Resettable Lock Feedback Forum

Hand turning key in deadbolt lock

Deadbolt and entry door locksets are now available from a number of manufacturers that can be quickly reset by the homeowner to fit a different key.

Feel free to post a comment at the bottom of this page if you’ve installed a resettable lock on your home and would like to give feedback on your experience, or are considering installing a resetting lock and have questions.

Further Information


  1. I really appreciated your comments on the Smart Key from Kwikset. Today, I rekeyed one for the first time. It’s really a interesting principle. Unlike anything on the market.

    Simple, yet complex. Thanks for the info.



  3. There is no special control key. If you lost the key you need to remove the lock cylinder and take it apart. Then you can manually adjust the levers to reset to a new key.

  4. they are great idiots lose their key or mess up reseting them then me as a locksmith takes about 5 min to take apart slide their key in (or one from stock) and bam $15.00

    thank you for another bad invention kwikset

  5. huge disappointment when i got a call from my tenant who said her key was no longer working. i had just installed the new kwikset smartkey matching knob & deadbolt 5 days earlier & the original key just stopped working! db was ok but knob key wouldn’t work. so i do a quick google of kwikset smartkey problems & found that this is fairly common? what? what good is this? this is horrible! my tenant is locked out & it’s an hour+ r/t plus time to figure out a way in. ‘thanks’ kwikset!? if these things can reset themselves at anytime, kwikset is the wrong brand for me! i had a bad feeling about these… shoulda listened to my gut. is schlage a better brand?

  6. I had the same problem! The lock simply ‘stopped working’ a few weeks after installation. What a huge PITA! I’m about ready to throw this back at Home Depot.

  7. WOW! What a piece of junk these lock are! I got locked out in the rain today with my four year old, so frustrating! Does anyone know how or why this happens? Can it be fixed? I tried calling customer service but they were closed… I purchased 3 sets costing over $300, I am unhappy to say the least!

  8. My Kwikset door lock has been installed and working with keys and deadbolt for about 6 months. A few weeks ago, our keys stopped being able to unlock or lock the door lock. The deadbolt latch will lock and unlock the door from the inside but the keys can do nothing. What is causing this? How can it be fixed?

  9. The kwikset lock reset itself after approx 2 months of use. I will be replacing the kwikset lock with a different brand as opposed to taking the lock apart and repairing. If the lock will auto-reset once it will autoreset again and reliability is a must in a lock. Like they say, once a POS always a POS.

  10. Are you serious? How can they sell this piece of crap. Got locked out of my own house. Can’t even reset it without a key that turns the cylinder..Never even rekeyed it. Take this garbage off the market and make the guy that approved this to be manufactured buy me a real working dependable lock!!!

  11. Same story here. My kwikset deadbolt suddenly stopped working after 6 weeks of use. This is a lock with the smartkey feature, but I don’t think I’ve used the feature in this particular lock. The key won’t turn at all. Fortunately I was able to get in through the back door.

  12. Thanks all for the comments. I almost bought a couple of these because Kwikset claims they have “anti bump” technology, but I was worried about exactly this problem (especially after seeing how poorly the example at Home Depot was working, even after being told by the key guy that it was because people were “messing with it”.

    I am so sorry you all have experienced the problems with these locks, but thank you again for posting about them and saving folks like me from some serious stress.

  13. Same problem here, installed locks 3 months ago. Key quit working. I’m wondering if it might be because the weather got below 20F last weekend. Tried to call Kwikset, sat on hold for 2 hours and never was connected with a customer support person. Should be called Kwik-Junk or KwikCrap AKA ForgotKey.

  14. Our smartkey failed this evening. We locked both deadbolt and door as we left, came home to locked out. I called kwikset and after working with them on the phone trying to wiggle the key to the 1/4 turn position to try and get it to the learn position – nothing worked. The customer support person said since we had keys duplicated using the grinding method instead of having a locksmith stamp them out the keys had made the cams in the lock out of alignment. I asked CS how we will get in if we are on the OUTSIDE wanting in and he said we would have to either find another way in or drill out the cylinder. They are sending a replacement cylinder. No thanks – I don’t want to take the chance.

  15. My smartkey failed last night after only 6 months. I had to kick in a basement window to get in my own house. It was not cold and the deadbolt worked just fine. I thought someone tried to bump it and messed up the smart key.

    After reading the above comments it appears this is common with Kwikset. I am going to have a little conversation with home depot about this junk.

  16. my deadbolt just stopped working luckily I was trying to lock the door when it failed. Searched for info on this problem and here I am. I cannot believe they keep crap like this on the market when it is very obvious there is a problem. DO NOT BUY A “SMART” KEY!!!!!!!!

  17. My husband just bought this and installed it yesterday. While “rekeying” to our key, it stopped working! Now both the key that came with it doesn’t open the door nor the new key. I was looking for the company’s website for troubleshooting the problem and found this! Glad we kept the receipt as this installation is not continuing! Thank you all for commenting! You are saving more people from getting ripped off with this lock!

  18. Yep, here I am…glad to find it’s not just me. I was worried somebody tried bumping my lock or something when the doorknob key wouldn’t work tonight, although the deadbolt works fine. Tried the ‘reset’ method per Kwikset’s website and it doesn’t work. Brilliant!

    This product is pure crap…not even 6mos old. Thanks Kwikset for putting out junk…are these manufactured in China, perhaps?

    Won’t ever buy Kwikset again.

  19. I was able to reset my smart key lock manually without the $25 reset cradle. It just took disassembling it and aligning the pins to match the key. I’m sure it is probably easier with the cradle, but it can be done without it. I was frustrated also, but will give it another chance before I trash it.

  20. Five days ago I installed a Kwikset Smartkey lock on my workshop. This afternoon I went to unlock my workshop only to find that the Smartkey lock had reset itself and would no longer unlock. I had to break into my workshop to unlock the door. After repairing the break-in damage, I removed the Smartkey lock and I will never use another Smartkey product. It appears to me that the Kwikset Smartkey product line is seriously flawed and should be withdrawn from the market.

  21. I have had the same problem as everyone else. My husband and I installed all new locks and instantly I couldn’t get the keys to work. Some would but when I went to rekey another key the original key wouldn’t work. Then I would try to rekey the original key and the other key wouldn’t work!!! Try this for 6 locks and what a mess! I am calling the store tomorrow to make sure I can return them.

  22. What a nightmare.My baby boy moves out to his first house and buys the kwikset smartkey to assure his security.comes home one night,pouring down rain and 28 degrees outside cant get in the house the key doesnt fit the lock .He has to sleep out in the car all night long.what a nightmare.never again will a smartkey be bought especially $80.00.there needs to be a recall on the kwikset smartkey.what a let down.

  23. total junk installed in november and in feb. my frt. door reset itself. my back and side doors all keyed the same still work fine i hope i can return them to home depot.

  24. What a joke, installed YESTERDAY, worked perfectly fine until coming home today with groceries and a 6 month old, to find out our key no longer worked. Was told by customer service that this is NOT an issue and people do not have this problem (Obviously I told him to check this website, because he was wrong)

    Option one, I can take the deadbolt off my front door to bring to Home Depot and have them fix the lock, which would leave my house unsecure as there would be NO lock on my door. The other option is to wait 5-7 days for a new lock from them. He said the new lock they will send me is more efficient then the one month old lock already installed and he guarantees it will not have this problem.

    In the meantime, how the heck am I supposed to get in and out of my house if my lock doesn’t work?

    WHAT A JOKE! Take these stupid things offffff the market

  25. We have had this problem with the deadbolts on our front and rear doors several times now just havent gotten around to replacing them yet. I have found in our case that the lock isnt reseting itself but one of the tumblers inside the lock is simply falling down out of place preventing the lock from turning. How of why this happens is a mystery to me but it seems like with all the problems people are experiencing with these locks they would want to do something to fix the problem.

  26. same thing happened to us on Friday 2/19. we installed the new door lock in september and yesterday the keys to the door just stopped working. this can’t just be a coincidence. there is something wrong with that system. and the front door lock has to be reliable or it’s no use.
    we are next going to try to find a solution but this is just ridiculous.

  27. One of our SmartKey locks just stopped working too! Another lock that gets more use is fine (for now). Would never have purchased if I knew this was going to happen. Grrr…

  28. And as a follow-up to that last comment… Just talked with customer service at Kwikset. The SmartKey locks have been “re-engineered to make it less likely to have a pin drop.” They are sending me six new cylinders. Kwikset, ya get one more chance. (And it sounds like Kwikset is somehow affiliated with Price-Pfister, known for THEIR crappy products.)

  29. To update with ours too, kwikset cust. service was pretty quick to respond to an email i sent and is sending warranty replacements and pre paid envelopes to get the defective ones back for inspection all at their cost I will give them one more chance before switching to a new product.

  30. Same here – locked out on Feb 19th at the worst possible time after months of very rare use followed by a couple recent days of twice/day use leading up to failure. Locked it by key from the outside in the morning, came back in the evening to find the key no longer working.

    Is it work getting these “re-engineered” cylinders from KwikSet?


  31. as a follow up, i called customer service on saturday and they sent me a new cylinder which i got today 02/23, but no instructions and no idea how to replace it. anybody have an idea how to do it easily or a website that instructs you?
    i am still wondering whether even after changing it, would i really be able to trust it?

  32. My teen daughter and young son lock the door to run to the neighbors’ house while I’m out and what happens? LOCKOUT. Now I can’t reset it because it won’t take ANY of my keys. I couldn’t come home right away and they were just stuck; fortunately the neighbor let them hang out for an hour. I’m pretty angry.

  33. last f/u,,,
    after some instructions at home depot, and after they rekeyed the cylinder, i was able to replace the cylinder fairly easily, but it’s still pretty annoying this happened and maybe kwikset should reimburse us for our troubles.

  34. We had the Kwikset installed on a new door and door frame loved the looks and the idea of reseting the key yet after cold weather hit and we were leaving and all of a sudden the key just would not turn at all. My husband took the cylinder out and did something and it worked again. Today came home from work and then again did not work got in the back door. Now with it 20 degrees outside fixing the cyclinder again. If it breaks again I am going to medco and buy a deadbolt and be done with it.

  35. I was going to install these locks on a rental property and decided to try it out on my garage door first. Good thing, it stopped working after about 2 months. I have seen that Schlage makes on called SecureKey anybody tried them yet?

  36. My back door key stopped turning after only 4 weeks. Works fine from inside. I don’t have the receipts or original packaging any more, so I doubt Home Depot will be able to help. Is it worth contacting KwikCrap for a replacement, or should I get another brand?

  37. Man I wish I knew this before I bought the pos – same problem here – I have 3 smart locks – will all of them do the same thing? Buyer beware!!!

  38. Same thing just happened to me. Our smartkey lock was great until yesterday, the key just wouldn’t turn. Unfortunatley I have an old Titan lockset with a pretty unique shape, kwikset is the only compatible brand. I wish they a quality deadbolt without the smartkey feature, the other series looks really cheap…..

    Hmm, Who makes a good deadbolt? Schlage? I might have to sacrifice looks.

  39. Yep, same hear. Just stopped working. What kind of deal this is. We should all do a class action against Kwickset to get our homes lock replaced w/ ones that work. Soooooo Mad!!!

  40. Wish I had found this feedback BEFORE I purchased and installed three of these locks. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way. Fortunately, two of the three locks still work, so I can space out my replacement purchases. Buyer beware.

  41. Same problem as everyone. I feel fortunate my lock lasted 8 months before the problem occurred. This is a safety issue and a class action suit should be filed against kwikset parent company.Any damages due to a defective lock( eg. breaking a window to gain entry) should be paid by kwikset

  42. Bought this last year 2009 and the deadbolt failed. Returned and and now 5 months later, the bottom failed. This product has problems. Kwikset needs to do a recall and reimburse customers or fix this problem. Its costly and very inconvenient.

  43. I bought a Chelsea handleset with smartkey 4 weeks back. I am using the original key that came with the lock and last night we came home and found out that our key “smartkey” no longer works. Fortunately i was able to get in from the garage door. Did a search on web today to find that this is fairly common problem. I thought that kwikset is a good brand, but does not seem like it now. Called Kwikset customer support and they told me that they will have to send me a new cylinder.

  44. Danny, Why won’t you put a notice at the top of the article that people are having problems with this lock. It’s been like a year and a half and you haven’t said anything except the customer services number. I see its a sponsor message, but c’mon man.

    • Hi Jason,
      While we have not personally experienced problems with the Kwikset SmartKey, we’ve kept this post up to provide contact information to Kwikset and serve as a discussion forum concerning the product for those who may have. We spoke to a Kwikset representative about the problem, and hope to have a statement from the company soon. When we do, we will post it in the article above. Thank you for your interest.

  45. Hello,
    I purchased the kwikset smart key w/ bump resistance technology about 3 months ago. I bought a double deadbolt pack. One day after coming home, I tried to access the deadbolt with the kwikset branded/labeled key that was included in the set, I simply could not turn the lock, it as as is someone broke into my house and rekeyed the lock. I was dumbfounded and immediately assumed the worst since the key would not work in the lock anymore. I looked around the house and there didn’t seem to be anything amiss. I shrugged it off and installed the second deadbolt/cylinder assembly and it worked fine…..for about 3 weeks and the same thing happened. This time I was sure either someone was playing a joke on me or my initial suspicion of someone breaking in by bumping the lock. That was when I decided to research the issue via Google and came across this link. The following day, I immediately called Kwikset with the issue, they answered rather quickly and upon hearing about my issue they promptly sent me another 2 cylinders. I was amazed by how effortless the warranty exchange went. I guess the issue with this mechanically secure product is that it offers too much technology for way too little cost. They pack the lock with two cylinders, bump proof, and smart key it then manufacture it in China to cut costs and keep investors happy someone ends up losing out. I am just glad I was able to get into my home without breaking glass or kicking in a door or two. Hopefully these two new cylinders will work as expected.


  46. Same problem. Installed smart key lock. Re-keyed to work with my existing keys. Lock worked great for 4 months, then one night I came home and none of our keys worked any more. Had to break into my own house. Will never buy Kwikset again.

  47. A Message from the Kwikset Customer Experience Team:

    We are very sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve experienced with our Kwikset SmartKey product. We’ve heard your complaints, understand that this has caused users significant frustration, and are here to help address your problems and do everything we can to remedy the situation.

    We stand behind our SmartKey products with a Lifetime Warranty and dedicated Customer Service team. Please call us at 1-800-327-5625, or email us at, so we can work with you to resolve this issue to your satisfaction. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and are here to help you out.

  48. My Smart Key lock is 6 mos old and today it stopped working and I was locked out of the house. I wished I found this site prior to purchase because I would have avoided the so called Smart Key and purchased something else. Kwikset is sending me out a new dead bolt lock. However, I have very little trust it will not happen again, bad feeling. I agree with some of the other comments and believe there should be a recall on the smart key. Keep the pressure up on Kwikset. For the product to be relatively new and have all these complaints and problems. I hope they are reading these posts and act before somebody gets seriously hurt.

  49. Bought a new house and bought all new Kwikset handles for the entire house including all new SmartKey locks. 50% success rate for the locks to work. Now we have non-funcitoning locks with no way to use the ImbecileKey, sorry, SmartKey to reset them. Kwikset, why did you release such a poor product? This is soooo frustrating!

