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July 24, 2010

Kwikset Smartkey Problems...

8/23/2018 UPDATE: We just updated the video above to a better video from our colleague Terry Whin-Yates.

Came across an interesting blogpost today that has several comments by product users, all complaining about similar problems shortly after installing Kwikset Smartkey locks.

One such comment by a poster....

"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."


"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!"

"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."

"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"
" 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."

Many people seem to think that locksmith services are too expensive. In fact locksmith services are often cheaper than purchasing the DIY products from the big box hardware stores, because locksmiths have taken the time and training to master their product lines. Installation, service, maintenance all taken care of by a true technician with experience in the field.

I understand the perception that DIY is often cheaper, but realistically the locksmith (one of the oldest professions) has deliberately trained to service, advise and protect consumers from the poor advice and suggestions often received at the big box stores from untrained, unknowing part time sales assistants.

I regularly see both Kwikset Smartkey and Schlage Securekey products in the field. Often they are purchased by consumers at the big box hardware stores because most locksmiths refuse to stock them.
I can easily reset the tumblers for clients, often because they have lost the reset tool for the Kwikset or are simply unaware that the process is uncomplicated. The Schlage Securekey is a little more complicated process to re-key, but this is because many customers no longer have access to the blue reset key.

For the better (and often cheaper) products, visit your local locksmith today and find out the why's and how's behind purchasing suitable functional and correct locking systems and products.


  1. I just had a renter locked out of her apartment due to the door NOT being able to be unlocked by any key! There were no other access areas, so I had to remove the door trim and break the door in! So, now I will likely have to replace the door because of the patch job I had to due this winter. Then I see that this is a known issue with these sets!! I will return it and NEVER get another one....good idea, faulty product! Shame on you Kwikset Smartkey manufacturer!!

  2. We got the smart-key a few months back. At the start, we had many problems and the company had come to our house multiple time to "fix it". After they "fixed it", within a week another problem occurred. Mostly, the company told us we had done something wrong when we never touched it. Their employees did everything. Now like most of you, we cannot lock the door. Thankfully, we knew something like this would happen, so we got a back-up chain lock for the time being. Very unsatisfied with their work.

  3. I've installed 11 Kwikset and Baldwin Smartkey level sets and deadbolts in my owner-occupied 2 family. After 3 plus years of use, they continue to work without incident.

    1. In many cases the product is okay and continues to work well, however often a problem can occur when "non-original factory produced keyblanks" are used to duplicate original keys.

  4. As a locksmith my best suggestion to you is to go with the old traditional Kwikset hardware. These locks sometimes fail and it's just when you really want to get inside your home...

  5. I wrote Kwikset about the thing locking when trying to rekey it. They wrote back this IDIOTIC question as a reply: "Why would you not want to re-key correctly?" Like I did it ON PURPOSE!!!

  6. Parents had a Weiser smart key lock installed on my apartment door. Been here for less than 3 years and have had to rekey more than once. Got fed up last night when lock would no longer 1/4 turn and bought a new lock without this stupid technology! These products need to be recalled because clearly there are manufacturer's defects!

  7. I hope you purchased your new product from a locksmith as opposed to a big box hardware store. Supporting small businesses like locksmiths is fundamental to local economies and they generally provide you with a higher quality standard of care.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Hey Kwikset. You just lost another customer.

  10. I have purchased eight Smart-Key locks, and three electronic 909 Smart-Key locks and have had no problems. They are easy to re-key in a matter of seconds, and I have done this many times. Providing you change the batteries about every six months, you should have no problems.

  11. Have used the Smart Key on several doors in two homes without incident. All my duplicate keys were cut at Lowes and I made sure they were not only "passed over" twice to achieve as accurate a cut as possible, but were well brushed clean of any filings. My locks have operated smoothly every time.

  12. I have installed hundreds of Smartkey locks throughout 2 apartment complexes since they first came out. They MUST be re-keyed using an original stamped key and not a copy. Re-keying MUST be done slowly and carefully to insure that it doesn't become a problem later. The cylinder MUST be exactly at 90 degrees in the detent when you re-key it. If these 3 things aren't followed exactly, you may need a Smartkey Reset Cradle to fix the problem at an odd time when you need the lock to work. Occasionally, you will get a dud. These duds usually won't hold a setting at all or they may hold for a couple weeks. These are rare. I've only encountered 3 out of hundreds. They were returned for replacement. I still buy these locks and consider it a time saver with the problem itself being very rare. Usually when these locks randomly mess up, the problem was that it was re-keyed too quickly, slopily, or with a copy.

