kwikset smartcode lock

Previously, I have discussed these types of locks. Unfortunately, there are websites that put these locks on a “best deadbolt” or “best front door locks” list. This is not correct. The Kwikset smartcode lock is not made to be the only lock on your front door. But it is perfect for an interior door such as storage, office, humidor, wine cellar or some other room you want to keep secure.

This is not a smart lock just a basic latch lock with a keypad. The Kwikset door lock doesn’t work with BlueTooth or WiFi. And there is no smartphone app to grant access or codes or entry log.

This means there aren’t too many features on it. Which is fine for me, I don’t like paying a lot for an electronic device for a bunch of features that I don’t end up using.

This Kwikset lock installs in a standard door cutout. There should be no need to make any modifications to your door after you remove the existing handle.

Installation

The lock body is installed the same way regardless of which direction the door is opened. This is because the handle attaches to the lock after the lock is installed.

This has an adjustable latch that will fit either 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ backset, which is the distance from edge of door to center of lock. If needed, adjusting the latch is simple, just slide the latch pin from the 2 3/8″ mark to the 2 3/4″ mark.

The exterior keypad goes on the door and the power cable goes around the latch.

After that, the back mounting plate goes on with the screws, making sure the cable goes through the small hole in the top of the mounting plate. Then, the mounting plate is attached to the front keypad with two screws.

The installation has an extra step than most of the other interior keypad door locks. Kwikset has included a half circle piece of metal that is called a spindle and helps to retract the latch.

Other manufacturer’s door locks don’t usually have this extra piece, it usually already is attached to the exterior front keypad out of the box. It’s not a big deal but it is an extra step that is required.

The interior assembly is installed by first connecting the power cord to the back of the interior locking unit. Then the 4 AA (not included) batteries are installed into the locking assembly. It is then attached with 2 screws.

The handle goes on to both the front and back locks with the handle facing away from the edge of the door. Handles are then tightened in place with the set screws.

It is a pretty easy installation even if there is an extra step that turns out isn’t all that extra.

Features on the Kwikset SmartCode Lock

This is a ANSI/BHMA Grade 2 lock. This should give you peace of mind because the lock has passed tests by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association. This test for Grade 2 means that this lock can withstand 800,000 uses and being struck with a 75 pound object 5 times before failure.

The Four Switches

When you remove the back cover you have access to the four switches to toggle off some of the features.The fourth switch isn’t used on this model.

The first switch is for the LED on the lock blinking every 6 seconds. But this will use battery faster if this is switched on. A green LED is unlocked, amber is locked, red indicates low battery.

The second switch turns on and off the automatic locking feature. If it is turned on, it will automatically lock 30 seconds after unlocking. This switch cannot be active if no codes are programmed.

The third switch toggles the audio on and off. With audio on you will hear beeps when buttons are pressed and codes are entered.

The Keypad

kwikset smartcode keyless entry

The keypad has 5 buttons with numbers and a sixth button that resembles a lock. The lock button is used for locking the door and programming codes.

You can program up to 8 user codes and a master code. Each code can be between 4 and 8 digits.

SmartKey

kwikset smartcode replacement tool
Kwikset Smartkey Tool

SmartKey is Kwikset’s patented rekeying system that allows the owner to rekey the lock without calling a locksmith or buying a new lock.

This is especially helpful if you lend a key and it is never returned or found. You don’t want any keys out there that you don’t know about.

kwikset 911 smartcode
SmartKey Hole to the left of the keyway

There is a little notch to the left of the keyway that the smartkey tool is inserted into. The process to do this is pretty simple.

  1. Insert your current key and turn it a 1/4 turn to the right
  2. Insert SmartKey tool and remove it then remove the current key
  3. Put the new key in and turn it halfway counter clockwise.
  4. Then it should work, but I would test it first. Sometimes doesn’t work the first time.

Overall Impression of the Kwikset SmartCode Lock

The Kwikset SmartCode 911 electronic lock is easy to install, easy to operate and is a good lock. The Kwikset warranty is not as good as Schlage’s but it is still pretty good – it has a lifetime warranty on mechanical and finish and 1 year on the electronics.

You can only get this lock in three finishes – Satin Nickel, Polished Brass and Venetian Bronze. It takes 4 AA batteries (not included) that will last between 6 and 12 months. Battery life depends on use and weather (cold depletes battery life) however, the batteries are easy to install.

My Recommendation

Even though it does cost about $15.00 more than this Kwikset SmartCode Lock, I would recommend the Schlage FE595. Schlage’s lock is made with all metal components, easier to operate and it has a 3 year electronic and a lifetime mechanical warranty.

Kwikset SmartCode Electronic Lock

9

Quality

9.5/10

Installation

9.5/10

Style

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Warranty

9.0/10

Customer Service

9.0/10

Pros

  • This is a Grade 2 lock
  • Autolocking option
  • Keypad lights up after pressing the lock button
  • Rekey the lock on your own with SmartKey
  • Sounds can be muted with an on/off switch

Cons

  • No random code entry to prevent onlookers
  • No remote or smartphone access
  • Only accepts 8 codes
  • Only comes in 3 finishes

7 Comments

Hmandour · October 22, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Thank you for your review about this locking system. I have used different locks with the same concept but the only thing that I like about this lock is the rekeying system. I liked also the light up in the keypad because some of this locks comes without lightening keypad.

I have two questions: why I can’t use this lock in the front door? what is the benefits of using the smart locks over this one?

thanks

    Bill Kiser · October 22, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    There is nothing preventing you from using this in your front door. The problem with using ONLY this lock is there is not a deadbolt, only a latch. It is just more secure to use a deadbolt with this lock. 

    Smart locks are different from this lock. Smart locks can be controlled with an app through BlueTooth, WiFi or some home automation systems. This one cannot, its just a key or keypad. 

Travis · October 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I think I would like the kwikset electronic lock. I’ve never had an electronic lock before, is this so you do not actually have to have the key to get in, or does the codes you would put in just add an extra level of security before you use the key? I definitely like the idea of using this throughout the house, especially to keep the kids out of my office in my house. Thank you for sharing, I will look into getting a few for the house now! 

    Bill Kiser · October 22, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    That’s correct. You can use a key but primarily the keypad is to be used on this lock. If you don’t have your key or forget it or lose your key you can still get in. It’s not really an added security feature, just a more convenient and easier way to open the lock. 

Russ Green · October 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm

We all need to be security conscious these days and these locks look very safe and secure, in the area where I live there has been quite a significant increase in break ins and burglaries, unbelievably some people have actually been at home during the break in, it has been happening in the middle of the night while the resident has been sleeping, I have been checking my own security but I haven’t replaced any locks yet but now after looking at your recommendation here, I think it may be a good idea, thank you for sharing.   

Benson · October 22, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Hello Bill, thanks for sharing this informative and educational post. Talking from my experience with locks, there have been so many burglary cases at my apartment using some other kind of master key. From the feature of this lock, its seem so much like one that would cause quite some difficulty with thief’s. Is there any form of alarm that comes with it?

    Bill Kiser · October 23, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    No, no alarm on this lock. If you want a lock with an alarm you should try the Samsung SHS-3321, if it’s tampered with or too many attempts are made an alarm will go off.

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