  50. My original post April 16th (above). I received the new smart key cylinder from
    Kwieset and installed it on the front door. From the get-go I had problems, only some of the existing keys worked. Bought new keys and they seemed to work better for a short time. Now they are giving me problems. I have to jiggle them inside the lock to unlock the door and even now they are giving me problems. Finally I had enough: no trust in the lock and never knew when I would be locked out again. I took the smart key cylinder out and installed the old lock, which is a non smart key. At least now I have peace of mind that it will always work. I am keeping the old smart key locks, because I know with all the problems that everybody is having, there has to be a recall and maybe I can get my money back, but I will not hold my breath. Keep complaining to Kwikset about the so called smart key. I wasn’t very smart to buy it in the first place.

  51. I wish I had read these comments before I told our daughter to purchase these. We really liked ours. She had 2 go out on her which is a big problem since she only has her garage door or her front door to get into her house. Now ours is doing the same thing. What was a great idea has turned into a complete fiasco for our families.

  52. I wish I could go here to research before I buy this lock.Kwikset. It looks one piece solid and heavy compare with Schlage it use 2 piece to connect together. I only use it over a month and then it lock by itself. Lucky, my wife has to go to the back door to get out. You can lock inside but when you go out you cannot lock. We paid for 129.00 from Homedepo and return it and we buy the schlage the same price but they make look cheap it is not one piece solid at all. So far it works. We do not worry about it lock by itself again 🙂 So, this is a bad new technology from this company. It should not go to market for sell period.

  53. I bought 7 lever type locks, and 7 deadbolts. Two have suddenly locked me out. So far i was lucky i had another way in. Nice idea, but sorry in practice. I noticed tonight one store has a bunch of them marked dow and a lot of empty shelf space. At least now they know.

  54. Hi Danny, while I was performing the re-keying I had the key and the smart key tool in, the wind pull the door and both came out suddenly, after that no key even the main one turn at all, please help.

  55. Jorge,when I was talking to Kwieset, they said that I could take it back to Home Depot (that is where I purchased it from) and they can put it in a “cradle” and re-set the lock. You may try your place of purchase and see what they can do. Good Luck.

  56. Same problem as everyone here. We’ve had these locks for almost 2 years…our contractor put them in when we built. Over the last few days, the keys will hardly turn our lock. I was searching on how to fix it when I read everyone’s comments. Looks like this is a bigger problem than I realized. Something needs to be done about this situation.

  57. Same problem as everyone else. Purchased these locks for a tenant apartment – six in all between back door, front door, and exterior gate (all entry sets w/deadbolts). This was back in Sept of 2009. Since then we have had to replace four of the six cylinders.

    Today, after not having had a lock-related problem for about a month, my tenant experienced her 5th lock-related failure. I’m done. Kwikset continues to deny that a problem exists. Their “newly engineered” locks are no better than their previous versions. This time I’m getting a refund and switching everything to a traditional type of lock.

    A great idea poorly executed.

  58. I find it hard to believe the problems other people are reporting on this website with the Smart Key Locks. I haven’t had near as many issues. Yes, I have had “one” lock up on me, but thats after “rekeying” 4 deadbolts, and 5 doorknobs with cylinders 3 times each for 3 different keys! So out of 3 * 9 rekeys, 27 in total, I had one mess up and I think its because I wasn’t paying attention and maybe didn’t do it completely correctly. But its a new technology and that’s about a 4-5% failure rate. But instead of “freaking out” about it, I’m just buying the reset tool which is only about $11.90 new and I’m going to reset the lock myself. I don’t think its that hard for someone with just an average skill in do it yourself home improvement. I really don’t think the locks have a major problem, I just think you have to be careful to rekey correctly. And I see a lot of them being sold so I don’t think its the huge issue that some people are making it out to be on this website. Yes, I will have to pay about 11 dollars to get that tool and maybe spend 15 minutes reseting that 1 lock, but still this is a great technology and is much better and cheaper than calling a lock smith to do a manual rekey or swapping in new locks every time.

  59. I’m extremely glad I came across this site. I was just about to pull the trigger on several SmarkKey locks for my house. I’ll be looking somewhere else instead of buying this junk.

  60. Same story here: I manage properties. Smartkey deadbolt purchased Sept 2009, rekeyed for new tenant in Jan 2010 … last week tenant enters okay at 10 pm, goes to leave next morning at 0800 … deadbolt will not lock from outside with key. I am lucky it did not fail in locked position with everyone on the outside of this one entry apartment. At midnight, that situation is not fixed with a cheap reset tool … I will have an irate tenant and who properly demands an immediate service call … $100 to $200 charge and the destruction of the lock cylinder. I am taking the Smartkey off my one entry units, leaving them on my units with two doors. ….until Smartkey, explains failure and permanent fix. Yes Kwikset customer service pleads ignorance of any general problem and is sending a warranty cylinder.

  61. Same issue here… I have a rental property and installed a Kwikset deadbolt and door knob set back around March of this year. Tenant moved in on May 1, 2010 and today (May 26) door knob key not working. Was able to get in with a credit card. I find it interesting that one commenter is insinuating that everyone on here is just “freaking out”. I have bought two locks about 3 – 4 months ago and one has failed. In my case, that is a 50% failure rate. And this failure had nothing to do with re-keying. Key worked yesterday and failed today. And with all the problems a landlord has to face with rental properties, the last thing I need is an irate tenant that cannot access the property in the middle of the night. I have installed other “non-smart” locks in the past and received a 0% failure rate. That is what I need. Though it will cost me a little more money to replace these expensive locks, it will be worth it in the long run by avoiding having to call a lock smith because my tenants deadbolt lock suddenly decides to stop working. Kwikset locks are gone.

  62. I installed four Quickset smart key locks when I moved into my house 10 months ago. One failed (key would no longer open door) within weeks. I took it back to Home Depot for exchange. Then several months later a second one stopped working. A month ago the third. I can no longer use my front door, and if the back door locks fail again I’ll be locked out. Strangely, neither Home Depot salesperson nor a locksmith at my local Ace Hardware had ever heard about a problem with these locks! Well, now at least they’ve heard it from me. I’m replacing my front door locks with Schlage this weekend, and will do the same on the back door when I have the money. Very unreliable product; should be taken off the shelves.

  63. Jennifer, sounds like the same old song, but with a different singer, for these locks. You mentioned that neither Ace or Home Depot, heard of any problems. I checked with my Local Home Depot (Phoenix) and thy said only one came back. That must have been the only one they sold, because everybody else is having problems. I don’t know if you called Kwikset Customer Support 1-800-327-5625 or not. But If not, I encourage you to do so and explain your bad experience with their so called Smart Locks. Maybe when they get enough complaints they will offer a refund and take them off the shelves. They are going to have to do something, because there are far too many problems. They can’t hide their heads in the sand much longer and “DENY” people are having problems. When you call and talk to them, they act and/or respond like they are hearing it for the first time. Good Luck.

  64. I bought these for a duplex we own. 8 total locks. These were more expensive than the others, I thought I was getting a good product. Got them August 09.

    Got a call from a tenant friday night, she had to crawl in a window. I’m with the other landlords. I’ve never rekeyed the locks since install, this failure was just a failure. Nothing I or anyone else did.

    If I have to go over there in the middle of the night to break in a door, that would be a HUGE problem for me.

    I will call and make sure I can exchange these, and then just exchange them.

  65. We have the same problem. We purchased these locks in Feb. 2009 for 4 doors and and so far 2 have failed.. very frustrating to get locked out of your house! I am going to purchase a different lock today which really defeats the purpose of having everything keyed the same! Very unhappy with Kwikset.

  66. Same problem. But what really chaps my hide is the no-response I’m getting from customer no-service. I already went through the hoops to at least get my claim submitted to accounting without a receipt or the broken lock (I had the lock installed for 6 months before it failed, who keeps a receipt that long? And the original lock is a pile of metal shavings now). And then nothing… So I email the original representative asking what’s going on? He replies saying “you must use the Kwikset portal to post a comment.” Puh-lease! So I go there, it doesn’t take my password, doesn’t like my login name. Takes me another 15 minutes just to try to get onto the stupid site. Then I find my case and it says “Solved.” My blood pressure just went up. There wasn’t anywhere to write a reply to it. I had to open a new case, where they respond “we need the original receipt or the broken lock.” I’m livid, probably shouldn’t be writing in my state. I leave a comment (oh, after having to change my password again because it wouldn’t let me in the site) and when I hit submit, “Sorry this page is not available.” I’m beside myself. At least I found this support group here and misery loves company. I’ll never buy from Kwikcrap again. I may even stand in front of the display at Home Depot and keep people from buying them. I wonder if they built BP’s blow-out preventer? Any lawyers out there? I smell a class-action suit.

    • Hi Dirk,
      Sorry to hear about your problems with the Kwikset SmartKey lock. My only suggestion is to keep trying. If you haven’t done it already, try talking to someone on the phone at 1-800-327-5625.

  67. I Just had the same problem as the majority of consumers here; my Kwikset Smartkey lock has locked me out. I’m lucky that I was able to get in through the garage. Kwikset should recall this product due to the vast number of complaints! I URGE EVERYONE HERE TO CONTACT YOUR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND FILE A COMPLAINT. IT’S PRETTY SIMPLE AND IN MOST STATES YOU CAN FILE A COMPLAINT ONLINE. I will never buy a kwikset again!!!!!!!

  68. Add me to the list regular-guy homeowners who installed what they thought was a quality product only to find out six months later that it has a huge defect.
    And all you guys who wished you’d researched this before you bought, don’t beat yourselves up- you shouldn’t HAVE to do that!! Not for a door lock! It’s up to Kwikset to make a quality product and stand behind it, and if there’s a problem make it right and salvage whatever good reputation they may still have.
    Guess I’ll give them a chance to make it right. Wish me luck…

  69. I am having the exact same problem as many have stated here. We installed the kwikset smart key lock on our main entrance door about 4 months ago. Just yesterday, all 3 of our keys keyed to that lock have quit working! I was locked out & then my key got stuck in it as I tried to “force” the lock. How frustrating!!! Ugh. I’m looking for a way to fix this…or do I need to tear the thing apart & reset it? Help!

  70. Same exact problem as all of you. Had the lock on the door for about 3 months, now it won’t work, locked out. How frustrating is that??!!!
    POS locks, Home Depot here we come.

  71. I too have experienced TWO failures with these locks. The first was within 2 days of installation into a side garage that I had no other entry into (had not yet programmed the garage door opener) and had to kick in the door which caused damage to the frame of my door.

    Then several months later, my front door fails key will not open the dead bolt. We might have used a key to enter this door maybe 15 times before failure.

    This is clearly class action lawsuit time. I don’t care if they will send out a replacement, this is a recurring issue that causes damage to people’s property and possibly endangers lives. I’m looking to see what it takes to start a class action lawsuit.

  72. I think the first step is to file a report with the “Consumer Product Safety Commission” I filed one Friday. I to, believe it is a safety issue. What if you had aging/sick parents, sick children, stranger following you home and had to get in, fast and the SmartKey decided to fail fail at that time?

    The CPSC can be reached at: 1 800 638 2272 and

  73. smart key door locks suck the fourth out of five has now failed. I’m completely pissed off, home depot employee recomended them to me when i replaced all five complete sets thatwere in my house when i bought it.avent had a problem with the deadbolts just door knobs. i’m taken the three i still have back to home depot along with the one tat still works and some one is going to take care of the problem

  74. We have the SmartCode SmartKey deadbolt and the key stopped working last week after about two months of occasional use — we normally use the keypad. Fortunately, the keypad still works to open the door or we’d be locked out.

    They’re mailing me a new cylinder but after reading these comments I wonder if wouldn’t be a better idea to get rid of the lock altogether. Sounds as though the SmartKey feature contributes to unexpected pin failure.

  75. I purchased the kwikset smartkey set and the key no longer unlocks the deadbolt. We had to break in our home causing damage to our door frame. What a piece of junk!!! RIP OFF!!!

  76. WOW


    I installed 3 of these in an apartment building to test. So far so good. Was just about to place an order for about 60 more with the Key Control feature (a master key system) for another property that we were going to test for eventual rollout to all properties that we manage.

    I could find very little review info and just decided to try one more morning of searching for comments.

    Thanks to all of you who took the time to write. I am disappointed you all experienced this but just a note of appreciation for taking the time to comment. If we get one lockout – that’s too many. We’d rather stick with our rather cumbersome yet reliable key system we have now.

    Maybe in a year or two someone will have resolved these technology issues.

  77. P.S. Just posted 10 seconds ago. I’m going to pull the three that we installed and replace with standard keysets and return them in a plastic bag to Home Depot. Clearly – based on the number of comments here – these are a safety risk to my tenants.

  78. Failure of these locks is truly a life-and-death matter. I see some references to possible risks of danger and injury when you can’t get into your home. I installed dual cylinder locks on all my doors — you need a key to get out as well as to get in. Now I fear I have put my entire family at risk of being trapped in a fire.

    In February I purchased six sets of dual cylinder SmartKey deadbolts and two SmartCode (keypad) locks with SmartKey deadbolts. Finally got around to installing all the dual cylinders five weeks ago. Now, one has failed so I looked for info on the web and found this site. After reading all the problems I have grave concerns.

  79. Our deadbolt failed almost 1 year to the day it was installed. Call Kwikset customer service and they are sending a new cylinder. Wish I’d seen this site last year. I bought a Schlage and returned it for the Kwikset to match all our other locks. We’ll see what happens. Any advise on removing the current cylinder? I didn’t install this one as it was installed with a new door while I was away. Only screws for the deadbolt are the 2 where the bolt comes out. Hate to damage the door messing with it.

  80. With all the negative comments, who would take a risk on the new locks without receiveing some information from Kwikset about improvements? I know I won’t.

  81. Following up my comments:
    Kwikset sent the new cylinder the day after I contacted them. So customer service/support is very responsive in that regard.

    Replacing the old cylinder on the keypad lock is relatively simple. Kwikset’s website has instructions on how to replace cylinders in their entire line of knobs/locks.

    To the person with dual cylinder deadbolts — you’re taking a BIG risk if anything goes wrong. But in my 60+ years of living I’ve never had to evacuate my residence, even during my four years in the USAF!

  82. I purchased 2 of these Kwikset rekeying locks 2 years ago when the clerk recommended them for the house I just bought. He told me it would be much cheaper and he was reight. I have rekeyed them once already when my wife fired our cleaning lady for stealing money.

    They work great and I just purchased another one for our cottage and keyed it to the same key without having to call a locksmith. I would recommend them to anyone who is replacing a lock that doesn’t want to be bothered with calling a locksmith.

  83. Mike – replacing the Kwikset cylinders is easy. Remove the turnpiece from the inside using the correct size hex wrench (bottom), then pop off the sheet metal cover using a small flathead screwdriver. You will then see 2 large screws to remove using a phillips screwdrive and then the cylinder slides right out.

    I have installed hundreds (literally) of these deadbolts and have had very good luck with them.

  84. Add me to the list. Luckily my wife was home on bed rest expecting twins, so she could let me in. But now if an emergency happens while I’m away and she can’t get to the door I won’t be able to get in. Awesome!!

