How To Remove A Kwikset Deadbolt (Quickly & Easily!)

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

Kwikset is one of the largest manufacturers of locksets in the United States. From simple passageway locksets to high-security locksets, Kwikset makes equipment for securing almost any kind of situation. Among this product line are residential deadbolts in various styles and types. Removing a Kwikset deadbolt is a question often asked by homeowners.

Removing a Kwikset deadbolt is accomplished by accessing the screws that hold the lockset in place. On some models of Kwikset deadbolts, a rose plate hides the screws. Removing the rose plate exposes the screws and makes unmounting the lockset relatively easy.

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How to Remove Kwikset Deadbolt

Most homeowners can remove a Kwikset deadbolt lockset quickly and easily with just a few tools. The following step by step instructions will make the task easy to understand.

Step 1: Gather your Tools

In most instances, the only tools you will need to remove a Kwikset deadbolt lockset are a flathead screwdriver, a Phillips screwdriver, a small bowl, or box to hold the parts of your lockset, and a .05 Allen wrench

Step 2: Examine the Lockset and Door

Open the door with the Kwikset deadbolt lockset so that you can easily examine both sides of the door. Kwikset locksets with a thumb latch on the inner side usually have the mounting screws visible on the lockset’s inside part.

Kwikset deadbolt locksets with a keyhole on both sides may have the mounting screws visible on the inside or have a rose plate covering the screws.

Step 3: Remove the Thumb Latch

Remove the thumb latch handle on the inside of your Kwikset deadbolt lockset. Removing the latch handle is done in several ways on Kwikset deadbolt locksets.

  • Some models have a plastic pin on the latch handle’s shaft you must remove using a small pair of needle-nose pliers.
  • A few models of Kwikset deadbolt locksets have a small metal pin that must be depressed to remove the latch handle.
  • You may find a small set screw on the latch handle. In most cases, this set screw requires a .05 Allen wrench

Place the thumb latch and the pin in your small container for safekeeping.

Step 4: Remove the Rose Plate

If your Kwikset deadbolt lockset has a rose plate to hide the mounting screws, look carefully at the plate. The rose plate should have a small cut-out on the edge. The rose plate is held in place by friction. Using the flathead screwdriver, pry the rose plate gently away from the door. Place the tip of the flathead screwdriver in the notch on the edge of the rose plate and twist slightly. Take care not to damage the rose plate or the door.

Place the rose plate in your container with the thumb latch and retaining pin.

Step 5: Remove the Mounting Screws

The mounting screws should now be visible. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove the two mounting screws from your Kwikset deadbolt lockset. Put the two Phillips screws in your container.

Step 6: Pull the lockset from the Door

The two halves of your Kwikset deadbolt lockset are free of the mounting hardware. Pull carefully on the inner and outer parts of the Kwikset lockset. Put the lock cylinder and latch portion of the lockset into your storage container.

Step 7: Remove the Latch Mechanism

Look on the edge of your door. The latch mechanism has two Phillips screws that hold the latch plate to the edge of the door. Usually, the latch plate is morticed into the edge of the door, making it flush with the door’s edge.

Use your Phillips screwdriver to remove the two screws in the latch plate. Pull the latch mechanism from the door and place it into your storage container.

Reinstalling Your Kwikset Deadbolt Lockset

To reinstall your Kwikset deadbolt lockset, follow the above steps in reverse. There are a few things to remember as you reinstall the lockset into the door.

  • The alignment of the parts is critical to allow the deadbolt and lock mechanism to function properly.
  • When you reinstall the deadbolt mechanism, there is an up and down. The word up is stamped into the side of the deadbolt mechanism. You should install the mechanism so that the word up is readable right side up.
  • If your deadbolt has a keyhole on both sides, install the side with the keyholes on the interior side of the door.

Kwikset Deadbolt Lockset Maintenance and Problems

If you are having issues with your Kwikset deadbolt lockset, you must first troubleshoot the issue to determine the cause of the problem. Typically, problems with a Kwikset deadbolt fall into one of the following categories.

