How to Re-key a Door Lock

You may change your locks by removing the lock cylinder and replacing the pins on your own.

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Instead of calling a, learn how to re-key your entry and deadbolt locks yourself for a fraction of the price.

Tools Needed

  • Screwdriver with four functions
  • Needle-nose pliers are a type of plier that has a needle-
  • Tweezers

Changing the Locks on a Door

Have you ever misplaced your house keys and been concerned about someone breaking in? You never know how many duplicates of your keys are out there until you’re the first occupant of the property. Even if you deliver the lock to their shop, locksmiths usually charge a fee to re-key it. Re-keying can be costly because most homes have many doors with various locks.

At a fraction of the cost, you can re-key a lock like an expert. Most lock brands have re-keying kits, but they are not interchangeable. For each brand of lock in your home, you’ll need to purchase a kit. (If you’re lucky, they’ll all be from the same manufacturer!)

Each kit will rekey six locks, however extra pins can be ordered if you need to rekey more. The kit includes two keys and all the equipment you’ll need except a screwdriver, and it works on both entrance and deadbolt locks. Keep your old keys, though, because you’ll need them to remove the cylinder.

For this narrative, we used a Schlage lock. Check your instruction sheet for minor differences if you have a different brand.

Step-by-step instructions on how to complete the project (5)

Step 1: Knob to be removed

  • Depress the knob clip with the wire tool (included in the kit) inserted into the knob hole.
  • Remove the door’s knob.

Step 2: Remove out the cylinder

  • To take off the knob sleeve and remove the cylinder, push the cylinder out the back of the knob assembly.

Step 3: Remove the Retainer Ring if you have one

  • To remove the thin retainer ring, use the special retainer ring tool included in the kit.
  • To remove the retainer ring from the cylinder, press the retainer ring tool against it.
  • Remove the ring and set it away to be replaced later.

Step 4: Remove the cylinder’s cylinder plug

  • The removal of the cylinder plug from the cylinder is the most important component of this process.
  • Pins and springs at the top of the cylinder keep pressure on the keyed pins.
  • Place the old key in the slot and turn it to the left or right.
  • Push the plug follower (included in the kit) through the cylinder to remove the plug.
  • To prevent the pins and springs from popping out, maintain consistent pressure between the plug and follower.
  • To prevent the pins and springs from popping out of the cylinder, maintain the plug follower close to the cylinder plug until it’s entirely removed.

Step 5: Reassemble the lock by inserting the pins

  • Remove the old pins, insert the new key, and match the new colored pins to the color code on the special instruction sheet with tweezers or small needle-nose pliers.
  • Reassemble the lock by reversing the instructions once the new pins have been installed.