KWIKSET SmartKey IS IMPROVED

With improved sidebar design and tightened tolerances, this new cylinder decreases the likelihood of using force tools.


Articles appearing in Locksmith Ledger always deal with facts. We report on either how a product works or how to sell or service a product.  As a rule we do not offer an opinion except in editorials. This particular article is an exception to that rule. The subject of this article is...


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THE REST OF THE STORY
Locks are basically designed to deter unlocking by outsiders while allowing smooth access by owners or those entitled.  As security requirements increase, locks become more complicated and thus more complex in normal operation. Every lock mechanism is designed to best balance three qualities: security, ease of usage and cost of manufacture.
Locksmiths should have confidence in the products they sell and install. In my opinion, a locksmith should contact the manufacturer whenever they discover a possible weakness in a security product. Manufacturers want to sell the best possible product and are more than interested in hearing from you.
I contacted Kwikset engineers concerning my SmartKey findings.  I believe this is the right thing to do rather than broadcast it in some public forum.
In this case, Kwikset engineers were already aware of the tolerance questions and volunteered to send me samples of their new SmartKey design which is now in production.
Photo 1 shows the original SmartKey housing with a large rounded locking slot for the sidebar. Photo 3 shows an original Kwikset SmartKey lock plug with their original rounded sidebar.
Photo 2 shows the narrowed, “V” shaped sidebar slot used for the improved Kwikset Smart Key design.  Photo 4 shows the new longer sidebar which no longer has a heavily rounded design.  
In addition to the new, sturdy sidebar design, tolerances within the housing have also been tightened. It is no longer possible to use the tryout key concept as with the earlier design. With improved sidebar design and tightened tolerances, this new cylinder decreases the likelihood of using force tools. Even if the force tool is successful, noticeable damage to the lock will occur.   
Obviously there are many more usable key combinations now available because of this new design. The old and new lock cylinders look outwardly similar, but changes and improvements have been made to every inner part.   
In addition to the improved SmartKey design, regular features of the 780 deadbolt make this a durable, dependable security product. The deadbolt unit contains a heavy duty strike plate with four retaining screws, a deadbolt with one-inch throw plus quick adjustment for a 2 3/8” or 2 3/4” backset, large diameter  thumb turn and outer trim rings plus the Smart Key rekeyable cylinder, all in one affordable package.

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