A few years back Kwikset came out with a lock cylinder that can be rekeyed by the home owner with out having to call a locksmith. While this end user key changing technology has been around for years, it has primarily been used in corporate applications by means of the U-Change cylinders. Now for the first time ever this technology is being produced by both of the largest residential lock manufactures Black and Deckers “Kwikset” and Ingersol Rands “Schlage”.
Both Schlage and Kwikset offer the same primary advantage for choosing their cylinder over any other cylinder that is the ease and convenience of being able to rekey your locks without having to take the hardware off of the door or calling a locksmith.
In order to change either cylinder special tools are required.
In the case of Kwikset it is a small shim like device that is inserted into the face of the lock. To do this you must first insert the original key and turn the lock cylinder 90 degrees clockwise. Now insert the shim, you will feel a click , this indicates that the lock has entered programming mode. Remove the shim and the original key and insert the new key. Return the lock cylinder to its original position and remove the new key. The lock is now set to the new key. Notice that two things are required in order to change a SmartKey Cylinder and special shim and a new set of keys (in addition to the oldset, without the old set changing the key is not possible).
In order to change the key in the Schlages SecureKey lock one must have the original keys, two specially milled change keys which can be purchased for around $10 dollars and the new keys that will work the locks. The original key must then be copied onto one of the change keys and the new key onto the other change key. Now in order to rekey the locks the first change key must be inserted into the lock cylinder and turned to the 11 o’clock position then the first key is removed and the second change key inserted into the lock and turned to the original 12 o’clock position. Now the lock should be essentially rekeyed to the new key.
This is where Schlages SecureKey and Kwiksets SmartKeys similarities begin and end. So how are they different?
First and foremost they use two different keyways, what this means is that the locks can not be keyed alike. Take it from a Sacramento Residential Locksmith, if you want to eliminate the number of keys that you have to carry around then make sure not to mix and match Schlage and Kwikset lock hardware.
Second, they do not offer the same level of security in regards to saw and pry attacks. While both do make a deadbolt, both deadbolts are by no means equivalent. The bolt that extends into the door jamb on a Schlage is definately more secure against sawing attacks because it features a hardened pin inside of it, while Kwiksets does not.
Third Schlages SecureKey can be picked fairly easily while Kwiksets Smartkey can not. This was proven at a recent ALOA Locksmithing convention in which 50 locks of each brand were tested side by side by trained locksmiths. The locksmiths had ten minutes to attempt to pick each lock. While close to all of the Schlage locks were defeated only one of the Kwikset locks were. This is clear cut evidence that when it comes to pick resistance the Schlage just doesn’t hold up to Kwikset.
So what lock should your use? As has been illustrated it really depends on what exactly your trying to accomplish with your locks. Consider whether picking is the greater concern or if it is sawing or brute force. Then choose wisely because changing your mind once the locks are in place can be an expensive mistake.