Yes, it is possible for you to rekey a lock without the original key. A locksmith can change your locks even if you have lost or misplaced the original key. In general, it is possible to pick or shim the lock and unlock the door. Then, the locksmith will have a much easier time removing the lock cylinder.
How Rekeying a Lock Works. 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.
Start by pulling the bobby pin apart and roughly straightening it as such. Next, stick the straight end of the hairpin about one centimeter, or about 1/3 of an inch, into the keyhole of your lock and apply enough pressure to bend the end of the pin into a hook. The result should look something similar to this.
When the user wants to rekey the lock, the working key is used to rotate the plug 90° clockwise. A special tool known as the "SmartKey tool" is used on the small hole to the left of the keyway. This physically disengages the sidebar and wafers from the guide pins and allows the working key to be removed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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. If customers need additional keys cut, some Lowe's stores offer Minute Key kiosks to have keys cut.
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.
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.
A Kwikset SmartKey tool (One should've came with your lock, but if not, you can buy one on Amazon). The new (or rather, old) key that you want to use instead. This must be a Kwikset key, as Kwikset and Schlage keys are totally different from one another (and won't work in each other's locks).
Re-keying SmartKey locks requires only three items and entails three easy steps. Users must have their functioning key, a SmartKey Learn Tool, and a new Kwikset key. First, insert the functioning key and turn it ¼-turn clockwise. Then, insert and remove the SmartKey learn tool.
SmartKey is an advanced security breakthrough which allows you to rekey the lock in seconds. To rekey your lock with an entirely new key, simply insert the functioning key, turn a quarter turn clockwise, insert the learning tool, remove the existing key, and insert a new key.
Find a suitable object for picking the lock.
Ideal choices include a small screwdriver or hex wrench, a hair pin, or a heavy-duty paperclip. You can even use a bamboo skewer from the kitchen, or a cotton swab with the fluff removed from one end.
You might be able to take apart a mechanical pencil and use some of the sturdier metal components to pick a lock, but a wooden pencil probably wouldn't work. However, you can use pencil lead to lubricate a sticky lock if you don't have powdered graphite on hand!
To pick a lock with a screwdriver, you need a flat head screwdriver. Insert it at the bottom part of the keyhole. Once it is placed inside the keyhole, turn it clockwise. Apply the right amount of pressure while the screwdriver is in the position.
Is there a master key for all locks? For certain systems of locks, yes. A master key is specifically designed to unlock a given locking system. Having one key for safekeeping can help open a lock in case its paired key is lost or damaged.