Picture of How to re-key a door knob
Have you ever given someone a key to something but then later on decided it wasn't such a good idea and you fear that they have copied it, I recently had that problem. There are plenty of lock smiths that will re-key a lock for a fee or you could go out and buy a new door knob. I was running low on cash and decided to take the knob apart and see if there was a way to change the pins (and my key) in a way that the original key wouldn't work. This is my first instructable and is based on what I did. But first, I am NOT responsible for any damage you do to your door knob.
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Step 1: Remove the knob

Picture of Remove the knob
My door knob has a small hole between the part that rotates and the part that attaches to the door (refer to picture). All door knobs can be taken apart, yours will probably be different than the picture. When the door knob is turned the correct way there is a button that can be pushed to release the knob. Remove the knob but remember how it came off.

Step 2: Remove and examine the lock

Picture of Remove and examine the lock
On my particular brand of door knob the lock mechanism is only held in by a decorative ring and is easily slid off to remove the lock. Also remember how it came out although it should only fit one way. Once its out, test it and see how it works. Basically the key goes in and each tooth on the key pushes a different pin in the lock to a specified height so that they all align and the barrel can turn freely. there are plenty of sites that explain this much better than I can, How Lock Picking Works. If you open the link for this step keep it open for the next step too.
lostkano3 years ago
I'm a locksmith and I credit you with being intelligent enough to figure this out and not loosing parts.
w2sqr6 years ago
Home Depot & Lowes sell re-keying kits for about $10 that allow you to
re-key about 6 locks to the new key in the kit. I keep all the old keys and
pins from the old locks and can now re-key just about any lock I find.
Try looking at http://changealock.com/
dll932 w2sqr4 years ago
Good luck if you run into a Sargent commercial grade knob or a WeiserBolt. :) Corbin/Russwin knobs aren't real fun either. Don't even TRY this with a Medeco or other high-security lock.
stuuf4 years ago
looks like one of those cheap mountain security knobs... i bought one the other day to play around with but couldn't figure out how to take it apart. i guess i was expecting too much from a $9 walmart lockset to think of pulling the cylinder by shoving a screwdriver in the SECURE side knob.
stuuf stuuf4 years ago
insecure side i meant obviously...
sturmey5 years ago
not all door knobs are removed this way.

This didn't really help for my door knob.
A.C.E.6 years ago
i have an older kwikset lock but i cant figure out how to get the thing that spins to lock the door out so i can remove the tube.. any ideas?
jpoarch A.C.E.6 years ago
See this link. (http://www.kwikset.com/Trade/Literature/default.aspx). Look for the "Rekeying Manual".
SYMMETRY6 years ago
Good now I can change the lock before my girlfriend gets home
A.C.E. SYMMETRY6 years ago
DIY Dave6 years ago
Cool I have a lock that I am going to take apart and rearange the pins to fit another key that is exactly the same but with a reversed order
Scott_Tx6 years ago
I was wondering how you'd add material to the key when I saw this but just removing the pin works too. Good idear.
very clever. Nicely explained too.