  85. Similar situation. The inside the house part of the lock works with the key, but the outside won’t! Just started happening yesterday.
    How can one side of the same lock get “re-programmed”?
    Not happy…

  86. Same thing happened to me. Lock just stopped working one day. I’m pulling this thing off the door and returning it to Home Depot. What do people recommend? Schlage? I’m thinking about getting a programmable lockset with key pad this time…

  87. Sorry about all these troubles – but thank you for publicizing it -I was on the brink of buying one of these
    dumbkeys…I’m really surprised though, that I can’t find find any other such problems through Google. Is there any other site focusing on these problems?

  88. i saw something on the internet about smartkey problems. it said when you close the door hard, that motion causes the lock to “rekey” itself and causing the real key to not work.

  89. The lock cannot reprogram itself by slamming the door or clsoing the door hard. The reason is that without the learn key inserted – it simply cannot be reprogrammed. The Kwikset reprogrammable locks are much better than any other lock on the market.

  90. I just purchased 2 of these Kwikset locks and can’t believe how easy it was to install and program them to my old key. The guy at the store showed me how to do it right in the aisle -it takes less than 30 seconds to do it. The best part is – now the lock on my garage uses the same key as my front door and shed and I didn’t have to call a locksmith – I did it myself for free!

  91. Purchased this item 4 months ago and it does not work anymore. I’m hoping to get my money back so I can trade it in for a different brand. I wish I would have found this website before purchasing this lock. They need to take it off the shelves immediately!!!!

  92. Out Kwikset lock stopped working, even the master key doesn’t open our front door now. It seems to have “changed” by itself. We use all the same keys on our back and side doors and suddenly we can’t lock our front door.

  93. We have had our Kwikset lock for about a year now and I guess after reading these comments I should consider myself lucky. But that luck ran out. Last night my wife and I came home late. I tried to unlock my front door and my key wouldn’t work. The wife tried hers and the daughter tried hers and still the same. So we have joined the unlucky ones here. Looks like my smartkey has out smarted me and my family.Looks like I am going back to using Schlage’s.

  94. Danny,

    Thanks for bringing this technology to our attention. After doing my research, I just purchased 5 of the Kwikset locks locks to replace my old locks that were produced by Shlague. The guy at Home Depot advised to buy Kwikset and said he has “sold thousands”. I have rekeyed them twice and they are working great.


  95. Interesting reading on all of these.

    I don’t have an axe to grind. Just wanted to say that I installed Kwikset smart key locks on all 3 doors to my house 18 monhts ago. Zero problems. All the locks continue to work and all copies of the keys work in all locks

    I must be lucky

  96. We purchased our home on May 1st. Our contractor put in Kwikset locks the next week. On Aug. 8 they stopped working!!! I can not use my front door. I have to bring my 2 small children around the house to the back door to get in. My husband is deployed now—he purchased these locks for our safety and security. He’ll be even more disappointed than I am! I’m going to try to call Kwikset and see what they tell me, but I’m scared my backdoor is going to go out soon!

  97. Im with Warren. I’ve had my SmartKey set on my front door for a couple of years now. Not one issue…ever. I’ve even rekeyed it once.

  98. Bought a pair of knob and deadbolt lock sets in December 2009 from Menards. I’ve had to replace 4 of 4 due to the lock no longer working. Getting locked out of the house stinks!

    Thankfully none of the replacement cylinders have had issues and the Kwikset customer service folks are nice and shipment of the parts is prompt.

    Had I known this would happen, I would not have purchased this key set. Yet, I do appreciate the convenience of rekeying that this product provides.

  99. We have the exact same problem. It is a huge safety hazard since we can no longer exit our house through the front door in case of a fire. What a piece of trash.

  100. Hey folks, it’s not just Kwikset – the Schlage locks have the same problem. That’s how I ended up here after having to break into my house. ARRRGGGGGGHHHHH! I wasn’t even aware that I purchased this “improved technology” two weeks ago when I bought the new set.

  101. I purchased one complete Kwikset SmartKey set, including deadbolt, early last fall and one locking doorknob shortly thereafter. I have not had any problems with any of the three cylinders, although I only re-keyed one. I am constantly having to re-tighten screws for the doorknob as they have a tendency to become loose. I would prefer to have one key, but I may opt for a different lock set for the interior garage door.

  102. Why is this the only message board slammed with complaints about SmartKey locks? I see a couple bad reviews here and there on the internet but no more than when I Google other brands of lock sets. I haven’t had any issues with my 3 Kwikset locks, maybe because I read the directions when rekeying?

    • Hi Joel,
      I don’t know why we’re the only site to receive so many complaints about Kwikset SmartKey locks. All I can tell you is that we post all the comments we receive, whether they’re good or bad, except for spam and rude or obscene remarks.

  103. My son came home today to find that his key did not work. None of the keys are working on the Kwikset Smartkey lock I purchased approx 6 months ago. I only used the keys provided with the door handle/lock and had extra keys made at the Home Depot where I purchased it I never used the re-key function and my key will not even turn the lock. Seems as though there is a major problem with the cylinders on these door locks.

  104. Purchased 4 deadolts, and 4 levers in June of 2008.
    Have rekeyed all of my locks 3 times with no issues. I regularly switch the key on my front door when on vacation to allow my neighbor to water my plants and drop off my mail. This a great product and technology as long as you follow the instructions. Seems pretty secure and convenient.

  105. We purchased three DumbKey deadbolt/knob sets in July 2009 and have had a handle set malfunction twice. The lock just failed to work all of a sudden. Like the guy said above…once a POS, always a POS.

  106. I spent 200 bucks on these kwikset locks. Mine worked for about 30 minutes. Long enough for me to call the installation good. Was leaving my house and went to lock the door and the #$%%&*#@#%#@# key wouldn’t turn. I’m returning all these to home depot tonight and getting a different brand. Their installation instructions are horrible and the locks are horrible

  107. These locks do not offer superior security as described in Danny’s posting. I am extremely disappointed to hear Danny make such a shill statement of fact. It just proves that brands like Kwikset and others have financial advertising influence with these publishers.

    The Smart Locks are easily defeated by using a #3 flat tip screwdriver which is placed into the keyway of the lock and given a few good whacks of a hammer. Place a vise grip on the screwdriver and your in! The plugs on these units fold like a bad lawn chair. Please stop misleading the consumers simply because there is a methodology to create a key change that appears to be the current marketing rage.

    These types of DIY rekey type cylinders have been around a long time in the locksmith trade and typically used for commercial purposes, and of course they are more secure then either Kwikset of Schlages renditions and cost more. This particular method used in this lockset was found at a locksmith convention in Chicago years ago and introduced by an Asian company trying to penetrate the North American market. It was nice idea but rejected by professional locksmiths because of the problems they recognized which have no manifested itself as seen in users dissatisfaction.

    If consumers desire a repeatable rekey capability then they should visit their local professional locksmith and ask about quality cylinders which offer such a thing or simply set up a service contract to help them.

    Again please stop misleading the consumers with your misinformation, disinformation and outright failures to investigate the security devices you present in your articles, shows and Internet postings.

    How about doing some real coverage on real value engineered hardware for the consumer instead of the junk found in home centers? Try presenting some brands other then Kwikset, Schlage? Or do you only cover the companies that advertise with you? There are many alternatives that offer greater value and quality. Your doing the consumer a real disservice in my opinion Danny.

    • Hi Tom,
      Thank you for your feedback on Kwikset SmartKey locks. If you take another look at the article above, you’ll see that it was not written by Danny, but is a sponsored message from Kwikset, with “Advertiser” as the author. While Kwikset is no longer one of our sponsors, we left the article up to provide a place for visitors like yourself to give valuable feedback on the pros and cons of the product.

  108. All well and good Ben. But the fact remains that you guys are floating these misleading “advertisements” under the banner of the Danny Lipford “expert advice”. It is grossly misleading and indicates a lack of integrity on your part. As proclaimed experts, the consumer relies upon your keeping an eye on your sponsors, not just accepting their money and allowing them to use your media to misrepresent a product for the price of advertising. I stand by my statement that the you have done a disservice to the consumer.

  109. So Tom, while I don’t like advertising any more than the next guy, it’s what makes the world go round and allows websites like this to keep going. Would you rather them take this page down than leave it up for discussion and as place to find help? Seems to me they’re providing a service. If they were really in it just for the money, they’d delete all the negative comments.

  110. Jim anytime someone starts off a remark with “SO” indicates an attempt to eye poke the other party. I know all about sponsors and advertisers and I also know about how it makes the world turn when it comes to websites, magazines, radio shows etc. I think you are trying to compare apples & oranges. The allowance of these post are fine and it has absolutely nothing to do with my point about Danny Lipford allowing misleading promotions to be presented by those who lines his pockets.

    As an expert he or others responding to these negative posts have a responsibility to not only look into the claims but also correct the intention misrepresentation being read under his branding. Where is the Danny Lipford web article or radio program describing the lack of security and repeated malfunctions of the Smart Key product? It’s not to be found. Rather he allows this “advertisement” which is intended to look like expert advise from the Danny Lipford camp to continue to run without his he or his team giving expert caution to the consumers reading all this.

    It’s appease the sponsor game Jim. When real experts like trained professional locksmiths advise against hyped up products like the Smart Lock, I don’t see Danny Lipford (expert) following suit. Why? Because junk like the Smart Lock is driven by the sponsor and sold by additional sponsors as seen below on this webpage and that’s what feeds the pig. Kwikset in an effort to eliminate the hard working locksmiths who know their products inside and out, opened up a can of worms and they continue to mislead the consumers about the “superior protection” and not a peep out of “experts” like Danny Lipford…nope, nada…Why? Because his check is “sponsored” by the sponsor or advertiser!

    No need to take down this page, but I certainly expect Danny Lipford or crew to provide another page outlining the failures of this product and the lack of security it provides. SO….can you please alert me when it occurs?

  111. Tom,
    My apologies, I had no idea “so” had negative connotations. I, too, would love to see more hands-on product reviews on this and other sites, and I agree that advertising can get in the way of objective reviews. That’s why I try to get reviews from unbiased organizations that don’t accept advertising, like Consumer Reports. However, in this case, C.R. gave the SmartKey lock a positive write up over two years ago and hasn’t updated it since to indicate any problems. I’m glad I came across these reviews by consumers before I bought the lock!

  112. I have just moved to this new apartment that has all the locks replaced with Kwikset SmartKey brand(Did not know the brand name until last night). I understand that all locks were replaced two months ago when I purchased the condo. Trying to get into my apartment on Saturday night and the key is not turning. After a few phone calls 24 hour service locksmith showed up for help. Changed the lock with the problem and charged me 185 dollars. Locksmith told me it is a very common problem with Kwikset brand. I assume locksmith should be happy with the brand since it generates him some extra income.
    I see all these posting and I am upset about the fact that this company is still making money from a faulty product.

  113. We bought our house last year and put these locks on every door in our house @ $70 a pop. The front door knob lock hasn’t worked since day 2, now the deadbolt is messed up and we can’t even get the key to go all the way in to LOCK it! And we can’t lock the bottom one because NONE of the keys work in it, we have tried re setting it and still the master key doesn’t even work in it. Does anyone know how I can get the deadbolt to at least take the key? Or reset the whole thing? Really wish I had seen this site before I spent the money on something thats so horrible!!

  114. As a locksmith, we encounter all sorts of product innovations that run the gamut.

    The intent of the manufacturers that sell through the big box chains is to product a price-point product loaded with features that will get the consumer to purchase it. Promises of being heavy duty, lifetime, self-rekeying, no tarnish, one-size-fits-all etc all appeal to the average consumer. The other design inclusion is to make the product EASY ON THE STORE to sell, and key alike.

    So Kwikset, a Black and Decker Company, along with their sister companies Baldwin and Weiser, have offered various products to meet these key points.

    But the rub is in the build-quality. To make one size fits all, the latch and bolt components suffer in rigidity and longevity. In the case of Smartkey, all the WEAKNESSES of previous Kwkset products remain, along with fresh ones. Locks are EASILY compromised, Reliability of the cylinder is still questionable, and the rekey feature is best done once, before install. Environmental contamination ( Blowing dust and other airborne debris seems to make the clutching function fail out during reset. ( I got called to reset all the locks on a house, 2 weeks after client went to the supermarket to buy his locks. Only half of them would reset such that they felt like they engaged properly )

    Schlage launched their Securekey approach, to gain back sales volume lost….. but first impressions on this product are not too favorable.

    I am certain if the feature is making Black & Decker and Schlage coin, then they will further redesign, and possibley make the idea acceptable for light use applications.

    In the meantime, folks might wish to come to a locksmith, and be shown truly heavy duty, QUALITY locksets. Not just packages that promise everything, yet fall short on delivery.

  115. Just a word of caution–Be careful of 24 hour locksmiths. A lot are legitimate, but not all are. Beware if they quote you one price on the phone and then up the price when they get there, telling you that the price they quoted was for the trip charge. Do a search on “scammer locksmiths” and see what you find. They may list a “local” address that doesn’t exist, is not theirs, or what they call a “point of service”. The call may go to a distant state and some “local” locksmith will scam you by over charging.

    Abut the Kwikset, I know one locksmith that says he will not fool with the smartkey type, but will just drill it and replace with a regular lock.

  116. I’m never buying this brand again. All four locks on my house have failed. First one went at 2 months, last one went out after a year. I’m just gonna build a moat and get a pet BURNINATOR!!!

  117. I had the same “locking” problem but took the lock apart and reset it manually. Suggest to use WD-40 in case water gets in it……

  118. Chiming in w/ my experience with SmartKey. I have a Baldwin lock which is having the same problem as described above. It worked this morning when I left the house but my wife was unable to lock it after she left later in the morning. Fortunately the deadbolt is still functional from the inside, but I plan on returning my lockset this weekend to Home Depot.

  119. Wow, I can’t believe that so many people have had the same problem that I am having. Yesterday I tried to unlock my backdoor which has a SmartKey deadbolt and it wouldn’t unlock so I went outside to check if someone had tampered with the lock and found that it works fine from the outside. Sigh. So I can unlock my door from the outside but not the inside. What if I need to get out of the house in a hurry and for some reason I can’t get out the front door!? It’s been about a year since the lock was installed but I am going to attempt to return it and replace it with something else.

  120. Had my first problem back in May 2010. ( see late May post) Kwikset sent replacement cylinder in 2 days. Though that renter said no thanks. Then had two more cylinders fail during this past month (October). That is three cylinders, out of eighteen cylinders total I have installed over 18 months for rental properties/ customers. Regarding the most recent failures: One was about 18 months in service, heavy use, re-keyed once. One was only 4 months in service, infrequent use ( they typically used garage entrance),re-keyed at initial install to match existing house key.

    Kwikset service desk was even more expedient this time, sending not just two new cylinders, but two new entire sets, (dead bolt and passage knob) I suspect the cylinders are different, improved??? I stick by the notion for now, that these are only satisfactory for units with more than one door, so there is no way you can be locked out completely. I just can not trust them. And I do hope that Kwikset will work through and resolve the problem, and tell us !!! and then these posts will just fade with time. Until then I specifically warn customers about this issue, and will not install on units with only one entry.

  121. Add me to the list with failed locks. Front door deadbolt failed the other day. Sent an e-mail to Kwikset customer service today, we’ll see what i get for a response. I’ve got 11 of these lock sets on my house. This is the first to fail. Thanks for the info posted here.

