Rekeying vs. Changing a Lock: What’s the Difference?

Rekeying vs. Changing a Lock: What’s the Difference?

Changing a lock and rekeying may sound like the exact same thing if you’ve never needed to understand the differences. While these two ideas are common approaches to a similar problem, there are a few contrasting details to be aware of before you commit to either task.

Replacing a Lock

Changing a lock is relatively simple for locksmiths and normal folks alike. You may find it necessary to replace a lock when your key gets jammed, or when moving into a new home for added security.This process requires removing the entire locking mechanism and knob and replacing it with a whole new unit.

The process of changing a lock is the easiest method for anyone looking to make changes without calling a locksmith. All that’s required is buying a new lock and installing it on the door, meaning there’s no extra tedious keywork to be had. You’ll also find at least one key included with any new lock that can be copied for extra convenience.

Replacing a Lock

Replacing a lock is most ideal for modern homes that can match new knobs to their overall design without creating an eyesore. For situations where it’s important to keep a certain knob intact or have a key that works with multiple locks, rekeying is always the better option.

Rekeying Basics

Rekeying is a popular preference for historical and modern homes alike that allows minimal changes to the outward facing knob. Instead of getting a new lock & knob, rekeying allows a locksmith or confident DIYer to change the inside of the locking mechanism itself. Patience is required as this process is far more tedious than just mounting the lock on the door. We recommend calling a professional whenever possible to avoid frustration!

Rekeying Overview

Just like full replacement, your locksmith will remove the lock from your door as the first step. They’ll then remove the cylinder where the locking mechanism is housed and attach a key plug to the back of the cylinder. The key plug is a helpful tool that consists of two pieces that fit together and assist in manipulating the locking pins.

Rekeying House Lock

The current key will be inserted into the key plug, leaving the back end of the key plug to hold the pin configuration in place. Once the current pins have been removed, the old key will be removed as well, and the new key will be inserted. Your locksmith will ensure that all the new pins are fitted exactly to the new key’s shape.

As a last step, the front end of the plug will be reinserted while pushing the back end out. All that’s left is to try the key and reassemble the lock before reinstalling the lock on the door. Your locksmith will test the lock thoroughly once it’s back on the door to ensure everything works securely before presenting your new key.

In either case, now’s the best time to make sure you’ve got a sweet custom key to match your super secure lock!

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