How safe are cheap electronic deadbolts?

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  #1  
Old 05-02-15, 07:26 AM
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How safe are cheap electronic deadbolts?

I have a shop that is away from my house, so I can't always be there. There are a lot of doors there, and I have to carry a lot of keys, so I want to replace a bunch of deadbolts with electronic deadbolts like this one:
Gatehouse Electronic Deadbolt w Keypad 612773 Keyless Access Satin Nickel | eBay

I would like to spend more money on a higher end model but I need to buy several so that isn't going to happen. I was thinking maybe I could fill the key hole with epoxy, that way nobody could pick or bump the lock. Would that work? Are there any other ways for somebody to defeat a cheap deadbolt like that if it has no key hole?

Since there is more than one door to the building, I'm not worried about the batteries dying. If one stops working I can still get in somewhere else.
 
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Old 05-02-15, 07:36 AM
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Why not have all the locksets rekeyed to a single key combination? Why do you need electronic locksets?
 
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Old 05-02-15, 11:39 AM
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I agree with Chandler, re-keying the existing locks to all take the same key is the least expensive option.

If you want to do away with a key entirely then I would recommend a Simplex mechanical keyless lock. They are available with or without key override and are of commercial quality. No batteries to fail and the mechanism is very rugged. Either knob or lever models are available. They are NOT cheap however, prices starting about $250. If all the doors open to the same space then I would use inside locks on all the doors but the one most often used from the outside and that is where I would install the Simplex.
 
  #4  
Old 05-02-15, 11:50 AM
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As Chandler said, if your only purpose is to eliminate a bunch of keys, this is not the answer. The only advantage that MIGHT outweigh the disadvantages would be if you had many users (employees, for example) where the turnover rate would require frequent combination changes. Or if you didn't want to carry a single key on your person.

Disadvantages:
1) The cheap imported residential grade ones like this are of unknown reliability.
2) Resistance against physical attack is probably equal to or less than other
cheap key only deadbolts.
3) A combination is easier to tell others than actually obtaining a duplicate key
4) There are better alternatives if you want a combination-only lock.
 
  #5  
Old 05-02-15, 02:34 PM
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You can install any lock you want but remember if somebody wants to get in they will. I have broken into my house (forgot keys) with a good kick from my foot (no dead bolt). Cops can bust through any door with a battering ram, and I could get through any wall with a cordless recip saw or grinder.

A lock will keep honest people honest.

To your question, I have an electronic lock on my remote shop and it works well.
 
  #6  
Old 05-02-15, 06:27 PM
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Hmmm...it seems like most totally ignored my question. I'm not going to get into why, but I want all the doors to have keyless entry, the end. I need 7 or 8 of them so a higher end model simply isn't in the budget. Simply getting all the locks keyed alike would cost money too, and, still involve keys.

Disadvantages:
1) The cheap imported residential grade ones like this are of unknown reliability.
Have there been any common reported failures of these things? Either not locking when they should or refusing to open for some reason? Sometimes cheap is fine and sometimes cheap is not, I'm not sure what the better models offer in this situation?

2) Resistance against physical attack is probably equal to or less than other
cheap key only deadbolts.
But if I filled the key hole with epoxy, wouldn't it then be more secure than a cheap key only deadbolt? There are two ways I know of to defeat a deadbolt: kick it in or pick the lock/bump the key. Bump keys seem to be really popular thanks to youtube. Without a keyhole this can't be done. They can still kick the door in but I can reinforce the frame and the door itself, cheap or expensive deadbolt doesn't make much difference there. My understanding is that more expensive locks usually just have more expensive and harder to pick/bump key cylinders.

Mostly what I'm wondering is, are there any electronic tricks, or hacks that I'm not aware of that people can use to open these locks? For example, there are tricks you can find listed on the internet to open the electronic card locks found on hotel doors...

4) There are better alternatives if you want a combination-only lock.
If there are any better options under $100 each please enlighten me.

For those that must know, I'm also getting rid of the keys for my house and my truck. Some of the doors will further be reinforced, the deadbolt will end up being the weak link.
 
  #7  
Old 05-03-15, 05:00 AM
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We didn't ignore your question. In our minds we knew there were better alternatives. You didn't tell us what you were planning nor why you wanted such an elaborate array of locksets, thus our answers. I believe you have already set your mind to replacing the locksets, and feel the cheaper ones will last as well as the more expensive ones. You don't want to spend more money on the expensive ones. Pretty well just waiting to do it, right? Our comments wouldn't have swayed your outcome, anyway, IMO.

Oh, good luck on the ignition key on the truck
 
  #8  
Old 05-03-15, 05:54 AM
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It don't matter what you install for a dead bolt, if the door swings in it can be kicked in. It dont matter the quality. 99% of thives will not take the time to pick a lock.
 
  #9  
Old 05-03-15, 08:17 PM
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Let's separate the mechanical from the electronic parts:

Mechanical: It's an inexpensive imported deadbolt; by eliminating the keyhole you have increased slightly the security. As others have said, most break ins involve pry-bars and strong-arm tactics, not lockpickers. To the extent you beef up the frames, you gain a little more security. Fair enough. The next weakest link is the bolt itself. To the layman, all US style tubular (or cylindrical, that is, mounting into a typical round hole) deadbolts with a 1" projection bolt appear the same. It's the quality and design of the bolt's linkage you can't see behind the bolt-plate that will in large part determine how easy a pry-bar can pop the bolt out of it's housing. Another consideration is to what extent the cheaper lock will tolerate heavy use or abuse or continue working after a minor attempt at a break-in. Another difference is the tolerance of an improper or sloppy installation; the better locks are more forgiving of out-of-spec installations.

