Schlage Rekeying Guide
Schlage is one of the most recognized Lock Brands in the USA Today. Schlage is unique though. Most Lock Manufacturers are known for great residential locks (like Kwikset) or great commercial locks (like Sargent) but it is rare for a lock manufacturer to be known for great, high quality residential and commercial locks. But it goes even further, Schlage is also the most knocked-off commercial lock brand in the industry today! Just about every “good” aftermarket or imported lockset uses a very similar if not exact design. To this day, Schlage sets the standards on what a good lock looks and feels like. So, if you are in the Locksmithing Industry you will run into Schlage or Schlage knock-offs on a normal basis.
- The History of Schlage
- Schlage Lock Pinning Specs
- Rekeying Kits
- Rekeying Tools
- Rekeying Residential Schlage Locks
- Rekeying Commercial Schlage Locks
Schlage Locks History
Walter Schlage was a mechanical engineer by trade. He was born in Germany but immigrated to the United States during the early 1900s. After leaving his job at Western Electric Company, Schlage opened up his own lock shop in San Francisco. The company was officially incorporated. A century later, it’s now one of the most recognized trademarks in the United States. Schlage Locks are centered on style and convenience which in my opinion has made Schlage a household name, staying up to date on current design trends at the same time making the locks easy to install and use.
Go even deeper in the History of Schlage.
Since Schlage makes both residential and commercial locksets, I am going to break them down separately although they share many similarities the differences are important to point out. As I pointed our above, since Schlage’s design is knocked off so much the information here will also apply to all locks that are using the Schlage Design. The good news is the tools and pinning kit needed to rekey the Schlage Locks are the same for residential and commercial!
- Depths: 0-9
- Bottom Pin #’s: 0-9
- Master Pin #’s: 2-9
- Top Pin #’s: 1-3
- Plug Diameter: .500”
I recommend 3 Types of kits that are available to rekey Schlage Locks.
The Starter (compact kit)
A small compact plastic kit, made by LockVoy. This kit is perfect for basic residential or commercial Schlage Lock rekeying, it even comes with the tools needed to rekey Schlage Locks. The downside is that it only has the #2 Schlage Master Pin, so you can do some very basic master keying and is most used for Schlage residential lock rekeying.
The Heavy Duty Professional Kit (lasts a lifetime)
The other recommended kit is this heavy duty, metal case rekeying kit. It has all of the Schlage Pins and is built to last a lifetime. If you plan to rekey Schlage locks for the next decade, then this kit is the way to go!
The Universal Kit (.003)
A .003 Universal Pinning Kit has every Schlage pin plus much more. In this one kit you can rekey Schlage Locks, Kwikset Locks, Weiser Locks, Sargent Locks, plus many more! One other benefit is that the pin sizes go up by .003 (for example .240”, .243”, .246”, .249”) this allows you to work with old, warn down keys.
Plug Followers (used to put in place of the plug while rekeying)
- Basic Universal Aluminum Follower - Great for all types of locks, it’s universal design allows you to use with Schlage Locks but also Kwikset, Weiser, and more!
- Plastic Schlage Design Follower - This follower is specifically designed for Schlage Locks, including the F-Series residential locks. F-Series plugs have a very unique design and this follower takes all the guess work out of it.
- Multiuse Followers - The Mullet - Mullet Plug Follower – It’s a Universal Aluminum Plug follower on one end and a Schlage Cylinder Cap Removal Tool on the other (plug follower in the front and Cap remover in the back) end so you have less tools in your workspace!
- Multiuse Follower - The Big Bro – The Big Bro Aluminum Plug follower is everything the Mullet is BUT is also a master pin removal follower. If you work on commercial locks, the big bro is a must.
Clip Removal Tools (to get the back clip off of the plug)
- Universal Clip Removal Tool – The Universal Clip Removal Tool removes the C Clip on the back of the plug, the C Clip has to be removed before you can take the plug out to rekey.
Key Gauge (to measure the depth(s) of a Schlage Key Blank)
- Pro-Lok Schalge Key Gauge - This gauge allows you to put an existing key into it and it will tell you the depth of the cut so you don’t have to guess or use trial and error. It will speed up the time it takes to decode an existing key.
- LockVoy 8-1 Key Gauge – The 8 in 1 Key Gauge does everything the Pro-Lock Schlage Key Gauge does but it also has 7 other manufactures listed like Kwikset, Weiser, SFIC A2, Master Padlock, and more.
Pin Gauge (to measure the length of a Schlage Lock Pin)
- LockVoy Schlage Pin Gauge - This Pin Gauge allows you to take any size Schlage Lock Pin and figure out what length it is immediately.
Cylinder Cap Removal Tool (used to get the cap off the back of deadbolt plugs)
- To remove the Cylinder Cap off the back of a Schlage Lock Plug you have 2 options. You can use a little sharp stiff object like a paperclip or you can use the Mullet or Big Bro (also described above) which are formed to fit a Schlage Cylinder Cap and will allow you to spin off the cap in a few seconds!
Tweezers (used to put lock pins in the plug or work with top pins and springs)
- LockVoy Pinning Tweezers – The LockVoy Pinning Tweezers are 6” long and have a .115” Diameter hole drilled out on the tip to grip a Schlage Lock Pin Perfectly.
- Lab Pinning Tweezers – The Lab Pinning Tweezers are 4” long and are bent perfectly to hold a .115 Diameter Schlage Lock Pin.
Most Schlage residential levers and knobs are known as F-Series and will have a C clip on the back of the plug you will have to remove to rekey them. They also have what is known as a compressible cap, this cap makes it very simple to remove the cylinder from the lock housing however it is very problematic, and you will want to take great care with it. Many, when new to rekeying want to “pop” off the cap to rekey it from the top of the cylinder, this is a mistake as it wears down the part of the cap that holds it on and will lead to future issues down the road. Residential deadbolts are pretty simple to rekey and are very similar to Schlage Commercial Deadbolts, you just need to take of the back cylinder cap to take apart and rekey.
A word on master keying Schlage Locks with a compressible cap...
It is possible, but it is not recommended as the cap will pop off eventually. If you must only use a 2 step system and add master pins as sparingly as possible and try to even out where they go in. For example, put a master pin in the #1 chamber and #5 Chamber. Don’t put master pins in #1,#2,#3 chambers, spacing them out is your best option. Also, make sure you have extra t-pins (top pins) and springs to match the t-pins.
Schlage Commercial Locks are some of the easiest locks to rekey once you have the lock plug out of the lockset. Simple remove the clip or cylinder screw cap off the back and rekey. Schlage Commercial Locks are also great locks to master key.
I hope this information not only answered any questions you had about rekeying Schlage Locks but also gave you some additional information to make sure you are prepared for Schlage Commercial and Residential Locks.