How to Rekey Your Smart Lock

Digital smart door lock security system with the password

Smart locks are mechanical and electronic devices designed to perform locking and unlocking operations wirelessly with an authorized user’s authentication. They use a cryptographic key. Smart locks are said to be a part of a smart home. 

They allow homeowners to enter their homes and provide access to others without using a physical key. The user uses their smartphone or a unique key fob to unlock the door mechanically. Like traditional locks, smart locks consist of two essential parts: the lock and the key.  

Unlike traditional locks, the key needed for smart locks is not a physical one but a smartphone or a unique key fob specially configured for that purpose. The key fob wirelessly performs the needed authentication and automatically unlocks the door. Homeowners can also grant access to others using a virtual key.

Some smart locks do not have any physical key; everything is digital. However, other smart locks have a physical key you can use, usually as a backup option. 

Can Smart Locks be Rekeyed?

Although some smart locks do not come with a physical key, others do. Smart locks that do not have a traditional locking mechanism as a backup option can only be accessed through the digital keypad. However, many smart lock brands include a  physical key. These brands aim to provide their users with modern technology while having traditional mechanisms as a backup.

Losing a key is a common occurrence, and when you do, you’ll probably ask yourself if you can rekey your lock. With most smart locks, the answer is yes. But, rekeying might be a tasking process depending on the smart lock, so consulting a locksmith is advisable. 

How to Rekey your Smart Lock with the Original Key 

  1. Insert your key in the hole and turn it clockwise to a 90-degree angle.
  2. Insert your smart key tool (or a pin whittled to the size) into the smart keyhole firmly and completely.
  3. Remove the smart key tool and remove the key. 
  4. Insert a new key into the keyhole, pushing it all the way in.
  5. Turn the key 90 degrees in the anticlockwise direction. Without pulling out the key, test it and make sure it works. 

Tools you Need to Rekey your Smart Lock without the Original Key

When you misplace your smart lock’s original key, you only have two options: replacing the lock itself or rekeying the tumbler. Replacing the lock can be expensive. On the other hand, rekeying the tumbler is not as expensive as installing a new lock, but it is more complicated.

To rekey the lock, you will need some tools. Some manufacturers make brand-specific rekey kits. Regardless, a rekey kit should have the following:

  • Pins
  • Plug follower
  • Tweezers
  • A manual

In addition, you should have a:

  • Screwdriver
  • Shim
  • Key blank
  • New key
  • Key gauge
locksmith team fix smart lock on wood door

How to Rekey your Lock without the Original Key

Take apart your lock

Disassembling your lock could be easy or tricky, depending on your smart lock brand. It would help if you had a screwdriver to get the smart lock off the door for some brands. The process is different for other systems.

Shimming your Lock

To do this, you need to gain access to the back of your lock. This process could be tricky, hence why you should seek professional help. If you can gain access to the back of the lock, you will need to shim open the lock. 

  • Place the lock shim in the back portion of the lock. You must be in line with the driver pins. 
  • Insert the key blank into the key slot.
  • Slowly take out the key blank, exposing one pin at a time while maintaining pressure on the shim. 
  • Push the shim and let it slip into the small space between the driver and key pins. 
  • With the shim between all the pins, move the lock into the open position.

The tumbler is loose now, so you have to be extra careful not to let the tumbler fall out.

Rekeying your Lock

  • Using your plug follower, push out the tumbler. Be extra careful not to let any key pins fall out.
  • With your key gauge, map out the pins of your new cut key. You may write down the numbers on a piece of paper. 
  • Take out the old pins from the tumbler.
  • Place your new key into the lock and replace the old pins with new ones. You need to follow the same order you wrote down.
  • Put the tumbler back inside the lock, simultaneously pushing out the plug follower. Do not try to pull out the key at this point, as you could take out the tumbler too.
  • Turn the key and test if the rekeying of your lock was a success.

Rekeying your lock is possible but tricky, especially if you don’t have the original key. Rekeying without the use of an original key is tasking and if you can, hire the services of a professional. If you’re rekeying it yourself, still have a professional look at the lock before attempting any work on it. Take time to do your research. Doing this will help you immensely.


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