Three popular lock types in the United States include Kwikset, Schlage and Defiant, with Kwikset and Schlage largely dominating the residential lock market. Defiant locks are gradually gaining popularity among homeowners due to their low price tag, good looks and functionality.

Locking door with a key.
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How to Re-Key a Defiant Lock

Rekeying your lock is a great option when you need to change your lock but do not need to replace the hardware. It's a more cost-effective way to maintain high security. The process changes the inner core of the lock, leaving the outside hardware in tact and requiring a brand new set of keys. Past keys will not be able to open your new lock.

Common situations where locks are rekeyed include lost or damaged keys, tenant turnover in rental properties and recent break-ins. If your keys fall into the hands of the wrong person, you may want to opt to rekey.

You can call a locksmith to rekey your lock for you with a fee, or you can do it yourself with the purchase of a kit. You can find rekey kits at major hardware or home improvement stores. Once you have a kit, you will be able to rekey your lock anytime.

To rekey a Defiant lock, you will need its original key. Other than that, the rekeying process is similar to rekeying any other lock type.

Remove the Lock From the Door

Use the wire tool from the kit to remove the deadbolt from the door by pushing the tool into the doorknob hole. Insert your original key to unlock the original lock. Then, remove the key.

Extract Lock Cylinder and C-Clip

Remove the cylinder from the cylinder guard in the lock and insert your old key again. Remove the C-clip using the spanner tool and turn your key about 45 degrees.

Remove Interior Plug

Insert the provided plug follower tool to push your plug out from inside the cylinder. Be sure to keep the plug follower inside the cylinder housing to prevent the interior pins and springs from falling out.

Replace Pins

Remove your key and take out the pins in the bottom pin holes. Replace the pins, matching them with the colors provided in the kit instructions. Carefully insert the pins for the best results. Tweezers may be helpful for this step.

Test Your New Lock

Insert a new key and test the lock. Turn the key back and forth multiple times to verify that the correct pins have been placed. Finally, put the lock back together by reinserting the cylinder plug and installing the rekeyed lock on the door.