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How to Fix a Deadbolt Lock that Spins in 3 Easy Step

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins

Do you want to know how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins? One of the main reasons why this happens is because of a loose set screw. With the help of this tutorial, you don’t have to pay a locksmith to tighten the screw because you can do it on your own.

Unloose the screws then remove the plate. Unloosen the set screw at the opposite of the lock cylinder. Turn the cylinder in the right position and tighten the screw. To give a wiggle space to the cylinder, unloosen the screws on the bolt lock body and tighten everything.

What You Need

The steps are easy to follow, but you need to have the right tools so you can successfully fix your deadbolt lock. You don’t have to worry because you probably don’t need to spend money at all. You may have the items inside your toolbox or you can borrow them from your neighbors.

Phillips screwdriver


The type of screws at the deadbolt lock is usually Phillips screws, so you will need a Phillips screwdriver to unloose them. Compared to others, the Phillips screwdriver has a head with pointed edges shaped like a cross. It also has a self-centering feature that prevents an X-slotted screw from slipping.

Also, the driver comes into five different sizes, ranging from zero to four, in which size four is the largest. Bear in mind that your screwdriver must fit the size of the screw head. To check if you have the right size of the driver, you can try driving the screw. If it slips or wobbles, then the size of your driver is incorrect.

Flat head driver


Aside from the Phillips screwdriver, you will also need a flat head driver. It is used for loosening and tightening screws that have single indentations at their heads. There are variations that can be used for light duty and heavy duty. But in this tutorial, a light-duty flat head driver will do.

A flat head driver also has numerous sizes. The longer the shaft is, the farther it goes. Since this is close-up work, a 1 ½ flat head screwdriver will be useful. But if you want a comfortable grip, you can choose a longer shaft since it has a longer handle.

What To Do


Step 1: Unloosen the screws where the lock is located and remove the plate

First, you can look at your neighbor’s lock to know the position that you must conform to. Typically, the cuts of the key face upward with a 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock position.

After doing this, you can now unloosen the three screws located at the side of the door where the lock is located using your Phillips screwdriver. Then remove the plate.

Step 2: Unloosen the countersunk set screw and position the cylinder

You can locate the countersunk set screw at the opposite side of the cylinder. By using your flat head driver, loosen the set screw but do not remove it. You can now put the cylinder in the right position. When you are done doing this, you can now tighten the set screw.

Step 3: Provide a wiggle space to the cylinder

In order to provide a wiggle space to the cylinder, you may need to unloose the screws that are located either at the top or the bottom of the main lock body. After doing it, proceed on tightening everything and reattaching the plate. Also, check if the lock and the key are working properly.


Did you enjoy following our tutorial on how to fix a deadbolt lock that spins? If your set screw loosens again, you don’t need to call and pay for a professional locksmith to fix it for you because you can solve it by simply doing the tutorial. In addition, you can refer to more types of door locks such as electromagnetic door locks or locks for apartment doors. I think these suggestions are quite suitable for you.

You can share this post with your family members, friends, and workmates so they will also learn the tricks of fixing their spinning deadbolts and saving money. Aside from that, you can also tell us your experience while following the tutorial by commenting below. We will be very happy to hear from you!

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