Rekey house door

Locksmith taking apart door lock and reset pins for a new key

Thinking about trying to fix a door lock without a Locksmith? Re-pinning a door lock may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and tools, it becomes a straightforward process. Whether you’ve lost your keys, moved to a new place, or simply want to enhance your security, this guide will empower you with the necessary skills and knowledge to accomplish the task.

What is Re-pinning a Door Lock?

Visit our video showing the steps and required talent:

Re-pinning a door lock is the process of rearranging the pins inside the lock cylinder to fit a new set of keys. This is done to ensure that only the new keys can open the lock, providing security and control over access to your space.

Essential Tools for Re-pinning

To successfully re-pin a door lock, you’ll need a set of essential tools. Here’s a list to get you started:

  1. Lock Rekeying Kit: This kit contains the necessary pins, springs, and tools for the re-pinning process.
  2. Screwdriver: A standard screwdriver will help you disassemble the lock.
  3. Plug Follower: This tool assists in removing the lock core.
  4. Tweezers: Tweezers come in handy for handling small pins and springs.
  5. Key Decoder: This tool helps determine the key’s pin size and configuration.
  6. New Key Set: You’ll need the new set of keys you want to use for the lock.
* Please understand, that one mistake during the process and you may be looking at a new lock – contact Calgary Rekey Lockworks for a quote to save your sanity and get professional results.
Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let’s go through the step-by-step process of re-pinning a door lock for new keys:

1. Remove the Lock

To start, you need to remove the lock from the door. Follow these steps:

  • Unscrew and remove the screws on the doorknob plate.
  • Pull apart the doorknob and handle.
  • Use the screwdriver to take out the screws holding the lock in place.
  • Carefully pull the lock out of the door.
2. Disassemble the Lock

Once the lock is removed, it’s time to disassemble it:

  • Use the plug follower to remove the lock core.
  • Remove the retainer cap and set it aside.
  • Extract the old pins and springs from the cylinder.
3. Decode the Key

Use the key decoder to determine the pin sizes for your new key. This step is crucial for re-pinning the lock correctly.

4. Re-pin the Lock

Now, it’s time to re-pin the lock to match the new key:

  • Insert the new pins and springs, following the pin sizes you decoded.
  • Carefully reassemble the lock cylinder.
5. Test the New Keys

Before re-installing the lock, test the new keys to ensure they work smoothly. This will help avoid any issues once the lock is back in place.

6. Re-install the Lock

Reattach the lock to the door by reversing the removal process. Make sure it’s securely in place, and the doorknob functions properly.

FAQs to a Locksmith

How long does it take to re-pin a door lock for new keys?

The time it takes to re-pin a lock depends on your experience and the complexity of the lock. With training and practice, it can take as little as 20-30 minutes. First-time attempts can take hours with no guaranteed results.

Can I re-pin a lock without any prior experience?

Yes, re-pinning a lock is a skill that can be learned with the right guidance and practice.

Do I need a professional locksmith for this task?

While professional locksmiths are experts in re-keying locks, you can re-pin a lock yourself with the right tools and knowledge. but again… no guaranteed success.

Can I re-pin all types of locks?

Most standard pin tumbler locks can be re-pinned. However, some high-security locks may require advanced skills and tools.

What if I make a mistake while re-pinning the lock?

If you make a mistake, don’t worry. You can disassemble the lock and start over but losing parts can be an expensive problem.

Is re-pinning a lock cost-effective?

Re-pinning a lock is a cost-effective solution when compared to replacing an entire lock.


Re-pinning a door lock for new keys is a valuable skill that allows you to control access to your space and enhance your security. In the event you find that this is best left to a professional locksmith with decades of experience, then contact Calgary Rekey Lockworks and we will quote the job for you. Feel free to check our Better Business Bureau A+ rating!

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