Best of the Mechanical Security 2016

Dec. 1, 2016
Trends include patented key control, touchless actuators, high-tech cabinet locks, residential locks operated by smartphone apps, energy efficiency and wireless access control for small businesses.

Clearly the role of mechanical locks has changed in locksmithing over the last several decades as customers transition away from mechanical locks and keys in favor of electronics and new technologies. A shift in value systems also affect the locksmith; due to shifting markets and costs, replacing a worn or defective product is a more attractive option to a client than undertaking a repair.

However, the mechanical element remains in the majority of products which actually lock the door, while other technologies are moving in to control the lock, mange the lock and track door usage.

Although high tech endeavors to provide more sophisticated solutions, we have learned long ago that going higher tech doesn’t help us too much if it is prone to failure, difficult to install, difficult to use, or too expensive for the particular situation.  Instead, locksmiths are calling for new products that are user and installer friendly, cost-effective and provide an overall ‘simpler’ solution by using technology.

Below are some of the new trends and best new products of 2016.

ABUS Vitess™

ABUS locking systems are ideal for programs of various sizes, from small to large master key systems. The range covers keyed alike cylinders, small and medium master key systems, as well as large grand master key systems. If requested, the planning and calculation of the grand master key system can be done by ABUS Pfaffenhain™.

ABUS Pfaffenhain™ cylinders have a core diameter of 14mm (0.55“). This increased diameter enables a very large number of combinations inside of the cylinder, making very large and complex grand master key systems with ABUS possible. These locking systems offer 1.5 million true key differs!

Vitess™ features include:

• Unique combination of patent protection, unlimited trademark protection and highest technical key copy protection

• The curved precision profile and Intop system offer ultimate picking protection

• Curved key profile offers increased stability

• Key-in-Lever (KIL), Key-in-Knob (KNK), RIM, Mortise, 83 Series locking insert, LFIC Schlage (phase 2)

• Key Control NA Patent 2034

• Exclusive Keyways

• Coined Keys and Blanks

• Partner Program Protection

• “All-in-one” easy assembly sets with pre-loaded top pins

• Extensive pinning kits

• Local pinning and key cutting

Technical Details:

• Patented Intop system

• 6 locking elements

• 14mm (0.55“) core diameter

Dorma +kabaTouchless Actuators

New products include the RCI 12C compact strike and DORMA 946T Square Short-Range Touchless Actuator; 950T Round Short-Range Touchless Actuator and 6451 Exit Sensor Bar.

The 946T Square Short-Range Touchless Actuator is a low-profile touchless actuator plate utilizing unique capacitive technology for the activation of automatic doors. Dimensions are 4-3/4" square (121mm). The 950T Round Short-Range Touchless Actuator has the same feature set but is larger, with a six-inch diameter.

Both models feature an illuminated LED mounting ring for high durability, visibility and convenience and is hands-free to help reduce the spread of germs and bacteria.

Features include:

• Short-range adjustable detection zone reduces unwanted activations

• Adjustable visual and audible alerts

• Field-selectable 12-24 VAC/VDC, 37mA typical

• NEMA 4-rated enclosure

• Stainless steel (faceplate) and clear polycarbonate (mounting ring, backplate and enclosure) construction

• Momentary (SPDT) switch operation

The 950T Round Short-Range Touchless Actuator has the same feature set but is larger, with a six-inch diameter.

• Certifications & testing:

• ANSI – American National Standards Institute

• AAADM – American Association of Automatic Door Manufacturers

• AIA – American Institute of Architects

• FCC – Federal Communications Commission

• IDA – International Door Association

• DASMA – Door & Access Systems Manufacturers Association

• NEMA 4 – National Electrical Manufacturers Association

The 6451 Exit Sensor Bar is a non-latching bar activated with a light touch.  It offers immediate “no prior knowledge” egress by pushing on the bar at any point. Dimensions are 2-3/8"H x 2-7/16"D (60mm x 62mm)

Optical sensing electronics controlling lock and signal functions have no moving parts to wear out. There’s a built-in redundant mechanical switch for back-up release. Complicated calibration and fine tuning are unnecessary and return calls are eliminated.

Three standard bar lengths are offered – contact factory for custom lengths

The bar may be activated by anything – human touch, briefcase, cane, wheelchair, etc., making it ideal for ADA compliant installations.

Weather-resistant electronics resist moisture damage. The entire bar, including end caps, is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, offering high resistance to abuse and vandalism.

