Rekeying Locks: All You Should Know

Locks are everywhere. From residential to commercial properties, personal to public areas, locking systems help keep your personal belongings from getting into the wrong hands. Because locks come in different brands and styles, replacing the entire system can be costly and time-consuming, especially if more than one unit must be replaced. Rather than change the one, rekeying your locks is an easier and quicker solution.

Most locking systems can be rekeyed. This more cost-effective way to change the locks on your property is highly beneficial in situations where more than one party has been given a set of keys. There are many situations where it makes more sense to rekey your locks rather than replace them. Rental properties homes where one or more parties have lived in the residence, commercial businesses, and homebuyers will save time and money by rekeying their locks instead of replacing them.

What Is Lock Rekeying?

Rekeying a lock is a relatively simple process where the pins inside of the cylinder are rearranged to match the grooves and impressions of a different a key. This usually requires taking the door lock apart to access the interior cylinder. Once the pins have been rearranged to form a new pattern, the old keys will no longer work to open the lock. Most locking systems can be rekeyed. There are many benefits to rekeying your door locks.

An image of rekey process

Should You Rekey or Replace a Lock?

In the unfortunate event you lose a key, there are two ways to solve your problem: you either rekey your lock or you replace it altogether. Here are some of the advantages rekeying a lock has over changing it:

1. Rekeying a lock is cost-effective

The cost of rekeying a door lock is much less than replacing the whole locking system. If you are changing more than one door lock or making frequent changes, it makes more sense financially to rekey your door locks.

2. Rekeying is a faster service

Rekeying a lock takes less time to do than replacing the whole unit. Rekeying a door lock can be done in a few minutes. Replacing the whole unit takes more time and can quickly become a more complicated job. 

3. Rekey your lock to be eco-friendly

Rekeying your locks uses fewer natural resources than changing the whole lock. Instead of discarding reusable locks for new units, rekeying your locks lets you keep the door locks already in place. Thus, less waste ends up in landfills. 

Considerations before You Rekey a Lock

Rekeying your locks is easier and more beneficial in most cases than replacing the locks, but there are some cons as well. If you consider rekeying a lock, bear in mind the following:

Less Security?

The biggest con to rekeying your locks is the risk of making your home less secure. If not done properly, rekeying your door locks can make your entry doors easier to pick or pry open with other keys. If you do not know how to rekey a lock, hire a professional.

Although rekeying your locks is often a better solution, there are times when you cannot rekey your locking systems. And this is when you should change your lock entirely.

Rekeying Multiple Locks to Fit One Key

If you have different lock brands and styles on your doors, you will likely have to change the locks completely to reduce the number of keys on your ring. Each brand and model are different, so it is highly unlikely that you can successfully rekey all the locks to match one key.

Damaged, Worn Locks

Locks that are damaged or have worn parts will need to be replaced. Eroded parts often cannot be adjusted to match the unique grooves and ridges of a new key. Damaged locking systems cannot keep your property secure and should be changed. 

rekey process image

Outdated Locks

Door locks have evolved over the years. Today’s door locks come with more sophisticated features and contemporary designs. Changing your old locks with newer ones will increase your home’s security while adding to the aesthetics to your home.

Multiple Changes

Many locks can only be rekeyed up to six times before they must be replaced. If you have rekeyed your locks multiple times, consult with a professional locksmith about changing your door locks.

How to Rekey a Lock

When it comes to rekeying your locks, there are different ways to do the task. Some available methods include:

Call a Locksmith 

Professional locksmiths are trained to rekey and replace almost every type of locking system. They can come to your property to rekey your locks. Fees for each service call range from one company to another. 

Take Your Locks to a Locksmith

Rather than request a service call, you can take your locks to a locksmith to be rekeyed. It is more cost-effective than having a professional visit your property. However, this should only be done if the locks are not installed in the doors. Removing door locks will leave your property vulnerable.

Do-It-Yourself Kits

Many brands have their own do-it-yourself rekeying kits available so property owners can rekey their own locks. The kits vary in price. Rekeying your own locks will save you money in service fees. However, if not done properly, do-it-yourself jobs can make the locking systems easier to open or pick with other tools or keys.

Smart-Type Locks

Smart-type locks are designed to be rekeyed without disassembling the entire locking system. This technologically designed locking system use wireless devices or cryptographic keys to change the locking features externally. The smart-type technology is a simple, quick process that takes less than a minute to rekey your locks.

Rekeying Your Deadbolt Lock

Like regular door locks, deadbolt locks can also be rekeyed by rearranging and replacing the springs and pins inside the cylinder. Smart deadbolt locks have their own rekeying technology, making it easier to rekey the lock in seconds. While you can save money doing it yourself, it is better to call a locksmith to rekey your deadbolt properly. 

Keeping your property safe and secure is vital to your peace of mind. If you lose your keys or someone else has a set, rather than replace the entire door lock, you can save time and money by rekeying your locks.