  122. Bought a Titan security door and had it installed 2 days ago. I rekeyed with the smartlock tool and it worked fine fot 2 days. I tried to unlock the door today and none of the keys work. Good thing I could get in through garage

  123. I bought 3 of these Kwikset Smartkey sets, and the key does not even work with the lock, it gets stuck until I put in the Smartkey to release. I’m glad I found out right after installation because I’m going to return all 3 sets back to Home Depot. I cannot imagine getting locked out, and having to break into my own house.

  124. The most common problem with the smart key locks and probably the cause of you problem is s fatal flaw. A burglar with a key blank a file and wrench can forcibly rotate the key breaking the lock and allowing access. The lock has some cool features but it does not provide the most basic of them. To secure you property and life. I understand that sometimes the correct key will work and the owner is unaware of the damage. Most often the lock will not unlock and has to be damaged further and replaced.

  125. Iam with large management co and i started purchasing smart locks to cutt down some time of repining locks for my maintenance crew.
    Found out that these locks are the bigest crap as usualy produced by crapy company and i have more than 200 locks out in my property that i started to have nightmares two moths after the installation.
    Locks stops working and there is no way of having these locks repaired.
    Please do not purchase anything that Kwickset produces.
    very unhapy with Kwickset co as there is no solution to this problem.
    I am returning all of my locks to my supplier.

  126. Yes, for the 1 millionth time, what a rip off. This should be replaced free of charge. I was locked out on a saturday night after workinf my butt off. Of couse costumer service is closed untill Monday after i broke in.

  127. I’ve had this product set for about a year, if I’m using a quality copy of the key they work great. Where I went wrong was having Home Depot make a copy of the key, the Home Depot copy did not work in the lock, maybe this is why so many consumers are having issues. Later I went to Ace Hardware and had new copies made, no problems whatsoever with the new keys were made by Ace.

    Also, worth mentioning I have not used the rekeying feature. If you use the locks with the factory keys or really good copies and you should be fine, at least in my experience. Wish I could say the same for the string of bad luck expressed within the other commentary.

  128. Wow! And I thought there was something wrong with me! It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one who was suckered into buying one of these pieces of crap. Yep, same story as the countless others here. expensive lock that doesn’t work after a very short period of time.

  129. I bought a SmartKey lock a few days ago and was frustrated when I couldn’t rekey it. I tried to teach the lock with my current key, but immediately I could not get my nor the original key to work. After reading these comments I was sure that it was a lost cause and I had wasted my money. But I emailed Kwikset just to see – turns out it was operator error! It turns out that when I taught the lock, my key was not inserted fully. So I tried the key at different depths and finally it worked – then I just rekeyed again and now it’s working perfectly. Hopefully I won’t have the same issue as previous posters, but I got a Smartcode deadbolt so it would take a disaster for both the keypad and the key entry to fail simultaneously. Hope this helps someone with a similar rekeying issue.

  130. I own these locks too, I put them on all external doors in my house and garage 4 total. I have been using them for over 3 years and have never had a problem. I rekey them if I go on vacation to a vacation set, give that to a house sitter then I put them back when I return and get the keyback.
    I came accross this searching to buy more keys since I actually ran out giving them to family members. I love the system. I suppose if one ever did go bad as so many claim here, I would call a lock smith to take care of it. Really a small price to pay considering I never have to change locks out if I go on vacation or if someone were to compromise a key.

    I am now looking to buy keys in sets of 10 or so because I like this system so much. The only thing I have not done is made copies of keys. Between deadbolts and locks and the extra keys they give you I managed to buy enough to get keys for everyone in my family.

  131. Same “only one side works” problem here. Funny looking back on it now… My girlfriend and I are living with my brother and his family. We had spent a couple of days with friends and family over the new year, came back and our keys would not work in the deadbolt on the security door. I started thinking that we did something wrong and they changed the locks on us. I’m a little ashamed of that thought now. Anyway, the inside lock of this double cylinder deadbolt works but feels rough. When times get better and we are all able to move back into our own place again, there will be three more homes that will never buy Kwikset again.

  132. I work at home depot and can tell you first hand that the kwikset rekeyable lock is the most reliable and secure rekeyable solution we sell. The Schlage rekeyable lock has not been reliable and many people have returned them jammed up. The schlage lock also has big problems with being picked – there is a video on YouTube showing that it’s easy to pick and kwikset is nearly impossible to be picked quickly. We see few returns of kwikset and when we do- it’s usually someone not following the instructions when they rekey – and we can usually resolve this with a tool that w have free of charge.

  133. I have a kwik set lock on my front door– out of the blue, I had to get a locksmith out to open my door- I have never rekeyed my lock…now three months later same thing– the door lock just doesn’t work?? I am using the original key?!

  134. Quite amusing how certain individuals comment here, stating their luck with the device and how such accusations torward Kwikset seem ubsurd. Obviously not all of these locks are failing, because if they were; they wouldnt even be on the shelves at all.. But for the rest of us that do have issues; Kwikset needs to step up and have some accountability for the good money that we spent. I did sucessfully rekey a few of mine to make them work once again, and may order a reset tool for the one that is locked up; but either way I demand a new cylinder with the revised design,, this issue needs prompt attention by Kwikset.

    • Hi Brian,
      A Kwikset representative contacted us last spring about the problems some customers were experiencing with the SmartKey lock. At their request, we posted the following response in the comments above from Kwikset on April 12, 2010:

      A Message from the Kwikset Customer Experience Team:

      We are very sorry to hear about the difficulties you’ve experienced with our Kwikset SmartKey product. We’ve heard your complaints, understand that this has caused users significant frustration, and are here to help address your problems and do everything we can to remedy the situation.

      We stand behind our SmartKey products with a Lifetime Warranty and dedicated Customer Service team. Please call us at 1-800-327-5625, or email us at, so we can work with you to resolve this issue to your satisfaction. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and are here to help you out.

  135. As the bad guys in my neighborhood are growing ever more aggressive, I replaced the cheap deadbolts on my home office and workshop about a month ago with “Commercial Grade” SmartKey bolts from Home Depot. Part of the attraction was that I could key the new bolts to match the existing KS entrance handles. After a month of daily use with no problems, imagine my surprise to find myself locked out this morning, another victim of the random reset. I appreciate KwickSet’s willingness to help by sending replacement parts, but when you are locked out and it’s freezing out, this is not much help. Like others, I wish I had researched before buying this product. Using some advice from this forum, I was able to break the cylinder and open the lock in a shockingly short amount of time (having no previous experience in these skills!) with common hand tools. No better illustration of “you get what you pay for.” The frustrating thing is I bought the best (or at least the highest priced) available at the HD. I would have gladly payed 2 or 3 times the price for something truly secure, had it been available in the store. Needless to say, from now on I will heed the advice of the many locksmiths and purchase a quality lockset from them. To know that you have been living with a false sense of security is disturbing.

  136. Another person here with the same issue. Got locked out of the workshop today. 6 month old lock, it was rekeyed, but only once when I first installed it. Will be calling customer service tomorrow.

  137. I’ve had two of these deadbolts quit on me… bought a half dozen 14 months ago to install in my home and rental units. It was nice to be able to rekey with such ease, when tenants moved out we could promptly change the lock. But six months ago my wife and kids were locked out when the deadbolt failed… we broke in and I replaced the cylinder with an another smartkey deadbolt I had around. Now, it’s happened again, although luckily this time the lock failed on my way out, so I didn’t get locked out. Glad to find these comments, it is very clearly a manufacturing defect. A class action lawsuit may be appropriate.

  138. Hello all. I’m sorry to hear that I’m not alone. I installed $600.00 in Smartkey locks at my home when I remodeled about two years ago. Well tonight my card was finally drawn. I got home at about 11pm and found that I couldn’t unlock the deadbolt on my front door. I just had surgery on my arm, so that made it especially fun getting over the wall to my back yard. Luckily the back door unlocked. I’ll be calling Kwikset customer service on Monday.

    After reading about 100 negative comments, it sounds like Kwikset will just send me a new cylinder. Does anyone know if they have made any improvements to the new cylinders, which may prevent this from happening again?

  139. Better Business Bureau, people!! I just filed a complaint and saw that only 5 complaints have been filed in the past 36 months! With a 50% or greater failure rate on these locks there should be more people asking for a recall on their defective products. The Kwikset Corporation received a D- grade from them regardless. Lets get these locks RECALLED!!

  140. I purchased 2 of the Kwikset Smartkey Locks after moving into my house about 1 year ago. Yesterday my daughter lost her key at school and I found this site when I was looking for on-line instructions on how to change the key.

    after finding a video that shows how to change the key, I was able to quickly change the key to match the key we use for our garage. Now I only need to carry around 1 key.

    I haven’t had any issues with my locks like the other people had. Overall we like the product and with the lost key, I didn’t have to call a locksmith.

  141. My husband and I purchased and installed 3 knobs and 3 deadbolts with the smartkey feature in April 2010 and we haven’t had any problems. Knock on wood!! I was just about to purchase additional ones to go on our new wrought iron storm doors and now I’m having second thoughts. I would like for all of our doors to use the same key.

  142. Stuck outside in 8 degree weather, had to spend 180 dollars to have locksmith drill a hole through the thing. Spent another 60 buying a new lock. Class action lawsuit anyone?

  143. I have been locked out on several occasions now. The first time I did not touch the re-key feature and after 3 months I was locked out. I switched out the cylinder with another one that I bought and within a week I was locked out again. Kwikset should be embarrassed and recall these locks and provide us all with a new lock that does not have this obviously flawed design in it. I agree with the above comments in that everyone that posted a complaint here also needs to post one on the Better Business Bureau web site and a class action lawsuit should be looked at.

  144. terrible company to request info from customer service..never responsed after 2 emails..called customer service number as I couldn’t remove keypad to change batteries..called them twice and they told me what to do so I followed their instructions and pushed, pulled, pressed etc. till my fingers were still didn’t budge….

  145. I went in to work for a emergency call, came home and my wife had locked the front door and went to bed. I could not get into my own house. I figured like an idiot I had put the wrong key on my key ring. So off I went to find the spare key under the back deck, and went in the back door. Later I discover I do in fact have the right key and it works on all the smart key locks but not the front door. Uh oh. I have thrown away the original key, keyed all the home locks to one key. Now what??
    So ya say you cannot lock bump these locks. BS. That is what I did and once I got it to turn, easily reset it. I think they reset themselves if the door slams a bit hard or something, in any event, it seems they are subject to fail and not let you in the house. Pretty crappy product if you ask me. Easy to get in too, Just for fun I took and old key to something and bumped the back door lock, easy as can be only one quick tap with a scrap of two by four and I was in. So if you have smart locks, be glad I am not a criminal as I can get in the door several ways now. A 10.99 cheap lock is more secure than these are.

    Kit Carson

  146. Taking my son to the hospital this morning, when lo and behold I could not lock my smartkey deadbolt. Second time in 1 year that this has happened. This product plain sucks. Youn can’t leave your house unlocked for days waiting for a replacement cylinder. Both times the pins in the cylinder popped out of the slots which prevented the key from locking or being able to be reset.

  147. Can I use a key from a Kwikset (non-Smartkey) lock and use it to re-key my smartkey locks? THe other key fits easily into the smartkey locks and appears to be cut from the same blank. If it works, I can have 4 locks (1 non-Smartkey, 3 smartkey) all using the same key.

  148. I seem to have the same problem as everyone else. The lock resets itself after it’s been in service a while. The Home Depot guy said they’ve haven’t seen any problems like mine. It pays to research on the Internet. Mine’s going back tomorrow with prints of this forum. Thanks.

  149. Man! Wish I’d seen this! Our new door and lock was up for 6 DAYS before we got locked out. I can’t believe they are still selling this crap, seeing that the first post was in 2008???!!! I researched types of doors, how to install, pre hung vs not pre hung, etc. It never occurred to me I’d have to research the damn door handle.

  150. Horrible lock. I installed this lock at my condo and expect to pay dearly for that decision. After driving seven hours. I get home to a non turning deadbolt. At 4am I can’t get access to my condo and have to wait for a locksmith in the morning. Thank you kwikset. Take these locks off the market.

  151. I’m a locksmith and I have been called out on a few SmartKey failures. I do not believe the lock resets itself. I have found that the tiny tab, on any one of the five pins that engage with the wafers, can be bent. This causes the pin to disengage with its associated wafer.
    Warning: Torque applied to the key while it is still being inserted, can potentially cause this damaged and render the cylinder inoperable.

  152. If you want a good dead bolt I’d go with Mul-T-Lock. They use a weird registered key like high end luxury cars. Remember, you get what you pay for…

  153. OMG, I can’t believe all the others who have had problems!! Don’t the chuckleheads at Quickset have the integrity to fix their problem?? Taking back ALL my quickset stuff and will never buy their crap again, what a joke!

  154. I am, and have been a Professional Locksmith for the past 12 years. I have now lost count of the number of times that clients have called me about these locks, locking them out.
    Smart Key? Not such a smart idea!
    Kwikset should have done a lot more R&D before bringing this idea to market. This bad idea is causing consumers to lose faith in their brandname products. Unfortunately other residential type brand names have gone the same route.
    Your best bet for your money still remains a Pin-Tumbler type lock which has to be Professionally Rekeyed. I don’t say this because I am a Locksmith and I can sell you a Pin-Tumbler type lock or rekey it for you, because I end up making money either way. If you have a Pin-Tumbler type lock, I make money rekeying it for you and if you have a Smartkey type lock and get locked out by it I still end up making money opening your property for you.
    My advice: Stay away from this product or risk being locked out by it sooner or later. Then you’ll have no choice but to call someone like me.

  155. Now I too have the “T-Shirt”. When a lock fails it NEVER happens at a good time. 24 months almost to the day after purchase my Kwikset SmartKey deadbolt seized up. I too thought it had been glued or changed by some prankster. Yes they are convenient. I have re-keyed at least three times for various reasons. But I cannot wait 4-8 days for a replacement cylinder in the mail!! Looking around town now for a cylinder now. But how long will IT last. I was leaving, but what if next time I am arriving home? Class Action lawsuit time. Going to now to file report.

  156. As a professional locksmith of 30 years, having worked on 4 continents worldwide, I am so happy that Kwikset have been pushing these locks. They have been a real money spinner for me due to their lack of quality control, the product failures and their lack of customer support. Having unlocked countless numbers of these locks in the past 2 years, I have found predominantly that a common problem occurs when attempting to rekey the said lock to a non-original Kwikset produced key. If you attempt to rekey your smartlock to a copied key, expect your lock to fail within 1-5 months. Whenever I see these locks on customers doors, I inform them to expect to see failure very quickly. I am not surprised when I receive the call shortly thereafter to replace the locks with better quality products (that DO NOT FAIL). Purchasing products through the big box stores instead of supporting the small business sector, the backbone of virtually every city in America’s economies, goes to prove that consumers really do not care about their fellow person or supporting their local businesses, rather they want to pay supposedly cheaper prices for products that fail and cause them hardship. There’s an old saying, “If you only pay peanuts, expect to get monkeys”. Locksmiths have been around for hundreds of years. They have deliberately trained to provide quality products and services. The advent of products like Kwikset smartkey, designed to take work away from the locksmith sector, causes locksmiths to raise their prices, negatively affecting consumers and the marketplace. There is a domino affect in play here. Pay the big box, inexperienced part time shop assistant with no training to advise you to purchase their highly profitable garbage, or get true to life real time experience from trained professionals that keep their money in America, spend their profits locally and support local economies as opposed to sending the profits overseas. It’s your choice.

