Is It Better to Rekey or Replace a Lock?

In case you want to change your locks, you are presented with two key options; that is, you may choose to rekey the existing lock or buy & install a brand new one. Replacing the lock is the most chosen option simply because it’s the most well-known solution. As a matter of fact, a good number of people don’t know that it is possible to change the locking mechanisms of the lock without getting rid of the old hardware (lock). This article is a comparison between rekeying and replacing a lock.

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Rekeying a Lock


Lock rekeying involves making changes to the lock tumblers such that all the wafers are in a new and different order as compared to the one (the original order) before. Even though it is one of the most basic tasks for locksmiths, it can get complicated with higher security locks. The new code from the lock tumblers are used so as to ensure that the old keys don’t work with the new tumblers. View it All door locks which are of security grade of (ANSI) one or higher can be rekeyed without the need of changing the locks.

The Benefits of Rekeying a Lock

  • Rekeying is less expensive than replacing a lock. This is basically because if you rekey your lock, there won’t be any need for you to purchase any additional hardware.
  • It offers the option of keying the locks to the same locks.
  • Preserves the appearance of the door; that is, no paint lines.

What You Need To Do So As To Rekey Your Lock

If the benefits that are noted above convince you that rekeying is better than replacing a lock, you have three options of lock rekeying that you can choose from. These include:

i. You can buy a rekey kit for locks and do the rekeying yourself.
ii. You may take the locks off the frame of the door and take them to a locksmith shop so as to have the locks rekeyed for you.
iii. Hire a locksmith to rekey the locks from your home.

Replacing Your Door’s Lock


Even after evaluating the advantages of rekeying a lock, there may be other factors that may compel you to change and replace your locks. Some of these factors include:

In Instances of Break-In or Other Related Mis-Haps

Break-ins usually result in damaging of the locks. When the assembly of the lock has been worn-down so much that the lock’s parts can’t catch anymore so as to secure the mechanism, or when some parts of the locks have been detached from the door frame, just know that it is time to replace the lock.

Very Old Locks

For an antique lockset, you may fail to find the parts that are required to replace or rekey the lock’s tumblers. The new locks that are being manufactured in this age have a better security level than that (the security level) for antique locks. Furthermore, it isn’t easy to find a locksmith who works on very old locks, and if you do find him, he will charge you a premium for repairing or rekeying your old lock.

The Need to Increase the Security Level of Your Home/Business

If the locks that are installed on your doors have a low security rating, you should ensure that you upgrade them to ensure that they to at least reach an ANSI one-level. Locks with this security rating are not easy to drill, pick or tamper with. It is recommended that you buy the locks from well-known companies that have a good reputation. When you go to the market, ensure that you explore the comparison charts on customer reports. Alternatively, you may ask your locksmith to offer you his opinion.

Available Options for Replacing Your Locks

There are two main options, and they include:

i. Purchase the lock-set and change the lock assemblies yourself.
ii. Hire a handy-man/locksmith to professionally change the lock for you. This is the most recommended option since installation often involves complicated (not easy) tasks. Make sure you hire a professional that is found on a trusted source with reliable customer reviews. Hiring a professional locksmith will help you save time.

So Now, Is It Better To Rekey Or Replace A Lock?
Every home/business owner has a different answer for this question. At the end of the day, the decision to whether rekey or replace a lock is often determined by a particular individual’s personal preference. Before making any decisions, you have to first determine the type of locks that are installed, their age, as well as their security level.