Yale Assure Lock SL review: The best keyless smart lock

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Yale Assure Lock SL

Are you always forgetting your keys when you leave the house? The Yale Assure Lock SL could help; it's a key-free smart lock that comes with an August Connect module that wirelessly connects the lock to your Wi-Fi and the August app. 

This also provides support for controlling the lock from Apple HomeKit, Alexa and Google Assistant devices, so you can control or check the lock from an Amazon Echo, a Google Home or your smartphone. As long as you remember the code, you'll never get locked out, which is why this is one of the best smart locks you can get that doesn't need a key.

Yale Assure Lock SL: Price, availability, and design

The Yale Assure Lock SL first went on the market in 2017; it's currently available for around $169.

The Assure Lock SL is a very minimalist deadbolt: Its outward-facing section is a small, simple panel with a touchpad, and nothing more. It's available in four finishes: Black, Brass, Bronze, and Satin Nickel.

Yale also makes a few variants of the Assure lock: The Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen ($149) is a deadbolt that has a traditional keyhole beneath the touchscreen; the Yale Assure Keypad Door Lock ($129) swaps the touchscreen for a push-button keypad; and the Yale Assure Lever ($169) is a lever lock that comes with either a touchscreen or a keypad with a physical key slot. 

It's important to note that if you want to control the Assure Lock SL remotely, you'll need a way to connect it to your Wi-Fi or smart home hub. You can purchase the Yale Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Upgrade kit for $125, the Yale Assure Lock SL with Wi-Fi ($265), or the Yale Assure Lock SL with Z-Wave ($210).

Yale Assure Lock SL review

The keypad lights up when you touch it, but it does not offer a manual key option. It's a chatty little device, offering beeps and voice prompts that tell you what's going on. Touch the keypad, and it chirps when the keypad lights up. Take too long to enter a keycode, and it primly announces, "Time expired."

One thing that we did notice is that it often took a couple of touches to wake up the touch screen. To save battery, the lock goes into a standby mode after a few minutes without any interaction, to be awoken by a touch on the touchpad. This doesn't always work, though, as we found that it often needed a couple of touches or a palm touch to wake up.

Yale Assure Lock SL review: Setup and installation

We found the installation process to be simple and straightforward, taking about 25 minutes on a standard wood, exterior door. The rear side of the lock is a large case that holds four AA batteries and the locking mechanism. It has an attractive, rounded design but takes up quite a lot of space on the back of the door.

Yale Assure Lock SL review

A neat feature called DoorSense uses a small magnet attached to (or embedded in) the door frame to detect when the bolt has slid into place, locking the door. That means the Assure can detect if someone has triggered the lock but left the door ajar. It can't automatically close the door for you, but this feature provides a useful reassurance that the lock has worked when you trigger it remotely.

The lock can store up to 50 key codes on its own, but the addition of the August module increases this to 250, which should be enough for anyone. These can be in the form of keys stored in the app or as key codes only. Either way, they can be set to allow access only at certain times, on certain days or for one use.

Yale Assure Lock SL review

But what happens if the batteries inside the lock die while you're outside? You can connect a 9-volt battery to two terminals on the bottom of the keypad to give a temporary power boost to the lock — enough to get you inside.

Yale Assure Lock SL review: Smart home compatibility

Because it links to August's system, the Yale Assure SL can take advantage of all of that app's smart home compatibility, so you can connect it with August's video doorbells, for instance. The Assure Lock SL is also compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomeKit. 

Yale Assure Lock SL review: Verdict

Those looking for a keyless smart lock will find a lot to like in the Yale Assure SL. It has an attractive exterior design and works with most of the major smart home platforms. However, you'll need an extra module if you want to control the lock remotely. If you're looking for a HomeKit-compatible lock that's less conspicuous, check out our Level Bolt review.

We wish it had the same security feature as the Kwikset Obsidian (which has you press extra digits before entering your code, so other people can't guess at your code). Among the best smart locks, the August Wi-Fi smart lock is our favorite overall, but the Assure SL is the best key-free touch-screen deadbolt.

Credit: Yale

Richard Baguley has been working as a technology writer and journalist since 1993. As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, he writes for Cnet, T3, Wired and many other publications.