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Rekey or Replace Lock? Find out which one is surprisingly cheaper

By USA Safe & Vault September 12, 2021



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With all the security you put in your home, there will come a time when you have a malfunctioning lock. The question is do you have a locksmith rekey a lock or just replace it.

Rekey or change a lock? 

Here are a few reasons why it's better to rekey a lock rather than replace it. First, it's cheaper to rekey and many types of locks can be used with no problems after being rekeyed.  Secondly, rekeying saves on installation costs because the hardware remains in place. The cost to rekey a lock ranges from $25 to $50, while replacing a lock is higher at about $75 per hour, depending on the type of lock.  In both cases expect to pay a trip charge of $50 to $100 for a locksmith to come to your home.

Rekeying is a good option if you want to keep the existing hardware on your door, but don't want to use the original key. Locksmiths will remove the pins inside the lock cylinder with a pick and then add new pins so you can create your own key to fit it. In most cases, only one keyhole will need to be drilled into the door. It's important that once the locks are installed, you make copies of all new keys so that you keep track of them. If it's cheaper to rekey or replace locks, the project can be completed for a reasonable price.

Replacing the locks can be done for a variety of reasons, which include: stopping an intruder from getting into your house and preventing a security risk. Call a locksmith company to replace the door lock if you're concerned that someone may be able to use the key or have a copy of your key. Many times, people want to replace the antique-style locks that are on their front door because they feel they're not secure enough. You may also want to change the configuration of your locks if you're concerned about someone getting into your home when you're not there.

Pros and Cons of Rekeying a Lock

Rekeying a lock has some pros and cons you should know.  One benefit is that you can change the key to any new lock without having to replace it. Another benefit is that rekeying a lock gives you more key options when you want to change the lock.  One disadvantage is that rekeying a lock can be time-consuming if you're trying to redo a lock for each key.

Rekeying a lock can be beneficial, especially if you're trying to hide the fact that you have changed the lock. If you have a spare key, you can program it to work with your rekeyed lock and not worry about anyone knowing. One reason to rekey a lock is that you can use the same key for your new home door or garage without having to purchase a new one. The bottom line is that rekeying a lock gives you the ability to use your correct lock if someone has lost or stolen a copy of your key.

Rekeying a lock can help you to save money and time, which is why it's cheaper to rekey or replace locks. If you need a locksmith service, contact us today to ensure that your home is safe.

Tools needed to rekey a lock


When you rekey a lock by yourself, you will need to purchase a rekey kit that is specific to your brand of doorknob, lever, or deadbolt. You will receive several keys, all identically cut.

You will need the following if you want to rekey a lock yourself.  

  • An Allen wrench set

  • A screwdriver 

  • A drill

  • The original key for the lock you are working on

How to Rekey a Lock Yourself 

If you're going to rekey a lock yourself, you will first need to remove the storm door or front doorknob by unscrewing it from the inside of the house. Then you will need to remove the screws on both sides of the lock and open the door. You can then take out the cylinder and replace it with the one that you have purchased.  Next, you will need to remove the old pins with a pair of tweezers and replace them with the new ones that come with the new cylinder. You should then be able to put the key in and it should open without any problems.


How much does it cost to rekey a lock?

To rekey a lock at home the costs range from $40 to $100 plus $15 to $40 per lock. On average expect to pay about $20 to $50 per lock.  However, calling a locksmith to your home means also paying a trip fee of $50 to $100.

By comparison, changing a lock will cost about $75 per hour - and the actual cost depending on the type of lock.

Can I rekey an existing lock? 

If you need to change the locks, it will be more expensive than if you just want to rekey them. Rekeying is cheaper because this only pays for labor and does not include the cost of parts.

How much does it cost to replace a doorknob or deadbolt? 

You can replace your deadbolt yourself. The holes are already drilled, so it is easy to put in a new one. You can get a new deadbolt and follow the instructions on how to put it in according to the manufacturer's instructions. The cost of hiring someone else might be $100-$150, including their service charge.

What are the advantages of rekeying?

Rekeying locks is a good thing because it makes your home more secure. It is faster and less expensive than getting all new locks, but the effect is the same. If you have many locks to replace, then rekeying is the best option because it costs less money.

What are the disadvantages of replacing a lock?

The biggest drawback to the lock replacement is that it will be expensive. It will cost money for both labor and for the lockset you use.


In conclusion,  it's important to know that it's cheaper to rekey or replace locks, but you should also be aware of the pros and cons of each. Rekeying a lock gives you the ability to keep your existing hardware and change the key. If you need help with rekeying a lock, a locksmith can be called to help you with the process.

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