April 2, 2022
10.83 x 7.48 x 2.52 in
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Times have really changed.
I remember, even just a few years ago, trying to convince my wife that I wanted to fit a smart lock in the door that went between our garage and house.
There was a simple deadlock on the door, and I wanted to install a Yale keypad unit for it. Smart locks were still a ‘new’ thing and untrusted.
There was quite a lot of resistance, especially as there was no key option as a backup with this unit, but I got permission to get it done, and it turned out that it was a really great addition to the house. It also connects to our smart security system, which makes it even easier to operate.
I tell that story because now, a few years later, I’m now discussing with the family, the idea of having a fingerprint-only front door sensor lock. No key. No code. Just fingerprints. I didn’t think it would go down very well.
So – WeLock sent me the Touch EBL 43, their new fingerprint/biometric lock for latch doors to try out.
It’s easy to find deadlock smart locks but latch locks have been a little slower to market. This was perfect timing.
I couldn’t wait to get this fitted to my front door. I’ve always complained about the need for keys. And it’s so frustrating, especially as a family with kids to have to ensure that everyone has a key all the time to get into the house.
When WELOCK reached out and said, “Would you be willing to try out the Touch EBL 43?” In a heartbeat, I said, yes!
Welock Fingerprint Door Lock Bluetooth
A great little biometric fingerprint lock that has really made our families life so much easier
There is a lot to like about the EBL43 smart fingerprint lock from weLock. It has really made it easier for our family to come and go without worrying about keys, or even keypad numbers. My kids think it’s amazing.
The set-up was easy and the fitting would have been but for the fact I couldn’t get my old door lock off the door.
I was amazed at how fast it scanned all our fingerprints and stored them. I’ve had a lot of people try to use it since it was installed and it’s never got it wrong.
The app works. Not pretty but it’s functional. If you want WiFi you need to buy a separate gateway and you can connect it to your smart speaker.
Some drawbacks but if you know what you need in advance, then you’ll know if thinks like never leaving your door unlocked is a good or a bad thing.
Overall a solid 4 out of 5 stars, maybe even 4.5. I might have given it a 5 if the sticker wasn’t on the outside.
- Ways To Unlock: Fingerprint, with an RFID card, or with their app
- Control Method: App
- Battery Life: 1-year battery life
- Battery usage: Low energy usage
- Tracking: Real-time tracking from your smartphone
- Fingerprint: Reads quickly in 0.3 seconds
What’s in the Box?
- Smart door knobs
- 3 x RFID cards
Stuff I like
- Easy to set up
- Easy to use
- Easy to scan fingerprints
- Up to 3 administrators and 97 uers prints can be stored
- 8000 entries / 1 year of use in 3 AAA batteries
- USB Micro port for battery backup if they do go flat
- Clear battery indicator on the lock each time you use it
- Easy to fit
Stuff I like less
- WiFi Gateway optional extra (which is probably the best of both worlds if you DON’T want it connected to the internet)
- You need to remember who has what ID on the lock to monitor who is coming and going
- You need to remember who has what ID on the lock to monitor who is coming and going
- Can’t leave the door unlocked
And so here is the low-down. There are lots of good, but also a few cautionary comments. The WELOCK Touch EBL 43 comes without batteries. It’s pretty easy to put them in.
There’s a small Allen key included in the box, and you just unscrew a small Allen nut on the side of the outside door, slide the sleeve off, pull down the battery cover, and put three AA batteries in there…sorry, three AAA batteries in there.
It’s worth noting, as shown in the photos, that everything you need is included in this, the latch, the door mounting brackets, covers, screws, you name it, it’s there. The challenge I ran into is that most doors these days have a 60 to 70-mill latch length.
Unfortunately, my door, which is a bit older, has a 127-millimeter latch. So, I did have to reach out to an online locks provider, and ordered myself just a latch cartridge, which was very inexpensive, but then allowed me to still use the WELOCK Touch EBL 43 on my front door.
I’ve always had a few criteria for a smart lock for our front door. I’ve always wanted it to be good-looking, very inconspicuous, offer simple keypad operation, be managed by my smartphone, and be accessible to my smart home setup with the end game being that I could control a lot from wherever in the world I was.
