Code Lock: Review & Recommendations

Welcome to our big code lock test 2020, where we present you all code locks tested by us in detail. We have put together detailed background information and also added a summary of the customer reviews on the net.

We want to make your purchase decision easier and help you to find the best code lock for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, which you should pay attention to if you want to buy a code lock.

The most important facts in brief

  • Code locks are the oldest and most secure method of securing doors or similar against unauthorised persons.
  • With a code lock you can effectively and easily retrofit your home against unauthorized access.
  • Code locks are available in different modes of operation to suit different needs.

Code Lock Test: The Ranking

1st place: Gelikom code lock

According to the manufacturer, the Gelikom code lock offers the possibility to use only one code as well as to use RFID security. With the code version it is possible to set up to 1000 different codes with a length of four to six digits.

Both variants can be used independently or simultaneously. Furthermore, the code lock is waterproof and therefore suitable for outdoor use.

Buyers are convinced of the high-quality workmanship and good software. Also the service is very helpful in case of problems.

2nd place: Somfy code button

Somfy’s code lock allows the user to assign his own code. The device can store up to four different codes simultaneously. It is surface mounted and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.

Customers praise the easy installation and good operation. According to the manufacturer no battery operation is necessary. In addition, the code lock can be combined with other different devices that do not necessarily have to be from Somfy.

3rd place: Gelikom XK1 code lock

The code lock from Gelikom offers the possibility of RFID or pin security. These functions can also be used simultaneously.

The pin length can be between four and six characters and can be programmed without a computer. A total of 1000 people can receive a different code.

Customers praise the robust, yet stylish design. They are also convinced by the simple functionality and the well explained instructions.

Guide: Questions to consider before buying a code lock

How does a code lock work?

Depending on which variant you choose, the operation will differ slightly.
Basically, all code locks work in the same way. Either you need the corresponding code or a transponder to open the lock.

You may already know the principle of a code lock. Often a code lock is found on safes or weapon cabinets to protect the objects they contain from unauthorized persons.

The most common variant of a code lock is the one in which the pin is entered via a keypad. This can be either physical or digital.

How secure is a code lock and how easy is it to crack?

The code lock is probably one of the oldest and most secure ways to protect doors from unauthorized opening. Furthermore, nowadays it is also possible to connect most code locks via radio to a police station near you.
This means that if the pin of your code lock has been entered incorrectly several times, or if the code lock has been deliberately damaged and thus invalidated, an emergency call is automatically made.

It is now the case with almost all code locks that you can see online who, when and which door has been opened with which code.

In addition, you can revoke or limit the access rights for a certain code. For example, you can only grant your babysitter access with a code on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Can I retrofit a code lock?

You can retrofit a code lock to any door. In principle, you should consult a specialist who will advise and support you in the selection and installation.
However, if you have knowledge in the field of electrical engineering, you can build a code lock yourself. All you need are instructions, a circuit diagram and of course a code lock kit.

What does a code lock cost?

The price of a code lock can vary greatly. It depends on how much money you are willing to invest in a code lock.
Cheaper models are already available for less than 100 euros. For mid-range devices you can expect to pay between 100 and 350 euros. If you decide to invest in a high-quality code lock, you can expect prices starting at 350 euros.
Basically, an RFID code lock is the most expensive. Simple and classic code locks with keypads are the cheapest.

Where can I buy a code lock?

You can buy a code lock locally at a home improvement store or electronics store, or online at the respective retailers or other online shops. According to research, these are the most common suppliers:

Castle Keeper
Abus
eBay
Amazon
Chamberlain
visortech

What are the alternatives to a code lock?

If you decide against a code lock because either the way it works does not suit you and your situation or you cannot find a suitable model, there are of course alternatives for securing your home.

If you want to protect yourself professionally, then an adequate alarm system is recommended. However, you should keep in mind that the price of a good alarm system can far exceed that of a code lock.

Cheaper alternatives are, for example, motion detectors that switch on the light to deter registered movement or are connected to a small alarm system that emits a warning signal.

Alternatively, you can also opt for a door or window alarm. These give an alarm if someone unauthorized opens your windows or doors.

Decision: What types of code locks are there and which one is right for you?

When you decide to get a code lock, you are faced with the question of what type of code lock is right for you. Basically there are three different types:

  • RFID door opener code lock access control
  • Homematic code lock or Smartlock code lock
  • Pin Lock

Every type of code lock has its advantages and disadvantages. In the following you will find detailed information about each type.

Depending on which features you prefer and which best suit your situation, you can choose a type of code lock.

What distinguishes an RFID door opener code lock access control and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The abbreviation RFID stands for radio-frequency identification, i.e. identification using electromagnetic waves. This type of code lock requires a transponder instead of a code. These usually come in the form of a key fob, bracelet or card.

To unlock, hold the transponder in front of the calibrated receiver device. If the transponder has an authorisation, the door unlocks.

