Company History

There's hardly a door that Kwikset can't make more attractive. Or more secure. For 60 years Kwikset has meant security and peace of mind for millions of families. No wonder more people trust their doors, inside and out, to Kwikset. It all began with entrepreneurs Adolf Schoepe and Karl Reinhard.

1946 – Adolf Schoepe and Karl Reinhard revolutionize residential lock design by pioneering a tubular lock—named "Kwikset" to underscore its speedy installation.

1948 – A state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is constructed to meet post-war housing boom needs for a fast, dependable and easily installed lockset.

1957 – Kwikset becomes a subsidiary of American Hardware Corporation (AHC) of New Britain, CT. AHC leads the commercial and industrial lockset industry, while Kwikset continues to forge ahead with the residential market. Kwikset becomes the number one manufacturer of residential locksets, a title it has held ever since.

1958 – Kwikset introduces its legendary "K" key design, and follows with a revolutionary new plastic coating for its brass and bronze finished locksets.

1960 – Kwikset becomes a trendsetter in the hardware industry by pioneering free-standing, point-of-purchase merchandisers for their complete line of residential hardware. Also introduced is a new comprehensive keying kit for all their lock brands.

1964 – Kwikset introduces "Kwik-See" clear packaging and wins first place awards in virtually every category of merchandising. AHC merges with Emhart Manufacturing Corporation and Kwikset expands its manufacturing facilities to meet growing industrial demands.

1989 – Black and Decker purchases Emhart, including its Kwikset division. Kwikset continues to be an industry leader in developing new products. The Kwikset Denison, TX facility broke ground and since then, there have been two plant expansions. Kwikset Denison manufactures component parts for Kwikset lock-sets, Price-Pfister faucets, and Black & Decker tools. The plant is the largest zinc user in the United States.

1992 – After 40 years of leading the market in opening price point locksets for residential construction, Kwikset develops its higher-quality, high-security Titan product line. Targeted to sophisticated consumers demanding high quality in every purchased product, the Titan line is heralded with an aggressive marketing program and a new corporate direction.

1998 – Kwikset Titan introduces a remote keyless entry deadbolt and handleset, setting the industry benchmark for this new category of convenience-oriented security products. Strengthening its market position, Titan also introduced a line of sophisticated and distinctively styled locksets, under the sub-brand The Society Brass Collection®. Designed with elegance, The Society Brass Collection targets a new customer for Titan, the step-up and custom-home builder, and remodeler.

1999 – Kwikset and Price Pfister faucets became managed as a single group called Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement Group.

2000 – Society Brass is re-launched as a separate product line with expanded styles and finishes as well as new packaging. National print advertising campaign highlights the core values of the product line: Finish, Design, and Craftsmanship. The Titan remote keyless entry system is expanded to include wireless keypad and remote lighting unit.

2001 – Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement Group builds new corporate headquarters located in Lake Forest, CA.

2002 – Kwikset undergoes an initiative offering new products and features such as Kwik-Install™. This revolutionary feature makes installation virtually flawless with pre-installed screws. Kwikset also reorganizes its product offering into three new brands. The brands are Kwikset Security®, Kwikset Maximum Security® and Kwikset UltraMax Security®, presenting the consumer with a move-up strategy. The Titan product line is re-branded to the UltraMax product line.

2003 – Black & Decker purchases Baldwin Hardware and Weiser Lock from the Masco Corporation in October, expanding their bath and door hardware collections to encompass four major brands, Kwikset, Price Pfister, Baldwin Hardware and Weiser Lock.

2004 – Kwikset addes new products and finishes to its core product offerings. Among the new products were the Cameron knob, the Powerbolt® Touchpad Keyless Entry Electronic Deadbolt, and the new alternative finish: Venetian Bronze™.

2005 – About to celebrate its 60th year, Kwikset joins with Price Pfister to create Architecturally Inspired Collections, with matching styles and finishes from faucets, to door hardware, to bath accessories. Three new finishes debut: Rustic Pewter, Venetian Bronze and Iron Black. Popular styles from The Society Brass Collection are re-branded to the Kwikset UltraMax Signatures product line.

2006 – Kwikset celebrates its 60 Year Anniversary and the revolutionary residential lock design that launched the company in 1946. The innovative “tubular” lock design was the first in a series of trend-setting and award-winning hardware designs that changed the face of the home security industry. Kwikset also expands the popular Venetian Bronze™ finish throughout its complete collections of handlesets, door knobs, levers and deadbolts.

2007 – Kwikset introduces the first SmartScan™ biometric-based keyless security technology. The revolutionary technology completely eliminates the need for a key or key code, utilizing only a fingerprint scan. Kwikset also launches SmartKey® re-key technology with BumpGuard™ protection, one of its most successful innovation launches in the company history. This re-key technology provides you the flexibility to re-key your own locks quickly and easily without removing them from your door, while maintaining the highest level of security.

2008 – Kwikset launches its next generation keyless entry SmartCode™ deadbolt. The result of more than 10 years of functional testing and consumer feedback, SmartCode features a smaller and sleeker touchpad design, adding style to any door while completely eliminating the hassle of carrying or fumbling for keys.

2009 – Kwikset announces the availability of SmartKey® re-key technology in all box pack keyed entry products to make improved home security affordable to all. Kwikset develops Home Connect™ Technology which allows the SmartCode touchpad electronic deadbolt to interoperate with home automation and security systems, delivering a wide-range of customizable access control options.

2010 – Kwikset launches the Key Control Deadbolt featuring SmartKey® re-key technology, as a smart and secure alternative to master keying. The Belleview handleset and the Balboa lever are introduced as new, affordable design families, both available with SmartKey re-key technology. Kwikset expands its keyless product offering with the SmartCode™ Touchpad Electronic Lever, which is also available with Home Connect™ Technology. The 980 deadbolt, featuring SmartKey® re-key technology, earns the prestigious Best Buy rating from Consumers Digest Magazine. Kwikset hosts The Smart Challenge lock-picking competition for professional locksmiths to showcase the superior pick-resistance of the SmartKey deadbolt and kicks off its first-ever cross-country “LiveSmart” Mobile Tour.

2014 – Kwikset introduces Kevo, the world’s first Bluetooth lock with Touch-to-Open technology. Kwikset also introduces the SmartCode 914, the newest addition to the SmartCode series with reduced interior footprint and upgraded features.

2015 – Kwikset introduces the company’s first electronic touchscreen deadbolt lock, the SmartCode 916. A unique feature of the SmartCode 916 is SecureScreen™, a Kwikset-patented security feature that prevents code detection from fingerprints on the touchscreen. The company also introduced its Signature Series Deadbolt with Home Connect Technology.

2016 – Kwikset partners with Microban®, the global leader in built-in antimicrobial protection, as the first residential lock manufacturer to offer door hardware with Microban antimicrobial product protection.

2017 – Premis, an Apple HomeKit compatible touchscreen smart lock, is launched at CES 2017. Later that year, Kwikset introduces its first keywayless touchscreen electronic deadbolt, Obsidian. Both products include the Kwikset-patented SecureScreen™.

2018 – This has been an especially busy year for Kwikset with the addition of new products: Kwikset Convert, SmartCode 888, and contemporary versions of our popular SmartCode 914 and SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolts. These new additions, combine class-leading technology with game-changing design.