How to Rekey a Yale Lock

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Rekeying kit

  • Yale key cut gauge


The rekeying kit will come with numbered compartments filled with pins. These pins match up with the key cut numbers to fit in the proper slot.

Yale makes many different types of locks, including deadbolts, padlocks and security locks. They are often used for safe deposit boxes and have since been expanded to include the more conventional residential locks. Locks are often rekeyed for safety purposes and to make it more difficult for intruders to get into the house. Rekeying a Yale deadbolt lock is a task that only takes a few minutes to accomplish. With only a screwdriver and a rekeying kit, you can rekey any Yale deadbolt lock.

Step 1

Remove the screws from the back of the deadbolt cover and pull off the cover plate. Take off the tailpiece assembly with the tool provided in the rekeying kit. Push the cylinder assembly out of the cylinder guard.

Step 2

Insert the key into the provided key cut gauge to find out the number of the key. Write down the numbers on the key cut gauge that match the depth of the key for each groove. Record all five numbers for use as the key cut number.

Step 3

Insert the Yale key cut gauge into the cylinder and move it in either direction to remove the tail piece. Put the key into the cylinder and turn 20 degrees from vertical in either direction. Insert the provided plug follower into the back of the cylinder and push the plug out.

Step 4

Turn the plug upside down and shake the pins out. Place the key into the cylinder and remove the correct pin from the keying kit that matches the first key cut number. Place the beveled end of the pin into the slot closest to the key. Pick up the numbered pin from the rekeying kit that matches the second key cut number and place it in the next slot. Repeat the process until you have filled all the holes.

Step 5

Put the plug back into the cylinder and turn the key in either direction to make sure it is working properly. Remove the key from the plug. Reattach the tail piece assembly with the key cut gauge. Install the cylinder back into the guard and put the cover plate back on the deadbolt.

Alexander Callos

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.