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.