Keyless Locks – Electronic vs. Mechanical

Keyless locks are great and are actually getting to be more common on residential places. It’s probably because they are so handy and you don’t have to worry about keys! Going keyless can make it really easy for your kids to get into the house when they come home from school or other activities. You don’t have to worry about them being responsible for a key. These are also handy tools for if you are known to lock yourself out of your own house (we’ve all been there, don’t worry) and forgot to hide a spare key somewhere outside. You’ll just have to remember a simple code and your in!

 

What’s the Difference Between Electronic and Mechanical?

 

The easiest explanation of each type is that Electronic locks are battery operated and often have a light up keypad, where as Mechanical locks do not require batteries or power of any kind.

 

What are the Pros and Cons?

 

Now, I don’t have either of these fine gadgets on my own home, but I was able to stay in a few condos over the summer (my husband travels a lot for work, and I get to go with him sometimes) and I was able to try out both the electronic deadbolt and mechanical deadbolt depending on the condo we stayed in. So I can tell you what I liked and disliked about each. I found them both way way a million times better than using a plain old school key and that’s the biggest pro of all. But digging a bit deeper…

Our first experience was that of the the Electronic style. It was a dream. So easy to use. We got there really late at night, so it was dark and the keypad lit right up so we could easily punch in the code and entered the lovely condo. It also had a way nice lock button, so when you shut your door to leave, all you had to do was simply push the button and it locked like magic. Again, no silly key! I know that some electronic locks can lock automatically after you shut the door, but this one you had to hit the button to lock, or it stayed unlocked. Now I can’t remember for sure, but it looked an awful lot like this Kwikset electronic deadbolt. The only con I can come up with for this one was that by the end of our one of many trips to this place, the lock was starting to sound really funny. Kinda like it was dying. When we came back on our next visit I got to chatting with the owner of that particular condo and she told me that a guest was locked out because the batteries had died. I don’t know about you, but that’s sorta a scary nightmare! I guess it would be a good idea to hide a spare key (because the keyless deadbolts still have an option for key access) outside in case this happens.

On another one of our visits we were able to use the mechanical style lock similar to this style from Lockey. Again we got there really late at night and it was dark dark dark. Mechanical locks don’t use any kind of power or battery remember? So there was no light up keypad to easily enter the code. We had to use our phones as a flashlight to enter in the dark. No big deal, but the light up keypad is a really nice feature to have. This lock worked really smooth. And how cool is it that it doesn’t use any batteries or power? You will never have to worry about the battery dying on you, which is a huge pro! One thing we really disliked when entering the condo was after you enter the code you have to twist the knob on the deadbolt and hold it and use your other hand to turn your handle (or in this case it was a thumb lever like you would see on a handleset) to get inside. If you don’t hold the knob on the deadbolt before you let go and try to turn your handle it will automatically lock again, then you will have to re-enter the code and try again. A little frustrating. I’m not sure if all the mechanical locks are this way or not, so keep that in mind.

 

Electronic Pros:

  • Easy to use and easily installed.
  • Provide multiple codes of your choice and can be added or deleted whenever you wish.
  • Keypad lights up by touch to make it easy to enter your codes in the dark
  • Come in many many finishes and designs

Electronic Cons:

  • Batteries may die on you

 

Mechanical Pros:

  • Smooth working
  • Easy to use and easy to install
  • Easy to change codes and change as often as needed
  • No batteries
  • Mechanical Reliability
  • Heavy duty

Mechanical Cons:

  • No light up keypad