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Any Suggestions on a Smart Lock?


Brian
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I am replacing the side door on my house with a new door and would like to buy a smart lock for it. Does anyone use a smart lock?  If so, which one and do you like it?

 

Reviews for these locks are all over the place which is making it hard to pick. My wife likes the Kwikset Kevo but reviews go from 5 stars to 1 star. 

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The advantage you have with Kwickset is you can rekey the lock easily. You could make it work with your existing keys if you wanted. 

 

The thing I will suggest, don't be like a bunch of other idiots I have seen with these kind of locks and stop carrying the key with them. This way if the battery dies, or they electronics part of the lock just stops working you are not waiting outside for a locksmith. 

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The biggest problem with these are the way your door shuts. My front door is a bit difficult to shut all the way so I would probably get locking errors. Other issues I've heard is that they work 90% of the time but that 10% is bothersome. Im personally looking into the Schlage locks. August is also a good option, that a few users here have. I wanted the Kevo until I saw this video

 

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The video looks quite good to me. The guy struggled to open a lock with a locksmith tool and took him quite a while to open it. At that point, most burglars would have given up or resorted in busting the door down with force. 

 

I am not that worried about burglars in my area. I live really close to the police station. I just want a lock that is convenient and works as described.  With a new construction door, the lock should line up perfectly. 

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3 hours ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

The video looks quite good to me. The guy struggled to open a lock with a locksmith tool and took him quite a while to open it. At that point, most burglars would have given up or resorted in busting the door down with force.

 

The lock completely failed 😂 He was just surprised and wanted to figure out what happened.

 

Honestly though, no residential lock will do anything other than stop good guys from getting in. They are all built with a lot of plastic these days and are very susceptible to being picked, bumped, or kicked in.

 

Just a note, I was a locksmith for 10 years and my Dad still is, so I stay pretty current on all this stuff.

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@sblfilms is it a failed lock because it broke and isn’t designed to?  I would think it would be designed to break once someone tries to force it open like he did. Once it “failed”, it clearly frustrated the locksmith and made it time consuming to open which I would think a good lock would try to do. 

 

I am not looking for security. Just a lock that I can open without keys when my hands are full. 

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1 hour ago, sblfilms said:

 

The lock completely failed 😂 He was just surprised and wanted to figure out what happened.

 

Honestly though, no residential lock will do anything other than stop good guys from getting in. They are all built with a lot of plastic these days and are very susceptible to being picked, bumped, or kicked in.

 

Just a note, I was a locksmith for 10 years and my Dad still is, so I stay pretty current on all this stuff.

That is funny to think about.  A strong door and lock can be great for an apartment on a higher floor.  But when you think about a residential house, a quick rock through a window and suddenly someone is walking right in.

I was trying to find a Consumer Report magazine I have because they usually review door locks like these.  Can't find it at the moment though.  I think their tests include some sort of a kick test which not every review site does.

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I'm not particularly worried about security, I mostly bought mine for the convenience. So, setting aside the security of the Kevo, as someone who owns two of them I can say that my fundamental problem with them is their inconsistency. Mine are supposed to do two things: lock when I run routines through Alexa ("I'm leaving", "goodnight", etc.) and allow me to open the door with my phone. Neither thing is consistent enough that I feel I can rely on it.

 

Both work most of the time, and I don't really keep track of these things, but the bottom line is that I don't feel comfortable leaving without my keys. Even when it does work, it can be terribly slow. When my wife and I Uber somewhere the lock is usually still flashing, trying to figure something out by the time my wife has her keys out and into the lock. Sometimes it works faster, but not consistently.

 

I have a bunch of smart home stuff, and I'd like the lock to at least be as consistent as my freaking lights or my doorbell, but the Kevo just isn't. I've looked into other locks on occasion, but I haven't seen anything that would both integrate with a smart home system and got reviews that indicated it was reliable enough to be without a key. When I replace my Kevos, I'll probably get something that also has a keypad. I looked into the August, which has an optional keypad, but I saw too many reviews calling it unreliable.

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2 minutes ago, TwinIon said:

I use Wink, which has generally worked fine but isn't something I'd really recommend.

Im pretty sure you can say that about all the platforms right now. I ran away from Smartthings and now have a bigger headache with Home Assistant (im not great with coding).

 

The biggest problem with that lock is that it's cheaply built. Im not sure of the pricing right now, but $200+ dollars should buy you a nice product, not the software. 

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30 minutes ago, Kal-El814 said:

To me, the benefit of a smart lock would have to include:

 

1) Can it confirm that my deadbolt is engaged

2) Can it reliably lock / unlock remotely

 

The August smart lock pro seems like the closest to that, but I don’t know that it’s quite there yet.

 I can confirm that the August Smartlock Pro does both of these flawlessly. Our lock has worked every time without fail. 

 

The August Doorbell Cam, on the other hand, has been spotty at best, but I'm still really happy I have it. 

 

With the August lock, you're only replacing the inside part, not the exterior. They don't sell an exterior or full lock set. 

 

And as stated above--the deadbolt has to line up perfectly when the door is closed for it to work properly. The weather sealing on our front door isn't particularly thick, and when we closed and locked the door before getting the August, we'd have to push and hold the door closed to lock the deadbolt. So we had to reposition the plate on the frame so it lined up with the bolt when the door was closed without pushing it. Once we did that, butter. 

 

Another obvious side note--if your doorknob has a lock, remember to keep it unlocked at all times, otherwise the August lock won't do you any good! :lol:

 

Oh, and to lock and unlock remotely, you need the Connect Wi-Fi Bridge. 

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1 hour ago, ManUtdRedDevils said:

Thanks for the responses. I went with August

Talked to my father and he said he’s been pretty impressed with it. As has been noted, you do need to dial in the location of the strike plate to feel confident about it locking/unlocking consistently.

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