Kwikset Smartkey – External Decoding

Kwikset Smartkey Decoding

Kwikset Smartkey is a great lock for security in many ways. The Smartkey is extremely difficult to pick and extremely bump resistant. As a company, we have had little amounts of success picking these locks in the field. As a matter of fact, we have only successfully picked five field Smartkeys. We have also tried bumping (a popular attack on pin tumble locks). We have never opened a Smartkey with bump keys. We have opened hundreds of these locks though without damage though. The process? Decoding the lock from the outside.

Smartkey Decoder

The tool shown here is used to decode the lock from the outside. The decoder tool is inserted into the lock. When looking through the tool, you can see different portions of the wafer. Depending on what you see, determine the cute depth of the key.

How it works

Smartkey locks have five spacing's and six depths. When looking at the wafer, the cut number (1-6) is determined by what you are seeing. After memorizing what each cut looks like, you can decode all five wafers to the cut numbers. This process takes less than 30 seconds with some practice. After that a key can simply be cut for the lock.

There are two significant challenges to this attack. First, you must learn how to use the tool. The tool takes some getting used to. You will not be able to just do it. It takes times to learn what each cut looks like. Second, you must be able to code cut the key after decoding. A code cutter is not required. Theoretically, this can be done with a caliper and file; however, this approach is difficult.

Bottom Line

The Kwikset Smartkey has made some forms of entry difficult. Picking and bumping these locks comes with a significantly low success rate compared to other market locks. The new design has also caused new security issues. The lock can decoded from the outside without causing any damage. Decoding and cutting a key is the most professional way a locksmith can defeat these locks.