How To Rekey A Lock To Match Existing Key

Rekey Your Locks To Match Existing Keys
Publish at Jan 26, 2023 By: Isaac Bell
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Did you notice that some door locks of your new house are not working with the same key? This is a common problem with the existing locks whenever you purchase a new home. It happens because the previous owner replaced the broken locks with new ones.

However, you might face the same problem where you need to replace single or multiple locks in your home's security. Whatever the situation, rekeying multiple locks is the only way to make every lock work with the same key.

The first criteria for rekeying a lock is to check the keyway. You can only rekey a lock when it has the same keyway. If the key slides into the keyhole, that is the working key that can be rekeyed. Otherwise, if the key doesn't enter the keyhole, the lock may not be from the same manufacturer or brand. For such cases, you may have to replace the existing lock.

What Is Rekeying A Lock?

Rekey Your Locks To Match Existing Keys

The most common lock found on doorknob and deadbolt is constructed out of pins and springs. In addition, the locking mechanism consists of steel cutaways that hold the lock cylinder, pins, and springs.

The key pins are in varying lengths. When you insert the key inside, the pins are aligned with the key inside the cylinder plug. However, if you put other keys into the keyway, the grooves and the pattern on the key will not match the pins.

Rekeying locks solves this problem by designing and realigning the pins and springs to match different keys. Mostly, professional locksmiths install extra pins or realign them to match a specific key. Rekeying your locks means you don't have to use separate keys to open different locks inside your home.

How To Rekey Multiple Locks For Matching The Same Key

Rekey Multiple Locks For Matching The Same Key

For traditional tumbler locks and pins, rekeying is less complicated than it sounds. To rekey a lock, you need to purchase a rekey kit from your nearest hardware stores. Make sure you read the rekey kit's instructions attentively. In addition, make sure to purchase the rekeying kit designed specifically for your lock brands. Now, we will demonstrate the easiest and most effective methods to rekey a lock. Please take a closer look.

Remove The Doorknob/ Door Locks

The first thing you need to do is to remove the door knob from the door. To do this correctly, you must align the cylindrical holes by turning the knob counterclockwise while holding it firmly. Also, you can remove the doorknob by inserting and turning the key one-quarter turn from the right. The steps can be different by the manufacturers. If you have realigned the holes completely, insert the remover tool. Then put constant pressure and gently pop off the doorknob. This method will separate the doorknob from the shank.

Remove The Cylinder

After removing the doorknob, remove the cylinder. Correctly removing the cylinder depends on the model and different brands. Most lock brands have caps on the back. You need to remove that cap first to reach the cylinder. Check inside the rekeying kit for the appropriate tool to remove the cap. After removing the cap, gently push the cylinder free from the cap.

Extract The C-Clip

For the next step, remove the C-Clip fastened with the cylinder to hold it in place. Please be extra careful during this process because a slight bending can change the shape of the clip.

Attach The Key Plug

Take the follower tube from your rekey kit. Attach the tube to the back of the cylinder while inserting the key plug follower into the lock. This step varies for different shapes of the door knob manufactured by other brands. Depending on the lock cylinder, some locks require a twisting motion of 45 degrees. After that, push the cylinder plug to extract it out of the cylinder. This will leave the plug follower inside the lock to hold the pins and springs in place.

Replace The Pins

While the key plug follower is holding the pins and the springs, remove the old pins. After that, insert the new key. Insert the new pins using the prescribed method indicated in the kit instructions. Be careful doing this step and ensure the pins are aligned correctly.

Replace The Plug

Push out the plug follower gently while replacing the plug into the cylinder. Once you have inserted the plug, turn the key and remove the follower. Finally, replace the C-clip as it falls in place.

Reattach The Doorknob

Finally, attach the cylinder to the knob and reattach the knob to the door.

Insert The New Key To Test It

After you have done everything described above, please insert the new key to check whether it works. In addition, test the lock multiple times with the new key until you feel secure.

In the proceeding section of the article, we will demonstrate the keyways of two of the most popular lock brands. Let's get started-

Kwikset VS Schlage Key Rekeying

Two of the most popular keyways in the United States are the Kwikset lock and Schlage lock. Respective keys of these two locks have ups and downs spots to make the keys slide into the keyways. We have reviewed these two locks carefully to check whether the keys of these two locks can be intertwined. However, the keyways of these two locks are so different that you can't insert one key into the other one.

The first criteria for lock versus rekeying are that both the older and the newer keys must have the same keyway. When the keyways of the new keys are the same as the older ones, you can rekey that lock. If you have purchased a rekey kit, you can do it yourself by following the above steps. Otherwise, rekey the locks from the store you bought them.

Rekey Locks From The Lock Shop

Most locksmiths provide numerous different essential rekeying services. Most hardware stores offer rekeying locks at a very reasonable cost. Due to the significant cost reduction, you will likely rekey your locks rather than replace them. ArmorLocks is ready to provide you with the most secure and reasonable rekeying service available. We firmly recommend this method because of the security concerns of your house. It would be best to let the professionals handle these things as a slight margin of error can cause many security issues.

Purchase A Rekey Kit

Some of you prefer DIY in these kinds of household perks. Suppose you feel confident about rekeying your locks yourself. In that case, buying a rekeying kit will be your best decision. Purchase a rekey kit from your nearest hardware shop and follow the instruction manual carefully. You can also find the lock rekeying kits in the online marketplaces. Rekeying kits for the Kwikset and the Schlage are available in the lock shops and the Amazon. After buying a rekey kit, follow the steps mentioned in this article's above section. You can also buy a larger pinning kit from Amazon if you want to rekey multiple door locks in your house.

Lock Brands That Can Be Rekeyed With Keys From Other Brands

Although most lock brands maintain a maximum amount of safety, the locks can be rekeyed to match one another. Most manufacturers design their keyways similarly to the other brands so they can be rekeyed with others.

In years of our locksmith experience, we experimented with numerous lock models. We came up with a list containing some lock brands that use similar keyways. We are enclosing the list down below. Please check them carefully before rekeying your locks.

Decide When To Replace And When To Rekey A Lock

Lock Brands That Work With Keys From Other Brands

Most people tend to replace their door locks whenever they find them malfunctioning. But replacing multiple locks for a silly reason can cost you a decent amount of money. Therefore, you must know how to differentiate between replacing and rekeying your locks.

  • Replace your lock when you don't have any spare keys. Also, when your door knob has been locked.
  • Replacement is a better option for damaged locks or knobs
  • Rekey your locks only when you feel confident about it
  • If the keyways don't match, then replacement is your best option
  • Rekeying will be the better option if you own keys to the old pins

We always appreciate rekeying over replace because it's effective, efficient, and cost-friendly. Call us at 832-481-5030 for the safest, most efficient, and fastest locksmith services for any rekeying services.

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Armor Locks Co.

231 Cavalcade St Houston, TX 77009

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Article written by: Isaac Bell
I'm Isaac Bell, founder of Armor Locks Co. I founded the company in 2014, and we've been growing. We're a Houston-based locksmith and security services provider, and we're dedicated to providing quality service and helping people in emergencies. We still uphold our founding ethos of putting customers first, which is why we're one of the most trusted names in security. Thank you for considering me for your next project!