Kwikset Smartkey compatible with most/all residential keys?

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  #1  
Old 08-21-09, 06:50 AM
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Kwikset Smartkey compatible with most/all residential keys?

Kwikset has a new lock out with Smartkey technology, allowing you to rekey the lock to an existing key without taking the lock off the door.

Does anyone know if this lock will accept any existing key, or does it only work with keys from certain brands of lock?

The reason I ask is because I have rental property, and I have one master key that works all the locks for all the properties. If I could rekey my home locks to use this master key, then I would only need one key for all my pieces of property.

Thanks,
 
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  #2  
Old 08-21-09, 12:15 PM
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The Smartkey locks are only compatible with Kwikset factory-cut keys or locksmith-generated keys carefully cut to factory specs. If you try to set the Smartkey lock to a non-spec key (or even a poorly-made duplicate Kwikset key) you risk messing up the lock. New factory-made keys are usually available where Smartkey locks are sold.
 
  #3  
Old 08-21-09, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rstripe View Post
The Smartkey locks are only compatible with Kwikset factory-cut keys or locksmith-generated keys carefully cut to factory specs. If you try to set the Smartkey lock to a non-spec key (or even a poorly-made duplicate Kwikset key) you risk messing up the lock. New factory-made keys are usually available where Smartkey locks are sold.
Thanks.

Hmm, the master key I have was created by a locksmith for kwikset locks. I guess it depends on how professional he was when he created the key?
 
  #4  
Old 08-21-09, 01:58 PM
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Ask the smithy if the master key was made to Kwikset standard factory depths AND WIDTHS....if yes to both, you're probably OK. If yes to depth but no to width, it's no go unless the the smithy can alter (increase) the widths (won't alter the operation in your other locks) without exceeding "max adj depth difference". A good pic of the key would confirm the width question, but not the depth.
 
  #5  
Old 08-22-09, 12:35 AM
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Kwikset Smartkey locks CANNOT be master keyed.

It is not physically possible to key the lock to multiple different keys.
 
  #6  
Old 08-22-09, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by GlobalLocky View Post
Kwikset Smartkey locks CANNOT be master keyed.

It is not physically possible to key the lock to multiple different keys.
Thanks.

I don't want the smartkey lock to work with multiple keys. I want the smartkey lock to work with only my master key.
 
  #7  
Old 08-22-09, 08:22 AM
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My apologies.

A master key refers to a top level key in a system or group of locks.

I think you may be reffering to the "common" key
 
  #8  
Old 08-22-09, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by GlobalLocky View Post
My apologies.

A master key refers to a top level key in a system or group of locks.

I think you may be reffering to the "common" key
I have rental properties in which I have a master key. I am wondering if I can get my home locks (changing to kwikset smartkey) keyed to work with this master key.
 
  #9  
Old 08-22-09, 10:15 AM
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Whitenack....I have one of those on my front door and I rekeyed it to work with the back and garage doors..worked fine. It has to be a kwickset key I think though. And my garage and back doors were brand new and already keyed alike.

What I read you saying is can you buy Smartkey locks for your house and use the same key as all your rentals have?

If you are planning on buying new locks for the house sure it would work (with such a key as rstripe mentioned). But if you aren't planning to do that and your locks (rental and home) are all the same brand..you could just take the locks off the home and a locksmith could easily rekey them the same.

The only thing that would concern me is if you use a "common" key, as opposed to a true "master"..that means that a renters key will also open your house and all the other rentals.

I'm no locksmith (or rental property owner...lol) but that doesn't necessarily sound like a good plan. Might be better to see if your existing locks could be setup for a true master key system, if they are actually all common. I'm not sure how its done or if it could be done with what you have.

Global or rstripe prob would if you know brand and style. Heck they could probably just look at yer key and know...lol.
 
  #10  
Old 08-22-09, 10:47 AM
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Thanks.

I have 2 rental properties and 3 sets of keys. One set opperates one property (and a copy is given to that tenant), another set opperates the other property (and a copy is given to that tenant), and the last set will opperate both properties. This last set is my copy.

