A couple of months ago, I bought a Schlage keypad deadbolt, for the garage entry door. I also have a Schlage keypad on the basement door, and plan on putting one on my home office/workspace door.
That’s too many backup keys to keep track of. I currently can’t even find the backup key to the basement door, which is a problem, although I think I saw it last week.
So how do I rekey some of those locks to a common key? Well, I could call a locksmith. But… since these aren’t critical locks or locations, maybe it’s something I could do myself?
In case you’re wondering, why keypad locks on some interior doors? Well, my kids are at the age where some spaces need to be restricted to them at certain times. They’re curious, and the basement stairs, let alone what’s down there, are off-limits to them for a while longer. Having the keypad lock means an adult can open the door without a key, and I can work in the basement without being locked in when the door is locked. You can’t do that with a physical latch. There’s also an override if someone is working in the house and needs back-and-forth access to the basement.
So, juggle 3 different sets of backup keys, call a locksmith, or do it myself?
I opted to do it myself.
I bought the above Schlage keying kit, to go along with the Schlage locks. It was $130 at the time of purchase, and is currently a bit more. There might be less expensive places to buy it.
(Schlage 40-132 Keying Kit, via Amazon)
Why this kit? It contains way more than I’ll ever need. Waaaaay more. But I’ll be set for a long time, and can lend it out to others without worrying about running out of parts. There are spare parts galore, and perhaps more importantly, there are the necessary tools.
Where can you buy a Schlage cylinder cap removal tool? *Shrug* Some locksmith and door retailers online have it priced at $36 to $42. With this kit, which is larger than a more basic rekeying kit that’s also available, I didn’t have to think about which tools I needed, or where to buy them.
So how did it work out?
The included instructions are very lacking, but there are good videos online, as well as a PDF I found after the fact.
Taking things apart was pretty easy.
These are the old keys, but I might want to use them for something, so I blacked-out the code.
I inserted the follower guide bar the wrong way into the cylinder housing, but didn’t have too much trouble. And even if I did, I have all the parts needed to replace any lost springs or parts.
This part was a little tense, and I screwed up once or twice, but figured things out and rebuilt everything nicely.
The keyed part of the keypad deadbolt is a little clunky to use, but it’s also just there for backup purposes, in case the keypad fails or runs out of battery. Note to self: replace basement keypad battery this week.
Overall, the process was quite easy. I have two more locks to go.
I was a little uncertain about the price of the rekeying kit. I think it was regularly $150 and I caught it on sale for $130. Still, $130?
But I’m pretty confident it will pay for itself with these 3 locks. A locksmith handled the front and back door locks after we moved in. And for critical entry doors, I’d probably still go with the locksmith. But for these keypad locks with backup keys? I’m happy to do them myself.
It was a surprisingly easy process, too, with only a few first-time complications.
Now, I’m tempted to look into cabinet locks and maybe even cylinder locks, so I can use a common key for my tool boxes! That’s been a challenge – finding a way to lock my DIY kitchen-cabinet-style tool box drawers.
I re-pinned my locks and master keyed my house – my wife and I only need one key for everything, but the dog walker has much more restricted access, and so on. Nice and easy.
There are cheaper kits available (not from Schlage) that provide the pins for multiple locks and a set of matching keys. They are a lot less expensive and you can pick them up at Home Depot. The Schlage kit is probably better in the long run if you are doing a lot, though.
I couldn’t justify the cost of the Schlage kit so I went with the one available from Home Depot.
We bought all new locks for all of the doors in our house when we bought the house. The previous owner was not able to provide us with keys for all of them (“We always use the garage door.”) so we were going to have to do something even if there weren’t a potential security issue. It took a few hours to rekey all the locks to use the same key (including searching for pins dropped in the carpet) but went pretty smoothly.
I see a $13 kit from a 3rd party brand, but that one is for rekeying to their new key.
I wanted to rekey my locks to an existing key, and it doesn’t look like they can do that.
At the time, I couldn’t easily find keypad lock-compatible options by anyone other than Schlade. Now I see that the tool might be considered optional, but I still found it helpful.
Yeah. Changing to the key provided in the kit wasn’t a problem for us since we were changing to all new locks and I rekeyed all of them.
Cylinders are easy compared to key in knob.
Did you use any security pins? (spool or serated?) Any anti-bump pins or a stronger spring in one?
Thanks! No, I didn’t.
The front and rear entry doors have higher-level-security locksets. The ones I changed are less crucial, and so I simply went with the standard pins in the set.
I figure that I’ll give my kids the code to the basement door before they learn how to pick locks. =)
I’ve been spoiled by the Kwikset Smartkey system. I will be moving later this year and will end up replacing the entry door hardware with new Kwikset hardware.
That said, $130 for that kit isn’t a bad deal at all.
Same here. I only have one door I’ve put this on, but I was able to easily put in a doorknob and two deadbolts and key them all up to the same key which made it way easier than it used to be.
Might want to rethink the kwikset. They’re pretty well regarded as junk by those in the know.
Agreed. Look it up especially the smart key. Apparently the lock is very easy to force and you may not ever know it opens with any kwikset key.