The WELOCK is slightly different in that it isn’t Wi-Fi connected. And I think this is gonna be attractive to a lot of people. I think what holds a lot of people back from buying a smart lock is the concern that if it is accessible to the internet, then it can be hacked.
With this unit, that is not a concern you need to have. There is a smartphone app with the unit, and when you set the lock-up, you bind the lock to your account. And this involves downloading the app, getting a text message confirmation for validation, scanning the code on the front of the lock, and then that is bound to your device.
So, within proximity, I can use the app to unlock the lock, but I don’t think that this would be a feature I would generally use. I’m more than happy to continue to just use my thumbprint to get the door open.
So, going back to my long list of things that I wanted, the WELOCK didn’t come with a lot of those. There was no keypad. The battery backup was via micro USB. It didn’t connect to my smart device system.
And so, there are probably a lot of reasons I should feel a bit disappointed about these things not being included in the WELOCK. But the truth is, now that I’ve got it installed, I’m so happy with the way it operates. The fact that I do have confidence that it can’t be accessed from an outside network.
The lock is far enough back from any public spaces that no one would sit there in their car trying to hack it, that I think it’s gonna become a permanent fixture on the door. I’ve registered all the immediate family thumbprints into the unit, and each thumbprint is given a unique number ID.
So, I can then look in the logs on my phone of who entered and left at what time. This is quite a good feature if you just wanted to see who came home at a certain time and accessed the house.
Fitting and installation are quite straightforward for most people. Depending on what kind of latch lock you have, they’re usually pretty easy to get open. And there are a lot of videos on YouTube that will help you do that.
Unfortunately, my lock happened to be a little bit more unique and special and had a double chamber in it, and a lock on the front and back, which required you to have the key in the lock, and turn it at a certain angle to then get access to release the doorknob and remove the lock.
After trying for about an hour on the weekend, and almost resorting to just getting a hacksaw and chopping the thing off, I decided the smart thing would be to get a professional in to at least help me fit the thing. So, I called the local locksmith who arrived, and within an hour, had done more than just fit it, but made it work, checked it, and sorted out the old lock.
As a test, I even got him to try the lock, and that failed, of course. I keep trying different people to try the lock, just to make sure that the thumbprint really is as accurate as it needs to be. So far, it’s been very accurate.
And the people that have been using the lock have had their IDs allocated correctly. So, each user and their associated number is clear and present every time they enter, and everybody who has not had their thumbprint registered on the lock has not gained access.
So, the more I try this, the more confidence I have that this thing is probably incredibly hard to crack. Hey, if Apple put a touch to unlock their phones, I’m guessing the technology these days is good enough for the security levels required.
Aesthetics. The look of the lock, if I’m honest, is nice. It’s interesting that they have such a high, black frame. And I think they do that just to make it look a little better because there actually isn’t anything housed in the black oval casing.
A lot of other lock providers would have their batteries in there, and a 9-volt option at the bottom of the front, in case the internal batteries went flat. With the WELOCK, the batteries are actually in the handle, which makes it a much leaner and more refined unit. You don’t have to have this big fat battery pack on the back…on the inside of the door.
It’s quite slim and attractive. The handle style is also a little bit different in that it’s really quite small and round. There’s not a lot of doorknob to it, if that makes sense. It’s not round, there’s not a big bulbous thing that you grab onto, or a lever, or a handle. It’s more of just a straight line, the extension of the door.
So, aesthetically, the black unit looks terrible on my door, but we are actually planning to repaint our doors to a dark color, so that would then start to look really quite cool.
My kids love it and think it looks amazing and high-tech. My wife’s on the fence and so am I. The reason I’m on the fence is not really for the lock style itself, it’s that the QR code that you use when registering the device is on the end of the outside lock view.
And it just looks like we’ve left a sticker on it. So, I think what I’ll do is cut a very nice piece of black gaff tape, and just frame that area of the outside so that the whole lock is black. And it will look very slick after that. In addition to painting the door a darker color to match the dark, I think it’s gonna look pretty awesome when we’re done.
Registering new thumbprints is incredibly quick and easy. You can set up three administrators, who can then also be responsible for registering other thumbprints if needed. And after the three administrators, you can have up to 97 additional thumbprints assigned to the unit.
I’m sure that’s more than most people will need. You can control some of the deletion and management of fingerprints in the app, but the actual registration has to happen on the device because it does need to read your thumbprint.
