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Rekeying or Changing a Key: What’s Best and When?

In many instances, there is no right answer. In fact, some of these options will cost you more in the long run than others. To find out which option is most suited to you, read on to discover how rekeying and key replacement work, why you should consider each one, and how you can know if it’s the right choice for your locksmith needs. Why should you care about rekeying or key replacement? Rekeying isn’t just another way of saying rekeying your locks. In fact, it’s not always a good idea. 

What is Rekeying?

Rekeying is the process of changing the keys that work in a lock. Sometimes, the original pins or springs are replaced with new ones that will fit a new key, and sometimes they’re removed entirely and replaced with new pins and springs. While rekeying is typically done as a preventative measure to avoid break-ins or theft, you can also choose to do it because your existing keys no longer work with your locks.  

Why Rekey Locks?

You may be wondering what the point is in rekeying or replacing your old keys when they no longer work. The point is that rekeying is a great way to update your locks without spending a fortune on replacing them. Changing or replacing your keys is a costly proposition, especially if your old keys are no longer working properly and you need to replace them.  

This process is the least expensive and safest of all of the available options. You need to know that rekeying is very easy, as long as the key is still in the lock. Most locksmiths offer rekeying for a very reasonable price and explain exactly what to do and what the different parts of the lock mean.

If you do decide to rekey your locks, then you’ll want to make sure that your old keys don’t come into contact with any metal, as this could cause damage. It is recommended that you replace the old keys with new ones before rekeying.  A good place to start is to call an experienced locksmith and see what they recommend. There are many ways that your locks can be damaged, so it’s important that you take the time to find the best professional locksmith for you.  

Replacing the Locks

If you’re rekeying because you have a new key in the lock that no longer fits, then you’ll want to remove the existing lockset from the door and replace it. This is the most costly option but it gives you the option of replacing everything on the door with a brand new lockset. Rekeying is the cheapest way to change the look of a door, but replacing a lockset is usually much more cost effective and gives you the ability to get rid of the old lockset and purchase a new one at the same time.

The old lockset will typically be removed with some basic tools like an adjustable wrench, channel locks, or a drill. The replacement lockset will typically be installed with some specialized tools, such as the lock picks, a lock cylinder removal tool, and a hammer. Many locksmiths offer an inexpensive lock set replacement service and they can replace all of the locks on the door so that you’ll never have to buy a new lockset again. They can install a new deadbolt, spring-loaded lock, or a cylinder-type lock as well.

When to Replace the Locks?

Changing from an outside mortise lock to an inside deadbolt or vice versa is also a good reason to change the locks on the door. For example, if you change from a 3-bolt mortise lock with a key on the face to a 4-bolt deadbolt with a keyhole and a locking knob, then you’ll need to change the lockset, including the deadbolt.  A good reason to replace locks is changing your brand of hardware or changing the locking system on the door. When it comes to changing from a single cylinder to a dual cylinder, changing out the locks is one way to accomplish this without buying a whole new lockset.

Another reason to change the locks on your doors is if you want to upgrade to a new security system. For example, you may want to replace your old, simple, mortise lockset with a more sophisticated deadbolt. Locksets can also be upgraded or replaced if they become outdated or damaged.  They can be easily purchased and installed by a locksmith.

If you have to make a key change for any reason, you’ll be able to use a standard locksmith service or a combination of a locksmith and a locksmith keycutting service. Most locksmiths and locksmith key cutting services can cut both a single key and a master key for the same brand of lock.

Pro Tip: Some locksmiths charge by the hour, and will charge you regardless of whether or not they can rekey your locks or not. If you are concerned about this, ask the locksmith how much it would cost before they begin working. Do not get ripped off.

If you still cannot decide between rekeying and replacing the locks, let us help you make the best choice. Locks Around The Clock, Inc. will provide you with recommendations that are reliable and easy to understand when deciding on any locksmith service needs. Call us today!