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Locksmithing/Deadbolt will only turn with key inserted after rekey



I just moved into a new place and began rekeying my Schlage doorknob and deadbolt.  I rekeyed one set successfully but I'm having issues with the last deadbolt.  It has been rekeyed and works great when the key is inserted.  If you take the key out and try to lock it with the latch, the deadbolt moves slightly but locks up and will not extend.  This occurs with the door open so it is not an issue with it not hitting the strike plate correctly.  If I insert the key back into the lock, it will open and close without a problem using the latch.  I rekeyed the exact model deadbolt on another door and did not encounter this issue.

Hello Kiel,

When installing deadbolts it's important to turn the tailpiece the right direction before installing and this is applicable to single and double cylinder deadbolts.

Stand facing the edge of the door with the door open.
The bolt should be retracted (unlocked).
In your hand that is on the outside of the door face place the outside deadbolt cylinder housing in your palm with the key hole facing down.  Turn the tailpiece with your other hand toward the hinges of the door until it stops.
Slide the tailpiece into the bolt mechanism.

For double cylinder deadbolts:
Repeat the process for the other side (the tailpiece also goes toward the hinges).  The tailpiece should turn the opposite direction as the outside - one will be clockwise the other counter-clockwise.

Install the screws but don't overtighten them or the key may be hard to turn.  Test the keys with the door open (test the thumbturn as well on single cylinder deadbolts).

If it works, close the door and lock it.  If it works as smooth closed as it did open, you are done.  If not, you'll have to adjust the strike plate on the door jamb.

If the lock housings can be moved easily up & down or side to side then tighten the screws some more, checking operation as you go.



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I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

I have a diploma in Masterkeying, Advanced Locksmithing & Locksmithing from Foley-Belsaw.

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