Additional features include

• Armored power transfer cord – furnished standard

• Dual output standard – DPDT contacts provide lock control and alarm shunting capabilities

• Built-in spike suppression – all input/output terminals are protected from line spikes

• Entire bar is finished, including the end caps

• Contemporary design – architecturally engineered to offer one of the lowest profiles in the industry

• Non-handed

Certifications include:

  • ANSI/UL294

• California State Fire Marshal Listed (CSFM: 3774-1457:0102)

• NYC MEA: 23-92-E Vol. II

• Factory tested to over 1-million cycles

All three products come with a lifetime limited warranty. More Info:

The 12C Compact Strike is a versatile strike suitable for all types of door frames. Installation is quick and easy and ideal for wooden, steel and aluminum frames.

Dimensions are 1-13/16"W x 2-3/4"H x 1-1/8"D (46mm x 70mm x 28mm). It is fail-secure and non-handed and replaces standard, non-electrified T-strikes, maintaining the integrity and strength of the door frame.

Energy required is is 90mA 12VDC and strength is1,100lbf Static, 44ft-lb Dynamic.

HES K200 Cabinet & Server Cabinet Locks

The HES K200 lock makes it easy and cost effective to bring access control to cabinets and drawers where audit trail and monitoring are becoming increasingly critical. The K200 uses Wiegand communication between the integrated, multi-technology reader and an access control system to deliver full access control to cabinets and drawers. It installs easily, enabling real-time audit capabilities and door monitoring at the drawer or cabinet level.

The K200 offers a convenient, single credential solution for compliance and safety throughout your facility.

More Info:

The HES KS200 Server Cabinet Lock extends access control to protect data center assets from intrusion and expensive downtime, by bringing real-time access control in a single-card system to individual server cabinet doors.

Designed to install quickly and easily, on most swing-handle style server rack doors, the KS200 uses Wiegand wiring to integrate seamlessly with existing access control systems and ID badges.

It supports a Small Format Interchangeable Core (SFIC) mechanical key override. With an integrated, multi-technology reader, the KS200 provides robust, cost-effective access control to meet strict regulatory compliance and protect data.

More Info:

Adams Rite RITE Touch

The Adams Rite RITE Touch digital door lock provides keyless access control for all-glass openings. The RITE Touch offers refined styling, convenience, and security for single or double glass doors. Features options include both a thumbturn exit option and the new ADA compliant lever. Intended for indoor applications, the easy to install surface mounted RITE Touch requires no modification to the glass. The RITE Touch provides elegant aesthetics with the latest touch screen technology to harmonize style and security.

More Info:

Securitron EcoPower

Securitron EcoPower™ power supply is designed to work with low-power electrified access control devices. This small aesthetic power supply reduces standby power consumption to only 8.5mW (0.0085W), a 99 percent energy savings compared to current linear and switching power supplies. EcoPower can also reduce total door power consumption by 99% from up to 20W to a phenomenal 0.3W, when paired with a lock like EcoFlex from SARGENT and Corbin Russwin. The low power consumption means that the included EcoPower battery provides 24 or more hours of backup power..

More Info:

Kwikset Smart Home Products

Kwikset is capitalizing on the hot home automation market with several residential locks that can be opened and managed via cellphone.

Kevo 2nd Gen Touch-to-Open Smart Lock: Kwikset claims Kevo represents the best smart lock option available on the market today, Kevo 2nd Gen provides the same touch-to-open smart lock experience available in Kevo 1st Gen teamed with a refined user experience, sleeker design and added security.

“Kwikset listened to homeowners’ everyday experience with Kevo 1st Gen and put their feedback at the center of the Kevo 2nd Gen development strategy,” said Keith Brandon, Kwikset Vice President of Residential Access Solutions, Spectrum Brands, Inc. – Hardware and Home Improvement Division. “I truly believe the time to buy Kevo is now for any consumer waiting for technology to evolve before purchasing a smart lock.”

Additional features include:

  • Easily manage home access for family, friends and guests by sharing electronic keys (eKeys) through the Kevo app developed by UniKey Technologies
  • Engineered to integrate with a wide range of smart home products to ensure homeowners can easily configure a smarter home
  • Available in three popular finishes, Satin Nickel, Venetian Bronze and Polished Brass
  • Features a transitional design for flexibility across a variety of home styles
  • Receive lock notifications and view lock activity history in the Kevo app
  • Comes with a lifetime mechanical and finish warranty, and one-year electronic warranty, plus a dedicated consumer support line

Kevo™ Convert is an easy-to-use conversion kit that transforms Kwikset and other manufacturers’ deadbolts into smart locks at an affordable price.