  157. call customer service today, told them my lock failed, key stopped working. i was told they can replace the parts needed to make lock usable again. i told them i was calling my lawyer…their sending a replacement lock without the smart key technology. still going to replace locks with different brand. never using kwikset again!

  158. I see lots of references on this site to a class action suit, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for one. I bought a lockset in October 2009, the handle lock failed in Feb. 2010. I replaced that with the same set, and now the deadbolt cylinder failed. I have never re-keyed either lock, they just seemed to randomly stop recognizing the key. At this point, I don’t want a replacement cylinder, I just want my money back so I can spend it on something that won’t leave me locked out of my house at random.

  159. I’ve got the Kwikset Smart Key on all of my exterior doors. All have been problem free except for one unit. The key won’t turn the dead bolt but the dead bolt isn’t seized. However, stumbled upon something. If I apply downward pressure on the key, not talking about a lot here, it turns the lock perfect. Not sure if this will help anyone else but it’s worth a shot if your dead bolt turns on the inside just not with the key..

  160. All 3 of my Baldwin locks (5 months old) have the same set up as kwickset, I understand the lock is now made by quickset. Wow POS POS POS, one broke, I mean the key area on the inside of my house came out when the door was locked and the key was removed, all the springs and pieces went everywhere. Two others keep resetting. Dampness (rain)seems to trigger this issue. I had Baldwin locks for years and loved them. Now they are CRAP.
    Are the any decent locks being made available for purchase?
    I also AGREE that Danny should post a warning about these inferior locks.

    • Hi CJ,
      Thanks for your feedback! Since we at Today’s Homeowner haven’t experienced a problem with the resettable locks, we have no reason to post a warning about them. In fact one of our staff has had a resettable lock on his house for almost three years, and it’s still working fine. But since others have experienced problems with resettable locks, we decided to provide this forum for comments, both pro and con, on their use.

  161. Put me on the list of irate customers. We just purchased the lock three hours ago!! It was put in by our contractor for our new front door. We locked it to go grab something to eat, came back and the key would not open the door. Would not even turn in the lock. It had rekeyed itself!

    We had to break a window to get back in. I hope someone starts a class action lawsuit against this POS!

  162. Dude, just purchase four Kwikset Smart Key (2 double cyl deadbolts and 2 regular) door locks. One of the double cyl is no longer working after being on the door for appr 45 mins. I will be taking the other three of the locks back to Home Depot, ASAP. The forth lock I am going to have to call a Lock Smith because I cant get the CRAP off. I wish I would have found this site before hand.

  163. Am in “discussion” with Kwikset about a 3 year old lock that suddenly got rough to operate and then refused to operate at all.

    What a bunch of nonsense! They don’t pay attention to my description of problems, ask nonsense questions that I’ve already written about, want to see the UPC from the box which I long ago threw out, keeping the warranty statement and info on keying and the keying tool and Allen Wrench. Fortunately I also had the purchase receipt for the lock with those items.

    They want pictures which I’ve now sent THREE times, including attached to my original e-mail that I sent when I got tired waiting on the phone and filled in their form for e-mail help.

    I have now asked for a replacement LOCKSET and a pre-paid label to mail them the old LOCKSET. I’m getting tired of barricading my garage side door from which I removed the old lock that was on the back door before I replaced it with the Lido Kwikset. At least it still works fine with the key and I don’t have to monkey with it to get it working.

  164. Does anybody know about Kwikset’s customer service location?

    I got a reply of sorts to my complaint indicating that I expect a NEW replacement that was to say the least in English perhaps at the level of a 5th grader spelling.

    I wonder if a majority of the problems are the lack of somebody with English as a FIRST LANGUAGE to read and respond to the problems without using a script????

    I’ve never waited long enough to get a person on the phone. Do they seem to be offshore somewhere?

    They say 3 weeks to fabricate whatever it is that they are going to send me…

    I wonder if their directions and all will be in understandable English??? Fortunately I’m usually pretty well able to figure out mechanical items including locksets…

  165. Experiencing the same problem as everyone else on this blog. A Google search quickly brought me to here. Deadbolt just stopped turning a week ago after about year or so. After reading these posts I feel like it’s futile to even contact Kwikset about this. This is the last Kwikset lock I ever buy EVER. The old adage “you get what you pay for” stikes again.

  166. Same problem just happened the other day as well. I just emailed Kwikset requesting a warranty replacement. We’ll see how that goes.

  167. Be prepared for a lot of nonsense. They are telling me that they’ll send something-or-rather which they didn’t describe coherently which takes 3 weeks to “manufacture.”

    Maybe just to keep me stalled and hoping I’ll go away!

    I JUST WANT A ***NEW*** EXACT REPLACEMENT that will work as it’s supposed to. According to the “lifetime warranty!”

    They are KWIK to take our money I guess and KWIK to make promises of “lifetime” warranty but NOT KWIK to replace or make good on the warranty.

    Might be time to contact some CA State agencies to see if pressure can be brought to bear on them to honor the warranty.

  168. I had installed a Schlage smart key door handleset and after about 20 minutes of performing the smart key setting procedures, the keys would no longer work and the cylinder would lock-up making it difficult to turn. The only way you could make it turn would be standing for about 3-5 minutes and jiggling as you applied a little pressure as you turn the key. I agree with everyone whether it is Schlage, Kwikset, Baldwin or whatever manufacturer is jumping on the bandwagon to produce such a faulty product, this is not the way to mis-lead consumers to think this is the latest and greatest product. I find it interesting that they call this a Smartkey concept, when all this product is doing is smartly locking you out of your house and smartly taking the consumers money. Bottom line is that I am returning my Schlage lock for a complete refund and going back to the traditional door knobsets if I can find one and never think twice about buying a Smartkey concept doorknob, deadbolt set-up. I wish all of you the best in getting your money back that are having bad problems, because I could not imagine how upset I would be if I was locked out of my house, especially with kids. Overall Smartkey is a bad, bad, bad product. Shame on them for even selling this product.

  169. I am on the phone with Kwikset customer support right now. I did NOT have my box to identify the model, but we were able to determine the correct model based on the design of the housing. He placed an order and is sending me 2 replacement cylinders to fix the problem. I should have these in less than a week. Let’s hope this works.

  170. With all the negative comments why is this product still on the market? Did anybody complain to Better Business or consumer affairs? I just installed 4 locksets thinking smart key is better than slided bread!

  171. Now I am completely confused. I asked if I could add more smart keys. I read where someone had a key cut and it broke the lock. Read the following and please help.
    Smart key locks are made to work with Kwikset keys or smart key compatible key locks.
    If you want all your locks to use one key then choose one set of keys from the locks you have and change all the other locks to tat set of keys. If you need more keys for the lock for family then you need to have more keys made at retail stores or locksmiths. The locks can only be set to one key cut at a time you cannot have different keys work on the lock.

    thank you
    kwikset consumer support

  172. I got the promised replacement however it’s that brownish color that wears off the older Kwikset locks and not the bright brass which the original non working rekeyable lock is. Maybe I’ll try changing the old tumbler to the new one.

    I haven’t done anything with it since it came a few weeks ago since I want to wait until I have a day with nothing else pressing and my wife is away for the day. I will unlock the door on the back of the house so I can get in when the new one starts acting up the first day!!!

    Consumer Reports if I read it right rates the evaluates the locks as working well. Somebody there ought to look at the complaints on the Internet…

    I agree that the rekeyable locks should be taken off the market!!!!! Perhaps if they make one that works reliably and is more fool proof and offer it only through locksmiths who install it and guarantee it maybe it’d be OK????

    Anybody for a class action suit with a lawyer who will likely take all the money won in it? Just to get back at Kwikset???

  173. KEN
    Their directions make sense to me. They are saying that a lock can’t work with more than one key-cut at a time. They are NOT saying that it can’t be rekeyed.

    So decide what key you are using and get extras made for others who need to open the locks.

    You can’t have Key A and Key B that are different and use both of them in the lock without doing the “rekeying.”

  174. Well here i am another home depot sucker this lock reset itself and now none of my keys including the “reset key” will work DO NOT buy schlage locks at home depot, my back door locks you out because of the safety feature that allows you to open the door without unlocking it so if you forget to unlock it the door will open and promptly lock you out if you dont have your key!

  175. I was about to replace the locks with the Kwikset Smartkey locks. But after reading this forum, I think I will go for other brands.. Any recommendation? I could only see Schlange or Kwikset in the local stores…..

  176. We just replaced the back door this weekend, then installed the handle and re-keyed it to fit our keys, and all was fine. Then I installed the dead bolt and tried to re-key it to the same key. Well the key got stuck in and wouldn’t come out. So I disassembled the lock in order to remove the key. The key came out and so did a bunch of small pieces. So, after reading this forum, I’m just gonna return the locks instead of trying to call the support line and possibly be walked through re-assembling the lock with, I’m sure what will be, some foreigner walking me through it.

  177. Smart action to return the locks. Be sure to tell all your friends to stay away from these poorly manufactured (designed?) pieces of trouble.

    I DID receive a replacement box of parts for mine (not the right finish, guess they don’t understand the word “brass”) but have left my old lock that I retrieved from an exterior garage door on the door where I had the rekeyable lock. I guess I’ll bite the bullet and replace ALL the house locks with something better NOT made by Kwikset. ??? Kwik-trouble???

  178. This was correspondence from kwikset and me, and I have 7 exterior doors all with these crappy locks!

    The previous owner purchased the locks, they had a warranty based on the original purchaser of the locks. The warranty on locks do not transfer.
    thank you
    kwikset consumer support

    Sent: 7/11/2011 8:39 AM
    Subject: Re: failing deadbolt \
    If I bought the house I bought the locks. I will replace them with your brand under warranty or I will purchase another brand and never use your brand again!
    Thanks again

    On Jul 11, 2011, at 9:43 AM, “” wrote:
    The warranty is based on the purchaser of the item and the age, model and color. Unfortunately you are not the purchaser of the locks to be replaced under a warranty.
    thank you
    kwikset consumer support

    Sent: 7/10/2011 11:59 AM
    Subject: failing deadbolt
    I recently moved into a new house with the smart locks and one has failed can you send a replacement

  179. I purchased and installed two Baldwin “Smart Key” locks ten months ago. They have now both failed. The first one died when the cylinder started rotating 360 degrees inside the knob. Now, the second one’s cylinder will not turn counterclockwise. At over $50 a knob, I expected quite a bit more from these. Baldwins “Smart Key” knobs suck, just total fail.

  180. I also had my Smartkey Baldwin lever set lock me out of the house two months ago, on a rainy Sunday night. You know what a locksmith costs on a Sunday night? I have been trying to get satisfaction from them under the LIFETIME WARRANTY and am getting a serious runaround. I wish I had seen this page before I bought the locks…

    Calling the TV station is next, if they continue to jerk me around.

  181. Went to leave this morning and could not lock our door. Tried the wife’s key and same thing. thought someone had pulled a joke on us as well. We have the Weiser brand up here in Canada. Bought it at Home Depot. Guess it’s going back and going back to the traditional lock system.

  182. I am a locksmith in California, and let me state that the problem with both of these locks, the Kwikset Smartkey and the Schlage Securekey, is the fragility of the tiny ‘fingers’ which protrude from the tumblers and hold a place in the slide. Pulling outward on the key when the lock is in the turned position (as many people do when trying to withdraw the key) can exert enough force on these delicate fingers to make them bend or pop off of their slots.

    In other words, the great selling point of user rekeyability requires that the lock be loaded up with tiny parts which are easily damaged by key pressure or inclement conditions.

    The locking principle itself, the sidebar design, is a very sturdy mechanism; it was used with great success on GM vehicles for over 60 years. This locking principle is highly pick and bump resistant. The problem is that Kwikset and Schlage couldn’t patent a 60 year old design, so they added this user rekey element to the mix, and that has caused all the headaches with lock failure.

    By the way, on August 1, Schlage announced that it will stop making their Securekey locks by year’s end, as a way to settle its patent conflict with Kwikset. I suspect that secretly, Schlage is relieved to be done with this unreliable product, but of course they’ll never say this.

    Regular pin-tumbler locks can be made highly bump and pick resistant by simply using specially made top pins. This is what I think Schlage will now do. Meanwhile, DO stay away from the Kwikset Smartkey!

    • Hi Bruce,
      Thanks for the info on how resettable locks work, and why there’s a problem with them! It was very helpful.

  183. Came home tonight from a walk and found that we were unable to open our front door a Kwikset Smart Key lock. Wow, wish we had seen this site before we bought this lock. Looking for solutions and realize this is just a junk lock that costs a lot of money and there is nothing smart about it!

  184. I bought Schlage dead bolt and same problem, it just stopped working one day. So they are no better than Kwikset. How hard is it to make a lock and key and have it work?!

  185. wow, I wish I had read all of this before I bought my smarkey lock. I now have 2 keys that dont work in the lock. This really blows. Sounds liek I have to return it. I agree with the guy who says its probably easy for a burglar to break in with this kit.

  186. Bought my house in November after the previous owner completely remodeled it, including putting in these Kwickset locks. The two locks on the front door (knob and deadbolt) have both become unusable – key doesn’t turn at all. I’m glad that the fact that I’m not covered by the warranty has already been covered, means I’ll just have to go to Home Depot and get new locks.

  187. Installed tested with the key to lock and unlock worked fine. Locked the door and pulled it shut to go out to dinner. Came home and the key turns and does nothing!

    What a piece of junk. I will return it to HD and go to a real hardware store and get a real a lock!

  188. Wished i had seen this post before i bought kwik set. 24hrs and already giving me problems and after reading all these posts, my husband is removing it and returning it tomorrow. Schlage for sure. Sorry i didn’t the first time.

  189. I had the same problem today. I was locked of my house and had call a locksmith. After researching online I found tha kwikset is faulty. I bought this house 1 year ago and it is a brand new house. this is bull crap.

  190. I am not positive where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent info I was in search of this info for my mission.

  191. Mine stopped working today. I should have looked it up before I bought it. It did well for 18months, then all of a sudden key doesn’t work. Didn’t read them all, but is there a fix in here somewhere. How do you take it apart to reset it in a bit more detail.

  192. Expert on issue: I am a lock inventor with numerious changeable lock patents. Both Kwikset’s SmartKey and Schlage’s Securekey locks are based on the same changing design. They both have a fatal flaw. Tiny little geared tumblers that engage and disengage to form longer pins to match a new key. These gears can dissengage at any time to form a new and different configuration. You never know when the lock will cancel your key. My suggestion, …dont buy them! Go to to purchase a self-rekeyable lock that will never fail! Its a pin tumbler design that was developed 11 years ago. Rock solid reliable!

  193. Keep the comments coming, close to 3 years since the first post. I rekeyed 2 deadbolts and 2 normal locks, all were working fine. The next morning all 4 wouldn’t work at all. WTF?