Sticky or Hard to Lock Kwikset Deadbolt

If your Kwikset deadbolt lockset is hard to lock or unlock, you should suspect that the bolt is not moving freely into the latch hole in the door frame. There can be several reasons that the bolt and the latch hole are not aligning properly.

  • The door hinges are loose – As your door ages and through regular use, the screws that hold the hinges to the door and the door frame may come loose. Loose hinges allow the door to move in the doorframe, which can cause the latch and deadbolt to misalign.
  • The deadbolt mechanism may be loose in the door – The mounting screws in the deadbolt lock can work loose as you lock and unlock the door. Ensure that the two screws that hold the lockset in place on the door are tight and that the bolt aligns with the latch hole on the door frame.
  • Your house has settled, and the doorframe is no longer square – This is an issue that plagues many older homes. As the foundations and structure age, they can move causing doorframes and windows to move out of the square. If this is the case in your home, you should consult with a carpenter or foundation specialist about mediating the problem.
  • Problems with the latch mechanism – Problems with the latch mechanism causing the deadbolt to stick or hang are rare but not unknown. Check the alignment of all the parts inside the lockset and make sure the mounting screws are secure. A small amount of silicone lubricant to the internal moving parts may help the problem.

Difficult to Insert or Remove Keys

Sometimes keys for Kwikset deadbolt locksets can become hard to insert or remove. Hard to insert or remove keys is usually caused by dust and debris getting into the lock’s cylinder. Usually, you can solve this problem by putting a small amount of graphite into the keyway to lubricate the pins and other mechanisms inside the lock cylinder.

Do not, under any circumstances, put any oil or oil-based lubricant into the lock cylinder. Petroleum-based lubricants are notorious for attracting and holding dust. Dust and oil turn them into a sticky mess that only makes the problem worse.

The Thumb Latch Works but the Key Doesn’t

If your Kwikset deadbolt lockset no longer locks or unlocks with the key, but the thumb latch on the interior side does work, the culprit is usually the lock cylinder. Repairing or replacing the lock cylinder is often the only option in this case.

Replacing a Kwikset deadbolt lock cylinder is a project that some homeowners can perform. In most cases, the best route is to hire a professional locksmith to repair this issue.

The Thumb Latch and the Key just Spin

When both the thumb latch and the key spin in the lock and won’t’ disengage the bolt, expect a broken latch mechanism. This situation usually requires the entire Kwikset lockset to be replaced. Some more expensive Kwikset deadbolt locksets are repairable. Consult with a professional locksmith if this is the case.

Maintaining the Look of Your Kwikset Lockset

In some cases, your Kwikset lockset represents a considerable investment. As part of the first things visitors see, your Kwikset lockset deserves to be kept in tip-top condition. Maintaining the appearance of your Kwikset lockset is easy but should be done regularly.

You should clean the external parts of the Kwikset lockset using a soft rag and warm soapy water. Don’t drench the lockset. Moisten the cloth with the soapy water solution and wipe the exterior parts of your lockset. Immediately use a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture.

Kwikset Smartkey Locksets

Kwikset Smartkey locksets feature the means to rekey a lock without removing or replacing the lock cylinder. For landlords, this makes rekeying locks when tenants change much faster and cheaper.

These Smartkey deadbolts are prone to the same problems as any regular deadbolt and should be maintained the same way. However, if the problem is an internal issue with the lock mechanism or the lock cylinder, our suggestion is to consult with a professional locksmith.

Repairing or replacing a Smartkey lock cylinder requires special tools and knowledge. A trained professional can perform these repairs much quicker and easier than most homeowners.

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Keeping your Kwikset Locksets in Top Condition

We hope that this article has been helpful. Removing, repairing, or replacing a Kwikset deadbolt lockset is a job that most homeowners can perform. Keeping your home secure is a vital issue and maintaining your locks’ good working order is the key to that security. Good luck and stay safe.

Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

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