Obsidian: Obsidian is the latest product in Kwikset’s smart lock portfolio, featuring a slim touchscreen exterior and sleek metal interior. By way of its modern, low-profile design, Obsidian offers the convenience and security of key-free entry through its advanced capacitive touchscreen. 

Obsidian will be available as a standalone or Z-Wave compatible product featuring the new Z-Wave 500 Series chip. This chip offers extended wireless range, over the-air firmware updates and superior wireless encryption for the connected Obsidian smartlock. 

Additionally, Obsidian features SecureScreen technology, a patented security feature that helps prevent “smudge” attacks, or the ability for unwanted guests to detect frequently used numbers from the oily residues left on the touchscreen surface.

With SecureScreen, users are prompted to touch two random numbers in order to display the full touchscreen, encouraging fingerprints on all numbers, not just those of the user code. 

Obsidian’s capacitive touchscreen remains blackened until touched, quickly illuminating for fast code entry.

The smart lock can also be controlled remotely when integrated to a Z-Wave automation system. By eliminating the traditional keyway and opting for a style-forward design, Kwikset has created a visually striking, cutting-edge touchscreen deadbolt that merges sleek, modern design with advanced security, refined user experience and convenient consumer benefits. 

Premis Smart Lock with HomeKit: Kwikset® Premis™ is Kwikset’s first Apple® HomeKit™-compatible smart lock, which will be available for purchase nationwide in 2017. With Apple HomeKit, Premis enables homeowners to control their home security from an iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod Touch®.  Homeowners can unlock and lock the door using Siri®, while also taking advantage of patented security features unique to Kwikset smart locks, including SecureScreen™ and the latest version of Kwikset SmartKey® security.

More Info:

Norton Low Energy Door Operators

The Norton 5800 low energy door operator is a somewhat unconventionally designed compact electromechanical door operator that is simple to install and use.

The 5800 complies with requirements of ANSI A156.19 and has adjustable opening and closing forces that meet the provisions of ANSI 117.1 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This heavy-duty, low energy operator is intended for high traffic manual opening applications that occasionally require automatic operation like retail outlets, banks, schools or universities.

Perhaps its most compelling feature is that for some applications, the 5800 can be installed without requiring line voltage to operate. All other door operators require line voltage top operate. The installer can hard wire line voltage to the operator, or by using a line cord, obtain power for the operator from a receptacle. Line voltage is generally provided by a licensed electrician and not included in the locksmith or low voltage contractor’s scope of work.

The 5800 uses a Regenerative Power System which charges an onboard battery pack that eliminates the need to run electrical wire to the unit.

When used in automatic mode 25 percent of the time or less, the 5800 Series ADAEZ PRO will self-generate enough power to charge the battery pack for up to 12 years. Available for push or pull side mounting, this robust, non-handed operator ships standard with two wireless RF push buttons.

The 5800 is capable of operating doors up to 48” wide, weighing up to 250 lbs, and successfully tested for 1,000,000, automatic cycles.

Features include:

  • Regenerative power system – no electrical power required
  • Non-handed
  • 95 degree opening
  • Push or pull side mounting
  • RF Radio Frequency stainless steel push buttons
  • Integral RF receiver
  • Dynamic braking module
  • Electronic backcheck brake
  • Shock absorbing arm
  • Black cover (standard); aluminum cover (optional)
  • Brushless DC motor/gearbox – 10 million activation cycle life
  • 24 VDC input port
  • Auxiliary activation input port
  • Battery charge indicator
  • Integral ON / OFF selector switch

The 5600 Series offers functionality and control at an affordable price. Ideal for retrofit applications, the 5600 Series converts interior, non-fire rated doors for ADA compliance easily and affordably and provides a simple way to achieve touchless environments in public restrooms. Available for push or pull mounting, this unit can be operated manually or activated by wall switches, or radio frequency devices. Easy to install, set-up and adjust, the 5600 Series is perfect for ADA-compliant offices, classrooms and dorm rooms, and touch free applications like public restrooms, labs and examination rooms.

The 5900 Series is a full-featured, extremely quiet, low energy door operator designed for moderate to high traffic doors. This cost-effective operator is available for either push- or pull-side mounting and is ideal for ADA compliant applications. More Info:

Schlage Everest 29 SL & e-Validation

Schlage’s new  Everest 29 SL gives users never before seen capabilities from Schlage. The unique L pin and locking sidebar design allows the conventional, Key in Lever (KIL), cylinder to follow the A2 pinning system required to match the Everest B and Everest 29 R keyway families.