  194. I have 4 deadbolts and three regular door locks. All have worked well for about ten months. Murphy’s law finally caught up with me and the front door deadbolt quit working. When I returned the lock to Lowes they could not replace it “free” fast enough. When I had him re-key the new lock it broke on the first try. Talk about a Lowes associate being embarrassed…… So he opened up a second lock, keyed it and I walked out with a functioning lock but for how long?

    I had no idea there were these kind of problems when I purchased the locks.

  195. One fine day the key stopped working. Been using the garage ever since. Customer support sent me replacement parts without asking for any details and they wont even fit. Got new parts/cylinder from Home depot from a nice support guy. 1 week later….same problem! Every weekend is now dedicated to getting this moron of a product working.

    Kwikset?….its not quick and you are never set.

  196. I have the Kwikset Smart key double cylinder lock. At the time I had a friend install the lock I was single and didn’t like a lock that can be turned by hand so near a sidelite window. It’s been since April of 2009 since the install and this week (late Oct. 11) the lock failed from the inside. It would open from the outside and I have numerous other entries with locks original to the house without the re-key feature.

    Boyfriend was able to remove the lock (with lots of trouble) and take it to THD to be fixed. It’s since been replaced on the door and we’ll see how long it functions before having to be removed, repaired, and replaced. I also wonder how many times he’ll be willing to do that?

    By what I’ve seen here, I am suprised the lock has made it more than two years before failure!

    Would love to know from a locksmith exactly who does make a quality home lock!

  197. Dear Leslie,

    I have been a locksmith for over 36 years and I have had a lot of calls from people that were locked out due to one of these rekeyable locks failing. If you purchase a kwikset lock without the “SmartKey” feature you will be fine. If you purchase a Schlage lock without their “Securekey” feature you will be fine. If you are interested in a reliable self-rekeyable lock I recommend you purchase a rekeyable lock from us at West Chester Lock Comapany ( We carry several commercial brands that allow you to change your own keys in seconds. These locks are more commonly used by businesses and apartment owners. As they are of a pin tumbler design, they are very reliable. Give us a call we’ll be glad to help. 800-304-3329

  198. DO NOT BUY the Kwikset re-keyable knob locks. I installed two of these in a set with dead-bolts. BOTH malfunctioned (at different times) and all of a sudden one day would not unlock. Neither of them had EVER been re-keyed. A locksmith CANNOT unluck a re-keyable lock and you have to break the lock off to get the door open which likely damages your door in the process. I haven’t had a problem with the deadbolts, but after being locked out of my own home TWICE I’m not taking any chances. The locksmith said he gets a lot of calls for re-keyable knobs malfunctioning. I can’t believe this product was allowed on the market and that it hasn’t been pulled from the shelves. Try a different brand. This is a TERRIBLE product by Kwikset!!

  199. I have three sets of these – knob and deadbolt – on my house. They worked fine for several years until last night when I tried to re-key them following Kwikset’s instructions. When I was done with all six locks, two of the knobs and one deadbolt would not work with either key involved. I am fortunate that there is still one working lock on each door, but I worry people will forget and lock the unopenable ones and we will be locked out. Several people have mentioned class action. That is the last thing you want because the lawyers get all the big money and members of the class (us) will get pennies on the dollar compared to the original purchase price. You would be better to file a cliam in small claims court, if you cannot get satisfaction from Kwikset. Just hope Kwikset remains open to helping with the problem as several have indicated.

  200. My front door lock has stopped working. I have had it installed less than 2 weeks. I had thrown away the receipt and the packaging to the lock. Will customer service still help me or can I return it to Home Depot without the receipt or the packaging? I looked though the trouble shooting and where am I supposed to get a cylinder removal tool to follow the steps, there was nothing that came with the locks.

  201. WOW.. glad I found this helpful forum AFTER being COMPLETELY locked out of my own home.

    I don’t even remember where I bought the damn thing. It lasted at least a year and a half.


  202. Piece of junk! from start to finish. Difficult to install…door-spanning screws are not tapered and so are exceedingly difficult to install.

    Once installed, could not remove the key from the lock leaving it locked. Tried a second lock with the same result.

    Was hoping to install smart key system in 60 apartments and single family homes to avoid cost of re-keying. Realize now after my experience and that of others here, that I would INCREASE my cost many times over addressing all the problems…if I could ever get them installed and working to begin with.

  203. Our Kwikset Smart Key set also failed this evening. Both the deadbolt and the door knob locks just randomly stopped working. You can’t unlock them from the outside or the inside. We have never re-keyed them. They’ve been installed on our back door for just over a year now. I’m not sure I’d blame it on the weather. I’m in Dallas where we had 17-degree weather for several weeks last winter (remember the Super Bowl), then one of the hottest summers on record with temps over 110 for weeks. It got a bit cold last night, but nothing crazy. It’s also been raining all day. SO frustrated with this! Thanks to the tips from the locksmiths, we will attempt to disassemble, remove and re-key them ourselves. Also, everyone PLEASE LEAVE REVIEWS AT HOMEDEPOT.COM. The smart key sets have good reviews! I just left a bad one.

  204. Hi Durc,

    I’m a locksmith in West Chester, Ohio. We sell factory cut/original Kwikset keys for $6.95 each. We would be happy to sell/ship you a new set of keys or contact your local locksmith.

    Thanks! 1-800-304-3329

  205. I ended up getting locked out tonight. We had the smart key deadbolt fail on us last year but we were fortunate in that somebody was still home to unlock the other side. Sadly we were not so lucky this time. It ended up costing us over $200 to have the locksmith come. If you have one of these locks, do yourself a favor and get it replaced immediately.

  206. well, add me to the list of disappointed smartkey buyers. just yesterday while installing two of their deadbolts, one of them jammed immediately after rekeying it to match the others. luckily i was installing it on my neighbor’s outdoor closet and was not locked out. this is a real problem because i have two of these in my own unit, and not too long ago i distributed a security newsletter recommending 273 homeowners to install these locks! huge disappointment…huge. i will be contacting kwikset!

  207. Add me, an owner of a chain of ACE Hardware stores in Florida, to the list of disgusted Kwikset consumers. My Kwikset handleset was originally rekeyed before installing more than a year ago. Just yesterday, Christmas Day, none of our keys would turn the lock. I’m going to try something I read above; I will try putting slight downward pressure when attempting to turn the key. I will report back. I am also going to ask all of my employees if there have been any reports of a customer having issues with a SmartKey lock. If so, and maybe regardless of whether there have been any complaints, I may pull the entire SmartKey lock line out of our merchandise display. Ever since Black & Wrecker purchased Kwikset, quality has gone way downhill! I have seen several companies that Black & Decker has purchased that have resulted in poor products!

  208. Ok, reporting back. NO, adding light pressure while turning the key did not help. I will be sending out an email to my fellow hardware store retailers that belong to two different email discussion groups to see if any others have had issues with their customers & Kwikset Locks. Thanks!

  209. This lock should be BANNED!!!!
    Minus 21 today and can’t get in. The key only goes in 1/4 of an inch. This p.o.s. should not be sold to cold Canadian climate areas. The only way to get in (short of putting the locksmith’s kids thru college) was to get a hair dryer from my neighbor and a 100 foot extension cord from Home D (where I bought this piece of dung lock and will return it asap) and heat up the key cylinder….THEN the key worked fine. The house is warm…
    it is cold outside….condensation/moisture = freeze yer azz off till you can find a hair dryer. No thanks
    I would not even accept a new lock for free. BTW this lock is only 2 months old. Class action lawsuit looks doable from what I have read at just this forum.

  210. My smart key dead bolt is 2 years old and used about 5 times. Stopped working this morning. Called Kwikset and got through in 1 minute. They are sending me a replacement.

    If I didn’t also have a garage door to get into my house, I’d be really pissed off right now.

    This is the first lock that’s ever failed on me before. just shouldn’t happen. Bad engineering.

    I’ll report back on how the replacement goes.

  211. I LOVED my Kwikset lock. It is biometric (fingerprint recognition) with the SmartKey feature.

    My lock failed when attempting to re-key it, and neither the original key or key I was trying to change it TO work. I have rekeyed a few times in the past without incident.

    Reading this article and the hundreds of dissatisfied customers, I had planned on purchasing a new lock (or attempting to ghetto-fix it per the less than sage advice of countless YouTube “locksmiths.”

    On a whim, I decided to call Kwikset (with LOW expectations). I learned that ALL Home Depot and Lowes locations will reset the SmartKey unit FOR FREE! And if that is not convenient, they will ship out a new tumbler FOR FREE! Additionally, I learned how to reset the fingerprint recognition part of the device.

    The unit CLEARLY has huge flaws. HUGE! From what I’ve learned, however, the customer service cannot be knocked, as Kwikset really goes above and beyond in its taking care of an already cantankerous situation to keep it from getting worse.

  212. I just got the same issue 5 mins ago. After installing the first time, the lock never worket with original keys. 2 Day later I recieved a new lok and this one worket. Today I tried this Smartkey procedure and voilà my main key doesn’t work anymore. What a good idea delivered in a **** product…

  213. Yup, I just came back from vacation, and key won’t turn. Fortunately, I had a non QUICKSET on the front door to get inside. My contractor installed my door with the SMARTKEY 9 months ago, and my neighbor’s door 3 months ago. After reading comments above, I don’t want a cylinder replacement or Lowes resetting my locks. Now, I’m calling my contractor to warn him that the locks are a piece of . . . .

  214. Kwikset quickly sent me a new cylinder thing to replace. Very easy to replace and now it works again.

    I’m just counting the weeks or months until it breaks again.

  215. Same thing! Just installed two kwiksets for my father in law and the next day the key would not work. Just stopped all of a sudden. Taking out and taking back. Don’t buy!!

  216. I just wanted to let people know that the Schlage version of the smart-key lock is a piece of junk also. I took it back to Home Depot exchange it and was told Schlage recalled all of them.

  217. My smartkey locks have failed three times and now any key that will fit into my lock will open my door and can not be reset. I was at my local mom and pop hardware store last weekend and was told by a Kwikset rep that I was probably not resetting the lock properly. After conveying my disapointment in his product he acted suprised I was having problems with my locks and assured me the locks are relible. After trying to reset my lock again with no success and finding this post, my problems have been solved, I WILL NEVER BUY A KWIKSET PRODUCT AGAIN.
    Thank You

  218. Yeah, a guy put in two neck Kwikset locks about two months ago, within a week both did not work or worked intermittently, meaning the key would not budge the dead bolt. Sometimes jiggling the key helped. So a locksmith rekeyed the door locks and warned me that he would never sell Kwickset and to complain to Black and Decker. sure enough, after three weeks of no trouble, within 24 hours both doors will not open. On to the next brand.

  219. The Mills Law Firm, a California-based consumer class action leader, is investigating allegations surrounding Kwikset’s Smartkey products. Individuals who are interested in sharing their experiences should contact us at (415) 455-1326.

    *This may be considered an attorney communication/ advertisement. The Mills Law Firm makes no guarantees, warranties or predictions regarding the results of any representation. No attorney client relationship is intended or created until both you, as client, and the Mills Law Firm, as counsel, have both executed a written fee agreement. Joshua Boxer, licensed to practice law in California, is responsible for the content of this posting*

  220. I purchased 2 Kwickset locks when we moved into our house last year and we just replaced our front door and bought a new handle lock. I’m not overly handy and was able to install the lock and then change the key to match the other two doors very quickly. it was very easy and the instructions were easy to follow. I have not had any issues with the first two locks and I would recommend Kwickset.

  221. Yep! We installed SmartKey on August 31st and not even 5 months later the key stopped turning. Luckily, I had locked the door on my way out, remembered I had forgotten something, accessed my house again then when leaving for the second time the key stopped turning and I couldn’t lock my house. The locksmith that installed it said that the key is not made for that lock; which makes no sense, considering it worked fine and suddenly locked on itself. He said someone must have reset the lock while i was walking to my car, but i was still on my doorstep when i remembered to go back in. SO, the locksmith said SmartKey were the best and installed it for $100, then says he never installed it and that we misunderstood. I think that locksmith was full of it, and that SmartKey is a product that should be kept off the market.

  222. As a locksmith/security company we stopped selling the Kwikset Smartkey several months ago due to its “fatal flaw” of automatic self-rekeying to an unknown key combination. Its not clear exactly what triggers the tumblers to slip; Perhaps slamming the door. Your locksmith should have replaced the lock with a pin tumbler lock at no charge. 1 year warranty is pretty standard. At least thats what we would have done to keep your business. Avoid Schlage’s SecureKey lock as well. It also randomly changes its key. Stick with locks using a pin tumbler design. Pin tumbler locks have worked flawlessly for over 144 years.

  223. I thought I’d post on what I just did that fixed my lock.

    What I had: I had a Kwikset Smart Key lock that I had reset with a non-quickset, non original (copy of a copy) key. I had just rekeyed the lock and it failed, while I rekeyed the other side of the lock. It failed in a matter of seconds, though I don’t think time has anything to do with it. Some event must be happening that makes the lock fail.

    Earlier someone posted about putting downward pressure on the key…which I tried, but it didn’t work. So I tried moving the key all around with light pressure. I noticed that when I pulled the key back one tooth, the lock worked fine. While it was working, I rekeyed the lock to the first copy of the key (still not a kwikset or an original key). The lock is now working with the key again.

    Maybe a lock smith can read what I wrote and provide some insight. I don’t know how the tumblers work inside this lock (nor do I really care). But, in this one situation, it seemed like the first (or last) tumbler failed/moved causeing the key to work fine after pulling it back one tooth.

  224. Hi Scott,

    You probibly hit the nail on the head. The fact your keys are duplicates and not orginal, points to the problem. Inside the Kwikset SmartLOC lock are very tiny geared tumblers that are designed to engage factory original keys. If a duplicate key is not cut exactly, the lock will set to a key depth higher or lower than the factory setting. Thats why a key may need to be lifted up or pushed down to operate. I hope this helps. West Chester Locksmith Company, Ohio.

  225. I purchased 3 deadbolts and duplicate keys direct from kwikset. One lock stopped working. I now see all these issues and no real good responses from kwikset. I too probably will not use them again in the future.

    I’ll call them today and see what they say about the repair.

    At first I thought someone may have tried to break in and damaged the lock…

  226. I bought the Kwikset Smart key 2 weeks ago. Locked the door in the afternoon went to work and when I came home at 2 am the door wont open. The key would go in but wont turn. What a frustration being locked out of your house after a long day at work. Dont ever buy from this unresposible company again. How can they sell a piece of crap like this. Home Depot should not be selling Kwikset anymore.

  227. We should feel fortunate! Our KwikSet SmartKey worked flawlessly for 2 years and suddenly failed a few days ago. Luckily, I was inside the house when my daughter locked herself out so I could lock and unlock the door from the inside. I called the Home Depot and they referred me to their “Expediter” about he problem and I should get a return call in a few days.
    When Home Depot service contractors installed the lock, they did not align the deadbolt with the hole in the lock plate. A investigation on my part has revealed that if there is any resistance at all in locking the door with the key, and you must forceably turn the key to move the deadbolt into the door jam plate, you will permanently damage the cams in the lock cylinder.

  228. I bought a two family house in Massachusetts in 2008 and changed all the locks to Baldwin and Kwikset Smartkey lever sets and deadbolts. From December 2008 to May 2012 I’ve not had single issue with any of the 10 different lever sets or deadbolts installed, even though I’ve rekeyed them twice since then.

