Where do I find multiple locks keyed to one key?
August 11, 2008 2:59 PM   Subscribe

How or where can I obtain lock sets for doors (the handle and deadbolt combination, can't be one whole unit) that all rely on one key?

We have four doors on our rental duplex currently, and we have one key that works on one of the doors. Our landlord is being very cool about retrofitting the doors with one key, but since I am home improvement savvy and he said he would pay for it, I told him I would check on prices to purchase the locks and just install them myself.

The problem is that I cannot find a set of locks - handle and deadbolt - together that all work on one key. I've looked into Kwikset's SmartKey locks, but they are WAY overpriced.

Is there a place I should be looking, or some excellent lock shop that I could order what I need? I'm in the Denver area. Perhaps I am looking for something that is unattainable - what should I be asking for?

posted by jimmyhutch to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They sell locksets at Home Depot, etc. You have to look on the package for a key code and match them up. The code is usually in the back on the top.
posted by lee at 3:13 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Assuming the deadbolt and knob have the same type of key you can just call a locksmith to re-key all the locks to the same key. No replacing of anything is necessary.
posted by GuyZero at 3:14 PM on August 11, 2008

'Key Alike' is the terminology IIRC.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:14 PM on August 11, 2008

Home Depot/Lowe's will rekey any locks you buy there to the same key for free/nominal charge.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:28 PM on August 11, 2008

I've used the kits that Change-a-lock sells - If you're patient and can follow instructions, it's pretty straightforward. $10 to change six locks to match their key, then you just get copies of that key made wherever.
posted by Orb2069 at 4:09 PM on August 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

I took all of my knobs and deadbolts to a locksmith. He rekeyed them all to the same key. I forget how much it was, but I remember being surprised that it was a trivial amount.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 4:51 PM on August 11, 2008

Have a locksmith come to the house to re-key the existing locks. Ours was about $75 for 2 locks. It is fast and easy to take care of.
posted by saradarlin at 5:37 PM on August 11, 2008

You can only rekey locks the same if the keyways (the grooves in the side of the key) are the same (IE: either key will fit into either lock). So make sure your deadbolts and handles have interchangeable keys before you call a locksmith out.
posted by Mitheral at 6:25 PM on August 11, 2008

Concerning locksmiths: it can be the right way to go since they can do it all for you and usually quite quickly. But beware scam artists. A popular con is to take it all apart then hand you a bill for $700, which you will be bullied into paying if you want your home's locks back. All that to say: get a quote ahead of time, and go with a local, licensed outfit.
posted by drmarcj at 6:26 PM on August 11, 2008

Our handyman guy recommended Schlage locks as superior to Kwikset. Lowe's (etc) will key the locks to whatever key you want, as long as it's the same brand of lock. So one option would be to buy 3 more locksets that are the same brand as the key you have (or just buy 4 locks) and have them all keyed to the same key. It's easy. My recollection when we replaced our side door lock so it would open with the front door key was that the lock was about $20 and it was maybe $5 for the rekeying.
posted by leahwrenn at 6:31 PM on August 11, 2008

Rekeying locks is easy enough that I was able to figure out how to do it on my own; I had to replace a deadbolt but did not want to lose the fact that all of the locks in my house are keyed alike, so I took the pins out of the old lock and put them in the new one. Just be forewarned that there are a lot of small parts and the pins need to be put in in the proper order. To get a good idea for what is involved the second chapter of the MIT lock picking guide (PDF because the HTML version wouldn't load for me) has some good diagrams of how a lock is put together. Even if you don't go the do-it-yourself route knowing what is involved will help make you a more-informed consumer.
posted by TedW at 7:02 PM on August 11, 2008

Kwikset sells locks that can be rekeyed by the purchaser with a simple tool. When I was preparing my late father's house for sale, I installed them on every exterior door and keyed them to the same key. The new purchaser will be able to easily rekey them to any other Kwikset key. They may not be as good as Schlage, but let's face it, a determined thief with a prybar is not going to be stopped very long by any lock unless every entrance is under constant surveillance.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:39 PM on August 11, 2008

Oops, didn't read carefully enough to notice that you had already ruled out Kwikset's SmartKey locks. (Note to self: don't read Mefi after bedtime.) If your landlord is willing to pay for them, what does it matter if you think they're overpriced? Perhaps he'd appreciate the ease of rekeying them himself after you move out.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:41 PM on August 11, 2008

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