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If you’ve ever lost your set of keys, moved to a new house or had to lay off an angry employee, the chances are you’ve considered changing your locks. Most people aren’t aware that there’s often cheaper and even better option that having to change their locks, and that’s rekeying them. However, it’s crucial to understand what it really means to “rekey” a lock and even more importantly, when you should re-key rather than change your locks. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when comparing changing locks vs rekeying.

Changing Locks vs Rekeying

Changing Locks vs Rekeying

One of the main reasons to compare the two options is because rekeying can be a more cost-effective solution. Below we will compare how each option works, to help you make an informed decision. 

What is Rekeying a Lock?

While changing a lock is pretty much self-explanatory, rekeying requires a deeper explanation. Rekeying means changing the working key of a lock to a different one. In other words, you maintain the same lock but you need a new key to operate the lock. This is achieved by switching some of the internal components (referred to as key pins or tumblers) of the lock. 

Replacing the key pins of a lock with a different set essentially sets up the lock to work with a different key. The procedure may sound complicated but it’s actually a simple process that will rarely take more than a few minutes given the right tools.

For a technician to rekey a lock, they need to have the right key. Without a matching key, they will have to pick the lock open to rekey it. Although picking a lock isn’t usually a problem for a skilled locksmith, you’re likely to incur more charges, sometimes even more than replacing the lock altogether.

Key pins are inexpensive, which makes rekeying almost always cheaper than changing your locks. Rekeying also helps when you want to match more than one lock with the same key.

When Should You Change Your Locks?

You should change your locks if you want to change the design or color of your locks. For example, if you’ve moved into a new premise and the locks are rusted and old, you may consider changing your locks.

You’ll also need to change your locks if your house has different branded locks, and you want all of them to work on the same key. If this is the case, some locks will need to be changed so that all locks have the same type of keyway.

Bottom Line

When comparing changing locks vs rekeying, it’s important to understand what’s involved in each process. Changing a lock is a fairly simple task, but rekeying requires learning and practice as well as the right tools. It’s best to leave this task to professionals, and our team here at Locksmith Guru is prepared to help you with all your needs when it comes to locks.