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*Two locksmiths and a ball-peen hammer couldn't get through this thing. So there's that.*
on August 15, 2016
I have never been so incredibly angry at a lock in my life, yet here I am purchasing another. Why? Glad you asked.
Three years ago we purchased our first Schlage keypad deadbolt for our MIL suite door and we loved it so much we bought two more for our other exterior doors. It's amazing how much your life improves when you don't have to worry about carrying/losing keys. We changed the batteries on every New Year's Day as a rule, just to be on the safe side. The override keys were stored in a safe place, or so I thought. I'm sure you can see where this is headed.
Yep! Locked out in the pouring rain with guests arriving in five hours. The battery died after I'd accessed the suite to collect the linens. I'd locked the door behind me, went downstairs to load the washer, and when I returned it was a red blinking light and I was out of luck. But I knew where the key was, so no problem! Except that the key wasn't where it belonged AT ALL and my husband had just boarded an airplane. Did I mention it was pouring rain?
So after a few minutes of panicking and ransacking every drawer in the house, I called a locksmith. I felt instantly calmer when he arrived but alas, he couldn't pick it nor could he couldn't bump it. He tried for 45 minutes in the pouring rain, bless his heart. He called for back up. She couldn't do it, either. They couldn't pick it, they couldn't bump it. They couldn't do anything. Heck, even WITH the key you have to do some Key Gymnastics to engage the bolt and it just wasn't possible to do that with the picks, even with three sets of human hands trying to hold the various bits all at once. She offered to come back and drill the keyhole part but expressed concern that all she'd accomplish would be the destruction of the lock without the benefit of it actually unlocking. She apologized profusely and they left. She gave me the number of "a safecracker" she knew (yeah, I don't know and I didn't ask.) but sadly that call went to voicemail. Maybe he was out busting into banks, who knows.
After half a dozen phone calls to locksmiths all over town I was getting more and more frantic. My husband's plane had landed by this point and no, he had no idea where the key was. He did, however, call a friend with some power tools who was kind enough to rescue me. We decided to start violently (since I was so so angry, now) by trying to beat the damned thing off with a ball-peen hammer. No dice. Why? Because that damned thumbturn just spins and spins and spins. Pretty brilliant design when you think about it. ANYWAY, he finally got in by removing the door trim and sawing through the bolt with a freakin' 6" grinder blade and even THAT took a spell. Then he replaced it with a cheapie Kwikset he had on-hand so my guests could lock their suite. It was an unbelievably stressful day that I do not ever wish to repeat.
That being said: I sure did sleep better knowing how damned hard it would be to break into the house via the doors!
SO here I am, buying a replacement. Was I ticked off the lock didn't seem to give me an adequate enough warning about the battery? Absolutely. But I sure do feel safer knowing what a complete and total pain it was to get through that lock. Our local burglars are just not down for that kind of difficulty. They lack the drive.
I highly recommend this thing BUT make sure you buy top-of-the-line batteries. Don't skimp on those and DON'T misplace the key otherwise you're going to need some heavy artillery.