Have you ever locked yourself out of your car or home? Isn’t it the worst feeling ever? I recently locked myself out of our home, and I had to pay a locksmith $130 to open my door and let me in. It happened so easily, and with the kind of door knob we had, it can happen to anyone.
Our entry way door has a lock on it, the type that you need a key to open, but the poor design allowed me to open the door even when it was locked. I did so, went about my business, and when I returned home a few hours later I was locked out of my own home. If you have children in your home, the lock could easily be turned accidentally by them, and this scenario could be a very real one for you as well.
I vowed that would not happen to me again, and went immediately to my local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores to look for entry door knobs that would not open my door from the inside when it was locked. Both stores carried almost the identical line of products, but Lowe’s was several dollars cheaper than Home Depot, so that is where I made my purchase. I only found one door knob that had the feature I wanted, and it was the Kwikset SmartKey Door Knob.
This Kwikset SmartKey Door Knob came in a variety of finishes, I bought the brushed bronze to match the rest of the doors in our home. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, is anti-tarnish, and is guaranteed to fit. The SmartKey feature allows you to re-key your lock, so if a key is stolen or not returned to you, you can change the tumblers inside the locking mechanism, and you don’t have to change out your entire door knob, you just change the keys.
To install the Kwikset SmartKey Door Knob, you only need a screwdriver. I am a 54 year old woman, and I was able to do this by by myself. The latch is adjustable, and fits 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ brackets. It also fits doors that measure from 1 3/8″ to 1 3/4″.
The kit retailed for only $25.00, and contains entry knob, adjustable latch, mounting hardware, two keys, SmartKey tool, drilling template, and illustrated instructions. The latch has both the rectangular shaped and the round shaped latch. The rectangular shaped latch is installed with two screws, so it is more secure. I will say that I did not find the instructions to be very clear, I just paid close attention to how the knob that I was removing was installed.
If you find the need to rekey your SmartKey lock, there are clear instructions for this step. You insert the key into the lock, rotate it a one quarter turn, insert the SmartKey tool into the SmartKey tool hole, then remove it. Then insert a new key, rotate one quarter turn, and you should be good to go with a new lock that fits your replacement key.
This is a very well made, sturdy, and attractive door knob, and now I will not be able to open my main door when it is locked, which means there is very little chance of locking myself out of my home. Why they even make door knobs that can be opened from the inside when they are locked is beyond me!
I actually saw the SmartKey system shown on one of the popular HGTV shows, and it was being used in a rental unit. This would be great if you have rental property! No more going to the expense of changing out your locks and knobs when a tenant moves out, just replace the keys. A very smart idea indeed!