Schlage Door Hardware or Kwikset Door Hardware?

I took a trip to Home Depot recently and all I found is Schlage door hardware and Kwikset door hardware. They also had Defiant hardware, which is a Home Depot brand. But the fact is, Schlage and Kwikset are firmly entrenched in the residential lock market with nearly a 95% share. It’s clearly a Kwikset versus Schlage world.

Now, when it comes to high security deadbolts Schlage and Kwikset aren’t the best brands to install. There is a list that I posted with other brands that provide better security for your door.

The thing is that if you were to make a quick run up to Home Depot or Lowe’s to buy a new lock, chances are you’re only going to find Schlage, Kwikset or the store brand.

Immediately rule out the store brands – they only come in Grade 3 – and readers of this blog know if you want a more secure deadbolt shoot for Grade 1. And even if you compare the Grade 3 model of store brand against the Schlage or Kwikset Grade 3, it still is not as good and is only about $5-$10 less.

So The Choice is between Schlage and Kwikset

Those are the choices we have left after eliminating the store brand. Let’s compare them now, shall we?

Rekeying is Easier With Kwikset’s SmartKey Option.

The little hole next to the keyway on a Kwikset lock is for a rekey tool that comes with the Kwikset door hardware with the SmartKey option. This allows the owner to rekey the lock themselves without paying for a locksmith to make a housecall. Schlage does not have this option and to rekey you would need to pay a locksmith. However, the cylinder of the Kwikset SmartKey is made with plastic, which, while convenient for rekeying poses issues with security.

Schlage Is Constructed with Better Materials

Pick up both locks and you can tell, the Schlage lock is heavier, This is due to the all metal construction of the Schlage lock. Kwikset has less metal and uses plastic in some parts of their lock, namely the cylinder housing. This plastic makes it more susceptible to deterioration over time or potential of breakage from tampering.

Schlage Has a Better Bolt

The bolt is the part that locks and unlocks your door that goes into the door frame. Schlage’s bolt is thicker and a little longer than Kwikset’s. What this means is that the bolt on the Schlage goes further into the frame. And because it is thicker fills up more of the strike hole reducing wiggle room for a tighter fit.

Schlage Has an Anti-Drill Shield

Kwikset does not have an anti-drill shield, Schlage does. This is a metal plate behind the lock face that is resistant to drilling. If someone does drill beyond the lock face they will run into the anti-drill shield in the Schlage deadbolt. Along with the anti-drill plate Schlage also has thicker screws to hold the lock in place. If someone does drill past the plate they would still need to drill through the screws and thicker screws take more time to drill through.

Schlage Has More Security Pins

More security pins means it is harder to pick. Not impossible but harder. Schlage door locks have 4 security pins and Kwikset only has 2 security pins. The security pins are also known as spool pins due to the notch in the pins. These notched pins cause false positives to someone trying to pick the lock.

Kwikset Costs Less Than Schlage

Kwikset can cost about $10-$15 less than Schlage for the same single cylinder Grade 1 deadbolt. Which is up to you with regards to your budget but if it was up to me the extra security and protection is worth the additional $15.

What Does All This Mean To You?

If you’re buying from a big box store the Schlage is the way to go. It doesn’t cost much more than the Kwikset and if you’re concerned about security and tampering it’s the best option.


16 thoughts on “Schlage Door Hardware or Kwikset Door Hardware?

  1. I have a Schalge front door handleset and dead bolt in brass finish. The finish is corroded and the tumblers no longer work. Because of the style of outside handle and the leaded glass door, I need to replace with the same style of lock. Schlage no longer makes that particular style and I had a hard time finding it anywhere. I did find it with Kwikset, but after reading your review of the two brands I am reluctant to buy the Kwiset. My older lockset is 35 years old. I think it held up pretty well. I am concerned the Kwikset will not last very long. What is your recommendation ? Thank You

    1. I’d have to agree it held up pretty well if it lasted 35 years. Schlage is a very good product. Is the handleset and deadbolt together in one piece? You could use the Kwikset handleset that matches the style you need, and get a Schlage deadbolt in brass. Kwikset deadbolts are not bad, I just don’t think their residential grade is as good as Schlage’s residential grade and most people are buying the residential grades for their home. You could get a commercial grade of Kwikset deadbolt which should last longer and be more durable than the residential grade and I believe they have a lifetime warranty on their polished brass finish. Please let me know if that information was helpful. I’d love to hear what you ended up deciding on.