In addition to thumbprints, there are really three other ways you can unlock the lock. One is with your smartphone when you’re in proximity. One is with the Bluetooth remote. And the other is with some small little RFID-looking cards.
The RFID cards, which there are three that come with it, could be put on a key ring, or a key chain, and you just tap it on the unit, and the unit will unlock as well. So, it’s not just thumbprints, but I can assure you that thumbprints are the most convenient way to enter and unlock the door.
If the battery is going flat, then you can just remove the rubber cover on the outside to reveal a small micro USB port. And you can just plug in a charger to charge it back up to a point where you can access the house. And then, of course, you’ll want to actually change the batteries.
This is not as convenient as just a regular old, 9-volt battery, which is easy to come by, but you will get warnings that the battery is going low. And every time you unlock, you need to press the power button, then place your fingerprint. And as you press the power button to it or the wake-up button, the battery indicator shows every time.
So, every time you unlock the door, you can have a quick check of the batteries just to see how things are going, and if you think you need to replace them. The unit will beep three times to tell you that it is going flat when it gets to that low, low level.
If you need to reset the device, then in a similar spot to the charging option, you can insert a small paperclip size pin to depress a reset button to set it all back to how it was at the beginning. If you’re not very good at holding on to manuals, I’d suggest that you take a photo of the manual before you throw it away, just so you have a record of all the bits that you need to remember. They estimate the battery life to be about 10 months.
Summing it all up
In summary, this lock just works exactly how it should work. It’s easy to register fingerprints.
Every time I come to the door without having to get my keys out, I can just press the wake-up key scan and get straight in, just feels fantastic. I don’t have to punch in key codes. I don’t have to find any other apps on my phone to get access. It’s just walk up to the door, wake it up, thumbprint, and I’m in.
And that feeling when I walk to the car, and I think, “Oh, I forgot my thing inside,” I walk back to the door, and it’s just so easy just to enter and leave.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a great lock. But there are a few situations I think it suits better than others.
This is perfect as an apartment lock in an apartment building, or a condo. It’s great for townhomes, or anywhere where there is some high-density housing.
I have a small section, so it’s still perfect for my house, but I can imagine situations where if I’m gardening, and I have my gloves on, and I just wanna quickly open the door and shout something into someone in the house, means I would need to just make sure I take my gloves off and make sure my thumbprint is clean so that it registers correctly. I’m sure this will be rare.
The other thing is that once the door closes and locks, the lock releases again. And so, there’s never really a way to leave the lock, or the door permanently unlocked. So, on a weekend, when you’ve got a lot of people may be coming and going from your house, you can’t just leave the lock open, and shout, “Come on in,” from the inside, unless, of course, you pull out your phone and open it with Bluetooth.
It’ll be interesting over the summer how this works, but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big problem as we’ll normally leave the door open anyway. With apartment building doors or dormitory doors, this isn’t a problem because you actually want your lock to lock as soon as you’ve closed your door every time.
The other situation that it really won’t be suitable for is if you want remote control because you have an Airbnb, or similar. Because you can’t remotely control the thumbprints on this device, you’re not gonna be able to set codes to allow people to come and go.
You can, if you are there, very quickly set up a thumbprint for someone, and delete it after you don’t want them to have it anymore. But to do this, it helps to keep a log. So, I have an Apple notepad, which has the ID and the name of the people that I’ve registered on the lock, so that if I need to delete them in the future, I know their ID number, or if I need to refer to the log to find out who entered the house, I can look at that ID number as well.
A few quick specs. This really does work well on wooden, or interior doors. The range is adjustable between, you know, 45 to 60-mill, 70-mill latch. The operating temperature can get down to -25 and up to 60. It’s a zinc alloy handle.
You can use your fingerprint, obviously, RFID cards, which are included, and Bluetooth to open. Takes three AA batteries, which are replaceable. And as I’ve already said, the battery life is about 10 to 12 months. Again, I am chuffed with this lock. It has absolutely made my life convenient.
And I would certainly say, if you consider the caveats that I added above, if you don’t meet, or have any of those requirements, then this is a really great choice, a very convenient choice, and it’s been rock solid for us to date. Any questions, fire them away in the comments below. Thanks, guys.
This post was last updated on 2022-09-26 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.