It would be convenient if this last copy could be used to open my home as well. I am pretty sure the tenants could not use their keys to open my house, but I will be able to test that out by using my copies of their keys.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 10:57 AM
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Ok...yeah it sound like your locksmith made a true master system.

So why not have him rekey your house? Or were you planning on new locks anyway?

I had no problem with the Smartkey..worked smooth as butter. Just put the tool in..couple of twists of the key..all done (or some similar procedure..it was 2 yrs ago). I'd like to know how it works internally.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitenack View Post
I have rental properties in which I have a master key. I am wondering if I can get my home locks (changing to kwikset smartkey) keyed to work with this master key.
As a locksmith professional, it be remiss of me to recommend the Kwikset SmartKey product for security protection. The product, in my opinion (and most people in the trade) is significantly inferior to more mainstream products. The primary redeeming factor is the bump proof properties of the product.

Yes it is bump proof. But the number of already publicised bypasses and non destructive entry techniques that are extraordinarily easy to make oneself mitigate any perceived protection that bump proofing provides.

Combine with the fact that the locks are unable to be masterkeyed and that if you want to change the combinations of the locks, you are required to purchase pre-cut Kwikset keys, increases my dislike of this product.

I have been called to rekey houses that use the SmartKey product, because often the homeowner does not have new keys to be able to complete the project themselves.

It certainly makes my job much easier and quicker but largely the cost remains identical to non-smartkey products.

then there is the regular scenario where the homeowner does not have the existing key to the smartkey product. How do they change the combination? Or they have lost the little tool required to perform the rekey. Scenario's that are very common and require them to call a professional anyhow.

Most of the big box stores staff dont know the procedure for rekeying a smartkey lock without the change tool or if the current keys are missing.

Whereas, you might think you will save money now.....the sure thing is that it will likely cost you more tomorrow.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitenack View Post
I have rental properties in which I have a master key. I am wondering if I can get my home locks (changing to kwikset smartkey) keyed to work with this master key.
I do work for a number of multiple dwelling owners who similarly want to use master key systems in their properties.

I can create a master key system for almost any lock available in the market. The Kwikset Smartkey system is not possible to create a master key system.

I regularly install bump proof master keyed products to properties and one owner has already had me install their properties master key as their own home key. I did not have to replace any hardware because they already used Schlage Grade 2 products. This meant that they could maintain using the existing hardware maintaining the existing ambience, but I could just replace the cylinders with bump proof master keyed cylinders. The added benefit to the homeowner is that the keys can only be duplicated with their written authority. Keys are physically unable to be duplicated.

Yes the cost is marginally higher than using the Kwikset garbage, but the benefits outweigh the disadvantages significantly.
 
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Old 08-22-09, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
So why not have him rekey your house? Or were you planning on new locks anyway?
Yeah, we just purchased the home and will be moving in soon. On the front door, there is only a locking knob, no deadbolt. On the back door, a different finish is desired. Since we are buying the locks already, if I can do the rekeying myself, there is no sense in paying a locksmith.


Originally Posted by GlobalLocky View Post
As a locksmith professional, it be remiss of me to recommend the Kwikset SmartKey product for security protection. The product, in my opinion (and most people in the trade) is significantly inferior to more mainstream products. The primary redeeming factor is the bump proof properties of the product.

Yes it is bump proof. But the number of already publicised bypasses and non destructive entry techniques that are extraordinarily easy to make oneself mitigate any perceived protection that bump proofing provides.
Hmmm. Kwikset advertises these locks as being ANSI Grade 1. Consumer Reports ranks them the 3rd best lock. Why would this lock be considered significantly inferior? I mean this with no disrespect, but could you be a little unfairly biased against this lock because it allows the homeowner to make adjustments to it that normally are only performed by a locksmith?

Originally Posted by GlobalLocky View Post
Combine with the fact that the locks are unable to be masterkeyed and that if you want to change the combinations of the locks, you are required to purchase pre-cut Kwikset keys, increases my dislike of this product.
The masterkeying is not an issue for me. Yes, maybe if I were installing these on my rental properties. However, I don't think I will need a masterkey for my home.

