For many businesses and homeowners, losing their keys is a reality that they must face at one point or another in time. When faced with such a situation, many people change their locks to new ones, but there’s a cheaper and more effective alternative which is re-keying. In this article, we will go over the differences between Changing Locks vs Rekeying.
Changing Locks vs Rekeying — Determine Which Option is Best for Your Home
When you change a lock, an entirely new lock is installed along with a new key. When you rekey a lock, however, your lock is still the same, but the pins are rearranged so a new key can be used, and the old one will no longer work. Below we will compare the two options more in depth.
What Exactly is Rekeying?
Generally, this term means cutting out a different key for the lock to replace the one that’s been lost or misplaced, without having to install a new lock. However, the new key shall be designed differently from the older one which won’t be able to work anymore on the lock, even if it’s found later.
To achieve this, the technician will have to disassemble the lock and replace various internal components, such as key-pins or tumblers, so as to correspond with the new key. While this may seem like a complex procedure at face value, it’s actually quite simple to perform and would take just a few minutes to complete when the appropriate tools are used.
Similarly, for your lock to be successfully rekeyed the locksmith would have to cut out its existing opening key, without which the only other alternative is picking it open. Even though this isn’t difficult for most locksmiths, it may incur extra costs which could make the entire procedure costlier than totally replacing the lock.
For those who may have safety concerns, rekeying doesn’t affect the lock’s security in any way, it won’t improve or diminish its ability to keep off burglars which shall remain just like before. Provided the locksmith switches the number of pins that were in the previous lock with corresponding new ones, it will maintain the same level of security as it has always borne.
When is it Appropriate to Change Locks?
Even though re-keying is highly recommended over changing locks, there are still certain circumstances where you should replace the locks. For instance, if you relocate to a new residence and the locks there are rusty and dilapidated, you may have to replace them with new ones that are more refined.
Additionally, if your house doors have locks from different brands but you’d want them to all have a single access key, you may need to change a couple of locks so that they can be accessible from just one key.
As you compare changing locks vs rekeying, you’ll need to determine what your end goal is with your locks. Typically, rekeying is a better option due to it being more cost effective, and takes less time to complete. However, there are a few circumstances where replacement is viable, such as when the locks are old and rusty.