Shearline Locksmiths Blog

The Difference Between Rekeying a Lock and Changing a Lock

by | Aug 8, 2022 | Residential Locksmith Service

Shearline Locksmiths is a full-service locksmith serving Chicago, IL, and the surrounding communities. When you need an experienced, licensed and courteous professional, you can rely on our team to get the job done. We perform background checks and properly train every technician that comes to work for us. The training includes rekeying and changing a variety of locks, including deadbolts, residential and commercial, and car locks. We also provide 24/7 emergency mobile locksmith services throughout Chicagoland.

In this article, we discuss the difference between rekeying locks and changing locks so you can make an informed decision on which service you want.

What Is Involved in Changing a Lock?

When we change a lock, we replace the entire doorknob and/or deadbolt mechanism with with a brand new one. Whether you want a new lock to look exactly like the old one or choose a new make and model, our locksmiths will find an option that works for you.

What Is Involved In Rekeying a Lock?

Many times, homeowners and business owners assume that they have to change the entire lock hardware whenever there’s a security risk and they need their locks to work with new keys, but that is not always the case. Rekeying the lock is generally quicker and less expensive than changing the entire lock hardware because it involves just changing the pins (or wafers) in the lock cylinder. It’s also a great option if you really like the look of your door lock hardware and want to keep it.

Here’s a brief overview of how we will rekey your locks:

  1. Remove the lock from the door.
  2. Remove the lock cylinder.
  3. Remove the pins (or wafers depending on the type/model of lock) and insert the new key.
  4. Insert new pins or wafers that match up with the new key.
  5. Reinsert the lock cylinder into the doorknob, and reinstall the lock on the door.
  6. Repeat the same steps on any other locks you want to work with the new key.
  7. Cut as many copies of the new key as the customer wants.

Now that you know the difference between rekeying locks and changing locks, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Changing a Lock?

Changing the lock involves replacing the entire mechanism. By installing new hardware, you send a clear signal that the locks have been changed. A newer lock will also improve the appearance of your home or business. If you have older, worn-out locks, rekeying them might not solve the problem long-term. You’re eventually going to have to replace them anyway.

Additionally, many people choose to replace traditional locks with electronic ones. So, changing your locks can add convenience, security, and remote access to your home or business.

The cons of changing your locks include investing more time and money in the process. You’ll have to choose a new lock or have your Shearline Locksmith do it for you, and it takes longer to replace the entire mechanism than to change the key pins.

No look at the difference between rekeying locks and changing locks would be complete without discussing the time and money involved in the process.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Rekeying a Lock?

When you rekey a lock, it alters the mechanism so that old keys won’t open the lock, and this is useful if you want to save time and money. In many cases, rekeying your locks makes more sense than replacing the entire mechanism. You can also rekey your locks if you want all your locks to open with the same key. If you lose a key, want to deny someone access, or have a key that doesn’t work, rekeying makes a lot of sense.

There are also a few cons to lock rekeying. If the lock mechanism is damaged or has a lot of wear and tear, it might make more sense to change it. Some property owners are uncomfortable with having one key that can open all the locks in their home or business.

What Does It Cost to Rekey or Change Your Locks in Chicagoland?

It may cost $35 to $150 to rekey a lock, while changing a lock can cost up to $100 more or even higher, depending on the cost of labor and the cost of the new lockset. In general, it may take 15 to 30 minutes to rekey a lock. It may take longer to change a lock, depending on its condition, the type of lock, and other circumstances, such as the condition of the door and framing.

Would you like more information and advice on the difference between rekeying locks and changing locks?



Contact Shearline Locksmiths in Chicago, IL at 312-847-8366 and we’ll evaluate your current locks and provide a recommendation on rekeying or changing them. We would also be happy to discuss our other locksmith services and help you make a routine or emergency appointment!