Schlage vs Weiser vs Kwikset vs Yale – Comparison review
Smart Home technology is fast evolving. Today, you can open and close your door remotely using a Smart lock.
For starters, Smart locks are deadbolts with an integrated Wi-Fi function to allow homeowners control the door remotely.
But the most important thing is to make sure you are buying the best Smart locks lest you don’t get value for your money. One thing I want you to note is that Smart locks are just ordinary deadbolts with no security advantage over traditional deadbolts. What they offer is great convenience when it comes to control.
Today, we are going to look at four household names when it comes to Smart locks. These are the big brands that should be on your wish list if you want the best Smart locks.
Without wasting much time, here is a Schlage vs. Weiser vs. Baldwin vs. Yale comparison review. If you are not sure what the best brand is for you, this is an article you want to read to the end.
Before we go deep into the details of how they compare, a short overview of the brands will do us good.
SCHLAGE – The Largest Manufacturers of Smart locks
Schlage is an American door lock brand and a subsidiary of Allegion that has been in business since 1920. Founded by Walter Schlage, today it is among the largest manufacturers of Smart locks.
Though it started as a simple deadbolts manufacturing company, today it boasts a broad product line.
Some of their products include deadbolts, levers, knobs, handlesets, Smart locks and so on.
These locks are offered in different styles so you will never miss your match.
Though it is one of the most expensive Smart locks brands, you can’t ignore the flawless design and top-notch security that you rarely find in your regular Smart locks.
WEISER A Top Competitor of Schlage
This is a top competitor of Schlage and is actually older than the former. Established in 1904, Weiser also offers some of the best door security solutions.
Just like Schlage, Weiser manufactures deadbolts, levers, handle sets, knobs, Smart locks and so on.
They are available in very many styles also to suit the different customer needs.
Some of the popular Smart locks and electronic locks include Kevo Touch, Premis Apple Homekit Smart lock, Smartcode10, Kevo Convert, Obsidian, among others.
Weiser has been on the forefront in Smart lock innovation, as well.
KWIKSET – Value for Money
This company was established much later in 1946 that is almost 50 years after Weiser started the business. But then, don’t mistake it for your regular Smart locks brand.
Baldwin, now known as Kwikset manufactures high quality residential and commercial door lock solutions.
From the traditional deadbolts to high-end Smart and electronic door locks.
At least here, the prices are not as high as Schlage and Weiser. But you still get the best quality and value for money in their locks.
Among their bestselling locks include; Baldwin Prestige Nautica, Baldwin Prestige Alcott, Baldwin Reserve, among others.
YALE Is The Real Deal
This is a common household name in many American homes, and the main reason is that of its age. It was established in 1868 and having been in business for more than 150 years, you understand that this is the real deal.
Yale has majored in domestic and commercial security manufacturing security solutions like door locks, Smart door locks, anti-burglar systems, window locks, and so on.
Yale has also taken center stage in Smart locks production.
Some of their bestselling bolts include Yale Assure Lock SL, Yale Real Living, Yale Security, and so on.
Regarding pricing, this is a high-end model so expect it to drain your wallet a little bit, but for a good reason.
SCHLAGE vs. KWIKSET vs. YALE
Having looked at the overview of these four brands, it is time we start comparing them to see what Smart lock suits which homeowner. Here, you will agree with me that there is quite a lot to talk about; from installation to whatever the Smart lock offers.
Perhaps the best approach to this is by looking at some of the important aspects that determine what a good Smart lock is. Here, we are looking at issues like the design, features, connectivity, price, and so on.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to business.
DESIGN, AESTHETICS, AND INSTALLATION
The first major test deadbolt and door lock manufacturers have is regarding the design, aesthetics, and installation. A Smart lock should be strong enough to prevent any break-ins, and most importantly, good looking to blend with the interior of your house.
If you look at the market, you realize that most top brands have excelled as far as the design of their locks is concerned. They come in different styles and shapes. For example, a brand like Schlage offers deadbolts for instance, as well as door locks with handles and others without handles. Others come with contemporary handles while others will have knobs.
What I will tell you here is that it depends on your needs. But one thing is for sure you will get something that goes with your door as well as interior.
Perhaps the most critical aspect is the installation of the Smart lock. Depending on your door type, as well as the Smart deadbolt you are installing, the complexity of installation varies from one model to the other.
One of the easiest to install Smart lock is August Pro Gen 3. In its installation, the only thing you are changing is the deadbolt lever, and you keep the lock setup. However, for something like Kwikset Kevo 2 or Nest x Yale, you should remove the regular deadbolt you were using, drill a bigger hole and install the latches and other components afresh.
