Kwikset Smartkey – Rekey without Existing key

Rekeying Kwikset SmartKey Without Key

Rekeying a Kwikset Smartkey without a key has been our most popular request. The Smartkey has several parts to it, and many locksmiths do not touch them without an existing key. They are very much so rekeyable without a working key, and I will attempt to explain step by step how to rekeying a Smartkey without an existing key.

A few notes before getting started:

  1. The lever version of the lock oftentimes cannot be removed without first having the cylinder turned. (Very difficult without key)
  2. Your lock may not be exactly like this one, but the same principles apply across the board

Step 1:

  • Remove the lock from the door

In this example we will be using a Kwikset Kevo as the example Smartkey. Typically a screwdriver and allen wrench are the only tools required to take the lock off the door.

Kwikset Kevo

Step 2:

  • Remove Retainer Clip

This clip keeps the lock cylinder inside the housing. It can be removed with a flat head or small pokey type tool.

Show Backside with clip in place
Clip Removed

Step 3:

  • Remove Cylinder

At this point, you should have the cylinder out in your hand.

Step 4:

  • Remove Retainer Clip

Kwikset sells a remover tool for this; however, it can be accomplished with two flat head screw drivers.

Cylinder Retaining Clip
Retainer Clip

Step 5:

  • Remove Plug from Housing

This is the most difficult part of the process. If you try to push the plug from the housing, the wafers will be preventing it from coming out. We use a pick to hold the wafers up for removal; however, anything thin enough to enter the keyhole and reach back should work.

Use a finger to push the plug out (lightly) while lifting the wafers up. The plug should slowly start working its way out. This is difficult at first, but with some practice and patience the process becomes easier.

As the plug comes out hold the sidebar in place. BE CAREFUL, the plug is two separate pieces and likes to fall apart on removal. Parts include: Sidebar, two sidebar springs, spring keeping slider forward, and five wafers.

Show Wafers in Place
Cylinder Out


Wafer Bitting Notches

Bitting Notches

  • These notches determine the working cuts (1 cut -6 cut)
Sidebar Notch

Sidebar Notch

If the key is holding the wafers in the correct position, the sidebar can fall in and the lock turned.

Wafer Slider Notch

Rekey Notch

This notch prevents rekeying unless the correct key is inserted and turned.

Lower Bar

If the wafers are not in the correct position. These posts prevent the lock from entering rekeying position.

Step 6:

  • Line Up Wafers

You need to line up the wafers so that when reassembling you can pull back the tab back. This part can take a few times to get it right. Once the tab is pulled back, the lock is in the rekey position.

Wafers Lined Up
Put together
In Rekey

Step 7:

  • Insert New Key and Let Tab Go

At this point, the lock is rekeyed. It is important that all of the parts get back into place. The sidebar will only go in one way, and should be able to be slightly pushed in with the new key in the plug. Put it all back together, test operation and you're done!

Rekeying Lock