They might be easy to force without any visible signs I think they fixed it though.
But it doesn’t open with any kwikset key.
FYI they are harder for pick and bump
They fixed that issue in 2015. The Kwikset are much harder to pick or bump than the Schlage equivalent.
All the home keylocks can be picked easily by a pro.
I’ve had good service from Kwikset, both their SmartKey and regular locks.
Stuart, parenting tip- take your kids into the forbidden areas for a little supervised time now and then. It reduces the mystery, and with that the desire to sneak in.
When we bought one business – we found that there were many dozens of padlocks in use. We inherited these huge key rings – some keys color-coded to match the paint spot on the padlock. We bought a Master padlock rekeying kit and then another one – got most of the padlocks rekeyed. Then a few years off – we switched to mostly Sesamee padlocks – probably should have done that to start – but I did have a mechanic who learned how to rekey.
When I moved to a new house, this is what I got:
$25 if you only need the pins and cylinder removal tool:
I also bought a bag of 5 pairs of schlage keys on ebay
I just called Schlage last week about re-keying one of their Connect locks sets, to our existing keys. Specifically if I could just swap cylinders on the old & new lock. She said it was possible, but that they could just send me a new cylinder. I asked about the price, and the rep said that was included in the lock warranty (maybe only 1st year). She actually send me a random cylinder for old lock so that I could get rid of it securely, but said a keyed cyclinder would take 2-3 weeks, as they are programmed off site & haven’t been “made” yet.
Not sure why I’m getting new cylinders, if it is an easy swap, but anyway
Stuart – You mentioned a few times that the locks you did were for less critical locations and that you’d call a locksmith to do the critical entry doors. Why is that? I only know a little about how locks work.
Did I do it right? Why is the key scratchy? Does it need some lube or did I screw something up? Is the strike plate securely properly and strongly enough? etc.
Speed, for sure.
It took me over a YEAR to get to this. And once I started, it took me maybe an hour and a half to disassemble the keypad lock, change things over, and then install the new keypad lock to the door. A locksmith can do things lickety split.
Remember, this was my first shot at this. I’m eager for more, and as I build up confidence, I’d likely be more comfortable with any of our locks.
Some years ago, I read that locks and lock-picking were not solely the domain of locksmiths or thieves – but that there was a big number of folks who did it as a hobby. I’m not sure that rekeying is part of that hobby.
Schlage locks are the best you can buy from a off the shelf box store. My brother in law broke into homes as a job for a little while, he worked for a real estate company as a repo guy or something… idk. Anyways they gave him a lockpick gun that he used to get into the houses that the bank owned and he said that the schlage locks were the hardest to get into when lock picking with very little skill. Of course there are higher end locks that can be ordered online.
Something i would also suggest- Door armor from armor concepts. The number one way thieves/home invaders get into a house is kicking in a door(my area anyways). I would suggest the kit that is a straight screw on kit that doesn’t require anything more than screwing the plates on the doors and frame. I OF COURSE had to by the ‘BEST ONE’ and i don’t think the extra WORK that was required was worth it.
They stopped selling the nicer ones. Not sure why, but I think they found the easier ones were 95% as effective for 20% of the hassle.
Door jam armor, that is.
Nicer locks are still available. Abloy is really nice for DIYers as Medeco won’t sell to you unless a professional installs it.
Fantastic! I know electronic locks allow you to change combinations, create temporary ones, create limited access, etc. But they are pricey, and I worry about batteries. This kit does the same thing, but with your existing locks.
A Schlage interior lock with electric keypad typically run around $100 or less. I think it’s a great investment. All our exterior doors and primary interiors door have electric lock on them.
I was concerned about battery life as well but it turn out to be a no concern after having them for over 5 years now. Some of the lock still have the original battery on them. I have only have to change the battery once for some of the more frequently used door. The way most of them work is that the electric part only activate for a short few seconds after the correct pin is keyed in.
I own a few rental houses, so rekeying can be a pain, but here is the secret, use kwikset smart key locks. It takes 3 seconds to rekey a lock, it really is a game changer.
Not an option for me. For several features-based reasons, I much prefer Schlage.
I used to rekey locks in a past job, it is surprisingly easy once you do a bunch (I suppose that goes for everything). I haven’t bothered to rekey anything in about 10 years though, so I have a bunch of keys; one for each entry door. The last thing i rekeyed was my garage door, I made it match my parent’s house so that they could get in if there was an emergency.
I really need to rekey everything, but I am cheap, and don’t want to pay $150 for a kit. some of the other choices look okay (ebay) but the tolerance matters a lot. loose tolerances make it easier to pick. Someone gave me a lock pick set from amazon 2 years ago as a gag gift. I decided to try it for fun, and now I have no faith in locks.
I mean, no offense, but a secondary latch mounted up high where kids can’t reach would accomplish the same thing… although learning to rekey locks is an interesting undertaking.
No it wouldn’t. If my wife is home with the kids, and I want to work in the basement, how is the door secure without locking me in? A latch is not the best answer.