  229. Tameka, January 24th, 2011 at 1:52 pm: “I would like for all of our doors to use the same key.”
    There are rekey kits for the old style cylinders in hardware stores. You’ll need enough pins of the correct length for every lock. (for example, rekeying to 6 4 5 4 1. every cylinder will need 1 “6”, 1 “5”, 1 “1”, and 2 “4” pins.)
    Caveat: I haven’t keyed old cylinders to match ‘smartkey’ cylinders. The key cuts look similar, but they may not be the exact same depths (though business sense suggests kwikset would either: use exact same cuts, or create a visually different blank for the smartkeys).

    I installed a smartkey knob and bolt, then same keyed one to match the other, around July 2011. regular use since November 2011. Hopefully I won’t have trouble… solid door with “reinforced” strike, so cutting out a window pane is cheapest (and much quicker repair), i guess…

    (btw to site admin, regarding ‘suspect’ posts: you do know about log analysis?)

  230. I did a major upgrade / remodel to my house in 2008 and installed 5 Smartkey locks by Kwikset. I was able to quickly rekey them to a key we were already using. It’s been about 4 years and we have not had any issues with them. Last month I picked up the kwikset lock with the keypad and installed that – I was able to key that to the same key in about 20 seconds and now that we have that lock, you can always use a code and forget about the keys – which my wife loves! I highly recommend the keypad lock for the main door your family uses.

  231. I installed a Smartkey deadbolt and lever lock on my office. One year later it was still working flawlessly. I’ve rekeyed it a few times just as a security measure. Neither lock has ever failed me.

  232. @Jay, really? Is that why you googled ”defective smartkey kwikset” at 1am because yours has been working perfectly for a year?

  233. LOCKSMITH EXPERIENCE: We are begining to see an increase in problems with the SmartKey locks from Kwikset.
    1) The locks will self-reset to a different key locking out homeowner.
    2) Keys can not be changed as the mechanism seizes up.
    3) Locks can be forced open with a large screwdriver and a pair of vice grips. Go to youtube and google “Smartkey forced open”. Its shocking how fast the lock can be breached! We stop selling the Smartkey locks a year ago and recommend pin tumbler type locks only.

  234. Weiser Smart Key system is actually dumb (had to say that) and a horrible product. I have replaced 2 of them on my rental properties in the past 2 years. I am sitting here tonight when I found this site because my tenant called me and said her key is not working (its Wed. night at 10:30pm). Luckily I have a locksmith who does work for me and he is on his way over to CHANGE this piece of junk for $60 service call + $70 for new normal lock.


  235. We just put a new ‘SMART’key deadbolt and passage set in our front door to match the keys of our other keyed entrys. Wife did passage set PER INSTRUCTIONS and it refused to work! So I did the deadbolt carefully following the instructions, and it would not work either. This is crap!

  236. Can I use a re-key kit to make more than one duplicate copy of the original key? The re-key kit mentions 4 identical keys one for each family member, yet I find no instructions other than rekeying one key. I see comments that mention problems with copied keys and I asked Kwikset, but they said to have duplicates made by a locksmith. Can I follow the instructions for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th key by inserting each one in and turning to copy the original key?

  237. Should I worry about the new lock I installed-Had an old Schlage for well over 25 years on the door with no problems but it was not working well lately so I bought Kwikset (all the locks at Home Depot & Lowes are some sort of SmartKey or SecureKey locks) Where can I get the pin tumbler locks? Should I return the new lock I just installed?

  238. This blog is proof enough that the Kwikset Smartkey lock is unreliable. Home Depot and lowes do carry Kwikset and Schlage pin tumbler locks. As a locksmith I can tell you we love the revinue generated from Kwikset lockouts!

  239. Locksmiths aren’t making too much revenue from me. Two houses -including a two family – in Massachusetts. A dozen smartkey sets and zero problems going on four years. Extremely happy.

  240. Gene, if you’re having no problems then why are you on-line searching for defective Kwikset locks? Or do you have some other agenda. Just saying.

  241. Hi Gene,
    Everyone posting to this blog were happy with their Smartkey lock all the way up to the time they became locked out. Another fatal flaw with the Smartkey lock is the ability of anyone to use a large flat screw driver and a pair of vice grips to force the lock open in seconds. No other lock on the market can be popped open this fast. Don’t believe me? google it. Both Kwikset and Schlage do make some nice locks, just stay away from their self-rekey technology. Schlage pulled all their Securekey locks from the market place in January 2012. Stay with a pin tumbler type lock. If your concerned about security, invest in a high security lock that is resistant to picking and forced entry.

  242. I am here, giving my IMPARTIAL experience. That’s what I’m doing. If you want to drum up more business, I suggest an ad in the yellow pages. Just saying.

  243. Gene, do you visit websites and comment on all the things in your house that work well? Light switches, sink, table, windows, etc?

  244. I was fortunate. Mine didn’t set right from day one. Did an Internet search and found out what a lousy pos this lock is and tommorow I’m taking it back to lowes.

  245. Same story. I had my lock for two weeks. No issues with cold weather, but for some reason my Kwikset w/Smartkey Lock failed. FRUSTRATING.

  246. Why, yes, actually, I do. I even wrote a zillow review of the realtor I used. Going on five years. 12 Smartkey locksets. Zero problems.

  247. Apparently, there are still problems with this Kwikset designed, Smartkey lock, which I installed in September, 2012. I just experienced a lockout and will try the screwdriver key method, which one of your contributers suggested.

  248. Just read some of the comments and let me say that yeah, I am reading these posts at 3:30 in the morning because my lock works perfectly well. Not to say I might not have problems in the future but the locks have been just fine since they were installed a few years ago. I’m here because a worker took my house key and I can’t sleep until my locks are re-keyed. I could not renember how to do it so I googled it. When “problems” came up on the search options, I found this page. So far, so good.

  249. My Kwikset stupidkey just stopped working out of nowhere today! VERY frustrating!!! Seeing all these other stories shows a majority ARE having problems. After all, not too many people are going to seek out a forum like this to vent on…

  250. Lock failed -went to link from above post for customer service. They have NO online support only a phone number. I really don’t feel like spending hours on the phone. Key will not turn and canot re-key for that reason. I’m sure the a holes at this company will buy me a new window. Buy anything else.

  251. Had I read the comment about the Kwikset smart key system, I would never have purchased it. Bought the system 2 years ago and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread – NOT. Front door deadbolt not working. Other doors work.. We have to enter and exit from the back door until I can have all of this crap replaced. Not taking a chance with the other doors. Fool me once shame me… Never again

  252. The first two malfunctions, the contractor fixed Now, my family’s using the side door because this front door key simply stopped working again in 22 degree weather

  253. Is there an old fashioned pin type cylinder that can be used to replace the smartkey cylinder.

    Are locksets with pin type cylinders available in the same styles as smartkey products.

  254. Found this site when searching for problems with my kwikset ‘smartkey’ lock. Like everyone else, mine failed out of the blue for no reason. What a joke – a lock that re-keys itself! Really Kwikset???? Take this POS off the market … please.

  255. Got about half a year out of it but today I unlocked my storage room door, relocked it then went back five minutes later and all of my copies were useless. So long Kwikset

  256. Been buying the smart key for 2 years. The only problems I’ve had are from the locks that get wet. One I was able to jiggle the key and get it to work and then reset; the other, a gate latch, one side lost the key code after a rain and kwikset replaced. Now 6 months later, after another rain, the key can be removed in any position, not just the up position. I rekeyed to another key, it worked fine, rekeyed to existing key, same problem. Calling Kwikset today for advice/replacement. Fortunately it doesn’t rain much in California!!!

  257. I just called Kwikset and they are sending replacement. Black and Decker is the best company when dealing with warranty issues. On both Kwikset and PricePfister you can’t duplicate their service! I will support them forever because of this…

  258. my deadbolt just stopped working after 4 months since installation. i was lucky because i was trying to lock the door when it failed. my wife told me that she had problem opening the door last night when she got home but somehow she managed to open it. the key no longer works after that. i will stay away from this “SMART KEY”.

  259. Wish I had researched this ahead of time. We put in our lock two days ago and it stopped working today! Just two days! Fortunately we were inside but we had to leave for work and leave our house unlocked all day. Tonight we have been able to reinstall our old lock. I do not want a replacement smart lock. I can’t believe that Lowes and Home Depot are selling this garbage!

  260. I had 40 Titan/Kwikset “Society Brass” installed on my house 15 years ago. The Zamuc castings inside the locks snapped because they were cast slightly too large. This meant that the knobs and levers broke off the locks after a few years, locking one person in a room.

    These locks come with a Lifetime Warranty. I contacted Kwikset in January 2013. They agreed to replace the hardware. Nothing happened for months. After three months, I emailed the VP Manufacturing, who connected me with the manager of customer service. She assigned an employee to handle things. That was June 16, 2013.

    They no longer make polished brass for the Egg Knob (called Laurel). We chose Oiled Bronze (Venetian Bronze). They have sent most of the items I need. The knobs and levers I took off are solid brass. The replacements have the same style names, but are no longer brass. They are stamped steel. This is NOT fulfilling the terms of the warranty! The original hardware was made in Anahiem CA. The replacement hardware is from China.

    They no longer do mixed finishes and and styles. That’s when a knob is on one side and a lever on the opposite side. This is common in the hardware business; polished brass on one side, polished chrome on the other to match the bath hardware, for instance. They even refused to send me the hardware for me to put them together.

    I worked for this company when I was with Black & Decker in the 1990s. Black & Decker was acquired by Stanley Hardware about 2010. Kwikset, Weiser, Price Phister (plumbing products) and Baldwin are now owned by Spectrum, which also owns Ray-O-Vac, too. How sad.

    They have been the number one selling, opening price-point door hardware for more than 50 years. There is Schlage, which is even worse. They were sued by Kwikset for copying Kwikset’s patented features. Kwikset won. What a shame. Lost American jobs, poorly designed and made hardware, poor customer service. Will American companies ever learn?

    Will I ever get comparable hardware? Ironically, this line of solid brass hardware was developed because Baldwin’s owner would not sell the business to Kwikset. The hardware was called “Society Brass” and sold by distributors and Lowes. They now own Baldwin. Why aren’t they replacing my defective hardware with Baldwin?

  261. Same story, Qwikset deadbolt stopped turning after about 3 years of trouble free use. I took the lock apart and confirmed what a few people have already mentioned. There are a series of 5 geared wafers internally that seem to be vulnerable to jostling. I manually realigned the wafers, reassembled the tumbler, inserted my key and pushed back on the reset bar.. Fixed. For how long? I dunno.

  262. Update:the new Kwikset elected to replace the defective Kwikset/Titan hardware with Baldwin product. Where it is manufactured is unclear, but it is U.S. Made. I finally hit the last box of hardware last week. It took one year . We are putting our house up for sale later this year (or next) . We had no intention to replace the door hardware. We thought the work involved a new kitchen, master bath and refinished wood floors.

  263. I worked for Black & Decker for many years. B&D owned several businesses, Kwikset was one, They are now owned by Spectrum Brands. B& D merged with Stanley Hardware. Based on the posts here, it sounds like many people may not be aware of Kwikset’s lifetime guarantee. No matter who bought the hardware, they will replace it free; including tarnished hardware, as the Ultra Max has. You must call them. Do not bring it back to a retailer. Don’t bother trying to repair it. Call them. Sorry, I don’t have the number. It is online.

  264. Dennis,
    Thanks for the info. Good to know they stand behind the product, but getting a central part of your home security, that has suddenly stopped working, replaced by warranty/mail seems kind of impractical. It is for me, anyway. There’s a great video on TY on how to disassemble and reset these locks -without- the clunky cradle thing. It _does_ take a bit of patience and non-shaky hands, FYI.

  265. These locks are JUNK! Think about it. If THIS many people bothered to post this in a remote corner of the Internet, think about how many failures there really are? I threw mu junk in the trash and bought a good old fashioned lock.

  266. WS,
    You are right, no one wants a broken lock on a door. If the house has keyed-alike hardware, switching it out with a working lock from a door that is infrequently used is a workable solution. But, like many people, I’ve not always been able to do that.

  267. Had Home Depot install front and rear entry doors, all told about $1200 worth of product. All went well for about a month, maybe a month and a half…then I could not get my key out of the front door lock. Messed with it and messed with it some more until I finally was able to wriggle out the key. Ended up having a key made, and lightly sanded it all around to make it slicker and slightly smaller, and that did the trick, at least of not getting stuck in the lock. I still had to slightly pull out on it while unlocking the locks, but it worked. Now the lock has finally started having hangup issues, like the inner mechanism is getting stuck. The striker will no longer spring out like it should, has to be messed with in order to get it to work..for 130 bucks, this lock hardware is crap. At least I have not been locked out of my own house-YET…Home Depot only referred me to Black and Decker for replacement (apparently they own Kwikset)..

  268. I can not use these locks because they can not be master keyed.

    Master key capability is needed for rental houses and apartment applications.

    The packaging should make this clear.

  269. There is a warranty on the lock. Call the. # on the package , or go to the website. They will replace it for free.
    Someone wrote that Black & Decker owns them. Not true. B& D was acquired by Stanley, who sold it to Spectrum Brands.

  270. I am a locksmith, and I have encountered all kinds of problems with the kwikset smartkey locks. True, they’re nearly impossible to pick or bump, but they’re very easy to defeat through other means. And besides that, they are prone to failure, as this four year long list of complaints shows. There’s a reason schlage took their line of similar products off the market. Unfortunately, almost everything kwikset sells nowadays has the smartkey cylinders, and they bill it as a superior product to the traditional pin locks. Stick to schlage- they’re more expensive, but the odds of them randomly breaking or falling apart(this happens with lots of kwikset products) is a lot lower. That said, I do prefer the kwikset keypad locks over the schlage version because of their comparative simplicity.

  271. What? I had no idea there were known problems with the Smartkey products. Although I will say I bought an older Smart key lock and have no problem with it. This lock which failed a couple of days ago (knob turns but it remains jammed closed) was a replacement sent to me by Kwikset to replace a lock that was ruined when a naked crazy man tried to shoot it out to gain access to our home. I have never been told nor ever read that keys had to be stamped to work properly. I’ve had keys made the traditional way and almost all of them will not work or work poorly. What’s the deal?

  272. Wow! I just bought a locking knob and deadbolt for a patio door…..chose the kwikset smartkey products. I am tempted to try them, since I have reliable locks on my other doors, but I hate the thought of wasting $70 on bad hardware. There are WAY too many negative reviews to ignore. Probably will be returning them tomorrow. Remember, the best warranty is the one you never have to use.

  273. i am a locksmith and yes, i can easily enter your house by re-setting your lock, as can a burglar. i help more customers gain entry due to these locks than any other lock, and it’s baloney that the way a key is cut will effect use. On a professional level, i would avoid these like the plague. As a profit maker for me, keep buying them.

  274. Had one installed to replace 20 year old that was worn out and broken. It’s only been a few months and the keys won’t work. Worked first month, then had to wriggle with them a bit but they’d work, now the keys won’t budge and open or lock door. It works when locking and unlocking from inside, which for a while was sticking too. Piece of junk. Kids and I getting locked out. Not impressed.