  13. I tried to rekey , took the key out by mistake ,now neither of the keys work. what can I do?

  14. Contact a locksmith who carries the reset cradle and have it reset.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. I recently bought a Smartkey double cylinder deadbolt. The outside deadbolt only works when a key is in the inside cylinder. Kwikset doesn't have the same lock in stock, so they are sending me some sort of work around replacement whereby I use part of what they are sending me. Their rep said that it will make sense once I get the delivery.

  17. We'd be pleased to know the outcome if you care to share. Your description of your issue is confusing because the tailpieces at the rear of key cylinder are designed to spin free. They are not connected to the core at all. If your issue only occurs after installation to the door, perhaps it is an alignment problem with the two tailpieces, where they are not symmetrical. Rather odd, that your recently purchased product is already discontinued.

  18. I had the similar problem on "re-keying" one of the cylinders of a double cylinder lock, after "re-keying" the lock was frozen or locked out. I called Kwikset and a very nice Customer Service Rep (Karen) walked me through how to resolve this.

    She had me:

    1) lock the lock with the cylinder that was working (could probably do with the inside thumb turn also)

    2) then insert the key that I used to "re-key" the lock in the frozen or locked out cylinder

    3) slowley remove the key one notch at a time while trying to turn the key 90 degrees (I was able to get mine to turn after pulling out to the second key notch)

    4) Once you have it to the 90 degree position

    5) insert the re-key tool

    6) remove the key

    7) re-insert the key and turn a full 180 degrees then back 90 and remove the key

    Kwikset says occasionally you will get a mis-key or bad setting, this was their fix to reset the lock. It worked great. Have to admit I was a doubter that is would from reading the reviews, but Karen walked me through it with success.

  19. Purchased 6 kwikset smart key locks and four out of six have failed. Should of researched the Web first. Locksmith fixed one but second one he couldn't.

  20. I visit your blog regularly and recommend it to all of those who wanted to enhance their knowledge with ease. The style of writing is excellent and also the content is top-notch. Thanks for that shrewdness you provide the readers! video intercom installation NY


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Danny was very professional and friendly at the same time. He not only gave me the quote and fixed the exterior door and explained his work. He was prompt and upfront about the work and did the work. He came in time took care of it on the same day. (Sasheethn K St Louis MO) June 2018d out problems but assured not urgent. Please feel free to have Danny pass out my number for my total experience review 314-351-5553

Charlie M. (St Louis, MO) November 2015

Danny was pleasure to meet and was very knowledgable. He explained several lock replacement options but I decided none of them were a good fit for a storm door, however, I did replace a lock on my entry door with a type of lock I had never seen before. I would highly recommend this company.
Patricia J (Bridgeton, MO) March 2014
They were prompt and showed up when he said he would show up. He knew his stuff. I had ordered new handles and he was honest enough to say that we don't need them that he can fix the doors and he did. Made me lock and unlock my doors to his satisfaction so that I knew what to do. Am very, very pleased with the service and cost.
Joyce K (Glencoe, MO) May 2015

Showed up on time for appointment. Was very knowledgeable about the project and offered a solution beyond what I asked to be done.
Stephen G (Chesterfield, MO) May 2015

Daniel was right on time, assessed the problems I had with two doors, made the repairs, and explained what caused the problems to begin with .... He is a "door expert" and a true professional. I highly recommend him.

Vince V (St. Louis MO) May, 2015

Danny was fabulous! He went over my concerns and he provided me with more than a fair quote. He was there when he said he was going to be there. I would highly recommend Danny. Cheers!
Denise S (Imperial, MO) May 8, 2014

Hired Danny to re-key locks on "new" house purchase. He advised to replace with new deadbolts & door knobs on 3 entry doors instead which I agreed with. All doors have 1 matching key & the safety of excellent quality product & workmanship. He also added new strike plate to door frame to complete project.. I recommend as your 1st & only call to a Locksmith.

Denise F (St. Louis, MO) April 3, 2014

Danny was very helpful in solving a pretty complex problem involving many lock.
Scott C (Eureka, MO) March 27, 2014

Needed patio door track to run smoothly. Arrived early, fixed door and explained what he was doing during repair. Quick and easy. Door works great, my wife will now speak to me, and I've become a better dancer.

