Opinions on an apparently new Schlage feature

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Old 07-30-10, 10:44 AM
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Opinions on an apparently new Schlage feature

So I fancy myself an amateur locksmith including re-keying my own locks. The parents have 30 year old Schlage locks on their doors and they're starting to wear out. I replaced one deadbolt about a year ago when it failed and just bought the remaining deadbolt and two keyed entrance knobs.

The knobs are fine but the new deadbolt is strange - it comes with a 'reset' key which is cut the same but which has a side groove which is a little shorter than on a regular key. It also has another uncut reset key which you're supposed to get cut to match the new key and then by putting in the original reset key, turning the key 30 CCW, removing the key, inserting the new reset key, turning back to the original position and removing the new reset key re-keys your lock to the new key.

Seems to me this means the lower pins must be in multiple pieces to allow re-keying without replacing the lower pins. My concern, if I'm right, would be this would create a master key situation where there could be many different key combinations which could open this lock. Am I missing something here or is this feature a bad idea?
 
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Old 07-30-10, 05:40 PM
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The new Schlage Securekey product is stupidly designed in my opinion, but is targetted to people who dont want to call a locksmith to rekey their locks.

The locks are not master-key-able, so only one key at a time can work (assuming they are the same key - obviously duplicates will work too).

The cylinder operates on the sidebar principle, meaning it is theoretically bump proof. It is very difficult to pick too.

The blue key is identical to the silver/brass key except that the side milling is slightly shorter. This is deliberate. When you insert the blue key and turn counter clockwise to 11 o'clock and withdraw the key, the shell of the core (plug/barrel) separates allowing a new blue key (with different cuts) to be inserted and rekey the lock.

There are some production issues with the first release of these locks and some customers have complained about the core separating by itself, enabling accidental rekeying.

As a locksmith, if i am called to open one for someone who is locked out, I will drill and destroy the lock as time is the essence in a lockout situation. (Of course you could loid the latch - on an entrance set).

When locksmiths see these out in the market, invariably they will recommend replacing with normal pin tumbler locks.

Both Kwikset and Schlage brought out these style of locks to thwart the lock bumping phenomenon and are shooting the locksmith industry in the foot, by taking away the locksmiths bread and butter livelihood.

Certainly it will provide DIY'ers with their own control but if you ever have a problem, dont be surprised if no locksmith wants to touch it, or they charge significantly more to work on it for you.
 
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Old 08-12-10, 06:00 PM
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Have not evaluated the Schlage version yet, but if brand history is any indication, it should be better-designed than the Kwikset version, of which I am familiar. As Global indicated, these sidebar designs don't lend themselves to masterkeying, and I noticed in a trade mag that kwikset addresses this by "introducing" a dual-keyway deadbolt, essentially 2 cylinders, one on top of the other, within the same housing, and interconnected to operate the same bolt.
Yale had the same arrangement 100 yrs ago and termed it a "bi-centric" cylinder. One for the "Tennant" key & one for the "Management" Key.

Both Kwikset & Schlage designs employ many tiny precesion tumbler parts that must work in unison, and compared to the relatively simpler 150 yr old pin tumbler lock design, I don't think these new designs will be as durable against heavy use, mis-use, and the elements. Time will tell.
 
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Old 08-12-10, 06:37 PM
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As far as the potential threat to the local smithys' business, I really don't think it will have a net impact one way or the other; these locks are not idiot-proof and care must be taken to properly effect the change without fouling or jamming them.

And the typical homeowner, having purchased the lock with the quick-change concept in mind, will not, years later when the need arises in an emergency situation, be able to find the instructions/special tools/keys and so, will end up calling the smithy anyway.
 
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