Moving to a new home? We need to change the lock. Lost a key? Get a lock replacement.

While many of us believe that changing the lock is the only solution, there is really another, more affordable option. It is known as rekeying the lock. This technique, as the name implies, involves readjusting the internal lock mechanism to disable the existing key and fit a different one. The goal here is to retain the old lock but not make it compatible with the current set of keys. Let’s learn more about it now.

What is rekeying of your locks?

The name rekeying might give you an idea of what exactly it is. Basically, you adjust the internal mechanism of the lock to make it function for a new key. So, you get to keep the old lock but it opens with a new key. No, it isn’t easy as it may seem to you. In rekeying the lock has to be first removed from the door to access the lock cylinder. Don’t risk it doing yourself. You need a thorough understanding of the pin tumbler lock system for changing or rearranging their order. If anything goes wrong, you may have to go in for a new lock.

The key pins inside your lock correspond to the current key. When you rearrange the key pin, the key will no longer work. Next, you need to know what pin sizes correspond to which key depths. This is done using a key decoder, depth chart, and pinning size chart. Rekeying your lock entails replacing the core, moving or rotating the tumblers, and changing the pins.

A professional locksmith has expertise in the rekeying technique. After completing the task, your locksmith will hand over a new set of keys for the rekeyed lock. This ensures the safety of your property. As you utilize the existing lock body, the process of rekeying is cost-effective. Rekeying your locks is a better solution than replacing the entire lock.

Note: You need your current key for rekeying your locks. If you don’t have it, the lock will have to be picked for the pro

What is the cost of rekeying the locks?

The cost of rekeying a lock depends on two main factors.

  • Number of locks
  • Keys

Also, the location where the lock is to be rekeyed is taken into consideration.

What are the pros and cons of rekeying locks?

By now you might have a good idea of the pros of rekeying your locks. Let’s look into it.

Increased security

Resetting your key gives you complete control of the property. The old keys will not work and the new keys are in your hands. You don’t have to worry about someone having the old key. Rekeying is especially effective when you buy a new home. It is also useful when you rent your home or office.


In rekeying, the internal pins are changed and a new set of keys is given to you. It is cheaper than replacing the entire locking device. We have already mentioned the factors that decide the cost of rekeying. It is definitely cheaper compared to the price of new locksets.

Quick and easy

When handled by a professional locksmith, the rekeying process is fast and easy. They have all the right tools needed to rearrange or change the pins.

There is one disadvantage of rekeying, though.

Limited security upgrades

The rekeying process doesn’t give you scope to upgrade the lock’s security. So, if your lock is not high quality, rekeying it will not do any good to you.

What is lock replacement?

Lock replacement or changing the lock is the process of replacing the entire lock and key hardware and opting for a new one. This is done when people buy a new home or rent out a property. It is also a solution when your old locks are worn out or the keys are misplaced or lost. While changing the locks you may have to hunt for the same model to fit in the existing groove. A new lock mechanism may sometimes change the exterior appearance of your door.

What is the cost of a lock replacement?

The lock replacement cost depends on your lock model. If you opt to upgrade your traditional lock to a smart lock or electronic lock, the prices go higher. The total cost of lock replacement is usually calculated taking the following factors into consideration-

  • Cost of the lock to be installed
  • Labor charges
  • Service fees depending on the location

There are various options for lock replacement. The best option is to consult your local locksmith about the type of security for your home or office while replacing the lock.

What are the pros and cons of the lock replacement?

When you replace the lock in its entirety, you have some good benefits.

Upgrades and customization

Lock replacement gives you the opportunity to scale the security of your home. For instance, if you are using traditional locks, you can now go in for a smart key or electronic key. You can also customize the lock by inserting additional security pins.
The disadvantage of lock replacement is its high cost.

Higher cost

In lock replacement, you change the lockset. Its cost is higher when compared to changing the key pins. This might be a concern for homeowners who are tight on the budget.

Rekey vs lock replacement- Which is good for you?

This needs a bit of introspection because there is no definite answer to the question. To better understand it, ask yourself some questions.

Am I satisfied with the security?

If your locks are high quality and have helped you in securing your home, there’s no need to go in for a lock replacement. Rekeying will be cheaper and as effective.

Have I misplaced or lost the key?

If you have lost or misplaced the key, the cheapest option is to rekey your lock.

Do I need to upgrade my home security?

As we have mentioned earlier, if you want to upgrade the security, lock replacement is the best option. It gives you the opportunity to plan a good security system for your home and go in for a higher-grade lock.

What is my budget?

The cost of rekeying is cheaper than lock replacement. Opt for it when you are on a limited budget.

How good is the security system of my new home?

Never depend on the pre-installed security measures in your new home. You never know who might have a spare key to your home. The best option is to go in for rekeying when you are on a tight budget and the security is good enough. If the home security needs a revaluation and money is not an issue, opt for lock replacement.

Have burglars broken into the home recently?

Contact your locksmith if burglars have gained a forceful entry through the door. They will assess the extent of damage done to the lock and suggest if rekeying your locks will work fine or if you have to go for lock replacement.

Wrapping up

The purpose of this blog is to not decide if lock replacement is better or rekeying. When it comes to rekeying vs lock replacement, which is better depends on what you want for your home. Each method is a solution depending on what needs to be solved.
If you are still not able to decide, Desert Locksmith is there for you. We provide professional locksmith services for lock replacement and rekeying your locks. Our team of experienced specialists provides installation and repair services in Phoenix, Arizona, and the surrounding cities. We’ll come to you when you need us.