You also have to look at where the deadbolt can be installed. This is with regards to whether it is waterproof or not. Different deadbolts have different capabilities. If you look at something like Kwikset Kevo, it has been built as a waterproof deadbolt perfect for use inside and outside. Schlage and Yale normally have specified working conditions. For example, Schlage Sense and Yale will operate in environments between -35 – 66° C and -30 – 60° C respectively. On the other hand, Kevo Kwikset is waterproof so you can use it inside and outside as well.
Candidly speaking, there is no such thing as the best Smart lock brand with easy installation. It is all about the type of Smart lock you are talking about. But then, there are a lot of resources online, in the form of videos and articles to help you out. That is the advantage of these top brands.
The most important thing when talking about Smart locks is how the entry is authenticated. You will find several authentication methods in all the four brands we have talked about. So, what are some of the popular authentication methods?
This authentication method is very common and not only in Smart locks. When out shopping for your next Smart lock, the most important thing to ask yourself is whether you will go for a keypad or touchscreen to enter the PIN. I like keypads because they are easy and straightforward to use.
On the other hand, touchscreens are modern but may leave your fingerprint on the panel. Fortunately, Yale and Schlage have anti-smudge touchscreens so at no time will you leave visible fingerprints.
Key back up
In as much as you love the Smart experience, a key back up will come in handy though rarely. Maybe you don’t have Wi-Fi or your Smartphone, or the batteries are dead, a key back up will help you out. Fortunately, most of the Smart locks will come with a key back up.
This is a pretty new technology, but it is what every homeowner desires. As the name suggests, the door is opened or closed using a fingerprint. It works just the same way biometric systems work, but the problem is that they are bound to fail and are often faced with bugs.
This is a small device that looks like a key holder for opening and closing the door. This is a rare technology, and Kwikset Kevo is among the Smart deadbolts that are compatible with a fob.
A lot of Smart deadbolts offer this type of authentication. Here, the connectivity of the Smart lock is very important. The common connectivity media is Bluetooth. Most of the brands equip their Smart locks with Bluetooth. NFC technology is also being adopted whereas high-end models have Wi-Fi to connect with your Smartphone remotely or to work with Smart hubs.
As you can see, there are quite some methods through which you can open and close your door. But then, not every authentication method is present in all Smart locks. But a good buying rule is to go for a Smart lock that offers more authentication methods.
Schlage Sense is one of the top choices here as it can be opened using a key, Smartphone or keypad. The good thing is that the keypad allows up to 30 codes making it perfect for small offices and residential homes. But if it about PIN storage, Yale YRD220 carries the day as it can store up to 250 PIN codes but then, it doesn’t support keypad operation, only touchscreen keying and a key.
The connectivity of your Smart deadbolt is a very crucial as it dictates the type of device the lock will work with. There are several ways through which Smart locks connect.
Wireless connectivity – This is by far the best feature Smart locks offer. There are a couple of Wireless connectivity options offered by Smart locks. We have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Smart Hub.
The first feature you want to look at here is Bluetooth and is available in all the Smart locks in our discussion. I really like this feature because it is free compared to the home internet. My only problem is that it requires your Bluetooth connection to be on always for it to work. Another thing, it is coupled with bugs and background interference.
August and Kevo are examples of Smart locks that connect using Bluetooth. On the other hand, Schlage and Yale don’t have Bluetooth.
Wi-Fi is quite reliable and opens a lot of possibilities. But do all Smart locks come with Wi-Fi compatibility?
The answer is no, and in fact, there is no Smart lock with inbuilt Wi-Fi. What happens is that you buy a Wi-Fi bridge and voila, your August and Kwikset Smart lock will be Wi-Fi ready. Kevo requires a Wi-Fi bridge called Kevo Plus (bought separately) whereas August uses Connect (also bought separately.) Please note that Schlage and Yale lack this feature.
However, you can use Schlage Sense with your Apple TV while models like Yale Conexis L1 Smart Lock are compatible with Yale Smart Lock Z-Wave Module bought separately.
The good thing about Smart locks is that regardless of the brand, they work with home automation systems. Here, we are talking about integrations like IFTTT, Wink, SmartThings, Apple Homekit, and so on.
August is the best Smart lock when it comes to home automation as it works with all the available systems. It is compatible with IFTTT, Alexa, Apple Homekit, Nest, Wink, and SmartThings. This is the same case for Schlage Sense except for Homekit and Nest. Kwikset will also work with all the integrations save for Apple Homekit while Yale will only work with Alexa, Wink, and SmartThings.
Android vs. iOS
You will agree with me that Android is the most popular Smartphone OS. But then, most of the American population is on IOS. On the other hand, different Smart locks have been designed to work with different OS.
So, what do these Smart lock brands offer? All the Smart locks discussed here are compatible with both Android and IOS including the Schlage Sense that previously lacked Android support.
This is the most important consideration when choosing your Smart lock. As I said earlier, a Smart lock doesn’t o offer any extras as far as security is concerned. That said you need to focus on the important factors considered when buying regular deadbolts.
