The Problem with ‘Smart Key’ Locks
There are good locks and bad locks and then their are locks that seem good, sell at a higher price in a hardware store have a recognizable brand name but are the worst of the worst when it comes to security. These are the ‘Smart Key’ residential locks sold under the Weiser or Kwikset brand.
The Smart Key locks were designed to be rekeyed by the end user: the home owner or landlord. They are designed completely differently than a regular pin based yale lock and the design is so fragile that the deadbolt version of this lock can be opened in less than a minute with a hammer and a screw driver with very little skill or strength involved by simply lining up a flat head screw driver with the keyway, hammering it in and rotating the screw driver away from the frame by 90 degrees. If it doesn’t work in the first 30 seconds it’s just a matter of minutes before it does. The cylinders of these ‘Smart Key’ deadbolts are so fragile they can easy be destroyed with a couple of hammer blows lead you with complete access to the D shaped tailpiece receiver in the deadbolt. Even the cheapest proper pin tumbler deadbolt cannot be opened in this way.
We had a locksmith in Stoney Creek recently opening a Weiser Smart Key deadbolt in this way to demonstrate to the client how poor these locks are. We installed a proper replacement deadbolt with matching finish afterwards.
Another problem is that the complicated mechanical system often fails leaving the lock useless to the home owner, but it’s a perfect time to get a proper lock.
We at Mobile Locksmith Hamilton, like most professional locksmiths, recommend you do not use ‘Smart Key’ locks for any application. The convenience of being able to change the code can be found also in keyless locks such as keypad locks or mechanical push-button locks. There are much better, less expensive and more reliable locks for general purposes at the hardware store.