What Is Rekeying A Lock?

rekeyHaving high-quality door locks help to enhance the safety and aesthetic appeal of the property. It is perhaps the reason many people are conscious of the type of locks that they install on their doors. There are times, however, when the safety of the lock might get compromised because a copy of the key got lost or a burglar broke into the property. Some property owners might at times wish to get rid of the many keys and conveniently have only one key opening different doors to their property. Traditionally the ideal solution in each of the above scenarios was to replace the old lock with a new one, which was often expensive and time-consuming. However, with advancements in technology such a person has an inexpensive and less time-consuming option of rekeying the lock.

What is rekeying a lock?

Rekeying a lock is the process of altering the lock so that only a specific new key can work it. It involves the changing of the lock’s tumbler or wafer configuration to make sure that only the new key functions while the old ones don’t. The rekeying process traces its roots back to 1836, to a New Jersey locksmith by the name of Solomon Andrews, whose locks had adjustable tumblers making it possible to rekey them from time to time. A person wishing to rekey his or her lock can call a professional locksmith, or they could do it by themselves.

How to rekey the lock

rekey kitDoor locks contain an interior chamber consisting of lower as well as upper pins. It is those pins that the keys push into place to open the door. While rekeying, the locksmith replaces the lower pins to enable the ridges fit into the new key. It is an easy procedure that requires only a few minutes to complete. In fact due to its simplicity a determined house owner can carry out the procedure on his or her own, using re-keying kits.

The kits are available in local hardware stores. However when buying them, a person must make sure that they buy similar brands like the one on their lock since they are not interchangeable. The DIY kits come with special instruction sheets detailing how to remove the door knob, the retainer ring, and the cylinder plug from the cylinder as well as how to match the colored pins to the color code. Finally, it provides guidance on how to reassemble the lock.

Benefits of re-keying

  1. Cost-effective

Rekeying the lock provides a cheaper alternative to buying an entire set of new locks. Imagine a scenario whereby a person is dealing with multiple locks. It would be economical to rekey the locks as opposed to buying new ones.

  1. Less time-consuming

Secondly in comparison to the amount of time required to replace an existing lock, rekeying is much faster. In most cases rekeying takes fifty percent less time. Such a benefit is of significance, especially where a person is dealing with multiple door locks.

  1. Improved Security

The security of the property ends up getting enhanced since only the new keys can open the locks. The property owner, therefore, gets full control over who has access to his or her property.

  1. Peace of mind

Getting the locks rekeyed gives the property owner assurance that his or her property is safe since no one else has keys that can open the locks. Such reassurance can prove helpful especially for a newly moved in tenant, or someone who has lost a key.

  1. Convenience

A house that has many door locks can at times be annoying since it requires carrying multiple keys and spending a considerable amount of time trying to figure out which key fits what door lock. By rekeying the locks, that challenge is easily overcome since all that the home or office owner would need is one key.


Re-keying a lock offers a better solution than replacement in as far as restoring the security of the locks goes. However, the property owner should make sure that they are cautious when rekeying the lock to avoid ruining an existing good lock. If he or she decides to re-key the lock by themselves, they must use the recommended kits and follow the precise instructions. The best alternative is to enlist the services of well reputed professional locksmiths.

Author: Larry White

Share This Post On