  275. Installed Locksets and Deadbolts on four doors, three years ago. One deadbolt stopped working with the key last winter, after becoming sticky for a short while. It was not heavily used or in any way abused. It turns freely from the inside, using the twist hardware. Lubricated with graphite to no avail. I was thinking to replace it with new Smartkey deadbolt, but after reading the comments above now am thinking that this would be throwing good money after bad. We purchased Weiser as a quality consideration, and paid extra for that, but no longer regard the company as offering any advantage. Given the evident history of problems, Weiser should have fixed this problem already and done a recall. Vote with your wallet, Folks. Buy something else.

  276. After a tenant couldn’t open a Smartkey deadbolt and several subsequent locksmith calls, followed by repeats of same problem, then hours of time spent with terrible Kwikset customer support, and a replacement cylinder that does not fit lockset, and having to supply customer support with pics that prove I have a Smartkey lock I AM JUNKING all of my Kwikset products. Smartkey locks are too easy to open and they do not save money in locksmith visits or time-to-fix.

  277. 2014 and these are still failing… I had one fail within a month and had it replaced by kwikset, just had another one fail and I called and demanded 4 key alike standard replacement locks. They tried to say it was something we were doing wrong…B.S. they are sending new locks but making me pay the shipping. I appreciate the new lock but they should eat the shipping for selling untested junk

  278. Just had 3 quicksets installed in my new rental and now, 5 days later, the deadbolt on the back door isn’t working. The key fits and unlocks the door, but you can’t get your key out. The key only comes out when it’s locked. This randomly happened yesterday night. Plus, when you do lock it from the outside so you can remove the key, when you’re in the house, you cannot manually unlock it b/c it’s stuck! So you’re either locked in or out! What the heck?! Locksmith who intalled is coming back tonight so we’ll see what happens.

  279. If your original key is duplicated incorrectly it will cause havoc with your rekeyable locks. I mostly have seen problems with Schlage rekeyable entry locksets .Hardware stores often misscut keys usually too low or not lined up correctly on the machine which misaligns the key cuts to the mechanism. These new locks work on a more mechanical means, they have no pins in them so your duplicate key works fine for now even if was cut improperly, then you have the misscut key duplicated again and so on. I’ve been a locksmith for 35 years I’d say for the past 10 years lock manufacturers have put out some really crummy products. It is our new economy. Take a look at our newly minted money. We all know the value of a buck has plummeted even money looks cheap. Take care y’all…..LINN

  280. After so many years, why are they still selling this lock? A associate at Home Depot told me this was a great product. They have to know it sucks and they are actively promoting it. This makes me doubt everything the associates recommend.

  281. Does the “Smartkey rekeying kit” work if original key to a lock is lost? The installer of one of my Kwikset locks did not do correctly and now we can’t get the “original” key to that lock to turn.

  282. I’m having the same issue as everyone else. The lock with the issue is installed on a single door shed so it looks like my only option now is forcing my way in causing plenty of damage. Kwickset customer service assured me this is not a common issue and are unable to assist me. Thanks Kwickset, the lock is only a couple months old.

  283. Seems like most of the resettable lock brands work fairly well. My customers have last for a few years now with no problems and some of them have already been re-keyed. Hope this helps

  284. Two weeks ago our condo corp changed our entry door locks, and today after two weeks of perfect function my originally issued key just quit working, the cylinder wouldn’t move. This was not affected by any weather or outdoor environments. Luckily it happened at a time when someone was manning the front desk where I was informed that these lock needed to be reset with the master key. All of a sudden my home doesn’t feel like my home at all, being denied entry to my place of comfort, is this the new norm of Canadian Society? Immagine, our Condo Corp just spent over $200,000.00 on these Locks. Chinese Junk.

  285. I have two doors with working kwikset smartkey locks and bought a combopack for my side garage door today. Neither one will work right when rekeyed to mine or my wife’s Kwikset key. What a bunch of junk. Hopefully a better lock maker can replace the Kwikset brand.

  286. We bought a new Kwickset dead bolt with rekey capability almost 6 years ago. We bought Kwickset because it matched the hardware on the entry door and the lock on our garage entry door. We were able to rekey the existing garage lock so we could use the new keys for both doors. We return from dinner almost 6 years later to find our keys do not work on the garage entry door. We are buying new standard locks tomorrow. We can’t take a chance on these.

  287. I had the same problem as many of you here. my deadbolt tumbler simply quit working from the key side. I called their Customer Service Dept. at 1-800-327-5625 and the Representative was very helpful and knowledgeable and they are mailing me a replacement tumbler and Smartkey tool at their expense.

  288. I have worked full time as a locksmith for almost 20 years now. I have seen dozens of the Smart Key locks fail without any indication that they are going to. They don’t “reset” themselves. It’s more like a gear slipping. They just slip off the correct setting for your key. And they can be defeated rather quickly with a screwdriver. They are garbage. Also, I’ve seen several posts about Schlage pulling their user-rekeyable locks. They didn’t do it because they didn’t work. They were forced to pull them when Kwikset sued Schlage over patent infringement in 2010.

  289. Bought these locks at Lowes where they swore by how amazing they are…. changed the locks for the tile guy to a different key and he took off with the key. Took the spare of that key and changed the locks back to the original key to our home so he couldn’t come back in (this is why we bought the locks just incase this were to every happen) and it worked fine for about 10minutes!! THEN IT RESET ITSELF! now we have no way to get into our home. Lowes is closed because its late and I AM DEFFINITELY GETTING MY MONEY BACK FOR ALL THESE BAD LOCKS!! DO NOT GET SMARTKEY!

  290. Installed 4 new Kwikset locks during renovation, 3 were double cylinder. After the renovation, I tried to rekey them all. The single cylinder deadbolt works fine but only one side of the double cylinder deadbolts worked. I am not able to rekey the outside lock with either the original key or the new key. Not sure if I did something wrong but I found no specific/different instructions in rekeying a double cylinder. Back to HD they go as I’d rather carry around multiple keys than risk being locked out.

  291. I replaced the batteries on our quickset lock and found that after I did it when i pushed the lock button it unlocked and when I entered my code it would lock. After looking everywhere online I could not find a solution as to how or why.

    I looked at the locks control board and saw thre prongs that said “door reverse jumper” on the board. I looked around and found a plastic piece that fit two of the three prongs. I placed them on the two farthest to the right and suddenly the lock worked correctly again.

  292. Junk! Less than 45 days after purchase of Kwickset Smart Key lock I had lock fail only to be told by Lowes I needed to call a locksmith to get it fixed and they would replace the defective lock. The locksmith arrives at my house and when he sees the lock he makes the statement – “I make a lot of money fixing these!” When I took the old lock back to Lowes and informed the manager what the locksmith said he looked me straight in the eyes and said “We haven’t had any problem with these”. When I told him that is because his people are telling customers to hire a locksmith to fix them, he laughed at me. Do NOT buy one of these EVER! Unless you have a locksmith for a friend or neighbor ….

    I bought six of these Smart key locks, each with dead bolts, for two different houses, three sets for each house. I had re-keyed them all (a total of twelve locks) so that each house had one key for all three lock sets. After two and a half years, the handle I use the most got stuck in the unlocked position. The exterior key would not turn, nor would the interior knob, but the handles would open and close the door, as it was in the unlocked position. I removed the handles (arch lever type, not a round knob) separated, and removed the lock from the door. It was still frozen.

    Found this forum, started reading and went “Oh Crap” What have I done, I have twelve of these. I removed the lock cylinder and to my surprise, the key worked, but the interior knob would still not turn. This is when I noticed that the set screw that held the exterior handle on was preventing the mechanism from turning. On this type of handle the allen wrench is inserted through the handle, to back off the set screw, so that the handle can slip off. When it is retracted it blocks the lock from turning.

    This is why my lock quit working. It had been very cold out. The set screw and the threaded hole it sits in are different types of metal. Different types of metal expand and contract at different rates under different temperatures. The set screw had loosened and retracted enough to block the mechanism, yet not let the handle slip off. Once I tightened this set screw, everything worked as normal.

    This may, or may not, be your problem, hopefully it is, as it’s a simple fix. I think I’ll get some lock-tite for that set screw. The temporary kind.

  294. We have been in this new house for just over a year. Kwikset Smart Key Deadbolt has worked fine until yesterday. Same symptoms as all the rest of the people here. Getting a hold of Kwikset now.

  295. Just brought a kwikset May 25,2015 as soon as we try to rekey it did not work. Called company and they sending new parts. I want a regular door lock now.

  296. I bought a kwikset lock, and so far it has been great. Great price, easy to install since I already had a Kwikset deadbolt installed previously. Looks extremely nice on my door and the safety features are all commercial grade. One thing before buying this is don’t install on a door with glass pane windows. Inside part is a latch that turns to lock instead of keyed. That way burgler could break glass, turn latch and walk right in. Also highly recommend a steel reinforced door jam in case of door kick-in. A good door lock won’t do a bit of good if the wooden door frame is not reinforced with steel.

  297. Add me to the list. Our Kwikset 43489 stopped working after less then 3 months. The issue started when we would enter the code & the unlocking sound lasted longer then usual. The key pad would light up red followed by a long beep but would not unlock. Tried to unlock manually with key & that wouldn’t work either = LOCKED OUT! Luckily the kids were inside to open the door for us (this time). Turns out the little lock on the inside of the door would get stuck about 1/4 of the way when the code was entered. Even twisting the the little lock mechanism manually from lock to unlock felt like it would get stuck & not turn all the way like the internal mechanism was getting jammed. Decided this was just to risky to have my kids locked out one day + I found this website. The concept of this lock is a good idea but the reality of it just doesn’t work reliable. Back to the old fashioned lock & key that works 100% for years!

  298. Just to update , I returned the lock in original box (no receipt) to Home Depot & purchased the Schlage FE595 also electronic keypad. I reviewed for any websites complaining about similar issues and have not found any. So far opening the box seems like Schlage is higher quality. Price for this particular lock was identical to Kwikset.

  299. Kwikset Smartkey BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. Yesterday my tenant had reported that her door knob had fallen right off in her hand. I spent a lot of money on a good number of these terrible quality door knobs after a salesperson in the hardware store brought them to my attention. Now I ALWAYS replace them with another brand and will NEVER buy any Kwikset product in the future. SUCH POOR QUALITY. GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT.

  300. I have been a Certified Master Locksmith ( for over 30 years. During that time I have owned 2 retail locksmith businesses and worked in engineering and R&D of a global lock manufacturer. My name is on 5 of the patents owned by that manufacturer. With that as background, I have seen many “good ideas” fail miserably when taken to market. The Kwikset Smart key is one such idea.

    Since you are reading this and have doubtless read the other comments, you probably won’t buy a Kwikset Smartkey lock. I also want to advise against buying a Kwikset compatible lock. This would be any lock that uses the Kwikset keyway. There are literally hundreds of brands that use the same keyway and the same limited pinning configuration. This dramatically increases the chances of someone else having the same key. And the key doesn’t have to be an exact match to work. Because of the sloppy tolerances the key can have minor differences and still work. Some of the imitation Kwikset locks have extremely poor tolerances and even a flat spot on the cylinder plug which increases the chances of operation by unintended keys.

    At a minimum, use locks that use the Schlage keyway, but if you are truly concerned about security such as protection from lock picking, lock bumping, unauthorized duplicates of your key, or surreptitious entry, look for higher security locks from Schlage, (Primus, Everest), Medeco, ASSA, Abloy, MultiLock, CX5, and a host of others.

    If you want something for a rental property you can rekey quickly, get a product with removable cores and keep some spares on hand. When you have installed the spares, take the old ones to your local locksmith to be rekeyed for the next time. Arrow makes a lock for rental units that cannot be removed unless the core is removed first. The tenant won’t be able to do that so you don’t have to worry about the lock being replaced or rekeyed without authorization.

    If you have regular locks and want to save money on rekeying your own home, learn how to remove and reinstall your own locks. When it is time to rekey, remove them and take them to your local locksmith shop for rekeying. That will save you a trip charge and the labor charge for removal and re installation. And please, in everything you do, support your local small businesses.

  301. I have matching Defiant locks on my garage and front door, but different defiant lock on the inner door, and a different lock and brand on my patio door (where we enter and leave 95% of the time.) I would LOVE to get the inner door and if possible the patio door to work with the same key, without spending a bajillion dollars replacing 6 total locks on 4 doors. Is there a way or am I stuck unless I drop the major cash for 6 matching locks. From this forum I can clearly tell Kwikset SmartKey is not the way to go, and I apparently can’t put a SmartKey lock on the inner door and just rekey it to the Defiant key. Any solutions that don’t involve replacing everything? I hate having so many keys!

  302. I bought kiwk set locks for my rentals, have had them for a couple years then had a problem with the knob on a door that has the matching deadbolt lock. Called customer service several times gave up wait time was terrible. Called again next day early and waited only 10 min for service. They are sending out a new cylinder with a tool not sure how difficult this process will be but, I dont ike this inconvience. Love the concept, dislike the unreliability.

  303. I also had problems with the chamber in my front door lock. The garage has worked fine. The key wouldn’t fit. The little doohickey ridged device would temporarily fix it and the key would work for a couple of times but would go back to the same problem. Spoke with Luke in customer service on 4/21/16. No questions asked. He sent a new chamber the same day. Also gave me the choice if I wanted to take it into the store to get it fixed or to email him for additional assistance. Great customer service.

  304. Of course, you are thinking now that there is nothing special in DIY lock repair. It you have some skills, you can manage it yourself. But there is no guarantee that a lock repaired in an unprofessional way will work properly. The second reason, why you should call a professional is that he will try to do everything not to mar your door. You really see that quality and, by the way, comparatively short terms, are worth the price you will pay to a professional company in Vaughan (Ontario).

  305. Bought a not so” SmartKey” two point locking handleset front door lock.
    I elected to keep my old deadbolt as the new item was plasticky and thinly built. The handleset went in quickly. However the lock reprograming failed and it is stuck in the vertical key position with no movement to either side. Amazon refunded my money when I sent this piece of citrus back.

  306. Hi! I locked myself out with that Kwikset Smartkey when got from work. I have bought that key just a week ago and it was randomly cracking since i installed it. But last week it finally died. Neither of key or buttons worked.
    I had to call an emergency locksmith vaughan
    They arrived very soon and the price was affordable.
    I won`t buy any Smartkey from now on. “Old school” keys are my favourite ones.

  307. I had Schlage lock for quite a long time and then replaced them with a Kwikset. Why i haven`t found these comments when i was buying Kwikset! Poorly design and functionality. And Schlage had worked perfectly except on outer area of the locks were a lot of scratchings from keys i so had to find more suitable ones. When i had bought these locks a locksmith i hired to place them was warning me about them but i didn`t want to listen to him. It was my fault, so i have to pay again for a replacement.

  308. The intent of the manufacturers that sell through the big box chains is to product a price-point product loaded with features that will get the consumer to purchase it.

  309. I installed a Kwikset Smartkey (re-key) lock and all was fine until the re-key process. I did not have an original key for the old lock. When I used the copy carefully following the instructions, the re-keying did not work. Neither the key that came with the new lock. or my old key worked.

    I called a locksmith and he told me that nothing (cost effectively) could be done to re-key the lock again. The locksmith told me that it was hit-and-miss if you do not have an original key. I trashed the unlockable Kwikset and paid $150 for the locksmith to replace everything and re-key the door – really disappointing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here