Advantages

Code cannot be forgotten
good control over who has access
full control over time control of access authorization

Disadvantages

Transponder can be lost
no additional security in case of theft of the transponder

A key advantage of an RFID code lock is that you can keep close control over who has a transponder. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about forgetting the code to your code lock in a hurry.

On the other hand, you must remember that a transponder as well as a key can be lost. In this case, any unauthorized person can gain access to your home without further control.

What distinguishes a Homematic code lock or Smartlock code lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Securing with a Homematic or Smartlock code lock is probably the most modern way to secure your doors. The only requirement is that your door has an electronic locking cylinder with a corresponding attachment.

Using a special app, the authorized person can automatically unlock the door as soon as he or she approaches. This does not even require the smartphone to be unlocked.

The only requirement is that it is switched on and has the ability to connect to the electronic door lock via Bluetooth.

Advantages

most modern type of a code lock
nothing else necessary except a bluetooth enabled and switched on smartphone
temporary access possible

Disadvantages

Door must have an electronic locking cylinder
Door can also be unlocked from a distance

Just like an RFID code lock, a Homematic code lock allows you to grant temporary access to your house. There is also no risk of forgetting your code or losing the transponder.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about how to get the transponder back from people who only have access for a limited time.

However, the disadvantage is that your smartphone must work perfectly and the Bluetooth transmission must not be disturbed. It is also possible that the code lock may unlock from a distance.

What distinguishes a pin lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The classic pin lock requires the input of the corresponding pin to unlock the door. Depending on how much money you want to spend, a pin lock has physical buttons or other additional functions.

Advantages

cheapest
Possibility for several individual codes
Recording of accesses

Disadvantages

Code can be forgotten
Input field must be placed very close to the lock

Please note that most providers allow you to mount the input device on the wall a maximum of 50 cm from the actual code lock.

The advantage is that you can assign individual codes to several people. Most pin code locks also have additional software that allows you to assign additional access rights or log who entered your house and when.

The pin lock is in most cases the simplest and most cost-effective variant of a code lock.

Purchase criteria: You can compare and rate code locks based on these factors

Below you will find a list of aspects that will help you decide between the different code locks. The criteria you can use to compare code locks with each other include

  • Montage
  • Type of operation
  • Type of drive
  • Fields of application

In the following paragraphs we will explain what is important for the individual criteria.

Montage

With a code lock you have the choice between surface and flush mounting. If you choose surface-mounted, you must remember that the device is visible to everyone and can therefore be torn off the wall.

Flush mounting is more expensive, but for most devices it is also not possible due to the construction. If you have sufficient knowledge of electrical engineering, you can of course fit your code lock yourself.

However, if you have no or only limited knowledge in this area, the help of an expert is recommended.

Type of operation

The classic code locks have a keypad on which you must enter your code.

If you decide on a modern variant, you have the possibility to choose between an RFID code lock with transponder and a Homematic code lock with app.

Depending on which type of code lock you choose, the operating methods differ slightly.

When making your decision, you should definitely consider your current situation.

With children, for example, you may face the problem that there is a greater chance that they will forget the code. In this case an RFID lock would be more appropriate.

Type of drive

A code lock can be connected directly to the power supply or operated with batteries. Electricity is most often used if you have a code lock installed directly when you build your house.

But if you want to retrofit a code lock, the easiest way is to opt for battery operation.

This type of code lock is usually very energy-saving and the batteries only need to be changed at long intervals. The changing process then only takes a few minutes.

Fields of application

The areas of application for code locks are many and varied. For example, you can retrofit your front door or garage door. If required, you can also secure safes or weapon cabinets with a code lock.

When buying your code lock, however, you should keep in mind where you want to install the code lock. An outdoor code lock should be weatherproof and waterproof.

Trivia: Worth knowing facts about the code lock

Can I program a code lock myself?

Each code lock can be programmed. It depends on the manufacturer and device whether you do it from the device itself, from an app or from the computer.

To build a code lock completely by yourself, you need previous knowledge in electrical engineering. You should also know programming languages such as C to reliably program a code lock.

Where can I find the operating instructions for my code lock?

Normally, the corresponding operating instructions should be supplied with each code lock.  But if this is not the case, you can also look on the Internet.

You can often find the digital version of a user manual on the manufacturers’ websites or you can look in forums that describe a similar problem as yours.

How can I set a new code on my code lock?

Some code locks require you to set the new code directly on the device, while others can be set from an app or computer. The operating instructions for your code lock will give you information about this.

As a general rule, in addition to a new code, most devices also have additional functions for setting.

This includes, for example, that you can define on which days or at which time a code is valid. In addition, you can often unlock or revoke usage permissions.

What happens if I have forgotten my combination?

If you forget your combination, you usually have three options.

Some code locks have an emergency key. With this key you can unlock the code lock in case of emergency and thus gain access to your house.

If your code lock does not have an emergency key, then there may be a master code. You can enter this master code to open or reset the lock.

If your code lock does not offer any of these possibilities, then you probably only have the option of getting professional help.

Specialized companies can defuse the code lock for you, so that you have access to your house again.