  2. I’m a huge fan of Schlage entry sets… I  won’t buy anything else. They’re easy to install, very reliable, and have quality finishes that will stand up to weather and abuse. For  those of us with carpal tunnel, or those who tend to carry a good deal  of stuff (like me carrying groceries from the garage,) schlage is a must.

  3. Wow, I really like this review on this article. Both the Kwikset and the schlage are a good product, it now depends on the matter of choice of which one to go for when it is about time to change door lock. I really like this article because you’ve done justice on it ranging from price, the quality of each products and the extent to which they can secure a house. I would like to say I am well pleased with this article and I will follow the instruction when it is about time I change my door locks. Thank you. 

  4. This may be a little off topic but I already have deadbolts installed in all of my exterior doors and I went with the Schlage. I am currently looking for security cameras that I can access from my cell phone without paying a big monthly fee. I am using Xfinity which is expensive so if you have a recommendation I would appreciate it.


    1. Sure. The Zmodo WiFI Camera System should work for you. It’s works on WiFi and will let you view from anywhere. And you get motion alerts and it has night vision. Only downside is the cameras need to be plugged into a power outlet. It’s $115.00 on Amazon for 4 cameras. It saves the last 7 days video recordings in the cloud that you can access for $4.99 a month, which should work for most users. There also is a 30 day version that is $9.99 a month if you think you might need that. 

      Hoped that helped.

  5. I really have no questions on the article, you lay out everything very succinctly and make it easy to understand.

    As to the topic itself, most people have a concern about security. This post is very informative for anyone looking to buying a lock set, the pro and cons of each set is outlined and if price is not the issue and when it comes to security, most instances it’s not, the Schlage set will get the nod.

    I’ve marked your site for future reference for myself. 

    Thank you 

  6. Thank you so much for this article! I didn’t really know anything about which brand is the best. When it comes to security you want to have the best. It is worth paying extra for security there is no point in saving money when something like security is so important. I will feel a lot safer having a good deadbolt.  I think that the rekeying option is a really interesting idea.

  7. Hello Bill,

    I must admit I have went in a read a few number of your blogs but I have no idea how to post a reaction over there, so I’ll tell you now how good you are at describing the stuff your at – I must admit I find it insightful to read your blogging. Keep up the good work.

  8. When it comes ti door security lock Schlage Door Hardware and Kwikset Door Hardware are one of the best in the market. If I want to choose between them it can be really tricky. You have pointed out the main features and gave me a good decision. I think I can agree with you that Schlage Door Hardware has a upper hand than the Kwikset Door Hardware.

    Thank you for sharing this post. It was insightful and useful.

  9. Very informative post. I believe security is very important and one should always go for the best security equipments no matter the cost. So i know it is better to but the schlage lock to the kwikset. Both locks are what you find i most stores and it has been helpful knowing which one to always go for. Thanks Bill for the insight

  10. I  believe this scloage kwikset will give me the door security my door deserves. Yes I mean the door security my door deserves. I hate anything inferior on doors. Apart from door security it should also be attractive. The exterior or house interior won’t be fine and the door appearing substandard. No that’s bad and I hope yours is better.

  11. Man…..I wish I had this article when I chose th deadbolts in my new house a few years ago. We chose quickset, but I now fear I made th wrong choice.

    I think I will be visiting the other links to see what locks you recommend. Safety is my number one consideration, so I don’t think it’s worth sparing any expense to make my house secure.  Thanks for sharing your knowledge with th rest of us.

  12. Good Morning Bill,

    To tell you the truth I have not often thought about security locks. As we live upcountry nothing much has happened during the nearly 40 years we are here but times do change so one should better be up to date. 

    I understand that as Schlage only uses metal it would be the better bet. As you point out plastic deteriorates over time and where I live it can get hot. I can see that the anti-drill shield is important plus the fact it has 4 security pins. 

    Thank you for this detailed review of security locks. I will have to talk to my better half about it to see if we need an urgent upgrade.

    Regards, Taetske

  13. Your post came right in time as I need to replace my door lock. After reading your review, I found thatKwikset 99130-002 SmartCode 913 could be a good choice for family members and me. Mainly it is because of the keyless option. I have a couple of questions. Can I open the door if someone forgets a key just by using the code? Where AA batteries are located and what is the average lifetime? Thanks.

    1. Yes, the Smartcode deadbolt can be opened with a key or a code. Usually these locks are opened with the code with the key a secondary option if the battery runs out or you forget the code. The battery compartment is on the interior part of the lock and they last about 6 months before needing to be replaced.

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