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darsunt 12-20-2008 02:02 PM

Kwikset 'smart key' door locks good?
I've heard that kwikset 'smart key' door locks can be rekeyed easily and are secure.

Is this true? Because the mechanism must be more complicated, I wonder if in use these locks are unreliable/unsecure?

Macattac 12-20-2008 09:48 PM

We have used the Kwikset landlord type system that is put together by a company called (i don't know if we should do links here or not). They don't call it "smart key" though - it's something else. We have 4 buildings with 17 apartments total, so some have 2 doors, some basemennts etc -we probably have 30 locks on the system and 1 carry 1 key on my key chain. Pretty sweet.

The selling point is that you can swap out the cylinder just be sticking your special land lord key in it. Turn it and presto it pops out. Slide in new one (now keyed for your new tenant) and your done. I've done it with my hands full of other stuff as i'm walking past the door!

As far as quality goes, it's basically a builder quality, not exactly velvet smooth operation or anything, and the finish wears off here and there.

Security? I don't think they are any more or less secure than your average kind of cheapo lock set. No problems in 4 years.

But the people at that company are nice (i think it's a pretty small outfit). They stood by a problem i had with one unit, and the locks have not been a problem to own for me or my tenants.

Maintenance 6 12-21-2008 06:25 AM

Kwikset is basically a consumer grade lockset. No better or worse than most out there, and better than some of the low grade stuff at the big box stores, I've installed plenty of them and had very few call backs. The smart key feature adds nothing to the security of the lockset, only to the convenience of rekeying, which is something the average homeowner doesn't have done very often. If you have a security concern, look for an entry lockset that says it carries a "UL" grade 2 rating. No knobset will provide the level of security that a deadbolt with a good strike will.

Sammy 12-21-2008 08:05 AM

If you have a need to rekey locks on a regular basis as in rental property then the Smart key is a viable option. It uses regular pin tumbler technology so it is no more or less secure than other locks.
The deadbolts are an ANSI grade one which is commercial duty so that is a plus.

lockman 12-22-2008 04:10 PM

The smart key locks are a little more secure against picking. This is because instead of just using pins like most locks, they actually have a sidebar in the lock. When the correct key is inserted, the sidebar is moved into the inner cylinder, allowing it to turn.

With that in mind, with the smart key locks you must have an existing key to rekey the locks. If you don't have one, you have to buy a new lock. With normal locks, if you lose your keys you can have somebody make a key or rekey the locks instead of completely replacing it.

DUDE! 12-22-2008 05:18 PM

I was on their site the other day looking at work, it appeared to me that the smart locks were all deadbolts, yes you could rekey any of their regular door knob locks at a locksmith but the only smart key was a deadbolt.

MgMopar 12-22-2008 06:50 PM

Not all deadbolts :yes: knobs too

I have use the smart key they do have dead bolt and knobs. They seem to be good They do have a higher security rating then there standard lock set. The also feel of higher quality. As for durability only time will tell. At first when I rekeyed I had to jiggle a bit to get to work. Less then impressive. I figure out what I did wrong by the 3rd one I was keying and redid the other with good results. After I realized what I was doing wrong I feel a little silly. When rekeying you insert the key that is keyed for the lock and turn with a release tool in place. Then you swap the key with the one you desire the lock to now work with and return the lock to original position. Presto it now works only with the new key you keyed it for. It is pretty easy when inserting the new key while holding the release tool to not have the key bottomed all the was in the lock. (that what I was doing) after figuring that out they seem to operate smoothly. I have all the locks at our other home keyed the same as the current residence and can rekey one or all of them If I want if I am going to be having someone else check on the place for me.

I will still be buying more for garage walk threw doors and stuff. I like having fewer keys. So far I have the three doors here with dead bolts that were already keyed alike and three doors with dead bolts and knobs with the smart key keyed the same at our other house.

globallocky 08-25-2010 03:02 AM

Kwikset Smartkey Fault...
I certainly hope you havent invested in the latest Kwikset Smartkey technology. The problems with this product continue to mount.

Baldwin products were recently purchased by the same parent company as Kwikset and have started making their locks and hardware using the same types of cylinders.

