We have all been in a situation where the locks needed changing. If you moved into a new apartment, lost your house keys, have a very nosy landlord or curious mother-in-law, you most likely have thought about changing the locks.
Here is a little secret not many people know. Instead of changing the locks, there is faster and much cheaper solution and it is called “re-keying”. In both cases, your lock will no longer unlock with the old key, however the latter solution can save you lots of money, headache and, most importantly, time.
Be aware that quite a lot of local locksmiths take advantage of the lack of information on rekeying the locks and, instead of providing all the alternatives, simply advise to go ahead and change the locks, which is more costly solution for the end-user.
What is Lock Re-Key
We are all aware of the term “lock change” – the old lock gets taken out and the new one installed. If so, then what the term keying stands for? Rekeying a lock stands for switching to a different key without replacing the lock itself.
How is this humanly possible? How can the lock stay the same, but the old key won’t open it? The technique includes taking the lock apart and changing some of the pieces called “tumblers” or “key pins”. Since these key pins match a specific key, when you make change the way those pins appear, you set the lock to work with a new key. It might sound like a rocket science, but for experienced locksmith with the right set of minds and set of tools this is a very simple procedure that should take couple of minutes to complete.
Can the lock be rekeyed without a matching key?
For a fast lock rekey, you must provide the key that can unlock the door. If you don’t have such key, in order to re key the lock, it needs to be picked open first. Once again, a professional locksmith should not have any problem performing the service. Do take under consideration that an extra charge is needed for unlocking the door first. In this case, it might be better to go with the first option – replacing the whole lock.
Does rekeying a lock hurt the security?
You do not decrease the protection of your lock by rekeying it. It also doesn’t make it more secure. What matters in a lock security is the amount of pinks inside of it. If your lock had 5 pins in it and your locksmith changed it with 5 new ones, the security of your lock stays the same as it used to be.
So, in case the initial decision for changing the locks is to increase the security of your home, you might want to consider changing the locks to high security ones. You can rekey the locks, but it won’t turn your door into unpassable fire-breathing dragon.
What is the price for Lock Rekey?
The key pins are cheap, therefore rekeying the lock should always be a cheaper option than getting the locks changed. In the ideal situation, you will be charged only for the work itself. In the other case, where you change the lock, you must add the price of the new lock to the equation.
Can You Rekey Any Lock?
It is important to understand that any types of locks can be rekeyed, so there is no need to ask your locksmith whether it is possible or not. However, there is a difference between rekeying a simple lock and a high security locks. With the latter, special equipment is needed in order to set the key pins.
What Are Other Uses of Lock Rekey?
You might want to rekey the locks not only when the key has been lost, or you have moved into a rented place. Rekeying the locks can be useful for those who wish to have just one key to open all the doors in the house. This is possible by setting the pins to meet the same key on all the locks.
Is It Possible to Rekey Different Types of Locks to Match One Key?
One simple way to check whether any lock can match a specific key is to try to insert the key into each lock. If the key goes in – the lock can be rekeyed for that specific key. If your key doesn’t fit the lock, the keyhole is different and cannot match the key.
When Should You Rekey?
The most frequent reasons to Rekey the locks are:
- You moved into a new living space and it is obvious that other people had and still have a copy of your current front door key.
- You have misplaced, lost or got your home keys stolen.
- You don’t want someone wo has access to your place to come in anymore (such as ex boyfriends, cleaning team, remodeling experts, employees etc.)
- You want to have one single key to match all the locks in the house.
- You have bought a new house and want to make sure that no one else have the copy of your keys and no longer have access to your property.
- If you have been a victim or burglary or break in attempt.
When Should You Change the Locks?
Now that we know the reasons to rekey the locks, what are the situations when changing locks are necessary?
- You aren’t happy with your current lock and want to install something more secure, such as high security locks or electronic locks.
- You hate the way the lock looks, and you want to have a prettier design.
- Your lock seems to be old and rusty, and it feels like it will break any minute.
- Your locks are different brands, but you want to have just one key to unlock all the doors. So, before the locksmith can rekey the locks to fit one key, the locks need to be the same brand.
Can You Change the Lock Yourself?
While changing the residential lock might not be too difficult to accomplish with a simple screwdriver and couple of Youtube videos, especially if you have some experience with mending and fixing things around the house.
Can You Rekey the Lock by Yourself?
Rekeying a lock is much more complicated that simply changing it. You need the tools and the skills to get it done. A real pinning kit to rekey most locks might cost you more than $250. For this place you might as well get 10 new basic locks! Another thing to keep in mind is that if you fail to rekey the lock, it is likely to be too damaged to be repaired.
Interesting fact that today you can purchase locks that can be rekeyed at home without locksmith assistance or special kind of tools. Such locks are becoming popular among consumers due to its interesting feature.
Where and How Can I get Lock Rekey Service?
Local locksmiths offer high quality service and help residents and businesses with rekeying the locks. Our technicians, for example, are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any types of locks and keys services. Rekeying a lock is a simple straight forward procedure and can be done by an experienced technician within minutes.