The keys to your…

future? House? Garden Shed? Toybox filled with action figures?

Last weekend, I spend a day or so replacing a couple of outside doors at my ski place and adding security gates. The work itself was mostly uninteresting, but I had a problem.

Each door and gate had both a deadbolt and a handle, so that means 8 locks in total. Which meant that I needed to have 6 locks re-keyed so that they would all use the same key.

Which would be somewhere in the $60 - $90 range. If I remembered to bring in a couple of deadbolt cylinders that I have at home (and are keyed differently), that would be $80 - $120.

Hmm. In these parts, that's what the call "tool money".

Tool money is the amount that you can use to justify a new tool purchase. By choosing projects appropriately, one can get the tools and still end up saving money, on the theory that that you would have done the project anyway, which has been known to be true at times.

Which led me to a few web searches, where I found the:

Schlage Rekeying Manual

Which made things look pretty straightforward, so I found the:

Schlage Lock Retail Keying Kit (40-132)

It showed up a week or so ago, and I sat down to redo the locks.

It's really a pretty straightforward process. Basically, you loosen whatever needs to be loosened to get the cylinder out, and then press it out with a special tool that's the same size as the cylinder. That holds the pins in so they don't get pushed out by the springs. You then let the sized pins drop out, put in the new key, and then replace the sized pins with the appropriate ones for the new key. Reverse the disassembly, and you've rekeyed a lock. The knobs take about 5 minutes, the deadbolts a bit more.

If you mess up the knobs, there's a second option that involves taking everything off and then replacing both sets of pins and the springs. It takes another 5 minutes.

If you mess up a deadbolt, well, you're in for some fun. You have to replace the springs and the normal sized pins one at a time, adding a new one while holding the others in. That took me an extra 20 minutes.

Overall, it's pretty easy to do.


Comments (3)

  1. Daniel Fortunov says:

    Hang on a minute here Eric… At a price of $114.47, the re-keying kit is right near the top-end of your estimate for getting a locksmith to do it.

    How did you get this past your wife?!

  2. HVUser says:


    I don’t expect this to be the only set of locks I ever re-key.

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