Thought I’d post and update here on my door handle.
I’ve had it installed now for a couple of weeks and generally I’m very happy with it. There are a few things I’m not thrilled with, but only minor things.
Installation: This went pretty easy. I didn’t have to do any modifying of the door hole at all, just fit perfectly. The instructions are fairly clear. I was stumped for a while on how to get the handle on the outside. There’s a little trick to it with having to put the core in, turn it slightly, push the handle all the way on, turn the core back, then secure the handle with a set screw. It’s a little odd but looking back on it, it’s by design. There’s no way to remove the exterior handle (and there by gain access to the key core) without first unlocking the door with a key.
One thing you should be aware of is that, especially on the inside of the door, the mechanism is pretty big. On my door I have a large window with a plastic “frame” around it. The mechanism overlapped this and I have to cut away a bit of the plastic in order for the cover to fit properly. I don’t think this will be a problem for 99% of people, but do bear it in mind if you have a big window.
After installation setting up the code was easy to do and my kids memorized it in no time at all. Now they and easily get in when they come home from school and we don’t have to worry about getting them a key. Also no worries about them remember to lock the door behind themselves.
Now, one REALLY nice plus with this lock… the core is “programmable.” I’m not exactly sure how it works but you can change the core to fit any key of the type that would fit into this lock. It just so happens that the handle I replaced was a Kwikset as well and so my keys fit in. By using a special tool you can insert the key that comes with the lock, turn it halfway, remove that key, then put in any key of that type, turn it back and now the core responds to that key. Pretty cool!
That’s not to say that I’m in love with every aspect of it. In particular there are three things I’m not thrilled with:
First, the inside is always unlocked. What I mean is that even when the door is locked you can always turn the lever and open the door. Right now my kids are hold enough that this isn’t a problem, but a family with young children who you don’t want wandering outside without your knowledge… then this might be a problem. Additionally if you’re used to checked your door to ensure it’s locked by turning the handle… well you can’t do that anymore either. On the plus side there is a little LED that blinks like every 30 seconds or so. It’s amber when it’s locked, green when it’s unlocked.
Second, I’m not wild about the lever handles. They just don’t feel terribly strong too me. To be fair I have no reason to assume they will break. They certainly haven’t so far, but I just don’t feel overwhelming confident that they will hold up for a long period of time. I fear that years of yanking on them might eventually cause the metal to snap. Perhaps I’m worrying for nothing. We’ll see what happens.
Third, I feel they are slightly misleading with the numbering on their keys. Each button has 2 numbers: 1 and 2 on the first, 3 and 4 on the second, and so on. This gives the illusion of being able to enter a 10 digit number when really it’s just 5. I suppose part of the reason is to be able to use all 10 digits when making a code that works for your family, but it doesn’t mean a fewer permutations for your code. That said, because the code can be 4 to 8 digits long, that still gives 488,125 possible combinations. Still quite a few to say the least. If someone were to try brute force and entered one combination a second it would take he over 5 and half days of straight entering before they went through all possible combinations. I think we’d tend to get suspicious after the third day of him just standing at our door. Certainly by the 4th day we’d be questioning what he was doing.
However, despite those minor problems I’m over all VERY happy with the lock. I think it looks good and it works great as just a stand alone lock with a keypad. The Zwave functions are just going to be icing on the cake when I finally get my hub. I’ll report back here after I get me hub and am able to do some testing with it.
Some of the things I’d love to be able to do when I get it connected:
Program in ‘one use’ codes to let someone in once but then the codes stops working.
Report when five failed codes are entered in a row. Prevent entering of codes for 30 minutes at this point.
Turn off keypad remotely.