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.
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.