People often wonder why locksmiths try to steer customers away from buying stock locks from big brand hardware stores like HomeDepot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware. It’s not just because they want your business. If you’re on a budget and you just want three knobs and a deadbolt – go for it. Will they work, yes. Will they all be on the same key, probably. Will you have issues? Maybe.
Here’s the deal. Cheap and high quality are mutually exclusive. If $10 locks worked just as well as $40 ones they wouldn’t be able to sell them.
Here are some issues you may encounter:
1) You may be able to buy a multi-pack all keyed alike. If not, you may need the sales people at the hardware store to rekey the locks. Not every store offers this service and some only re-key certain locks. If a spring goes missing do they have a replacement or do they make your 5 pin lock a 4 pin lock? Some stores will only rekey locks they sell so if you want to replace one lock you’d have to replace all of them.
2) They’re kind of junky. Think of it like car sales. Can you buy a used car that works off of Craigslist for $2,000? Yes. Will it work fine? Hopefully. Will it have issues? Most likely. Craigslist is not a direct competitor to a car dealership or even a used car lot. It’s completely different even though they sell the same products.
3) You can encounter issues. Are the bores, mortises, and strikes all aligned correctly? What if you need to chisel out and change hardware? Locksmiths can quickly, easily, and professionally do this work when installing locks. These locks are notorious for breaking, not locking, and having other mechanical issues.
Bottom line is if you want to buy these locks, go for it, but at least know what you’re getting. A little more money upfront can save a lot of time, hassle, and in the long run even more money. Also, you know you’re getting better locks right from the start – and that’s a guarantee.