Lockitron Community

Bolt non-electronic hardware gripes


#1

I have many things I don’t like about the Bolt, but let’s talk about the actual lock hardware (seems there aren’t many discussions about it).
Some thought was put into the hardware, for sure - e.g. the bolt itself has a hardened insert to prevent/slow down sawing through it (dark circle/cylinder in the middle of the bolt), etc.
One glaring problem, though: the cylinder has a thin cover on the front which can be pried off (it’s just glued in place) and that gives the attacker immediate access to the screws that hold the cylinder in place! It’d be the back of the screws, but they can still be unscrewed from that position

You can see similarly silly design here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LtmmhJiHuA
Is there much point to having a lock if you can defeat it with a screwdriver or two?

Here you can see a bit of glue that held the plate in place and the screw holes visible all the way through the cylinder.

It’s probably even easier/faster to take out Bolt’s cylinder with a handheld drill since I’m pretty sure the front plate is not drilling resistant (assuming you know where to drill the front plate)

Of course, there’s nothing in the design that prevents plain old picking the lock… that takes less than a minute with a lockpicking kit. But of course nobody expected Bolt to be a high security lock (why bother with the other security features, though??)

I’m planning to try using a different cylinder (actual Schlage)… who knows, might work :slight_smile:


#2

Hey @Frykun

A few responses that will hopefully address your concerns in starting with the weaker case:

  1. The cover has detents (the little bent in tabs on the left and right side) that clip it onto the cylinder that make the approach linked in the Schlage video considerably more fussy - especially when combined with the deadring (the metal ‘dog cone’ not pictured that spins freely and prevents one from prying the cylinder off with a large moment arm).

Why? Well the two screws exposed work in harmony to pull it flush against the deadring. This makes it considerly more difficult to get purchase to non-destructively ‘pop it off’ as you are righly concerned about.

The cover on the Schlage lock is designed to come off in the field, and those screws are meant to be mounted on the interior not exterior - the Schlage lock video has their product missinstalled.

But ok, let’s say you do pop off the cover - or drill through it - then what?

  1. Well then you have access to the ‘wrong’ end of the screw that mounts the interior bolt to the exterior lock cylinder. Presumably, you then try use something like a screw-extractor bit to drill into the bottom end of the screw and back it out. But back it out into what exactly? The interior Bolt module is mounted to a plate - if you back these screws out from the outside they won’t have enough tolerance to drop out - they pretty immediately back into the module itself. Perhaps you can get some leverage - but the nature of the deadring prevents you from getting any purchase. If you try force the lock off the door at this point, the deadring spins freely.

The Bolt uses the same concepts as double sided cylinder locks in this sense. You need access from the inside to remove the screws otherwise you’re ‘backing the screws out’ into a solid object.


#3

Hi @pmg,
Thanks for a thorough response!

The detents make it a bit harder, but once the glue is off, I can pull off the cover with my bare fingers - so they don’t seem to add much.
The clearance between the deadring and the cylinder seems pretty big, so it looks possible to insert some tool (screwdriver?) to pry off the cover.

Once you get access to the back of the screws, it’s pretty much game over if you can make them turn: as long as screws can turn in place, the cylinder will slide out - cylinder is the outermost part, keeping the “dog cone” in place. You’d probably have to alternate between turning left and right one since there’s not much space on the module side, as you said.

The “dog cone” makes sense, of course - and I understand how the cylinder keeps it in place – clever :slight_smile:

Also, you’re possibly assuming that the lock is always installed with the included deadring – instead of customer’s own enclosure. This is not necessarily applicable if the customer lives in a condo/townhouse where the external look of the home is controlled by HOAs and such.
For instance, I have a door with preinstalled huge handle and a matching color/shape deadbolt. I can’t use the included deadring – and unfortunately can’t trivially swap out the cylinder (or use the existing cylinder) because it’s Kwikset… but that’s a somewhat different story.


#4

@pmg eagerly awaiting your response


#5

@Frykun you bring up good points. We’ll work to make this area harder.

For Kwikset locks there is a different tailpiece which makes retrofitting to the Bolt interior non-trivial. Yes, it is doable if you would like to have a Kwikset front and a Bolt interior. Details vary, but in general one would want to construct an adapter from brass tubing or alternatively find a compatible Kwikset tailpiece with a flat bar (they do exist!) - perhaps try your local locksmith.