The SL cylinder provides users a lower cost option when unifying multiple key systems, Primus XP capabilities in the SFIC keyway families (SL is not an IC core.

Advantages include:

  • More secure than a traditional pin tumbler cylinder
  • 7 pins allow for ~57,000 more combinations than a 6 pin system
  • Level 9 Primus XP geographic exclusivity on SFIC systems
  • Fits an extensive list of competitors' locks

The SL cylinder was conceived to be a cylinder that would accept restricted SFIC keyways that utilize the SFIC A2 depths and spacing standards.

The SFIC is an assembly of four main components: plug, sleeve, body assembly and snap ring. In order to overcome the challenges of the fitting a 7 pin key into a cylinder body size that is intended for a 6 pin key, Schlage developed a new pin type. Schlage’s newest patent pending design on the L pin allows for the length of the 7 pin SFIC key to be utilized in a full size architectural cylinder.

The Everest 29 SL is remarkably simple, even though it represents state-of-the-art lock design technology. Compare the Everest 29SL and conventional cylinders to appreciate how streamlined the new design is.

Editor’s Note: “High security” is a term used for lock cylinders which have some secondary exclusive patented feature. By adding a secondary pin, sliding bar or sidebar pins, some companies have added to the security of SFIC cylinders by making them harder to pick open.

Security may also be enhanced by offering stricter key control for end users with restricted keyways for SFIC cylinders. While this does not improve pick resistance, it does add to better key control.

Patented key systems prevent unauthorized duplication of keys providing greater key control and reduced threat of a compromised key system. Everest 29 keyway families provide the flexibility to secure and restrict the most sensitive openings in a facility while maintaining access control across the entire system.

Everest 29TM is patent protected through 2029 and delivers a higher level of security because it cannot be duplicated without authorization. The backward compatibility of Everest 29 keyways to the legacy Everest keyways provides you with flexibility and security that adapts to your needs. Everest 29 keys will work in existing Everest keyways, but original Everest keys will not work in new Everest 29 keyways. This is because of the patent enabling feature of Everest 29 and what prohibits duplication of the new Everest 29 keys.

Everest 29 and Everest key systems can be enhanced and restricted to limited distribution with the addition of Primus XP.

E-Validation! Users with restricted product can now complete validations securely through the web portal and the Schlage How-To app under the “Support” section.

The free app is available in the App Store or on Google Play. The app stores service manuals, catalogs, and instructions, plus dozens of install and maintenance videos all in one place.

Advantages of validations done electronically:

  • Save time and hassle by eliminating the need to mail in completed forms
  • Allow users to manage who can generate restricted product authorizations
  • Provide the capability for users to review all authorization orders
  • Schlage Mechanical How-To

Yale nexTouch™

Yale nexTouch™ provides small business owners a wireless access management solution with the security of commercial grade locks and the convenience and cost-efficiency of wireless installation.

The Yale nexTouch is an ANSI Grade 1 certified cylindrical lock. The product is designed for standard commercial doors, ideal for employee, delivery or back entrances.

The nexTouch product is a keypad access lock designed to meet most small business applications, both interior and exterior. The lock can be paired with a ZigBee or Z-Wave system for easy integration into new and existing alarm and automation platforms, such as those from, Control4, Honeywell and iControl.

Yale nexTouch offers many benefits for the small business owner, including easy management of employee access rights and attendance, seeing to unattended deliveries, monitoring of business hours, managing remote locations, and increased security.

Features of the lock may vary based on the chosen integration system but typically include accommodation of up to 500 users, real-time notifications, audit trail, scheduling of access rights and remote access.

The nexTouch will be available with a touchscreen or pushbutton keypad for a more tactile experience. The touchscreen version has an illuminated keypad that wakes with a touch.

Features include:

  • Available in capacitive touchscreen or push button models
  • Certified ANSI/BHMA Grade 1
  • Fits standard doors, both interior and exterior
  • Voice assisted programming in 3 languages
  • Weather resistant with gasketed seal
  • Low battery indicator and 9V battery power backup
  • Privacy mode prevents unwanted access from the outside with the touch of a button
  • Seamlessly integrates with automation and alarm systems using ZigBee or Z-Wave technology

More Info:

About the Author

Tim O'Leary

Tim O'Leary is a security consultant, trainer and technician who has also been writing articles on all areas of locksmithing & physical security for many years.