Protecting Your Home: Rekeying or Replacing the Locks?
You might need to change your locks if you just got a new apartment, had to terminate the appointment of an angry employee or lost the keys to your home. A lot of people don’t know that there’s a much smarter, and often less expensive alternative to replacing their locks: Re-keying them is this solution.
Understanding Lock Rekeying and Replacement
Replacing a lock is quite self-explanatory: It simply means removing an old/damaged lock and installing a new one. However, lock rekeying is not so straightforward. It can be defined as the replacement of the functional key of your lock with another different key; here, the lock itself is not changed.
To rekey a lock, one has to take the lock apart and change certain parts inside (known as key pins or tumblers). Each series of key pins within the lock correspond to a particular key. Therefore, when replacing the key pins with different ones, you have to set a new key essentially, which will now operate your lock. While this procedure may seem complicated, it is actually quite easy and should not require more than some minutes, provided you use the right tools.
The locksmith must have the current matching key of a lock to rekey it. Without this key, only one solution is left for rekeying the lock — picking it open. While this isn’t really a problem for an experienced locksmith, it’ll incur extra charges, making it costlier than changing the lock completely.
When You Need to Rekey
There are 2 most common circumstances where you need to rekey your lock:
1. If you’re satisfied with the way your locks work, but want to replace the key so the old key won’t operate the locks any longer. For instance:
• You don’t want to someone with the key to gain entrance into your property
• If you relocated to a new place recently and do not know if some other people have the key
• You lost a copy of the key to your house and are worried that someone may find it and pick it up
2. When you’ve specific keys for specific locks and want all of them to match a single key. (Provided all the locks are designed by the same brand or of the same keyhole.)
When You Should Replace Your Locks
3. You want the locks to have a different design/color. For example:
• If you just got a new apartment and the locks are old and in bad shape, you may have to purchase a new locks.
4. If you’ve locks that are not of the same brand on your property and want all of them to be operated on a single key, you’ll have to replace some locks so all the locks will be of identical brand (or of identical keyway type). Once this is done, you can then re-key all the locks to the same key.
5. When you seek to beef up the security of your home and replace your locks with the electronic type or with those that have high-security capabilities. A locksmith will be able to assist you in most instances.