Hello Oklahoma City! It’s your trusted team at Okey Locksmith, back with another blog post to help you navigate the ever-complex world of locks and security. In this topic? The often overlooked but highly essential process of lock rekeying. Trust us; it’s more important than you think!
What is Lock Rekeying?
First off, let’s demystify what rekeying actually is. In a nutshell, rekeying is the process of changing the internal components of a lock so that it works with a new key, rendering the old key useless. The lock remains the same key otherwise; only its internal mechanics are altered. Sounds simple, but the benefits can be enormous.
Why Should You Consider Rekeying?
Compared to replacing a lock entirely, rekeying is often much more budget-friendly. You’re only changing the internal tumblers, not the entire the lock mechanism, so the cost of materials and labor is generally lower.
Quick and Easy
Rekeying is usually a quick job for a professional locksmith, often taking less than an hour per new lock on. So you can enhance your security without a major time commitment.
Lost or Stolen Keys
If you’ve ever lost a key—or worse, had one stolen—you know the anxiety that comes with wondering who might have access to your home or business. Rekeying immediately alleviates this concern.
Moving Into a New Place
Whether you’ve just bought a new home or are moving your business to a new location, you can’t be sure who has copies of the keys. Rekeying should be at the top of your to-do list.
If you run a business and your company have had recent staff changes, particularly in roles that had access to sensitive areas, rekeying is a sensible precaution.
Enhance Security Without Breaking the Bank
Lock rekeying provides the option to enhance your security without having to invest in new locks. You can even choose to have your locks rekeyed to work with a master key system, providing different levels of access for different people, all without replacing the locks themselves.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Lock Rekeying
- Contact a Trusted Locksmith: Always opt for a certified and reputable locksmith (like us at Okey Locksmith!).
- Assessment: The locksmith will assess the condition of your current locks to ensure they’re suitable for rekeying.
- Choose Your Key: If you’re going for a master key system, decide on the hierarchical structure of the keys.
- The Rekeying Process: The locksmith will remove the lock cylinder and change the pins inside, matching them to a new key.
- Test: The locksmith will test the new key (and old key) to make sure the rekeying process was successful.
- Handover: You receive the new keys, and you’re all set!
When Do You Need to Rekey Your Locks?
Great, you’re on board with the idea of rekeying, but when exactly should you do it? Glad you asked! Here are some common scenarios where rekeying should be seriously considered:
After a Break-In or Attempted Break-In
If your property has been the unfortunate target of a break-in, or even an attempted one, rekeying your locks should be your first order of business. Even if the intruder didn’t make it inside, it’s a sign that your security when locked up could be improved.
When You Move Into a New Property
Whether it’s a new home or a new business location, you simply don’t know how many copies of keys the previous owners or tenants made. Rekeying ensures that only you and your trusted circle have access.
After a Relationship Change
Breakups, divorces, or even falling out with a close friend who had a spare house key—these are personal changes that warrant a security update. Rekeying your locks helps establish boundaries and keeps your space secure.
If you run a business and have had any changes in staff, particularly among employees who had access to sensitive areas, it’s time to rekey. It’s not just about distrust; it’s about minimizing risks and keeping your assets secure.
Have you been away for an extended vacation or business trip? Even if you had someone trusted to watch over your place, it’s always a good idea to rekey the front door and locks upon your return. Better safe than sorry!
Lost or Stolen Keys
This one’s a no-brainer. If your keys are missing, you won’t rest easy until you know no one else can use them. Rekeying is the quickest and most effective way to restore your peace of mind.
After a Certain Period
Even if you haven’t encountered any of the above scenarios, it’s wise to rekey your locks every few years just as a general precaution. Plus, lock technology is continually evolving; newer, more secure options may be available that weren’t when you first got your locks.
How Much Does It Cost to Rekey Locks?
Ah, the million-dollar question—except, thankfully, it’s not going to cost you anywhere near a million dollars! The cost of rekeying your front door locks really can vary depending on several factors, and while we can’t give you an exact figure in this blog, we can help you understand what influences the cost.