Basement door has 1 knob lockset with keypad. Above, the deadbolt is for the garage entry door. It replaces a wad of paper towels that were put in the deadbolt hole when the door was installed and garage was being painted.
There are products that allow you to actuate the latch through a small gap but still prevent the door from opening, similar to cabinet safety latches etc. I understand your situation – when ours were younger I actually bought an old door from a habitat for humanity re-store and cut it in half to create a dutch-door. It was far more convenient than a gate and could be locked out with easy access to unlock (by parents) over the top of the lower door. It was nice to have the option of closing the door fully or leave the top portion open to hear the kids or to hand things over etc. also. Just a thought.
That is a great idea! So elegant yet practical.
Ahem…I am a locksmith. I don’t have a problem with people trying to DIY, but some research would go a long way toward improving your security. First, you can get a pin kit that has sizes that will accommodate nearly all makes of locks cheaper than that Schlage kit. You can also get a wafer kit to rekey smaller locks, but that can be a little trickier. I don’t happen to be a fan of those U-change locks because I believe they’re too easy to screw up while changing.
If you want to make a lock hard to pick, choose a key that has as wide a variance in cut depth as you can (i.e. depths of say, 3-7-4-9-5 rather than 2-1-3-4-2. However, burglars don’t pick or bump locks, they kick the door in (which should tell you where to focus your attention).
There is a world of difference between a $5 lock and a $200 (or higher) lock, not just in security but longevity as well. Look at what your local locksmith carries for commercial customers and you’ll see what I mean.
Your local big box store usually buys locks by the pallet, keyed alike in groups, so you may not need to change anything if buying all new locks and want them all keyed alike.
Great advice, thank you!
Yes, I went overkill with the kit, but it should also cover my immediate and future needs, as well as that of friends, family, and contractor contacts that might want to borrow it.
At the time, I didn’t have time to research things, I needed a kit that I knew would work.
This was after the locksmith handled the front, rear, and garage entry door locks, and in looking at the model numbers, they are a step or two higher than the residential locks found at home center stores.
My DIY stuff involved the interior doors, matching the backup keys to the keypad locks to the different house keys. Seemed worth sharing nonetheless.
Not sure about the other box stores, but I believe my Menards only charges around $7 for each lock to re-key the Schlage knobs and locks I buy there. Would take a while to justify buying a set.
The value argument can be settled rather easily by answering a simple question:
“What does it cost to have a locksmith rekey your locks?”
If a service call from a locksmith to rekey your locks costs $100 then the value of a $150 do it yourself kit is questionable. If it costs $300 to have a locksmith do this then the kit starts looking pretty good.
Stuart, if you don’t mind me asking, what did it cost to have a locksmith rekey your critical locks, and how much more would it have cost to have him do everything?
I don’t remember?
It was a couple of hundred dollars, not too bad, but involved refitting the doors for the new locks. We’ll be replacing the doors soon, but weren’t ready to at the time. They’re older doors and needed to be drilled out for modern locksets.
I’m not ready to rekey my keypads all at once. They’re not all installed. Right now, 2/3 are installed. The office one will likely go up soon, or maybe after I replace the cheap door.
I figured it’d be convenient for me to do this at my leisure, rather than one or multiple visits by a locksmith or trips to a store that can rekey to my keys.
Plus, it’s kind of my job to keep learning and trying new things. I couldn’t easily answer the question “what do I need to rekey my keypad locks,” but doing it myself helped pierce the veil.
A call for 3 locks might have been what, $150? $120? I don’t think it’d be much less than that. And how much was my time worth? A call might have required a 4 hour waiting around window, at the least, limiting what I could do that day.
For me, the convenience factor ends up making the kit worth it. The experience too. If I were someone else, I might have spent a little more time on research and a little less money on a smaller kit.
I lost a pin and spring for a moment, and also one of the inner top pins and springs popped out when the follow bar failed to follow the cylinder closely enough. I can guarantee you that if I had went with a smaller kit, I would have lost those parts. This kit comes with plenty of replacement parts, and so if I do lose parts, or someone else who’s borrowing the kit loses parts, there’s a small DIYer oopsie insurance there.
Many years ago we debated the cost benefit of subbing out a big batch of lockset work. We had a pretty complete set of Classic Engineering (Imperial Manufacturing) jigs, boring bits, strike plate cutters etc. to deal with slab doors and most through-the-door locksets. But the refurbishment we were working on was using polished brass hinges and mortised-in locksets on slab doors to give the old bed and breakfast an old-time look. We had some time so we got some informal quotes, decided to buy a $1000+ Porter Cable lock mortising machine, and learned how to set it up and practiced using it. I think we did only a little bit (if at all) better than breaking even on the task – considering our capital tool investment and all (including the learning curve) our labor costs – but out lead carpenters learned something new, we added a tool to our tool room and a capability to our company. I thought it was a crap shoot – and we sometimes gambled but just as often subbed out work to folks who had expertise beyond ours.
Handy skill to learn, but I do it the ol fashion way. I bring all the cylinders to my locksmith. 1 hr later, 6$ each ,done.
sometimes it’s just enjoyable to do it yourself
Free time is the most enjoyable ,to me.also priceless….