We all see it – it always seems like a new particular company in every industry wind up in the headlines over and over again – for all the wrong reasons. These brands are often the ones we live with every day, and continue to; despite some of the questionable practices we poke fun at from time to time. Often, it’s because we hold these companies in such high regard that when they fall, we laugh loudly. The names below are probably the ones you’ve seen consciously and subconsciously your whole life.

1. Kwikset

Kwikset

Kwikset is the classic lock of the everyday home. Kwikset locks aren’t expensive, and you can probably find them wherever locks are sold.  Kwikset locks are great for professionals because they are simple to unlock in the case of a lockout. Kwikset locks are elementary to pick and even beginners and first-timers can get through them. Hey, there always needs to be an industry standard. To give Kwikset credit, they do sell locks capable of better security – for higher prices. However, even Kwikset’s most challenging lock – using the company’s SmartKey cylinder – revealed simple loopholes of access that entertained consumers and tickled their funny bone.

Security experts really give it to Kwikset regarding their attempts to cut costs. Kwikset locks often feel much lighter than they should – that’s because there is less metal in the lock. In fact, Kwikset has even used plastic pieces in their locks! Needless to say, the functional use of these locks doesn’t go far beyond teaching fifth graders the importance of security or as a cheap addition to a standard lock picking kit.

2. Sentry Safe

Sentry Safe

Sentry Safe plays the role of the safe that is affordable and accessible to the average consumer. Of course, these safes aren’t the best available on the market. A criminal trying to get into a Sentry Safe need only buy a large rare earth magnet – available online. Apparently, this magnet can be used to open any safe using a digital combination lock. Although not good news for Sentry Safe, at least you know a method you can use if you ever get locked out of yours.

The sort of security issues Sentry Safe deals with are often a result of faulty construction at the most basic level. Many of these safes have locks outside of the safe, but no secondary locks in the inside. All a burglar needs to do is smash off the outer locks and they’re in! Some models of Sentry Safe have reset buttons that can be easily accessed, meaning that a burglar can easily reprogram the electronic lock without the proper pass code. That’s not all! Sentry Safes often come with a key override that can be easily picked and bypassed. At this point, even the consumer would make fun of their own safety!

Open Sentry Safe in less than 5 seconds!

3. Defiant

Defiant

Defiant locks are only available at Home Depot. They have good prices, and you can even get some of their locks for under $10. Well, you get what you pay for. One surprising part is that Defiant promises a lifetime warranty. Sounds good, right? Well, it gets a little iffy from there. Defiant’s use of esoteric babble in their warranty doesn’t do much for consumer interpretation. Still, one can get some insight by looking into a few choice passages. One in fact, that claims Defiant’s locks need not even perform as promised!

If you look closely at Defiant’s warranty info, you’ll see the word ‘limited’ stashed in between the grand phrase, “Lifetime Warranty” Defiant gets a lot of heat from this, but that’s not the end of Defiant’s questionable production choices. The core of a Defiant lock is just a copy of Kwikset’s standard lock, and we already know the dirt on those. Overall, there are many ways that the security of a Defiant lock can be compromised. Even an amateur thief could break into a defiant lock if he’s bold enough to use a more violent method. Still, a bump key or drill would do the job just fine.

DEFIANT Deadbolt Exterior DOOR LOCK Picked Open In”Less 1 Min” Using BOBBY PINS

4. Master Lock

Master Lock

Are you surprised? Almost everyone is aware of the existence of Master Lock. They’re the go-to portable padlock that can be seen everywhere; schools, bikes – pretty much anything that has a hole to latch one onto. In reality though, Master Locks are junk when it comes to true security protection. The way that regular consumers use Master Locks is a huge joke in the security industry. You won’t find any professional institution making use of Master Locks.

So what exactly is so bad about Master Locks? If only it was just one thing. Master locks can very easily be shimmied. Shimmies are super inexpensive, and you can even make one of your own out of a soda can. There are many tutorials of shimmying locks on YouTube, but you’d hardly need one. Armed with his trust shimmy, even a child could open every Master Lock in the room. It’s easy to prevent a lock from being shimmy-able, but many of Master Locks’ basic models can still be opened in this way. You can open Master Lock’s four wheel combination locks with a feeler gauge, and their bike locks can be broken into with a pen. Beware, schoolkids! You can even open some Master Locks by simply hitting them with a hammer! Granted, these locks are good for training beginners, but other than that, you’re best not using them to protect anything valuable.

Padlocks are the quintessential portable lock. The best padlocks have a few different qualifications. Some important things are pick resistance, forced entry resistance, versatility and value. The ranking will be based on these factors. There really is no such thing as an ‘unpick-able’ lock, but some are certainly better than others at security.

Open a Master Padlock With a Beer Can

Conclusion

It doesn’t seem like anything will ever change in regard to how the above companies are viewed by security experts. Even armed with this knowledge, folks are still going to go out and buy these locks as usual. It’s similar to eating fast food even though you know that it’s pretty much garbage, heated,  in a paper wrapper. As long as these companies continue to be the go-to for the consumer they will continue to exist, regardless of what security professionals think about them. In the end, putting these companies in check really depends on me and you.