Electronic: Vulnerability to manipulation or break-in, unknown. Maybe someone has found a particular weakness in this model. Vulnerability to vandalism, likely very high if, as it appears, those are plastic or rubbery buttons, a single blow with a mallet and ice pick to one of the buttons might render the lock useless. Don't know.

My advice is to go ahead and get one, install it on one of the most used doors to test it for at least several months, see how it does in climate extremes etc. heavy use etc before doing all doors that way.
 
  #10  
Old 05-06-15, 06:06 PM
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Vulnerability to vandalism, likely very high if, as it appears, those are plastic or rubbery buttons, a single blow with a mallet and ice pick to one of the buttons might render the lock useless
I'm not really concerned about somebody simply damaging the lock, as long as they aren't able to get in. I agree it would probably be easy to destroy the keypad, but would that let them inside? If somebody wants to be malicious they can just as easily fill your key locks with super glue.

It's the quality and design of the bolt's linkage you can't see behind the bolt-plate that will in large part determine how easy a pry-bar can pop the bolt out of it's housing.
One of those plates that bolts on the outside of the door over the deadbolt can prevent this, or at least slow it down, correct?

We didn't ignore your question. In our minds we knew there were better alternatives.
Again, do tell. What are these better alternatives?
You didn't tell us what you were planning nor why you wanted such an elaborate array of locksets, thus our answers.
Keyless entry is pretty common these days. It's been an option on cars and trucks since at least the late 80s. There are a thousand reasons why. It's not an "elaborate array of locksets". I am looking at the most basic models. The fact that the codes are electronically resettable mean I am able to "rekey" them all myself, for free, and change it any time I wish. I can also set temporary codes for visitors.

To buy a matched set of commercial dead bolts for all these doors would likely cost around the same as lower cost keypad entry that offers additional features. Are they any less safe? That is what I was asking.

I believe you have already set your mind to replacing the locksets, and feel the cheaper ones will last as well as the more expensive ones.
No, that was part of the question I asked you didn't bother to try and answer. Just because I have an opinion to include doesn't mean I can't ask a question about something. Also just because I asked a question doesn't mean I'm totally stupid and need you to show me the light. So far you have offered no advice of value here, as a moderator you really should try a little harder to focus on the topic or not post at all.

And yes, I do already have my mind set on changing all the locks regardless, as I currently have to use six different keys spread over different styles of lock that cannot all be keyed alike.

Oh, good luck on the ignition key on the truck
It's already setup for bluetooth recognition, all I have to do is sit in the truck with my phone in my pocket and push a button. Vrooom! I can even start it with my phone from inside the house. And the keypad entry on the door was OEM, ten years ago.

I do appreciate the advice of those that have actually paid attention to the question asked.
 

Last edited by Number21; 05-06-15 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 05-06-15, 06:28 PM
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Again, do tell. What are these better alternatives?
Well, let me see....Post 2, Post 3, Post 4. Then your truck lock has nothing to do with the building's lock requirements.
 
  #12  
Old 05-07-15, 03:44 AM
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If you goal is to have the lowest price and best quality that allows no more than one key and the ability to rekey at any time, then get a smart key locket. There are a few good brands that sell them for around $50 each. One key for every lock and you can rekey them yourself anytime you want in less than 10 seconds.

If your goal is no keys. You need some sort of electronic lock like you posted. The more you pay the better the lock. There are no electronic vulnerabilities that I am awear of.

If your goal is security, the lock itself plays a very small role. Your door frame and the door itself are the weakest points. Adding more than one deadbolt at least 24" apart will help alot. For maximum security you need an outswing door. If your doors have glass in them you need bars on it, or a double cylinder lock at a minimum.
 
  #13  
Old 05-07-15, 05:00 AM
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The statement I made was this:
"I want to replace a bunch of deadbolts with electronic deadbolts like this one"

The question I asked was this:
"Are there any other ways for somebody to defeat a cheap deadbolt like that if it has no key hole?"

I then expanded the question to ask what makes a more expensive electronic deadbolt better than a cheap one. I also explained my reasons why because some people just can't stand not knowing.

Nothing else. I didn't ask for other suggestions. I didn't ask how to reinforce doors. I didn't ask if I should or shouldn't install keyless locks. I simply asked a very specific question about electric deadbolts. If you don't know the answer to that very specific question there is absolutely no reason to post in this thread. Of course I realize doors can be kicked open and it's obvious at which points the wood will snap and where it needs to be reinforced. I never asked about reinforcing doors.


Then your truck lock has nothing to do with the building's lock requirements.
Actually it very much does. For those like you that just can't stand not knowing why, that is why I choose to make my building keyless. It is convenient, just like my automobile. It's not uncommon or unusual or "elaborate" as you claim. It is OEM from ten years ago. Also you made a comment assuming I probably couldn't convert the ignition switch when I already have.
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 05-07-15 at 05:10 AM. Reason: Unnecessary and rude comments removed
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Old 05-07-15, 05:18 AM
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I'm closing this thread since you seem to be unwilling to accept any suggestions and recommendations from others, so this thread is now out of control and going no where.
 
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