A locksmith will use something called a pinning kit to change the pins inside the lock. Keep in mind that to quickly do so, the locksmith needs a copy of the original key. If you don't have a single copy of the key, the locksmith will have to pick the lock, which can result in higher labor costs for you.
Rekeying your lock is almost always cheaper than replacing a lock. This is because of the cheaper price of the key pins inside the locks, whereas when you replace a lock, you are paying for all brand-new parts.
Expect to pay $80 to $300 per lock, depending on quality, and up to $200 more for professional installation. Many door locks, however, are DIY-friendly and come with installation instructions.
Some locksmiths may tell you that you should change your locks. But in many cases, you can just rekey them, which means changing the existing lock system so a new key operates it. A locksmith simply replaces the tumblers and pins to create a lock that can be opened by a brand-new key.
Rekeying Home Locks
Rekeying locks on your home typically costs $80 to $160. If you call the locksmith to your home, you might pay a trip fee of $50 to $100. The cost to rekey is $30 to $60 per lock, bringing you to that total. Rekeying is different and more affordable than replacing the locks.
When you rekey a lock by yourself, you will need to purchase a rekey kit that is specific to your brand of doorknob, lever, or deadbolt. You will receive several keys (often between three and six keys), all identically cut.
Rekeying a lock does not hurt the security of the lock, nor does it make it more secure. One of the factors that makes a lock secure is how many pins are inside of it. As long as the locksmith swaps the old 5 pins with 5 new ones, the lock will remain just as secure as it was before.
When you move into a new home, you should change the locks on your house. You have no idea how many copies of the house keys are floating around out there from the previous homeowners, so changing the locks will keep your new house more secure. Tom recommends changing the locks whenever a new home is purchased.
If you've lost the key to a lock, changing it may be cheaper than rekeying it, although a locksmith may be able to rekey it without the key.
Home Depot will rekey locks such as Schlage, Kwikset, doorknobs, deadbolts, single and double cylinders for $5 to $15 per lock. If your local store does not offer the service, you may purchase a rekey kit or visit Lowe's or Ace Hardware. Home Depot does not rekey car locks as they often require specialized technology.
Most deadbolt locksets come with keys when purchased new. If not, you can rekey these locks to fit the current keys you already have. But keep in mind that rekeying cannot be performed on all types of door locks. For older locks, check their condition to see if they can be rekeyed or if they should be replaced.
When rekeying multiple locks to fit a single key, all locks must first have been made by the same manufacturer. For example, if your front door lock is a Schlage, the other locks you want rekeyed to match must also be made by Schlage.
Definition of rekey
transitive verb. 1 : to key (something) again There's no sense in rekeying data that you already have in your computer.— Richard O. Mann. 2 : to provide (something) with a new key rekeyed the house/room/door You can take your lock and key to a locksmith and have them rekey it, making it unique. —
You can typically purchase a single cylindrical deadbolt for $20 to $70, while keyless deadbolts can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 or more depending on the type you purchase.
Lowe's are able to rekey locks in certain stores. Customers can bring in their locks (if an eligible brand to be rekeyed at Lowe's) and have their locks rekeyed for around $5. Lowe's also offers rekeying kits so customers can rekey their own locks at home.
You can rekey all of your locks to match an existing key when the locks all have the same keyway. You can test if the locks use the same keyway by taking the existing key you want to use and seeing if it slides into the keyholes of the locks you want to match that key.
Benefits of a Single Key
When purchasing more than one lock, look for packages that have the same “key alike” number on the package. Alternatively, our store associates can key all of your locks to work with the same key. You can also purchase a rekeying kit to swap out pins and springs yourself.
You can re-key a lock like a pro at a fraction of the cost. Re-keying kits are available for most lock brands but they're not interchangeable. You must buy a kit for each brand of lock in your home. (If you're lucky, they'll all be the same brand!)
As long as you don't have a steel door, installing a deadbolt is a job that you can do yourself, including making the cutout to chiseling in the strike. Deadbolts frequently come with locksets as part of a set, but if you have to buy a new one, be sure to match the existing knob.