Moving into a new home, living in one home for many years, or worrying that your keys have been compromised are all good reasons to rekey or change your locks. You may have heard of rekeying and changing locks, but what is the difference between rekeying and changing a lock? And which should you opt for?
What is rekeying a lock?
Changing a lock is simply changing the lock mechanism itself and replacing it with a new one. Rekeying a lock is less self-explanatory.
Rekeying a lock involves taking the lock mechanism out and changing a few of the parts inside (often called ‘tumblers’ or ‘key pins’). This means you will need a new key for the lock but the lock mechanism itself doesn’t need replacing, just altering.
Any legitimate locksmith, whether they’re a locksmith in Birmingham or in London, will be able to rekey a lock. The locksmith will need your lock and your current key and should be able to complete the rekeying process and cut your new key quickly and cheaply. All standard locks can be rekeyed, though high-security locks may require specific tools.
When to rekey a lock
Rekeying a lock is usually cheaper than changing a lock, so anytime you need a lock changed, rekeying is often a good option. If you lose one set of keys and worry someone might find them and break in, rekeying your lock is a good option.
Likewise, if you move somewhere new or someone has a key and you don’t want them to have access to your home or business, rekeying will work fine.
Rekeying is also a great option if you want a single key to operate multiple locks, rather than replacing every lock.
When to change a lock
Changing a lock is more expensive than rekeying a lock, but there are times it is the better option. For example, if you want new locks because your current ones are rusty or broken, you’re better off changing a lock.
You may also want to change your locks to more secure ones. Nowadays, there are lots of high-security locks and even electronic locks out there that can help you secure your home or business. If your current locks are old, you may want to change them to a more secure option.
If you want the same key to work on multiple locks, it may not be possible to rekey all your locks to the same key. If your current locks are different brands and use different types of keys, you’ll need to change some of them so that a single key can be used.
Whether you want to rekey or change your locks, it is possible to do it yourself. You can buy rekeying kits or new locks from a local hardware store. That said, these can be expensive and if you make a mistake you may need to get a locksmith in regardless.
Fortunately, rekeying a lock with the help of a locksmith is a cheap alternative to changing your locks should you need a new key for peace of mind.