Hey folks, so I had a request to write up a guide to choosing a lock, so I'll do that in this update, but first, a production update.
So, I mentioned last week that we changed out the pick handle metal for a less expensive steel, while maintaining the high quality steel for the pick blades. When I saw the initial quote & got terms and such for the contract, I realized that my intermediary to the shop had quoted for too many pieces, I needed to reduce the total ordered by 500 pieces. My intermediary assured me that the price would not change as a result of that. Today (about 4 hours ago) I got a message saying that they are considering the reduced # of pieces as offsetting the change of handle metal. Which puts me about 25 cents per pick above where I need to be. This back and forth period is mind numbing to me, but my intermediary is pretty sure he can get them down to where I expected we would end up. I should have final numbers on Monday, or at least a directive from them. If I have to produce a higher number to get the correct pricing, I can do that & potentially sell the excess at conferences, etc. I just have to make sure I'm producing a number that I can actually afford to produce.
But, in good news, these negotiations are all about the full production run and we're very close to everyone being on terms they are happy with. In the meanwhile, they are able to keep moving on my smaller test batch that we are using to both test the final designs & test the heat treating process the picks will go through. So, despite these pricing discussions the test batch is able to keep moving, which is definitely a bright spot.
I know I've rarely talked quite so specifically about this process before, and I'm sorry about that. The big update a couple weeks ago definitely opened my eyes to letting you all know exactly what's up with the production of the tools, good/bad/ugly whatever.
How to select a lock!
So, the big consideration here is your unique security profile. I'm going to talk through my personal thought process about a few different options.
A typical suburban house with glass windows, maybe even glass panes in the doors and plenty of open space around it for someone to be creepin? I go for price, convenience and reliability.
For Americans, in this case I would recommend something like the Kwikset Smartkey. It's the least expensive brand name lock you can buy at Home Depot, but it is both bump proof and instantly rekeyable. However, if you aren't careful and specific when you rekey the lock, you can potentially break it. However, they are cheap enough that you can just buy a spare.
I would actually recommend specifically against the competing Schlage Securekey because the lack of serrations on their sidebar wafers makes them susceptible to bumping: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qwlMYUy5oE&feature=channel_video_title which is a pretty bad corner to cut with very negative consequences.
These locks are cheap, clever and offer a higher level of security than the typical suburban residential market has seen before. That said? Problems can arise in the rekey process that make these locks potentially unreliable.
Apartment in a city
Masterkeying always makes me uncomfortable. For a number of reasons. But basically - if you can get yourself off of your buildings masterkey system (with permission from your landlord) go for it! Also, the nice thing about cities is you can take your security a little more seriously. Especially if you have bars on your first floor windows (mandatory in many places) or are on a higher story. Suddenly your door becomes the primary means of access and can be taken much more seriously.
In this case I would go with a higher security solution. I'd base this on what is available locally from a locksmith you trust. Go into their shops (make sure they have a brick and mortar shop!) and see what they are like. Even if you are comfortable and confident installing a high security lock yourself, you don't want to be tied to a public keyway. What this means is that most locksmiths with have a proprietary keyway or two for the brand of high security lock they sell. This makes it very difficult for random people to gain access to a key that they could use to attack your lock. So, working with a locksmith for a high security lock is definitely a plus.
In general, in the US, you can find Medeco & Mul-T-Lock dealers. Both are very solid options for an individual apartment door. Also worth looking into are Abloy locks, if you have a local distributor. Abloy would be my top choice if its available as they make some of the best, highest security locks in the world.
Generally, try to get off the master system of your apartment, and look toward moving to a high security lock. Get a locksmith you like and/or trust so that you can use a restricted keyway and make sure they do emergency service just in case something goes horrible wrong with your lock or key in the middle of the night in some blizzard or something.
Get a comprehensive masterkey system with a high security lock manufacturer. Go big, get Abloy, or maybe the Abus Integral system, which can be masterkeyed on the sidebar which means it isn't susceptible to regional sidebar attacks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krGqFbrIAL8
Even if you don't have a particularly local locksmith that can service the highest security options, it could be well worth your while to go with those manufacturers anyway, purchase additional hardware and have a member of your staff competent to work with those locks.
Get a keyway from the manufacturer for your specific facility. You can get your own proprietary keyway that will only ever be used for your company.
Those are the three sectors I think about and some of how I think about them. What is most important, though, is that you take a realistic view of the security of your home/apartment/facility. Where does the lock fit in? What is your door made out of? Is there a pane of glass right next to it? What is your security budget? And so on. A good friend of mine decided to put Abloy Protecs (Amazing locks!) on all of the doors on his house, despite there being plenty of other vulnerabilities. He did it not because he is paranoid about security, but because he likes cool, ridiculous locks. That's a perfectly valid reason, too. :)