Can You Rekey a Deadbolt Lock

How to Rekey a Deadbolt

Hello Friend! Best wishes from Mile High Locksmith- Our attitude is that we should always strive to make friends of folks who visit us online and, whenever possible, provide them with useful guidance and input even if we don’t make a sale or sell a service. It’s that level of honesty and “Goodheartedness” and experience that’s kept us in business for over 20 years and earned us several thousand 5 Star Google reviews. So, because you’ve reached this location of our “Online Presence”, we see that you’d like to learn something about how to rekey a deadbolt lock. We’re happy to help! Stick with us for this brief article and we think we’ll have you either ready to get started or ready to find someone who is ready. 

That will be your call completely.


Rekeying vs. Changing Locks

First, let’s get straight to the “angle” that probably has you seeking this specific info: Is rekeying vs. changing locks less expensive? As a rule of thumb, YES. But let us just mention one thing here, and that’s SECURITY. Locks are all about SECURITY and that should be uppermost in your mind. Your belongings, valuables and frequently your family are behind those locks. So, make your decisions on this wisely. Do the old locks look and feel sound? Are they in good condition? Do they fit the aperture in the door properly? Would you like a better looking, more stylish lock? And are the locks that you currently have in place of a high enough quality to protect you and yours? If you’ve already taken the decision to Rekey on a DIY basis then your next question will be what does rekeying locks yourself cost? And the answer is not very much if you get it right. Everything that you need can cost under $30.00.


Can You Rekey a Deadbolt Lock

But Can YOU rekey a deadbolt lock? Yes, almost certainly! Now, as we were just discussing the Quality of the deadbolt that you are going to rekey, here at Mile High we strongly recommend Schlage and Kwikset products and as we walk you through the process to rekey deadbolt locks we’ll be speaking pretty specifically about those two manufacturers but keep in mind that the same procedures in most any deadbolt rekey apply generally to all deadbolt locks. Generally.


Tools for Rekeying Locks

If you’re rekeying locks yourself you want to make sure that you have, first and foremost, the right tools for rekeying locks. It’s always important to have on hand a set of Slip Joint Pliers, some tweezers or Needle Nosed Pliers, a Flathead Screwdriver and a Phillips Head Screwdriver, probably a #2 in size. For “Parts” you’ll want the manufacturers “Kit” including the new set of keys and the new bottom pins and a tubular “Follower Bar”. So, along with your tools you want that manufacturers rekeying kit and for a Schlage you want a Schlage rekey kit, for a Kwikset you want a Kwikset rekey kit and so on. 



Deadbolt Rekey Steps

The following are steps on how to rekey a Schlage deadbolt or a Kwikset deadbolt specifically but, again, these instructions apply broadly to deadbolt locks across the board. 

  1. First remove the lock from its door housing by removing the mounting screws on the inside of the door with a Philips Head Screwdriver. Then insert the original key into the lock.  
  2. Next remove the Cylinder Cap and Cylinder Pin, then the spring behind the Cylinder Pin.
  3. Rotate the inserted original key to the 2 O’clock orientation and insert the Follower Bar to move the deadbolt housing away from the Cylinder and leave the Follower Bar in place.
  4. Empty the old pins out of the cylinder and find the KEY CUT NUMBER on the new key and insert it into the cylinder. The Key Cut Number indicates which pins belong in which Cylinder holes and the number reads left to right. Insert the correct numbered pin into each correct hole.
  5. Now, using the Follower Bar, push your Cylinder back into the deadbolt housing and extract the new key.
  6. Reinsert the Cylinder Spring and Cylinder pin and tighten the Cylinder Cap back onto the Cylinder.
  7. Test the deadbolt system for function and if it is satisfactory replace the deadbolt in its door mounting.

Alright, that’s what you need to know to rekey Schlage deadbolt devices and Kwikset devices as well as most other deadbolt lock devices. There’s not that much to it and there are user friendly instructions in most deadbolt rekey kits. Just remember to be confident and follow each step. It’s critical to get the correct pins into their assigned holes following the key cut number. Keep in mind that some of the parts are delicate and you must be gentle with them. There are also parts which are “Spring Loaded” so always conduct each step with authority to make sure everything stays in place. And make sure to leave the Follower Bar in the housing while the Cylinder is removed.

You may always refer to our Online Presence to check us for tips and guidance on the projects that you’re taking on yourself. We’re pleased to be of assistance. And we are a full service 24/7/365 Locksmith serving the entire Colorado Front Range if you need our services.


Mile High Locksmith

612 N. Washington Street, Ste. 108

Denver, CO  80203

Main Phone: 720-248-8087

Call Now Button