July 25, 2024


Think spectacular technology

Friday Lock rethinks smart lock style

After two years of crowdfunding and development, the Friday Labs Smart Lock is here. This $249 smart lock claims to be the world’s smallest retrofit lock, and it’s definitely easy on the eyes. I can’t recommend you rush out and buy it just yet though, as it’s still got some learning to do.

The Friday was designed by Big Ideas, the think tank within architecture’s well-known Bjarke Ingels Group. It’s clear the priority here was design, and I think it’s miles ahead of the competition in that regard. Measuring just 2.7 inches in diameter, it’s significantly smaller and less bulky than August’s line of retrofit locks.


Friday comes in seven different metal finishes.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The lock’s metal shell is available in seven metal finishes. With so many color options and a measured compromise between modern and traditional design, this lock will look good almost anywhere. You can easily change the shells by sliding a credit card beneath it to release a clip. Friday Labs has yet to offer individual shells for sale — you have to buy the whole lock — but that’s something it says is coming very soon.  

Installation is simple in theory. The instructions do warn that if the tailpiece is too long, however, you’ll need a hacksaw (not included) to shorten it. Be warned: If you go this route, you won’t be able to change your mind and put your old thumb latch back on. You’ll need a whole new lock system, since you’ve sawed away at the first one.

The Friday is designed to work with your existing lock, and I found that to be true with a few caveats. I didn’t have to do any sawing, and in fact, more than one of our doors had both cylinder and turn knob tailpieces, making the cylinder tailpiece just barely too short to reach the Friday. 

I also ran into an issue with my deadbolt’s machine screws. The round-headed screws that came with my deadbolt blocked the Friday turning mechanism, preventing it from functioning. Friday Labs says it can provide countersunk screws if you have this issue. I swapped my machine screws out for a flatter pair and had no problems with the rest of installation.

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