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Kwikset SmartKey Alert

Alert on the Kwikset SmartKey
Alert on the Kwikset SmartKey

We rely on our door locks to keep us safe. Some of us even go so far as to upgrade those locks in order to increase security. Many renters and others who frequently need to change keys and locks for safety and security have turned to what is known as the SmartKey lock. This type of lock is intended to allow the user to re-key it anytime it is necessary for security measures, such as when someone moves out of an apartment unit and a new renter moves in, without having to call and pay a locksmith each time. Companies such as Kwikset, with its SmartKey lock, and Schlage, with its similar SecureKey lock, manufacture such locks and sell them not only as a more cost-effective and handy solution, but also as a more secure option.

They even sell them as being so secure that the lock cannot be bumped open or picked! But, are they truly secure?

Maybe you have one of these locks, but even if you don't, you've probably seen a SmartKey lock. It is distinguished by a small rectangular-shaped hole positioned near the bottom left of the keyhole. The SmartKey was specifically developed to bumping attempts, which are attempts to force open a pin-tumbler lock using a metal insert key that has been flattened down and trimmed to match the specific type of lock and was created solely for bumping purposes. To address this security concern square on, the SmartKey was designed as a wafer lock by Kwikset and Weiser. Schlage also makes a model with a similar style.

However, how safe are they? Do they actually deter picking?

The lock operates by utilizing five wafers that match with a sidebar and guide pins in order to provide the highest level of protection and security. The housing, a lock cylinder, a core, and a plug comprise the entire locking mechanism. The creators of the SmartKey claim that it is pick and bump proof, or at the very least resistive to break-in attempts.

Kwikset SmartKey locks are ANSI Grade 1 or Grade 2 security locks designed for residential usage and certified by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association. They advertise their SmartKey locks as impregnable and incapable of being hacked through the keyway with cables, screwdrivers, or any other forced entry equipment.

While the lock's security is praised, The SmartKey was primarily created to enable users to rekey it themselves, which is a major selling point for those who frequently need to install new locks or rekey their locks by changing the internal mechanisms to make it so that only a new key will open the lock after a break-in attempt or tenant turnover to provide more security and ensure you are the only person with a key that will open the lock. The lock is made to be easily re-keyed by the owner using the original key and a special SmartKey tool inserted in the tiny hole, rotating the plug, and then inserting a new key to unlock the re-keyed lock. The intended outcome is a secure do-it-yourself re-keying system that only permits the most recent key to unlock the locks, improving key management and overall security.

Is it possible to combine ease and security in a single lock?

Many people who have successfully bumped open a SmartKey lock report that the claimed level of security is not actually the case. The lock has a significant security hole. Without any particular training, it may be opened fast and effortlessly in a couple of seconds. The owner might not even be aware that their home has been broken into until it's too late because this can be done as a forcible entry leaving no obvious damage to the outside of the lock.

There is a special tool that you can buy to pick these locks, but many of these so-called SmartKey locks can be forced open with something as simple as a flat head screwdriver and a paperclip, or something similar that provides a flat, solid object to insert into the keyhole and a thin wire-like object to insert into the SmartKey small hole, which is located just below and slightly to the left of the keyhole, to mimic the official tools designed for this purpose.

There is no external damage caused by the unique tool used to bump open these specifically made locks, which then enables you to crank and unlock the deadbolt to open the door. The resident might not even be aware that the lock has been picked if you use a screwdriver and a paperclip, or something similar, as this can be done without causing any damage and the actual key will still function with the lock.

In the end, no matter which lock you use to keep you, your family, and your property secure, it will only serve to deter law-abiding, honorable people from breaking in. Even if they bypass the locks and aim for the windows or an easier route inside, anyone who wants to break in will find a way.

More crucial than the ease of do-it-yourself re-keyed locks is your safety and security. It's preferable to leave the re-keying of a lock to our knowledgeable specialists who will provide you a new inner mechanism and a key that will only open that lock. Our experts are available whenever you call and at your convenience. Consider adding a home security system, automatic lighting, and additional locking mechanisms that our skilled professional Lock Nerd professionals are able to recommend and maintain at your convenience and a price you can afford if you want to feel genuinely protected inside your home. Never compromise safety when taking a gamble.

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Chris Gaffaney
Chris Gaffaney
Jan 02

Impressed by the speed and efficiency of the locksmiths who installed security locks at my office. They were well-prepared, courteous, and left the space clean after completing the installation. The level of professionalism exhibited by Charlotte Locksmith is commendable.

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