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Rekeying verses Replacing Locks

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Homeowners have the option to rekey their door locks, and in some cases, it might be a much better choice than changing your entire door lock. If you’re wondering how you will be able to figure out which choice is best for your home, there is no need to worry! Today I will attempt to help you navigate this question and arrive at the right answer. In order to do this, we will take a look at what rekeying and replacing a lock entail, and then we will see how they impact your doors and your home as well as other various factors that might help influence your decision.


Pros for Rekeying Locks

1. Increased Sense of Security

Rekeying your locks can help increase your overall sense of security. This is because it is an easy way of resetting your key control and nullifying all other keys that could have operated your lock. This is a common practice among new homeowners as soon as they move in. The reason why people do this is to prevent previous homeowners, or anyone who might have a copy of the key, from just walking into a home that is no longer theirs. It effectively seals up any loose ends that might be apparent in their security, and it gives them a fresh start of sorts.


2. Cost-Effective

As I mentioned up above, when it comes to rekeying the lock, the main components being changed are the key pins that are housed within the lock cylinder. These key pins are extremely inexpensive, especially when they are compared to the price of new lock sets. This makes rekeying an extremely cost-effective option for homeowners who would like to change some aspect of their security without breaking the bank. The most you will have to pay for is the labor cost when you call a locksmith, or the amount of time you will spend trying to get it together yourself.


3. Quick & Easy

The process of rekeying (when handled by a professional locksmith) is very quick and easy and does not require a lot of manpower, or the use of a lot of tools. Aside from a key decoder, a catch tool, spanner and the current key for the lock being rekeyed, you only need to know how to do it. It might take much longer to do if you have never done it before, but the same can be said for anyone replacing their locks without the help of a locksmith.


Cons for Rekeying Locks


1. Limited Security Upgrades

One limitation of the rekeying process is the fact that it gives you a limited security boost. This is not to say that it does not help at all, but you do not change out any of the other security features of your lock. Therefore, if you have a subpar lock installed and you decide to rekey the locks, you will still have a subpar lock in place. This is the reason why I classified it as a limited security upgrade.


Replacing Your Locks

There are several factors that should be taken into consideration when you are trying to determine which lock you want to replace your old lock with. Some of these factors include the budget you are working with, as well as the kind of preferences and features you want in your lock.


Pros for Replacing Locks


1. Customization

Installing new locks gives you the ability to actually customize your security, and this is something that many homeowners often take for granted. When I say customize in this section, I am referring to the fact that you can influence the way your locks look and feel, and also influence the way they function alongside some of the other components of your home security. If you want to install longer screws in your lock, you can. Or if you want to insert additional security pins, you can. Replacing your lock gives you a brand new security canvas to play with.


2. Ability for upgrades

If you opt to replace your locks rather than rekeying them, you have the luxury of being able to now upgrade your locks and therefore your home security. This means that you can improve upon the security measures that you already had in place. For instance, if you had a Grade 2 deadbolt installed on your door, you could not opt to upgrade your lock to a Grade 1 deadbolt by rekeying. On the flip side of things, you could also decide to ditch traditional locks and upgrade to smart locks. Whatever the case may be, you now have the option and ability to upgrade when you replace your locks.


Cons for Replacing Locks


1. Pay for parts and labor


Unlike the rekeying process, replacing your locks tends to rack up a much higher cost. This is mostly because you will have to pay for the cost of labor in addition to the cost for the lock set that you want. The cost of the lock set alone is much more expensive than your average key pins. To homeowners that have a very large budget, this is not much of a negative. However, if you do not want to shell out the money for replacing your lock, this would be a con.

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