armor Concepts Door Armor MAX Plus Combo product for review purposes. No financial compensation was received from Armor Concepts or The Organic Prepper/Daisy Luther. All opinions expressed are my own.
Melonie Kennedy is a military wife and homeschooling mother whose work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications. Look for her upcoming book, Prepare Anywhere!, late in 2019. Visit her online at www.MelonieK.com and on Facebook and Instagram as @AuthorMelonieK.
I have had this product installed on all my outside doors for 3 years now. One door has already survived one attempted break in! I love this product!
Melonie, you can make that door looser by moving the keeper (the part on the frame where the bold slides into) a little bit closer to the edge, maybe as much as 1/8 inch.
The only thing I didn’t like is the bolt reinforcement pieces on the door makes the magnetic weatherstrip on my metal door gap open a bit, so the air still comes in a little.
Conclusion, from an installed user for 3 years. It’s great. I sleep better and feel less worried when no one is at home.
I opted to only install the door jamb piece (pry shield) on my (insulated metal) entry door and had no function trouble at all. I also replaced the jamb side hinge screws with 3.5″ long screws to anchor into the actual stud framing.
Theses are the start of security doors. The biggest thing is frames as non except the hoop lock can’t be hydraulic jacked open. We are not talking big machine but a 10 ton bottle jack and a piece of steel to stretch standard wood frame doors past the 1.5 inches of dead bolt.
We made our own doors decorative in nonstandard frames and ability to lock at night with no way to open from outside.. realise if you have a fire that the door if can’t be breached my be your death if you are incapacitated.
If you have glass on sides of your door those need to be removed or reinforced or heat door gets opened by breaking glass and reaching in.
Nothing is perfect in hardening your security, and thank you for pointing out some of the drawbacks.
For those doors that don’t have to “look good” such as service doors from the outside into the garage, I would suggest a less expensive fix.
Screw two 1 inch eye bolts into the frame on each side of the door about waist level or a little higher. Then run a steel bar through those eye bolts. This doesn’t work if there is a window in the door, but it works great for a solid door. We had a burglar use a 60 pound paving stone on our door a dozen or more times and he couldn’t get in. The steel bar bent a little and the outside of the door was destroyed, but he didn’t get in there.
One very important point on this though. If this door is considered any kind of fire escape, think twice and three times before installing it. It’s easy to remove the bar under normal circumstances, but during a stressful escape attempt, it might be dangerous.
OK. Here is a strange. I read somewhere that a state (I think OK, but not sure) has banned any methods of blocking a door except a standard lock and deadbolt. Fines and/’or jail time are possible. The “reason” behind it was to prevent drug dealers from keeping the cops out.
If this is really true, it is insane.
It must be some sort of socialist passing laws there. They specialize in this kind of stupidities.
Thank you to all who have provided tips – I will be sure to let my friend know your suggestions! ????