So, what are some of the security features that you should look at when buying Schlage, Baldwin, Weiser and Yale Smart locks?
With regular keys, you may forget to close the door, but Smart locks have auto-lock feature that closes your door in case you forget. This is a common feature in many brands though the closing mechanism may vary.
For example, Kevo Kwikset will lock the door after 3 seconds. This is the same for the other Smart locks, but something like August Pro Gen 3 carries the day as it also comes with an auto-unlock function.
If you did your homework, you understand that deadbolts have a standard security rating, popularly known as ANSI rating. There are three ANSI rating grades; from Grade 1 to Grade 3 with the former being the best in the market.
One of the disadvantages of August Gen 3 is that it lacks a security rating so one would want to think of it as ANSI Grade 3 or something. On the other hand, Schlage Connect and Sense, as well as Kwikset Kevo, have Grade 1 deadbolts, and Yale has a Grade 2 deadbolt.
A Smart lock with an alarm system is what every homeowner should look for. At least it will notify the homeowner in the event of a break-in; whether just tampering the door lock or forced entry.
But then, not all the Smart locks come with this feature. Only Schlage and Yale have incorporated an alarm system in their Smart locks. For the record, these two brands have two types of alarms. The first one goes off when there is tampering on the door and the second is in the event of forced entry. Kevo Kwikset and August lack this necessary feature so you’d want to question the high price tags.
What’s the Best Smart Lock Brand?
Now, we have come to the most important part of this Smart locks comparison review. We want to find out what’s the best brands as far as Smart locks are concerned.
You will agree with me that Smart locks are available in different styles and models. That said, it is quite hard to pinpoint a winner because the competition ground is quite uneven now that different Smart locks are designed for different needs.
One thing you will realize that the top Smart lock brands are all subsidiaries of two or three companies. For example, Baldwin and Weiser are all owned by one company. The parts are also used interchangeably.
For me, the most important thing is to get a Smart lock that best fits your needs. This is regarding the door type, as well as automation. Just in case you are stuck, here are several recommendations to help you out. We are going to look at four popular Smart locks and their best application.
This ANSI Grade 2 Smart lock offers straightforward installation though you will be required to remove the existing deadbolt. It doesn’t use the existing one like August Pro would do.
Regarding authentication methods, you can open Kwikset Kevo using a tap, the Smartphone App or mechanical key. Your guests will also be covered by a downloadable App.
Unfortunately, the Smartphone operation is not reliable, and in extreme weather, it is bound to fail.
Another thing, What I like most about Kwikset Kevo is the traditional deadbolt design. One can hardly differentiate Kwikset Smart lock with the regular deadbolt lock save for the blue LED around it.
If you are looking for a cheap Smart lock, Kwikset Kevo is a great option.
Why Kwikset Kevo – It is very affordable and easy to use.
If you want uncompromised security, then Schlage Connect is your perfect match.
This is an ANSI Grade 1 Smart deadbolt with three authentication methods. You can open the lock with your Smartphone, key in the PIN on the touchscreen or use a mechanical key provided.
But for the price, I find the 30 max access coded very few for such an expensive Smart lock. This is bearing in mind something like Yale YRD220 can store up to 250 access codes. In the event of a break-in, the alarm goes off thus alerting the homeowner.
When it comes to home automation, Schlage Connect works with Z-Wave protocols so you can be sure that it will work with almost all home automation systems; from SmartThings to Wink.
Remember, there is also the Schlage Connected Keypad, and as the name suggests, it comes with a keypad as opposed to a touchscreen.
Why Schlage Connect – This Smart lock comes with an ANSI Grade 1 deadbolt making it the most secure.
This is another great Smart lock that boasts almost the same features as the popular Schlage Connect.
It also uses Z-Wave protocol making it compatible with many home automation devices including Vera, SmartThings, Wink, Iris, and so on. There is also a version that is compatible with ZigBee protocol.
When it comes to authentication, there are three methods; PIN via the touchscreen or mechanical key.
One of the strengths of Yale is the 250 access codes it supports. This makes it best for small organizations and offices though it comes with an ANSI Grade 2 deadbolt.
Unfortunately, it lacks Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so Smartphone operation is not supported.
Also worth noting is the easy and hassle-free installation courtesy of the unique voice set up in 3 languages.
Why Yale YRD220 – It features up to 250 access codes making it the best for organizations.
Regular deadbolts are so 20th century, and that’s why you should consider getting yourself a Smart lock. Even though they don’t have any extra security features from the traditional deadbolts, Smart locks offer so much convenience.
If you are the type that forgets locking the door because you are in a hurry, a Smart lock is a great investment. This is just among the many benefits. Smart locks offer.
However, the most important thing is to get the best Smart lock. Assess your needs, and budget and buy any of the above Smart locks and let your security be in your hands wherever you go!