Type and Number of Locks
The more locks you have, the higher the total cost will be. However, doing them all at once might save you some money compared to doing them individually over time. The type of lock also affects the cost; high-security locks or commercial-grade locks can be more complex and, therefore, more expensive to rekey.
The locksmith’s labor is another factor. While rekeying is generally quick, some locks are more complicated than others. The time of day can also impact labor costs; emergency or after-hours services might come with a premium.
While you have a locksmith on site, you might decide to make other security upgrades, like installing a deadbolt or setting up a master key system. These additional services will add to the overall cost.
Believe it or not, where you live can influence the cost. Rates can vary from city to city and even from one neighborhood to another.
Who You Hire
All locksmiths are not created equal. Make sure to hire a certified and reputable professional (like your friends at Okey Locksmith!). While going for the cheapest option might be tempting, quality service is worth the investment for something as crucial as your security.
What Types of Locks Can Be Rekeyed?
You’re all in on the idea of rekeying, but now you’re probably wondering, “Can my specific type of lock be rekeyed?” Great question! Most locks can be rekeyed, but let’s go through the common types you’re likely to encounter and whether they are good candidates for rekeying.
Deadbolts are among the most commonly rekeyed locks. Whether it’s a single or double cylinder, as long as the lock is in good working condition, it can usually be rekeyed without any issues.
Yes, those standard doorknob locks you find on many interior doors can be rekeyed. These door keys are usually straightforward and quick to rekey.
Lever Handle Locks
Common in commercial settings, lever handle locks can also be rekeyed. Their internal mechanisms are similar to doorknob locks, making them a good candidate for rekeying.
Some padlocks can be rekeyed, although many cheaper models can’t be. If “rekeyability” is an important feature for you, look for padlocks that are designed with this capability.
High-security locks have complex internal mechanisms, but they can usually be rekeyed. In fact, they are often designed to be easily “rekeyable” to make security updates more convenient.
Common in older homes and commercial settings, mortise locks can be rekeyed, although the process can be a bit more involved due to their construction.
Smart and Electronic Locks
You might be surprised to learn that even some smart locks can be rekeyed. While the electronic components can be reset, the physical key override (if available) can often be rekeyed just like a traditional lock.
Cabinet and Furniture Locks
In many cases, smaller locks like those on cabinets and certain types of furniture can also be rekeyed, although sometimes it may be more cost-effective to simply replace them.
Yes, even the locks on your car can generally be rekeyed, although this usually requires a locksmith specialized in automotive locks.
A Few Exceptions:
- Some extremely cheap, low-quality locks are not designed to be rekeyed.
- Certain types of electronic or “smart” locks that do not have a keyhole cannot be rekeyed.
- Specialty or antique locks may require specialized skills and may not be easily rekeyed.
Does a Locksmith Need the Original Key To Rekey the Lock?
The short answer is no, but having the original key can make the process easier and potentially less expensive.
With the Original Key
If you have the original key, the rekeying process is generally quicker and smoother. The locksmith can simply use the original key to remove the lock cylinder and proceed with the rekeying. Having the original key minimizes the labor involved and can, therefore, reduce the cost.
Without the Original Key
Don’t worry if you’ve lost the original key or never had it to begin with; a skilled locksmith can still rekey the lock. However, the process becomes a bit more complicated. The locksmith will need to pick the lock open to gain access to and unlock the lock cylinder. Once this is done, the lock can be rekeyed as usual.
Trust the Pros
While there are DIY rekeying kits available, we strongly recommend letting professionals handle the job. One small error could compromise the new lock installation’s integrity, defeating the whole purpose of enhancing your security.
So if you’re considering enhancing your security through rekeying, give us a call or swing by Okey Locksmith. We’re always here to offer tailored advice and top-notch service, ensuring you get the best security and repair solutions for your unique needs.
Stay safe, stay secure, Oklahoma City!