My Sister-In-Law (who runs a daycare) stated: “As long as the cheap ones are keeping little fingers from where they are not supposed to be…why spend a fortune on the expensive ones.” We stuck to that motto, except on the entertainment center, which did not have the ability to use the cheap plastic door lock. So I bit the bullet and bought a Tot Lok. I always swore I’d never buy them…in fact I really didn’t care for them…even before buying them and the trouble begin. So without further ado…The 3 reasons I HATE Tot Locks. 1) THEY ARE REALLY EXPENSIVE! Tot Locks are not cheap. In fact, they are anywhere between $7 and $10 a lock depending on where you purchase them, and if you have coupons, etc. This is ridiculous, considering most of the cheap ones work just as well and are anywhere between $1 and $2 a lock. My personal opinion, the contents of my cabinets are to the best organization that our kitchen and bathrooms allow and cannot move things around to avoid purchasing a lot of locks. To lock the appropriate cabinets in our house requires the purchase of 18 locks which would cost us approximately $180. That cost does not include the locks we will need for our basement bathrooms (when finished) which would be another $100.
2) THEY WILL RUIN YOUR CABINETS! Ok, I’m not talking about the hole drilling, but their STUPID red “over-ride” bar. Ours somehow got knocked into the over-ride position, but the lock part wasn’t fully depressed…because we were not trying to over-ride it...it just got bumped. No amount of using the magnet “key” would get our lock opened. Fortunately for us, the hinges on our entertainment center are on the outside of the cabinet…otherwise, because there is only one door right there, we would have had to rip our entertainment center apart. If you really must use Tot Loks, some friendly advice. Remove the red over-ride bar, or don’t put them on cabinets with one door.
3) REPLACING PARTS IS EXPENSIVE! After our fiasco with the over-ride bar, we accidently locked our key in the entertainment center. Our options were to buy another set (we could only buy a 4-Lock or 9-Lock set, so we already have 3 locks we never plan to use) or buy the key individually. We decided to buy the key individually, but even that was $10. We tried to use a heavy duty magnet (construction) and that wouldn’t even release the lock. So you MUST have a Tot Lok Key. These are just the problems that I’ve experienced. After checking other sites that sell Tot Loks, I’ve seen complaints that:
1) They don’t fit in all the drawers or cabinet doors.
2) Trying to use their “extenders” ends up ruining cabinet doors
3) If you have solid wood doors more than a ½” thick…forget it…the magnets are not strong enough.. And the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong…this was a great idea by Safety 1st. They are not visible and you don’t have to worry about your toddler figuring out the plastic push down locks. However, they really are not worth the price you pay, which is why I was so resistant to them in the first place. And to be perfectly honest, my son was really interested in the plastic locks, and tried to open them a few times, but once the newness of being locked out of something wore off he could care less about getting into the cabinets. Go cheap…it will save your sanity, your cabinets, and your money.
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