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Changing Vs. Rekeying Locks

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One of the most important decisions when securing your home or business is whether to change or rekey your locks. Both options for securing locks have their own pros and cons, and the most suitable choice will depend on your specific needs and budget.

Changing locks involves replacing the entire lock mechanism while rekeying simply changes the internal configuration of key pins so that it can be opened with a new key but with the same lock.

This article will discover more about the differences between changing and rekeying different locks and help you decide which option is best for you.

When Should You Change or Rekey Your Locks?

Change Locks

  • When you move into your new home or rental property, changing all the locks is recommended, as you need to find out who has copies of the previous keys.
  • Changing your locks will ensure that your home or business is secure if your locks are old, worn out, or damaged.
  • If you’ve lost your keys, it’s best to change the locks to prevent someone from using them to gain access to your property.

Rekey Locks

  • When you want to give a new set of keys to someone, such as a new employee or tenant, without changing the entire lock using the current matching key.
  • If you’ve lost keys to a multi-keyed lock, rekeying is a cost-effective solution to prevent someone from using that key to gain access to your property.
  • If you suspect someone may have a copy of your keys, rekeying the locks can provide a better security system.
  • When you want to change the access to specific areas of a property or upgrade to a master key system, rekeying is a good option as it doesn’t require changing all the locks with the same brand and with the same key.

Signs that You Need to Change or Rekey Your Existing Locks

Worn Out or Damaged Locks

If your locks are old and showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to consider changing or rekeying them. Worn-out locks can be easily picked or bumped, making them less secure.

Lost or Stolen Keys

If you’ve lost your keys or suspect they may have been stolen, it’s important to change or rekey your locks to prevent someone from using them to gain access to your property.

Recent Break-In or Attempted Break-In

If your home or business has recently been broken into or someone has attempted to break in, it’s important to change or rekey your locks to ensure your property is secure.

Moving Into a New Property

Changing or rekeying all the locks is recommended, as you need to find out who has copies of the previous keys.

Suspicion of Unauthorized Access

If you suspect someone may have copied your keys or has access to your property without your permission, it’s a good idea to change or rekey your locks.

Change in Personnel

If an employee, tenant, or any person you gave keys to no longer works or lives on your property, it’s a good idea to rekey the locks to prevent them from having access.

Upgrading Security

If you want to upgrade the security of your property, changing or rekeying your locks can be an effective solution.

It’s important to note that if you need help deciding whether to change or rekey your locks, it’s best to consult with professional locksmith services who can assess your situation and recommend the best course of action.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Changing or Rekeying Your Locks

Changing Locks


  • Once you change your locks, it provides a new and secure lock system, ensuring that your property is safe and secure.
  • Allows you to control who has access to your property.
  • It provides peace of mind that no one else has a key to your property.
  • You wish to match different keys from several locks of varying brands or keyholes into one.


  • Lock replacement can be more expensive than rekeying, especially if you need to change multiple locks.
  • Changing your locks can be more time-consuming than rekeying.
  • Replacing locks may need drilling new holes in the door if the new lock does not match the existing one.
Rekeying Locks


  • More cost-effective than changing locks, especially if you only need to rekey a few locks.
  • Quicker than changing locks.
  • It allows you to retain the existing locking system, which can be beneficial if the lock is high-quality or has sentimental value.
  • This ensures that only new and authorized keys open your locks for enhanced security and peace of mind.


  • Rekeying only changes the internal configuration of the lock, so it may provide a different level of security than changing the entire lock mechanism.
  • If the lock is worn out, old, or damaged, more than rekeying may be needed to ensure the security of your property.
  • It may not completely eliminate the risk of someone using a copied key to gain access to your property.
  • Once the locks are rekeyed, an old key becomes useless in opening it again.

It’s important to consider your budget, the level of security you require, and the time frame you have when deciding whether to change or rekey your locks. Professional locksmiths can help you determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Tips for Maintaining Proper Security With Changed and/or Rekeyed Door Locks
  • Keep a record of everyone who has a key to your property, including family members, employees, and tenants. This will make identifying who has a key easier if a problem arises.
  • Limit the number of keys given out to only those who need them. This will help to minimize the risk of unauthorized access to your property.
  • Regularly assess the security of your property and change or rekey locks as needed. This will ensure that your property remains secure over time.
  • Invest in high-quality locks resistant to picking, bumping, and other forms of tampering. This will provide added security for your property.
  • Keep your keys safe where they can’t be easily lost or stolen. Consider using a key storage lockbox or a smart lock that can be controlled with a smartphone.
  • Regularly check the condition of your locks and pay attention to any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any issues, change or rekey your locks as soon as possible.
  • Have a prepared plan in place in case of an emergency lockout. This can include keeping a spare key in a secure location or having the contact information of a reliable locksmith on hand.
  • Regularly check the security system, including cameras, alarms, and other security devices, to ensure they are in good working condition.

Remember, maintaining proper security with changed and/or rekeyed locks is an ongoing process that requires attention and regular maintenance. By following these tips and working with a professional locksmith, you can help ensure that your property remains secure at all times.

King Locksmith Atlanta is here to help you with all your lock change, rekeying, and security needs. We provide fast, reliable, and professional service that can help give you peace of mind knowing your property is secure. Contact us today for more information.

Changing Vs. Rekeying Locks
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