However, you say that only pre-cut Kwikset keys will work in these smartlocks. This has my attention. If this is correct, then my idea of using my master key for the rental properties as my key for my house will not work. My master key is obviously not a pre-cut key from kwikset.

Originally Posted by GlobalLocky View Post
then there is the regular scenario where the homeowner does not have the existing key to the smartkey product. How do they change the combination? Or they have lost the little tool required to perform the rekey. Scenario's that are very common and require them to call a professional anyhow.
Regular scenario? Really? I don't think I have ever lost a key to my house, much less lost every copy of the keys to my house. I don't think this will be a problem for me. And the little tool can be purchased online for less than a dollar or purchased in a kit with the keys for $10. And, if I ever lose all my keys at the same time, I'll have to call a professional anyhow, which is no different what kind of lock I have. Since I doubt this will ever happen, the odds are in my favor of saving money in the long run.

Kwikset is garbage? What brand do you use? I find it interesting that the brand of locks the locksmith used on my rental units are Kwikset.
 
  #15  
Old 08-22-09, 04:17 PM
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I emailed Kwikset customer service about what keys are compatible with smartkey locks, and received a response in about 10 minutes. Pretty impressive.

I am very intersted in your smartkey products. I was wondering if your smartkey locks can be rekeyed using an existing key, or if they have to be used with pre-cut keys from kwikset? I have other locks that I already have keyed the way I want and I don't want to have to rekey the rest of the locks in my house so that they will work on one key. I would want the new lock to be able to use the existing key.
Dear Customer, Thank you for contacting us. Kwikset smatkey products can be rekeyed to any other kwisket, Titan, or Society Brass key. Thank you, Kwikset Consumer Support.
The locks that my masterkey are keyed to are kwikset, so I would guess that I have a kwikset key?
 
  #16  
Old 08-22-09, 04:17 PM
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Some locksmiths will use Kwikset because this is all the customer will pay for.

I refuse to offer Kwikset products at all. If a customer purchase their own Kwikset products and asks me to install them, I will.

I always try to upgrade the customer to a better quality brand.

In many circumstances I recommend Baldwin products for residences. In America, they are one of, if not the best quality product for residential uses. (As a matter of record, Black & Dekker, owners of the Kwikset brand, recently purchased Baldwin Products)

They are expensive but they are guaranteed for life. They are worth the expense too.

On my house, I use an overseas product called Carbine, but largely they are similar to the Cal-Royal brand available in the USA. The quality is excellent and competitively priced.

Interestingly, consumer reports may not acknowledge the opinion of the locksmith industry, probably because locksmiths are not the consumers. Generally consumers really cannot tell the difference between locks or manufacturers, so I think that consumer reports may not be an accurate measurement.

Consumer reports also indicate that Medeco locks are the best on the market in terms of pick resistance, bump resitance, overall quality etc, yet there are mountains of evidence that prove beyond any doubt that they do not provide the level of protection they are advertised as.

Kwikset is the largest selling brand of locks in the USA. This is because they have perfected selling into the building contractor industry. Most home builders purchase Kwikset because they get the best price for them and the locks look pretty good.

Many other brands wish they could have the market that Kwikset do. It is odd that few if any locksmiths will recommend Kwikset products isnt it?

I cannot vouch for every locksmith in the USA and yours might be catering to his market, that prefer cheap stuff to quality stuff. Especially as a landlord, you want to keep your costs down as much as possible, so Kwikset brand might make sense for you.

ANSI Grade 1 can be bought for the right price. There are numerous reports from respected industry insiders proving that the system of grading is flawed and heavily $$$ motivated. Similarly to politics in this country that favor companies that channel $$$ to campaign contributions. It happens all the time.

I am not biased against Kwikset for selling and making this lock available. In fact I hope they sell many of them, because my job will get so much easier and more profitable when people want their locks changed and dont know that it is a smartkey on their door, as does happen when they purchase their new home. If you were to look at the keyhole, unless you ere already in the know, you wouldnt be able to determine that it is a smartkey or not. Most consumers are similarly focussed, in my experience.

