When you move it’s easy to get so busy unpacking and doing jobs around the house that you don’t spend much time on security. However, to stay safe, and for many reasons, it’s worthwhile considering rekeying the locks to your new home.
So, What Is Rekeying a Lock?
Before you learn how to rekey a lock, it’s crucial to understand what this term means. Lock rekeying is a task that’s done instead of changing locks out completely. It’s a simpler option since it involves changing the inner workings of a lock system, so it will open for a new key and not for any old ones that might be floating around.
Locking doorknobs and deadbolts typically have a pin and tumbler lock. This setup contains a steel cutaway that holds a cylindrical plug with various springs and pins. These pieces make it possible for only one specific key shape to turn in the lock. The configuration of the pins has to match the depth of the grooves on a key for the lock to open. It’s possible to disassemble a lock, then remove and replace the pins inside it (which all have different heights) with new pins that match a new key’s particular cuts and grooves. This is the process of rekeying a lock.
Rekeying provides many benefits. One of the biggest is cutting costs. If you’ve ever had to replace the entire hardware on a lock system, you’ll know the process costs a pretty penny. There’s not only the cost of buying new locks but also the labor involved for a locksmith to install the hardware and set up the keys to match. Rekeying locks, on the other hand, is more cost-effective.
Also, if you currently have locks and handles that you like on your door, you won’t want to have to
change them. If you rekey locks rather than buy new ones, you can keep the style as is and save yourself
the time and effort of shopping for new products.
If you’ve lost a key or feel unsafe having an old roommate, partner, employee or other person possessing a key to your property, update your security ASAP. A prime way to do this is by keeping your current door hardware but getting the locks rekeyed. This option is faster and easier than changing the
If, like many people, you’re sick of having to lug around a variety of different keys for different doors to your home, make life easier by rekeying locks. Create a master key system whereby you have one master key that works on each lock for you, and say goodbye to a loaded-down pocket or the stress of trying to identify the right key from a pile of near-identical options.
When to Rekey Versus When to Change Locks
With so many benefits to rekeying locks, you may think it’s always a given to go down this route rather than changing the hardware. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If you no longer have the key that opens your existing lock(s) because it was lost or stolen, you’ll have to replace the lock. You can’t disassemble a lock for rekeying without having the key to unlock it in the first place.
Also, you’ll be better off changing locks instead of rekeying them if the hardware gets broken or damaged or becomes too worn. If you want a different type of handle or lock on your door(s), you’ll need to update the hardware rather than rekey the lock. Keep in mind, too, that if you want to rekey multiple locks to fit a single key, all the locks that you’re rekeying will need to have been created by the same manufacturer. If you have different brands of locks with different sized keyholes, you’ll need to replace at least some of the hardware.
Tips for Rekeying Locks
There are a few ways to go about rekeying locks for your property. Keen on some DIY? Purchase a rekey kit made specifically for your brand of lock and do the job yourself. You’ll find instructions (both text and video tutorials) online to guide you, plus most kits have instructions in them.
Alternatively, take the lock to your local locksmith, or potentially even a nearby hardware store, and have them rekey it for you. You’ll need to remove and take along the locking knob or deadbolt as well as the key that currently opens the lock.
The most convenient but also the most expensive option is to call a locksmith to come to your property to do the work for you. You’ll typically need to pay a service fee, a labor charge and extras for new keys.
Many people don’t realize that rekeying a lock is an option they have available to them for a relatively low cost and time-efficient solution. Next time you need new keys for your property, consider whether this might be the right option for your needs.
So, should you rekey your locks when you move? I believe the answer is yes!