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Our house has Schlage "bright brass" deadbolts on the front and back doors, which use different keys. Our separate garage had a no-name unit. We never had keys for the rear door or garage. I just replaced the garage deadbolt so I would have keys. It only took a few minutes, and that got me thinking...

What is the easiest/simplest/cheapest way to get the front and back doors to share keys?

  1. re-pin the rear door, which Home Depot will do but I didn't get a price
  2. get new cylinders for both, but HD doesn't sell them
  3. replace both deadbolts outright

HD has Schlage brass deadbolts for $58. Ouch. Weiser is $40, Defiant is $19 (although not quite the same color). Is there any real difference between these?

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    You might try contacting a locksmith, rather than limiting yourself to "What HD offers/sells" – Ecnerwal Mar 7 at 17:15
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It massively depends on the quality of the locks. I buy Home Depot cheapies, and I just replace locksets using the package codes on the lock-sets to get multiples of the same key. (If you have 3 sets that all say "Key Code 12589”, they will all have the same key).

However I am transitioning to using Schlage Primus, a dual-keyway patented system which precludes unauthorized duplication, and warrants top-shelf hardware.

Go find the kind of locksmith who has a bricks-and-mortar presence with a showroom (and isn't all outbound). Bring in a lock you want re-keyed, with the key that works in it, and the key you want to work in it. Come up to their counter. They will tell you whether it's worth re-keying.

By that I mean there are 3 kinds of locksmiths:

  • Virtual locksmiths, who only exist on Google, and harvest the identities of people who need locksmiths, so they can "generate leads" (sell you as a sales lead to a locksmith), or engage in criminal behavior toward you, such as casing your home whilst getting a copy of your key.
  • Truck locksmiths, whose business is a van, and who mainly do emergency work. They only do outbound work, always charge a hefty service call fee, and have gotcha pricing on everything else.
  • Showroom locksmiths, who do outbound but also have a retail premises you can visit with a halfway respectable showroom. They will do amazing stuff for you very cheaply.
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The difference is Schlages are worth re-keying, and that's almost always the only reason to remove one. Defiant is Kwikset, which is crap, and they break.

For $60 you can get a Schlage re-keying kit. And for a few hundred dollars you can get a key duplicator. With both of those, e.g., you can make the gate key use just two of the pins that are the same for the lock on your house. Then you can give the gardener a key to the gate that won't open the house, but your single key does both the gate and the house.

With that in mind even if you're not going to do it (which is a pita), there's no reason to get the mid-grade offering. I have blanks to make Kwikset and Schlage keys. I don't need a third type floating around from a manufacturer that I've never heard of; go big or go home.

I do a lot of investment property, and ordnance requires me to change the lock for every new tenant, which is where these tools come into play. But you can buy a $60 lock and have 'done' this once, or buy the kit and be able to do it again. Being cheap at the onset of a project doesn't usually save you money in the long run.

I reinstall old Schlages with confidence and no call backs. Old Kwiksets go straight into the garbage. The only time I can recall having to arbitrarily discard a Schlage is because the door was kicked in (the cylinder probably still worked fine). But since locks only keep honest people out, I do my best to keep them so.

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If your existing deadbolts are in good shape and functioning well, by far the easiest and least expensive is to rekey (re-pin) one of the deadbolts to match the other. Not sure of the cost, but probably under $10.

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@George Anderson is correct - rekeying the back door to the front door is the easiest and least expensive. Having just gone through this at my daughter's home I have one other thought.
If you bought the garage deadbolt at HD go back with the deadbolts from the garage and the rear door and keys for both and have them all rekeyed the same - one key instead of two for everything. Since you purchased the garage deadbolt at HD and possibly the rear deadbolt they will usually rekey them free if you ask. I just did this. I had one deadbolt that wasn't a Schlage but the HD guy was able to rekey it to the Schlage.

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