How to Rekey a Lock

When you move or lose your keys, you may think about changing your locks. However, you could simply rekey your existing locks. Rekeying locks is easy to do with the right tools and a little knowledge.

homeandauto | 02 Mar 2010
Revised 13 Apr 2011

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Lock Rekeying Kit

Of the many things to do when you purchase a home from someone else, one is to consider changing your locks or having them rekeyed.  When I purchase my home, although I believed the person who owned it before me to be a trustworthy individual, it still felt it was wise to have the keys or locks changed.  I looked into rekeying the locks myself and discovered it is pretty easy to do and wasn't very expensive.

If you are a little bit handy, you can probably easily rekey your locks; to do so, you will need the basic tools and materials listed below.

Lock Rekeying Tools and Materials

Follower - This tool is slid into the cylinder while pushing the plug out.  This tool prevents the top pins and springs from falling out of the cylinder.

Deadbolt Cap Remover - Tool that helps in removing the cylinder cap on deadbolt locks.

In addition to these tools. you will need some bottom pins to rekey locks.  Bottom pins are of varying lengths with one end coming to a point which engages the key.  These pins are what enables a specific key to work with the lock, using different pins will require a key that works with that pin configuration.  Bottom pins come in several sizes, you should have several of each size if you intend to rekey locks.

There are other tools and supplies available for rekeying locks, these additional tools will enable you to rekey more types of locks more easily.  Some of these tools are described in the article Tools and Parts Commonly Found in Lock Rekeying Kits

Other Lock Rekeying Resources

If you wish to find more information on rekeying locks, you should visit the lock manufacturer websites.  Often these manufacturers will provide information describing how to rekey the locks they make and may also have rekeying kits available for sale.

Lock rekeying kits are manufacturer specific, so you will need to know what brand of lock you have, the brand name is usually written somewhere on the lock.  Some kits will be compatible with a few other brands, but generally you will have to get a kit that is specific to your brand of lock.

Lock rekeying kits also come in a variety of sizes such as single-use kits, professional kits and  other sizes.  More information about rekeying kits and other options available to you can be found in the article Getting Your Locks Rekeyed.

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