Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big code lock test 2021. Here we present all the code locks we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

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

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




Summary

  • Code locks are the oldest and safest method of securing doors or similar items against unauthorised access.
  • With a code lock, you can effectively and easily retrofit your home against unauthorised access.
  • Code locks are available in different functionalities to suit different needs.

The Best Code Lock: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a code lock

How does a code lock work?

Depending on which variant you choose, the operation differs minimally.

Basically, all code locks work in the same way. Either you need the corresponding code or a transponder to open the lock.

With your code lock, you can also set only time-limited access for people who do not live at your home. (Image source: pixabay. com / Susanne Plank)

You may already know the principle of a code lock. A code lock is often found on safes or gun cabinets to protect the objects inside from unauthorised persons.

Type function
RFID code lock unlocking by transponder
Homematic code lock unlocking by special app and Bluetooth
Pin lock unlocking by pin code

The most common variant of a code lock is the one where 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 unauthorised opening. Furthermore, it is nowadays 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 disabled, an emergency call is automatically made.

In the meantime, almost all code locks allow you to view online who, when and which door was opened with which code.

In addition, you can revoke access authorisations for a certain code or limit them in time. For example, you can only grant your babysitter access with a code on Mondays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Can I upgrade with a code lock?

You can retrofit a code lock on any door. As a rule, you should consult a specialist who can advise and support you in the choice and installation of the lock.

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.

Generally speaking, an RFID code lock is the most expensive. Simple and classic code locks with keypads are the cheapest.

What are the alternatives to a code lock?

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

If you want to secure yourself professionally, we recommend an adequate alarm system. However, you should bear in mind that the price of a good alarm system can far exceed that of a code lock.

Type function
Alarm system professional protection of the entire building, alarm signal in case of burglary
Motion detector when motion is detected, light or a connected alarm system can be triggered
Door or window alarm when contact is interrupted (e.g. opening the window), the device emits an alarm tone

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

Alternatively, you can opt for a door or window alarm. These give an alarm if someone opens your windows or doors without authorisation.

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

If you decide to get a code lock, then you are faced with the question of which type of code lock is right for you. Basically, we can distinguish between three different types:

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

Each type of code lock has its advantages and disadvantages. Below you will find detailed information on the individual types.

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

What are the features of 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 with the help of electromagnetic waves. With this type of code lock, a transponder is required instead of a code. These usually come in the form of a key fob, a wristband or a card.

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

Advantages
  • Code cannot be forgotten
  • good control over who has access
  • full control over timing of access permission
Disadvantages
  • Transponder can be lost
  • no additional security if transponder is stolen

A key advantage of an RFID code lock is that you can keep a close eye on 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, like a key, can be lost. In this case, any unauthorised person can gain access to your home without further control.

What are the features of a Homematic code lock or Smartlock code lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

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

Using a special app, the authorised person can automatically unlock the door as soon as he or she approaches. It is not even necessary for 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 code lock
  • nothing else needed 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 as with an RFID code lock, with a Homematic code lock you have the option of granting temporary access to your home. In addition, there is no risk of forgetting your code or losing the transponder.

In addition, you don't have to worry about getting the transponder back from people who only have access for a limited time.

With a Homematic code lock, you can easily unlock your code lock using your smartphone. (Image source: pixabay.com / Jan Vašek)

The disadvantage, however, is that your smartphone must work properly and the Bluetooth transmission must not be disturbed. In addition, the code lock may also unlock from a distance.

What are the features of a pin lock and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The classic pin lock requires the corresponding pin to be entered so that the door can be unlocked. Depending on how much money you want to spend, a pin lock has physical buttons or other additional functions.

Advantages
  • most cost-effective
  • 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.

However, the advantage is that you can assign individual codes for several people. Most pin code locks also have additional software with which you can assign further access rights or log who has entered your house and when.

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

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate code locks

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

  • Mounting
  • Operating mode
  • Drive type
  • Areas of application

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

Installation

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

Flush-mounting is more expensive, but is also not possible with most devices due to their construction. If you have sufficient know-how about electrical engineering, you can of course install your code lock yourself.

However, if you have no or only limited knowledge in this area, we recommend the help of a specialist.

Operating method

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

If you opt for a modern variant, you can 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 minimally.

When making your decision, you should always take your current situation into account.

With children, for example, you may face the problem that they are more likely to forget the code. In this case, an RFID lock would be more appropriate.

Type of drive

A code lock can be connected directly to electricity or be powered by batteries. Electricity is mostly used if you have a code lock installed directly when building a house.

However, if you want to retrofit a code lock, the easiest method 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.

Areas of application

The areas of application for code locks are diverse. For example, you can retrofit them on your front door or garage door. If necessary, you can also secure safes or gun cabinets with a code lock.

An RFID code lock is unlocked with transponders. (Image source: pixabay.com / Георги Слабов)

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.

Facts worth knowing about code locks

Can I programme a code lock myself?

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

To build a code lock yourself, you need some knowledge of electrical engineering. You should also know programming languages such as C in order to be able to reliably program a code lock.

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

Normally, every code lock should come with the corresponding operating instructions. However, if this is not the case, you can also look it up on the Internet.

You can often find a digital version of the operating instructions on the manufacturer's website or you can look in forums that describe a problem similar to yours.

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

With some code locks you have to set the new code directly on the device, with others you can do it from an app or from the computer. The operating instructions for your code lock will tell you how to do this.

Basically, in addition to a new code, most devices also have additional functions that you can set.

For example, you can define on which days or at what time a code is valid. In addition, you can often activate or revoke usage authorisations.

What happens if I forget 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 and gain access to your house.

If your code lock does not have an emergency key, 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 options, then you probably only have the option of getting professional help.

Specialised companies can disarm the code lock for you so that you can access your house again.

Image source: flickr.com / Codelocks Ltd

Reviews