Kwikset pre-cut keys can be produced by any locksmith with a code cutting machine. I see the likelihood of customers going to a locksmith and asking for just pre-cut Kwikset keys. This will be a signal to locksmiths that the customer wishes to rekey their own locks. The locksmiths will likely charge significantly increased prices for just a couple of keys.

Kwikset keys have only 6 depths. The average lock has 5 spaces. This gives a total of 279,000 possible combinations of keys. With the variances of useable key codes, this doesnt leave too many possible changes does it? (perhaps this is a tad too technical for this forum)
 
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Old 08-22-09, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Whitenack View Post
I emailed Kwikset customer service about what keys are compatible with smartkey locks, and received a response in about 10 minutes. Pretty impressive.





The locks that my masterkey are keyed to are kwikset, so I would guess that I have a kwikset key?
True, perhaps. But only if the locksmith who created the system used kwikset pins in the locks.

With only 6 depths (pin differences), systems are restricted in size and breadth.

If he used standard LAB (brand) pins in his masterkeying, then it might not be possible to achieve your desire.
 
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Old 08-23-09, 08:57 AM
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I think y'all have opened up a can o' worms on this topic...

First, ANSI grading requires that only certain limited design criteria be met, and in and of itself is not a good indicator of the lock's quality. ie., some Grade 2 locks are actually better that some Grade 1 locks when considering overall quality.
It mostly depends on the brand and the line within that brand.
I don't know about the politics of the procedure, not enough of an insider, I guess.

Second, Consumer Reports, to which I am a long-time subscriber, and have purchased several products they've reccomended, can only be used as one of many sources of information....in the trades, there is often considerable disagreement with some of their judgements...and, after all, we in the trade make our living by making daily judgements on the products we sell and install.
 
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Old 08-23-09, 09:27 AM
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Third: About 6 months ago I disassembled a SmartKey cylinder, and was amazed at the ingenious design, using many tiny, accurately-machined parts...the problem, as in so many other cases of neat designs, when it comes time to be mass-produced, short cuts are made to keep the costs down, and in this case these tiny well-made parts become a sub-assembly within a larger part that is not nearly as well made, with sloppy tolerances and soft metal. As a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, it renders the lock with certain weaknesses....and, it's still pretty new, so the jury's still out on it's long term durability with use and abuse....So, bottom line, it's not, in my opinion, a crummy lock, but it's sure not, as my 8-year-old would say, "all that".
Again, I would caution that to re-key a SmartKey lock, use only factory made keys or well-made 1st generation duplicates.
 
  #20  
Old 08-23-09, 09:43 AM
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Fourth: Whitenack, since finding out you only have 2 master-keyed locks to consider, and you prob'ly know your renters well, the following info is not as critical as it would be to one who might own several dozen rental properties, or certainly, an apartment complex. But I'd still caution against keying your house to the master key for the convenience of not having to carry an additional key. Plus, it limits you to having to use a Kwikset lock, instead of being able to shop for any number of better higher-security locks on the market, with their various designs & finishes.
 
  #21  
Old 08-23-09, 11:07 AM
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Here's the point about masterkeying: It's not rocket science; the technique has been used for 150 years, but up until the internet age, has been known only to the trade. Now, any 15-year-old punk kid can learn about it, as well as the latest methods to defeat locks. But that's OK, what allows the punks to learn it, also educates the general public for better awareness. (Just look at the "bump-key" phenomenon)

It might surprise the lay person to know that, armed with a little knowledge, and a couple of very common tools, a master key can be fashioned, in many cases, from a duplicated tennant/renter key, in a step-by-step procedure, without even having to remove the lock from the door. In cases where care has been used by the smithy in designing the system so this can't be done, it only becomes necessary to purchase a few key blanks at the local kiosk and follow a procedure. A final product master key can result in as little as a half hour, or perhaps several hours for a first timer.

Of course, the key can also be made very quickly if one does remove the lock from the door and take it apart. Again, common hand tools.

With the exception of so-called "High-Security" locks using restricted keys, the common pin-tumbler lock, when masterkeyed, especially in large systems, is many times easier to pick, bump, impression, and otherwise defeat, as well as de-code than the same lock would be if it were not master keyed.

At the risk of providing too much information, I think the general public needs to know this.
 
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