Differences Between Replacing And Rekeying Locks

When you need to change your locks, there are a couple of options you have. Should you completely replace the lock, or just have it rekeyed? Should you do it yourself, or hire a professional?

There are many reasons why you may need to change your locks: lost keys, stalking issues, just moved in to a new apartment or home, roommate moved out, had to fire an employee at work (who had access to keys), etc. In this article, we will take a look at the differences between rekeying a lock and replacing a lock, and whether you can do the job yourself or whether you should hire a professional locksmith to help you out.

Rekeying a lock

Rekeying Locks CalgaryIn most situations, rekeying is actually a better option than replacing a lock. Many people don’t realize that rekeying a lock can often be a less-expensive choice than completely replacing a lock. Home improvement stores offer a do-it-yourself lock rekeying kit for those who are handy with tools and machinery.

Basically the process for rekeying a lock consists of removing the cylinder from the lock, adjusting the pins to fit a new key, and then reinstalling the cylinder into the lock.

If you’re not sure if you have the ability to rekey the lock yourself, you may wish to enlist the help of your local locksmith. If you are a manager of an apartment complex, and need multiple locks changed, you will probably want to enlist the help of a professional locksmith to rekey your locks. Additionally if you own residential rental property, some states require old locks between tenants to be rekeyed.

Replacing a lock

The process of replacing a lock is not as simple as rekeying a lock, but there are times when replacing a lock is the better option for your situation. For instance, if you will be replacing the lock yourself, you may not have the skill or the tools to rekey a lock, so completely replacing the lock may be a better choice. Replacing a lock means that the entire lock must be uninstalled from the door (usually consists of 4-6 screws), and a new lock mounted in its place.

You may wish to completely replace the lock if it is damaged, as rekeying the lock will not fix the damaged part. If you recently experienced a break-in, or if someone has tampered with the lock in an attempt to break in, the lock should be completely replaced as the inner mechanisms may have been damaged.


There is no reduction in security, no matter which option you choose. If you replace the lock, you will be given a new set of keys. If you have the lock rekeyed, the old keys will no longer work in the lock, as the inner mechanisms have been altered, and will only accept the new keys. If the lock is cracked or otherwise damaged in any way, lock replacement is probably the best option since there is a possibility the structure of the lock could be compromised.




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