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Replacing vs Rekeying Locks? What Is the Better Choice for Your Home?

Though the rate of burglaries has been declining in recent years, one burglary still happens every 13 seconds. Of the roughly 2.5 million burglaries that take place each year, about 66% of them are home break-ins.

Thieves who break into your home don’t only steal physical items, they also steal your sense of security. They steal your peace of mind.

Home security options like locks are your first line of defense against burglaries. But on occasion, you may need them to fit a different key. What do you do?

Rekeying locks is a good way to do this. But when should you choose this method over replacing them altogether?

Let’s find out.

Why Would You Need to Change Your Locks?

First of all, why would you even need to go to the trouble of changing your locks? Any time you’ve lost control of all your keys, it’s a good idea to change your locks. For example:

  • When buying an existing home (old homeowners, real estate agents, etc may still have a copy)
  • When buying a new construction (the contractor may still have a set of keys)
  • If you have a disgruntled roommate or your spouse moves out
  • When you lose a key
  • When you want one key to open all the locks on your home
  • If you want to upgrade your security overall

However, before you run out and buy a bunch of new locks, know your options. Keep reading to learn about the difference between rekeying locks and replacing them.

What Is Rekeying a Lock?

Rekeying a lock sounds complicated, but it’s actually a simple process. Inside many types of locks, there are little “tumblers” or “key pins”.

Different lengths of key pins in a series are what makes a lock work with a certain key. If all the key pins line up when a particular key is inserted in the lock, the key can turn and open the lock.

Rekeying a lock involves opening it up and replacing/reordering the key pins. Once the lock is put back together it will fit a new key, but the old one won’t work anymore.

The Benefits of Rekeying Locks

Rekeying locks comes with a few benefits that make people choose this method over replacing their locks. These are:

  • Security: Sometimes you need to know that your old keys will no longer work in your locks. Rekeying them is a great way to make sure that your home is safe and secure
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Rekeying locks instead of replacing them means you only have to pay for the locksmith’s labor and a few pins. Replacing them is always more expensive because you have to purchase new locks as well. Strong, high-quality locks aren’t cheap.
  • Speed: It’s quick and easy to have your locks rekeyed. You can even do it yourself if you know-how and have the right tools for it. (But don’t expect to be as fast as a professional.)

Can You DIY?

Some manufacturers sell locks that are specifically set up to be easy to rekey so homeowners can do it themselves. Be aware that you usually sacrifice some security by choosing this type of lock. These types of locks also tend to be easier to pick and may even malfunction.

What Is Replacing a Lock?

Replacing a lock is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of changing the inner workings of the lock, the lock is removed and replaced with a whole new one.

The Benefits of Replacing Locks

Having your locks replaced ends up to be more expensive than simply having your locks rekeyed. But there are a few benefits to the method that makes the extra expense worth it. This includes:

  • Replacement: Are you changing your locks because someone broke in? In that case, it’s very possible that the lock was damaged during the burglary. In most cases, you won’t be able to rekey the damaged lock and a replacement is a better option.
  • Upgrades: What if you want to upgrade your security? The lock on your home may be older or not the best quality. In that case, you may want to update your locks and replace them with more secure ones. Additionally, you may want to install smart locks that you can control with an app on your phone or even fingerprint locks.
  • Customization: Replacing your locks also gives you the ability to customize your security how you want it. Newer locks come with impressive security features that you can take advantage of. Plus you can customize the installation to make them even more secure.

Opt for replacing locks when you want to update/upgrade your security. Rekeying doesn’t make a lock weaker, but it doesn’t make it any stronger either. You can only do that by purchasing new locks with upgraded technology.

Can You DIY?

Replacing a lock can be less time-consuming and easier than rekeying locks. Many types of locks make it rather easy to DIY. As long as the new lock fits the hole, it’s just a matter of removing the old lock and screwing in the new one.

Safe and Sound

Your home is the one place in the world where you should always feel safe. Unfortunately, there are many threats in the world that are looking for a way in.

Replacing and rekeying locks are both effective methods of improving your home’s security. Which method you choose will depend on your circumstances and your reason for needing new locks.

Do you need a locksmith to help you rekey or replace your locks? Contact us today for more information

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