How to Easily Rekey a Lock

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Rekeying a lock only takes a few minutes.
Rekeying a lock only takes a few minutes. (Image: lock in rusty door image by Allen Penton from Fotolia.com)

Rekeying a lock has many purposes around a house. Locks can be rekeyed for many reasons including safety and convenience. Rekeying a lock can be done to match the rest of the locks on the house and prevent multiple keys from needing to be used. Rekeying a lock only takes a few minutes and can be completed by any homeowner.

Things You'll Need

  • Rekeying kit
  • Needle-nose pliers

Purchase a rekeying kit from a local hardware store. These kits will work for many different types of locks and are a must when rekeying.

Insert a wire tool into the knob hole located in between the actual knob and the door. This wire tool comes with the rekeying kit. Once the clip is in, the knob will pull off the door. Insert the key into the door and turn until it is unlocked. Remove the lock cylinder from the inside of the door knob.

Take the retainer ring off the lock cylinder. Use a retaining tool that is supplied in the rekeying kit and place it against the retainer ring. Force the ring off. Set the retainer ring aside for later use.

Put the old key in the handle and turn it left or right. Insert the cylinder plug into the back of the cylinder. This plug is also supplied in the rekeying kit. Push it completely through the cylinder. Keep pressure on the cylinder plug so the pins in the top of the cylinder do not fall out.

Take the old pins out of the cylinder and insert the new key. Match the color of the pins on the cylinder with the colors of those in the rekeying kit. Pick up the pins with needle-nose pliers and insert them into the matching slots on the cylinder. Fill all five holes in the cylinder with the correct pins.

Turn the key in the cylinder to check and make sure the pins are all in the correct spots. Insert the cylinder plug back in the cylinder and turn the new key so it locks into place. Reattach the retainer ring with the retainer tool in the same manner that it was removed. Put the cylinder back in the knob and reattach the knob to the door.

Put the new key in the door and turn it to make sure it opens and everything is working properly.

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