01 of 05
Best Home Keyless Entry System for Each Category
Thank the technology gods for home keyless entry systems. What began as pure novelty has become necessity for so many homeowners, as these systems deliver the promise of freedom from carrying keys around with you.
What Is It?
A keyless entry system is either a door lock with turning device (such as a lever or knob) or deadbolt (no handle) with an attached electronic keypad.
This keypad can be programmed to your own specified combination. When the correct combination is entered, the lock or bolt... will release. Keys are not required, but many do include a keyed entry as an alternate. Increasingly, manufacturers are doing away with the keys.
- Freedom from Keys: Puttering around the yard means you can get inside whenever you want. Having no house key in your purse or pocket means one less thing to carry around.
- Safety: Friends can access your house to water a plant or check on the utilities when you are on vacation. Most keyless systems have guest codes, so that you will not be giving away your master code.
Continue to 2 of 5 below.
- Expensive: While the price gap between keyed and keyless entry systems has narrowed recently, keyless is still about three times more expensive than conventional systems.
- Protruding: This can be a problem, both from the ugliness standpoint and from the storm/screen door standpoint. Many keyless entry systems stick out so far that they will interfere with your storm or screen door closing shut. You either need to find a system with a low profile or build out your door's brick mold to provide extra space.
- Battery Changes: Keyless entry systems all rely on batteries. Owning a keyless system means having a lot of batteries on hand.
02 of 05
Best Keyless Entry for Modern Looks: Kwikset SmartCode 909
- Briefly: Mid-range cost, reliable keyless entry dead bolt.
- Loved: Its flat, unobtrusive, contemporary looks.
- Not Loved: House-side battery change door that requires an Allen wrench every time you want to open it.
The Kwikset SmartCode is a truly low-profile, humble, unobtrusive, yet handsome keyless deadbolt.
Kwikset SmartCode 909 is the only one to sink the face of the system almost all of the way down to door level. Instead of peppering the face of the... system with ten (or more) buttons, Kwikset forces each button to do double-duty, which reduces visual noise.
SmartCode 909 is a reliable keyless deadbolt that, due to its protruding buttons, should be kept in an exposed location.
You may not love the plastic battery change door that requires an Allen wrench to open.
The Baldwin 8285.AC1 Soho Keyless Entry Single Cylinder Electronic Deadbolt runs a close second in terms of smooth looks. Its projection (distance system protrudes from door) is around the same as the Kwikset.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Best Keyless Entry for Low Maintenance: Schlage Camelot
- Briefly: A simple, no-nonsense keypad entry system that will give you years of trouble-free operation.
- Loved: Weather resistance and a battery that will last forever.
- Not Loved: Upper section protrudes so far, the entire system looks ungainly and imbalanced.
The Schlage Camelot has been around for many years and has gone under different names, but it is still the same simple yet effective keyless system.
Since this is not a deadbolt, opening operations require... less electrical power. As such, the batteries will last a long time--even years, depending on how often it is opened.
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
04 of 05
Best Keyless Entry For Techno Geeks: Schlage Century
- Briefly: An Internet-equipped keyless entry system.
- Loved: A door alarm built into the entry system.
- Not Loved: Monthly charges for the Nexia network.
Schlage Century's exterior-side keypad is small, flat, and unobtrusive. Touch it once and the numbers appear. When you are finished, the numbers go away. This gives the deadbolt a smooth appearance, no buttons to mar the sleek lines.
And that is where the Century's simplicity ends. If fact, if you are... looking at keyless entry systems because you want a less complicated life, avoid the Century.
Century ties into the Nexia Home Intelligence network, allowing you to open/close your lock anywhere in the world via your smartphone and to see when it was last accessed. Price is $8.99 per month and up. The Nexia network is more than just keyless entry systems. It includes the entire "Internet of Things": appliances, thermostats, cameras, etc.
All of this is facilitated by ZWave Home Connect, which ties into your existing security or home automation system.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Best Keyless Entry for Weather Resistance: KwikSet SmartCode 915
- Briefly: Flatscreen keyless entry that is virtually impervious to weather.
- Loved: Large, crisp white numbers.
- Not Loved: SecureScreen "phantom floating" numbers as a default.
The SmartCode 915 is alternately comforting and frustrating. The comfort part comes from the 915's flat and featureless face that it presents to the world. Nothing will affect this keyless lock. Snow, rain, sleet, debris--all slide right off of this lock, making it ideal for... unprotected areas.
The frustrating part is that it may take you awhile to open. The SecureScreen feature presents you with two random numbers that must be cleared before you can start keying in the actual code. While this can be changed, KwikSet makes this the default option.