West Coast Locksmith Blog

Rekeying vs. Changing a Lock: What’s the Difference?

by | Sep 12, 2023 | Info Articles

With the security of your property at stake, it’s essential to make the right decisions when it comes to locks. One of the common points of confusion we’ve noticed among clients in Los Angeles and its surroundings is the difference between rekeying a lock and replacing a lock. With this article we aim to shed some light on the difference, helping you make an informed decision regarding your security needs.

Rekeying vs. Changing: Which is Right For You?

At West Coast Locksmith, we understand the intricacies of locks inside and out, and a big part of our service involves educating our clients on the options and benefits of each. When you call us about the locks on your home or business, we’ll discuss your needs and budget and help you decide if rekeying your locks or changing your locks is the best option. We’ll help you weigh the long-term benefits against the initial cost, especially when security is at stake.

Rekeying a Lock

When you hire a locksmith to rekey a lock they make changes to the internal lock cylinder so it works with a brand new key. The surrounding lock hardware remains the same, but its internal mechanism is reconfigured. In other words, we change out the pins inside the lock cylinder to fit a new key which allows the lock to turn. Once rekeyed, the old key will not work. Here are some benefits of rekeying a lock:

  • Budget-Friendly:  If your existing lock hardware is in good working order, rekeying the lock cylinder is typically a  more affordable option when all you want to do is change the lock to work with a new key.
  • Quick Security Upgrade: If you’ve lost your keys or you think someone may have made an unauthorized copy, rekeying offers a swift solution to preventing unwanted access to your property.
  • Same Hardware, New Key: You get to maintain your current lock’s aesthetics but with the peace of mind that comes from a new key.

Changing a Lock

When a locksmith changes a lock they remove and replace every bit of the existing lock including the interior and exterior knob, lock cylinder, latch assembly, bolt, and the strike plate on the door frame. Here are some benefits of changing a lock:

  • Long-term Peace of Mind: While changing the entire lock can be more expensive than rekeying, it’s a great option if your existing lock has suffered wear and tear or it’s old. Rather than worry about when or how it’ll break, you can replace it before it stops working completely.
  • Upgraded Security: Depending on the materials and features, a new lock may offer advanced security features and be harder to tamper with or damage than your old lock.
  • Fresh Look & New Features: Do you want a lock that complements your door or surrounding decor better? Changing the lock offers the chance to upgrade in style, color, finish, and features.

The Cost Angle

Financial considerations are crucial for most decisions. Rekeying, as mentioned, is generally the more pocket-friendly option since there’s no new hardware to purchase. However, the cost of changing the lock can vary based on the lock model and features you opt for. Always weigh the long-term benefits against initial costs, especially when security is at stake.

How to Decide?

Rekeying is ideal in scenarios where you are satisfied with your current lock’s function and aesthetics but want to address security concerns arising from key misplacement. On the other hand, if your existing lock is outdated, malfunctioning, or doesn’t match your property’s look, a complete change is advisable. If you’re still not sure which is best for you, consulting with one of our locksmith technicians can give clarity on what’s best for your unique situation.

You Can Count on Our Experience and Technical Knowledge

Since 2018 we’ve been assisting countless residential and commercial clients in making informed decisions regarding their lock systems. We’re here to help you decide whether rekeying or changing your locks is the right choice for your specific situation. Our commitment lies in giving you all the information necessary to make an informed decision regarding your security. Our team ensures that clarity and security go hand-in-hand.

Give Us a Call to Rekey or Change Your Locks

We hope this article has given you the information you need to choose which option is best for you. But if you’re still not sure, give us a call or email us with your questions. At West Coast Locksmith, we’re more than just locksmiths, we’re your security partners and we’re dedicated to ensuring your peace of mind.

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