Kwikset 909 SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt Review
- - Electronic locking is effective and very useful.
- - Installation takes less than 20 minutes.
- - Smartkey is great if you have other Kwikset locks.
- - Less expensive than most smart locks.
- - Locking mechanism can be noisy.
- - Interior housing plate is plastic instead of metal.
Moving into the age of the smart home is inevitable at this point. New technology is sprouting up every month, tech that makes things easier around our homes. The Kwikset 909 electronic deadbolt is no exception to that trend. Providing a one-touch button to lock your door as you leave your home, the Kwikset 909 includes a back-lit keypad for entering at night, an interior LED for letting the user know if the door is locked and SmartKey technology that let’s the user re-key the lock without having to call a locksmith.
Other optional features of the Kwikset 909 include a 30-second auto-lock function when the door is left unlocked, an alarm that’s activated if someone enters three incorrect codes consecutively and a chirping function that sounds when buttons are pushed. All of these options can be flipped on or off using a switch panel inside the lock.
Attaching the Kwikset 909 to my front door was very straightforward and not significantly different than a standard deadbolt installation. After removing the existing deadbolt, you simply attach the deadbolt plate within the interior of the door. It comes with two settings for different door sizes, easy to switch between by twisting the deadbolt.
The plates that hold the outdoor lock and indoor electronics are easy to install as well. You basically just slip a wire though the deadbolt hardware and connect it on the opposite side. To power the lock, you will have to install four AA batteries (not included) in the interior hardware. It’s pretty simple to pop the battery holder in and out of the hardware, ideal for switching in the future. Kwikset claims that batteries should last up to a year with standard use.
One item to nitpick about the build quality, the interior shell that covers the battery housing isn’t particularly high quality. Rather than being made of metal like the rest of the lock, the shell is plastic painted to match the finish (which is available in satin nickel, brass and venetian bronze).
Setting the codes is pretty simple, although I would recommend keeping the instructions handy in case you need to add more codes or change the master code. Codes can be between four to eight number combinations and you can program up to eight different access codes in addition to the master code.
I’ve been using the Kwikset 909 for about a month and have yet to find a problem with the electronic lock engaging or disengaging when I’m leaving or entering my home. The one-touch button works perfectly and entering the code to re-enter is just as simple. I’ve never actually used the physical key to open the lock, beyond during the installation process to test the two keys that come in the package.
On the interior of the door, I really like the blinking LED that tells me if the door lock is engaged. It’s really easy to spot the color on the LED from across the room, orange telling me that the lock is engaged and green telling me that the door is currently unlocked. While I did test the auto-locking feature that engages after 30 seconds of being unlocked, I’ve found that I don’t actually like using it. It engaged a couple times when I was holding the door open, a bit annoying for regular use.
If I had to complain about anything, the lock is actually pretty noisy when engaging and disengaging electronically. While it doesn’t make any noise when using the key or flipping the deadbolt handle from the interior, the parts turning on the inside are loud and may be a problem on thinner doors. Granted, the noise only lasts for a second, but it is noticeable.
Should You Buy It?
At a $100 price point, the 909 is definitely priced 2 to 3 times higher than a standard Kwikset deadbolt with Smartkey functionality. However, it’s one of the more affordable smart locks available; half the price of the Kwikset Kevo for example. While it lacks integration with other smart items in your home like a router or a smartphone, it’s pretty handy if you are continually going in and out of your front door every day.
From my perspective, I use the front door at least three times a day, usually for walking the dog to checking my mailbox down the block. Having the ability to leave the house without keys and lock the door is fantastic. This would ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle, perhaps someone that likes to jog or ride a bike around the neighborhood for exercise. Anyone with a big family could also take advantage, since kids are always coming and going through the front door.
If you utilize your front door often or simply want to provide access to visitors without having to hand over a key, investing in a smart lock is a good move. You can’t really go wrong with the Kwikset 909 electronic deadbolt. If you are looking for an even more economical option, look for sales on the Kwikset 264 Series.