How to Rekey a Schlage Lock

Written by m deehn
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How to Rekey a Schlage Lock
Keep your home safe by rekeying your locks. (house and key image by hans slegers from

When you buy a new or existing home, it is often a good idea to change the locks, but this can be expensive. An alternative method is to rekey the locks. Although there are many types of Schlage locksets, the basic process for rekeying your lockset is similar to the process for rekeying a typical Schlage front-entry doorknob or lever unit.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Rekeying kit
  • Keys
  • Key gauge
  • Tweezers or pliers

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  1. 1

    Insert the key into the lock. Turn the key 90 degrees. Leave the key in the lock.

  2. 2

    Push down the catch with the key gauge. Remove the knob catch. Remove the knob or lever by pulling to remove it from the spindle.

  3. 3

    Turn the key back to the original position and remove. Check that the keyhole is vertical. Gently press on the cylinder so it will slide out of the rear of the knob. If the cylinder does not come out of the knob easily, check the alignment.


  1. 1

    Remove the cylinder retaining clip, or C-clip, using a key gauge. Reinsert the key. Turn it 90 degrees. Slide the plug follower into the back of the cylinder. Use pressure to remove the plug from the housing.

  2. 2

    Hold the springs and upper pins to prevent them from falling out, using the follower. Allow the lower pins to fall from the cylinder onto the work area. Store the old pins in a safe place.

  3. 3

    Replace the lower pins with new pins. Use tweezers or small pliers to hold the small pins. Put the plug back into the housing. Remove the plug follower. Reattach the C-clip. Remove the key.


  1. 1

    Slide the cylinder back into the shaft of the knob. Make sure the cap is lined up with the slot in the knob. Gently press the cylinder into the knob to seat.

  2. 2

    Insert the key into the lock. Turn it 90 degrees. Line up the knob shank with the spindle catch. Ease the knob catch onto the shank until the catch snaps or clicks into place. Take out the key.

  3. 3

    Reinstall the rekeyed lockset into the appropriate door. Lock the lock, then open with the new key to test.

Tips and warnings

  • Rekeying kits offer all necessary parts.
  • Deadbolts may also be rekeyed.
  • Have your keys and pins ready for replacement.
  • Always refer to the owner's manual for more information.

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