Kwikset deadbolt not turning smoothly: Easy Fix for Sticky Deadbolt

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Last updated on November 26th, 2023 at 06:28 pm

When you find that your Kwikset deadbolt not turning smoothly, it can be a worn-out lock mechanism, a misaligned door, dirt obstructing the keyway, and many more.

Here are the following reasons why your Dedbolt not turning smoothly:

Kwikset deadbolt not turning smoothly
  • A worn-out lock mechanism can cause a deadbolt not to turn smoothly.
  • A misaligned door can also prevent a deadbolt from turning smoothly.
  • A damaged key can cause a deadbolt to stick or not turn smoothly.
  • There would be something stuck inside the deadbolt
  • The spike plate is faulty.

Kwikset Deadbolt not turning smoothly: How to fix it?

fixing Yale lock

Have you ever struggled with a sticky deadbolt lock that refuses to latch properly, making it difficult to turn and potentially causing key breakage?

If yes, let’s try the below steps to resolve this issue.

Lubricate the deadbolt

lubricate deadbolt

Let’s start with lubricating your Kwikset deadbolt. If you don’t know the inside out of this amazing tool then read the installation Kwikset powerbolt 2 which is another type of smart deadbolt.

  • Check out whether the deadbolt is perfectly lubricated or not
  • If it is not then used WD-40 OR SILICONE SPRAY
  • Even if you use it, you need to manually clean the internal parts. You can follow the Kwikset service manual to do so.
clean internal parts
  • Try to adjust the strike plate perfectly
adjust strike plate
  • After adjusting it, you can finally replace the cylinder as it must be faulty.
replace cylinder

Kwikset deadbolt won’t turn with key:

Kwikset deadbolt won’t turn with key?

Why won’t my Kwikset deadbolt turn with the key? If you try to open your door and fail, check the key, keyhole, or any obstructions around the lock.

  • If there is any dirt, dust, or debris in the keyhole, it may be obstructing the key’s entry.

If so, use a small brush or compressed air to clean out any potential blockages.

  • Apply a small amount of graphite lubricant or silicone-based lock lubricant into the keyhole. Don’t use oil-based lubricants as they can attract dirt and worsen the issue.
lubricant the key
  • Check the key for any signs of damage, such as bending or excessive wear. A damaged key may not engage the lock properly.
  • While applying gentle pressure, try wiggling the key slightly in both directions (clockwise and counterclockwise. Then see if you can get it to catch and turn the lock.
wiggling the key
  • If you have a spare key, try using it to see if the issue is with the key or the lock.
  • It’s possible the deadbolt is misaligned and preventing the key from turning smoothly.
  • Check if the bolt is aligned correctly with the strike plate on the door frame. Adjust the strike plate if needed.

Kwikset lock hard to turn: what can I do?

lock hard to turn

If your Kwisket lock is hard to turn, it seems the deadbolt is sticky and jammed.

The keyhole is dirty and debris is present around the lock. In that case, clean any dirt or debris from the keyhole or lock.

You can even apply a little amount of lubricant to the keyway. It may remove the sticky from the lock and you can smoothly turn the lock with the key.

Another thing you can check. If you recently rekeyed the lock and it started to become hard to turn, there might have been an issue during the rekeying process. 

rekey the lock

If so, you can try rekeying the lock again. Follow the user manual to get specific rekeying instructions for your used model.

How to unlock a Kwikset deadbolt lock without a key?

unlock without key

You can simply unlock your Kwikset deadbolt lock in emergencies using some simple materials. In that case, you don’t need the key to unlock the door.

Anyway, you can open a deadbolt lock with a

  • Screwdriver, 
  • Bobby pin, 
  • credit card, etc.

We have already written an article about the topic of how to open a deadbolt lock with a screwdriver. You can read this post to learn different lock-picking processes to unlock your door when you haven’t a key.

The smart key tool is not inserting: fix it-now

smart key tool

When your Kwikset smart key tool is not working like it is not inserting, then here are the following reasons:

  • First comes first, your smart lock batteries are low and need to be changed immediately. Read this blog-Kwikset batteries replacement troubleshooting
  • Kwikset smart key tool comes with four pins which you must need to be aligned to insert into the locking system. If any of the pins are misaligned that means, you will be facing the problem.
smart key pin
  • Last, but not the least, there would be something in the middle of the keyhole. Sounds like they would be dirt, rust, grime, or any such compounds making an obstruction to insert.
dirt inside

Kwikset Smartkey will not turn

Kwikset Smartkey will not turn:

Smartkey is a tool that is used to rekey your lock. SmartKey locks have a unique feature. It allows you to rekey the lock without removing it from the door. 

During the rekeying process, ensure the key is in the proper orientation for the rekeying process.

If your Kwisket Smartkey will not turn, check the cylinder. It may be misprogrammed during this process.

Even, check the key. Ensure you are using the correct SmartKey for the lock. Also, check the key is fully inserted into the keyway during the rekeying process. 

insert the key fully

If the key is damaged or worn out, replace it with a new key.


A sticky deadbolt lock can be a major annoyance and a potential security risk. However, with the simple fix we’ve outlined above.

We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving your deadbolt lock issue. Remember, regular maintenance and periodic checks can help prevent such problems from occurring in the first place.

If you found this article useful, please consider liking and subscribing for more helpful tips. Thanks for reading, and happy fixing!

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