How do you rekey a lock without the original key?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

To rekey a lock without the original key, you will need a few tools and some patience. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Take out the lock face.
– Start by removing the screws on the lock faceplate using a screwdriver.
– Once the faceplate is removed, you will have access to the cylinder and keyway.

Step 2: Remove the lock cylinder from the knob and take off the cylinder retainer ring.
– Locate the cylinder retainer ring, which is a small metal ring that holds the cylinder in place.
– Use a small flathead screwdriver or a pick to carefully remove the retainer ring. Be gentle to avoid damaging the lock.

Step 3: Remove the cylinder plug from the cylinder.
– Insert the key that you want to use to rekey the lock into the cylinder.
– While holding the key in place, use a plug follower (a small tube-like tool) to push the cylinder plug out of the cylinder body. This will allow you to access the pins inside the cylinder.

Step 4: Remove the old pins and put the new key in.
– Once the cylinder plug is removed, you will see a series of pins inside the cylinder.
– Carefully remove the old pins using a pinning tray or a similar tool. Take note of the order and size of the pins.
– Insert the new key you want to use into the cylinder, ensuring it is fully inserted.

Step 5: Put the new pins on the lock.
– Take the new pins that correspond to the new key and place them in the correct order inside the cylinder.
– Make sure the pins are flush with the shear line, which is the separation point between the cylinder and the plug.

After completing these steps, you can reassemble the lock by reversing the earlier steps. Put the cylinder plug back into the cylinder body, secure it with the retainer ring, and reattach the lock faceplate. Test the lock with the new key to ensure it is working properly.

It’s important to note that rekeying a lock without the original key requires some skill and knowledge. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with this process, it’s best to consult a professional locksmith who can assist you.