Mike W. (Arnold/Oakville MO) July 2013

The owner spent a longtime with me on the phone helping diagnosis the problem. He was on-time, friendly and helped resolve my issue. I will definitely use him again!

Chris C (Lake St Louis, MO) July 2013

I had a very pleasant experience with Master Key Systems. They came out, did the job (which took longer than expected) and they did not change the price they quoted me. Now, I am not certain that it was a great value for the money because I don't have a comparison, but they did what they said, when they said, for the price they said. Enough said!!!

Antonio B (Saint Louis, Missouri) March 2013

Professional.. Upfront about charges. Fixed the sticky door within 20 minutes. I will recommend Master Key for exterior door issues.
Muthu R (Ballwin, MO) July 2012

Danny was a master craftsman, knowledgable and professional. I will be calling on him again in the future as well as passing on his services to friends and family.

Marsha L (Saint Louis, MO) July 2012

Danny was excellent! I called him on a Monday to fix a sliding glass door. He happened to have the exact part we needed (and it was not an easy find - we had looked everywhere) and he came over Tuesday evening. He stayed until 8:00 until the job was done, and cleaned up afterwards. He was courteous, professional, and efficient! I could not be happier!

Rachel P Maryland Heights, MO (July 2012)

He did an excellent job. Got there on time and quickly solved the issue. Was very pleasant and explained the situation and how to keep the door from sticking in the future. Would definitely use Master Key LLC again!

Neil F. (Saint Louis, MO) April 2012

Danny was very friendly and knowledgeable, although his apprentice seemed to do most of the work, Danny kept an eye on him to make sure it was done right. He had very reasonable pricing for re-keying.
Greg D (St Louis, MO) October 2011

He was extrememly fabulous and helpful and did a wonderful job. He was very professional.
Shannon M. (Arnold, MO) October 2011

Growing up spending so much of my time in Italy, the uniqueness of the Nova Classico left quite an impression on me. To be able to have and enjoy them in my own home here in the states is a nostalgic indulgence I'm enjoying beyond words. Thank you Danny for coordinating this transaction.

Joseph M (Chicago, IL) September 2011

great job. hired on the spot and he did job right then at great price

Ron B (Arnold, MO) July 2011

I searched the internet and found your services. I received three phone calls within several days. A service call was scheduled. Two gentlemen arrived promptly, analyzed the problem and fixed it.
James & Florenc M Saint Louis, MO July 2011

The repairman was on time and did an excellent job of fixing a very stubborn door lock. He was persistent and cleaned up the work area afterwards. I would use this service again.

Brenda F (Saint Peters, MO) June 2011

Danny at Master Key Systems has succeeded in making the purchasing of our Meroni door locks, from Italy, an absolute breeze. Even though I live in Australia with a 16hr time difference and was ordering door knobs from Italy that weren't in stock, the whole process was faultless. Danny was prompt and efficient with all his emails and made sure we had covered every possible variable so that the product I received was exactly as required. I would have no hesitation in recommending Danny for your next purchase.
Patrick Carr (Canberra, Australia)

Your product really helped because I needed to secure a nurse's station adjacent to a waiting room and needed a pocket door. Unfortunately, no real options were available to lock a pocket door effectively that would keep me compliant with HIPAA and secure an area that stores medical supplies. This was vitally important as this particular waiting room was for "waiting detox patients". Thank you very much.
Randall R The Fritz Clinic (Birmingham, Al) March 2011

Danny was very polite and knew what the problem was and how to fix it. He also gave me some information about other issues that could arise with my door and locks. Will hire again if I ever need that type of work done.
Jason M Imperial, MO March 2011

I had an exterior basement door that dragged when opening and closing. The hinges were not fitting properly and the door frame had shifted, probably due to the age of the house.The screwswould not go far enough into the wall without hitting stone...even using a special drill bit. Dan worked a long time drilling and sanding to shore up the door as best as possible. I know it will never be perfect. He could have easily sold me a new door and the same issue would happen. He was honest, thorough, and did an excellent job without charging me a fortune. I'm satisfied with the door now. If you want an honest, experienced man, Then Dan is the man

Roger M Saint Louis, MO March 2011

I purchased the Cowdroy P697 Pocket door lock with key over the internet. I emailed questions before my purchase and was provided with the answers quickly by return email. The purchase was quick and easy and the lock was shipped immediatly. Installation is quick and easy. But you do need to convert millimeters to inches (use the internet) in the installation instructions. And the lock looks great and works great. I will do business with them again. THANK YOU

Ed D (February, 2011)

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