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Can a Safe be Rekeyed?

By USA Safe & Vault October 28, 2021

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Every owner of a safe, at one time or another, worries about losing the key. After all, once you lose the key, aside from the inconvenience of not being able to access the contents of the safe, there is the added worry about destroying the safe if you try to tamper with the lock.  The question most gun safe owners and owners of home safes have is whether the lock needs to be replaced or can just a new key be made to access the safe. If that was possible, you would not have to remove the safe, change out the lock and spend a lot when ninety percent of the existing safe is usable.

A key can be made for a safe by using the original lock and then programming it with the new combination. The process is not difficult, but there are some precautions that must be taken when doing this. This article shows what you need to know about rekeying a safe and how to avoid mistakes in order to get it done correctly and without any problems.

Can a safe be rekeyed?

Yes, it can. Rekeying a lock is changing the existing key with a new one, without replacing the lock.  This service is commonly performed by a locksmith. 

Instead of replacing the safe lock because you cannot open the safe, you should try rekeying beforehand. Hee are typical scenarios when you might want to rekey a safe. 

  • Lost a copy of a safe’s key and afraid that if it is found, it could be used by others.

  • Prevent someone who also has the key from accessing the safe.

  • You have different locks for safes and you want them to match with a single key. 

How a locksmith rekeys your gun safe’s lock

Use the matching key as an example

To successfully rekey a lock, a gun safe locksmith needs to use the current matching key of the lock as it is essential since the locksmith has to know the structure and shape of the key. Without using a matching key, the only way to rekey a lock is by picking the safe until it opens. 

It’s not a truly big deal for a professional locksmith but it will increase the rekeying cost. In fact, rekeying a lock can save a lot of money because it is a lot cheaper. 

Rekeying a lock isn’t reducing or improving the security

Rekeying a lock neither will harm the security of the lock nor turn it to be more secure. It is the number of pins inside the safe that can improve the lock’s security. Although the locksmith replaces the existing 5 pins with 5 new ones, the lock will remain as secure as before the pins swapped out. If you want to improve the lock security, you need to replace the existing lock with a more secure one.. 

Rekeying a lock is possible when you want to get a more secure key than the old one. No matter your reason for rekeying, getting help from a locksmith guarantees the work to be conducted correctly since the locksmith uses the proper professional tools and procedures.  

FAQs | What Readers Want to Know

How much does it cost to rekey a safe?

On average, a rekeying job can cost anywhere from $75 to $100. If you need your safe drilled open and a new lock system installed, a locksmith will likely charge more, depending on where you live and the amount of work needed.

Can you change the lock on a safe?

Locksmith companies provide this service, so you can contact them directly for more information. In general, this type of job is well within the abilities of a locksmith, even if it's safe from a big manufacturer or an old one that has been in use for many years. In any case, it is necessary to make a good diagnosis to know whether the lock can be changed or not.

Can a locksmith make a key for a safe?

In fact, some locksmiths or UL-listed companies who sell safes or rent safes do offer a key-making service if you provide them with a key code for your safety. This is usually done through their mobile service program where they will come out and attempt to make the key after verifying legitimate ownership of the safe (i.e., checking the serial number). But keep in mind this is still very much hit & miss since only certain types of keys are available depending on which lock was originally installed on your safe


Rekeying a safe is not difficult, but there are some important precautions to take. This article will teach you what you need to know about re-keying and how to avoid mistakes in order to get the process done correctly and without any problems. This article will teach you what you need to do when rekey a safe as well as how to avoid common errors so all should go according to plan.

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