If you purchase new products from any of these related manufacturers, you need to be aware that the techniques for opening these locks are too easy to duplicate.

TheDoorGuy 09-12-2010 02:08 PM

Check out Kwikset vs Schlage easy rekey competion
Easy rekey locks

Posted on August 26, 2010 by TheDoorGuy
Rekeying refers to changing the inner mechanisms of a deadbolt or key in knob lock so that it works on a different key. This would be something that you would want to do if you had just purchased a home or business or if you are a landlord with new tenants in a property or perhaps you lost some keys and wanted to be sure that no unauthorized person had easy access to your property.
This task has traditionally been done by locksmiths or other people with knowledge of locks and access to the specialized kits that are required to do the job.
Three of the major lock manufacturing companies have come out with entry locks that can be rekeyed without the use of specialized tools and rekeying kits. Kwikset and Baldwin both call theirs “Smartkey” and Schlage calls theirs “SecureKey”.
The Smartkey systems come with a learning tool that allows the lock to change to a new key when the old key and the learning tool are used together. The Schlage SecureKey comes with a blue rekeying key that is required to do the same thing. You will have to get the blue key cut to match the desired new key.
I have worked with all three of these systems a few times. They are easy if you follow the instructions and it only takes a few seconds. I have read some online reviews and there seem to be some cases where the locks have rekeyed themselves for no apparent reason. The systems have not been around long enough to really have a track record so I would advise doing a bit of research on your own before choosing one over the other.
There was recently a lockpicking contest at a locksmith convention in Florida. 56 Kwikset SmartKey and 56 Schlage SecureKey were challenged. On that day the Kwikset product proved to be much more pick resistant. Only one was picked whereas forty four of the Schlage locks were picked. Here is link to the full article:
If you have lock or door questions or comments please feel free to contact me through my website:

Jim F 09-12-2010 07:02 PM

How do you come up with a new key as opposed to changing the lock to a pre-existing key? Do you just buy a key blank and have it randomly cut to come up with a new key?

TheDoorGuy 09-12-2010 07:12 PM

You might be able to get some cut keys from a locksmith...
They usually keep the keys not used in a rekey job and recycle them
on new jobs.
If you can't get them there you can buy them on eBay really cheap!
Here's one example that I just found:

If that link doesn't work just go to eBay and search kwikset precut keys.
Should get lots of options.
Hope that helps!

Thurman 09-13-2010 11:22 AM

"macattac": Your key system sound a lot like a system I'm used to in an industrial setting made by "BestKey" (not a plug, just saying). I had one key which would fit over 300 locks on site. Certain management level employees had a key which would fit only certain locks, certain maintenance employees had keys to fit only certain locks, etc. There were a few of us that had THE Master Key which would fit any lock on site. Also with this key, we could insert it and turn to the left to release the lock mechanism to install a different tumbler mechanism and use a different key. These were both padlocks and doorsets. I've often wondered why they (BestKey) had never entered the consumer market. David

urborn2die 09-14-2010 01:22 PM

I like the kwikset smartkeys system, I have it in all my locks and even bought the reset tool from amazon because I fubard a few trying to rekey.

Make sure you do it the correct way and seat the key becuase you can screw it up and wont be able to unlock it with anything and have to use the reset tool but once you have practiced its a breeze and saves tons of money.

darsunt 09-15-2010 09:34 PM

I've been using them for awhile now, and they seem very solid. Also rekeying is not too bad once you get the hang of it.

The only bad thing I've found so far is the brass finish on them wears off fast, and they end up looking old in a year or two.

cbzdel 09-16-2010 01:11 PM

they have a lifetime warranty, they cover everything that I recall. If you call them they give you two options, buy another one and switch packages and return the old one, or you can mail your old one to them and they will send you a new one..

I have all smartkey on my house, thought it would be a nice feature.. It works good for going on vacation, change 1 lock and give a set of keys to friend to feed pets and such, when we get back from vacation change it back. Not that we dont trust them its just a seance of added security.

I also changed all my interor knobs to the matching interior handles. For the price I am happy.

We have an alarm, and so if you want to break though my consumer grade locks just to have the alarm go off be my guest :laughing:

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