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is it better to rekey or change locks - Trinity and Sons Locksmith

Is It Better to Rekey or Change Locks? A Guide

When it comes to securing your home or business, one of the most important decisions you’ll face is whether to rekey or change your locks. Trinity and Sons Locksmith in Charlotte, NC, is here to help you make an informed choice. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between rekeying and changing locks, the benefits of each option, and when you should consider one over the other.

Rekeying and Changing Locks

Before deciding, it’s crucial to understand what rekeying and changing locks entail.

What is Rekeying?

Rekeying involves changing the internal components of a lock so that it can be operated by a new key. This process doesn’t require replacing the entire lock.

How Rekeying Works

  • Disassembly: The lock is disassembled to access the internal pins.
  • Replacement: The pins inside the lock cylinder are replaced with new ones.
  • Reassembly: The lock is reassembled, and a new key is provided.

What is Changing Locks?

Changing locks means replacing the entire lock mechanism with a new one. This involves removing the old lock and installing a new lock system.

How Changing Locks Works

  • Removal: The existing lock is removed from the door.
  • Selection: A new lock is chosen based on security needs and preferences.
  • Installation: The new lock is installed, and new keys are provided.

Factors to Consider: Rekeying vs. Changing Locks

Several factors can influence whether you should rekey or change your locks. Let’s explore these considerations in detail.

Security Needs

  • Rekeying: Suitable for situations where you want to maintain the same level of security but need new keys, such as after losing a key or moving into a new home.
  • Changing Locks: Ideal for enhancing security with high-security locks or when the existing lock is damaged.


  • Rekeying: Generally more cost-effective than changing locks since it involves fewer materials and labor.
  • Changing Locks: More expensive due to the cost of new locks and the labor involved in installation.


  • Rekeying: Faster and less intrusive, making it a convenient option for most scenarios.
  • Changing Locks: Takes more time and effort but can offer upgraded security features.


  • Rekeying: Compatible with most standard locks, especially if you prefer to keep the existing hardware.
  • Changing Locks: Necessary if the current locks are old, damaged, or incompatible with modern security systems.

When to Rekey Locks

Rekeying is a practical solution in several situations. Here are some scenarios where rekeying is beneficial:

Moving into a New Home

Rekeying ensures that previous homeowners or anyone with a copy of the old key cannot access your new home.

Lost or Stolen Keys

If your keys are lost or stolen, rekeying prevents unauthorized entry by rendering the old keys useless.

Enhancing Security

Rekeying can be part of a security upgrade, especially if you want all locks to work with a single key for convenience.

Changing Tenants

Landlords often rekey locks between tenants to ensure new occupants have exclusive access to the property.

When to Change Locks

Changing locks may be the best option in certain circumstances. Here are some situations where changing locks is advisable:

Damaged or Worn-Out Locks

If your locks are damaged, worn out, or malfunctioning, replacing them ensures your property remains secure.

Upgrading Security

For enhanced security, especially if you’re installing high-security locks or smart locks, changing the entire lock system is recommended.

Different Keying Systems

If you want to switch to a different keying system, such as electronic or keyless entry, changing locks is necessary.

After a Break-In

Following a break-in, changing locks is crucial to restore security and peace of mind.

Benefits of Rekeying Locks

Rekeying offers several advantages, making it a popular choice for many homeowners and businesses.


Rekeying is typically more affordable than replacing locks, especially if you need to change the keys for multiple locks.

Quick and Convenient

Rekeying is a faster process compared to changing locks, minimizing disruption to your routine.

Enhanced Security

By rekeying, you can ensure that old keys no longer work, improving the security of your property.

Benefits of Changing Locks

While changing locks may be more expensive, it offers distinct advantages.

Improved Security Features

New locks can provide enhanced security features, such as anti-pick pins, bump-resistant mechanisms, and smart lock capabilities.

Addressing Damage or Wear

Replacing worn or damaged locks ensures reliable operation and enhanced security.

Customization Options

Changing locks allows you to choose locks that match your style preferences and security needs.

FAQs About Rekeying and Changing Locks

1. Is rekeying cheaper than changing locks?

Yes, rekeying is usually cheaper than changing locks because it involves fewer materials and less labor.

2. Can all locks be rekeyed?

Most standard locks can be rekeyed, but some high-security locks may require special tools or expertise.

3. How long does it take to rekey a lock?

Rekeying a lock typically takes 15 to 30 minutes per lock, depending on the lock type and complexity.

4. Do I need to rekey or change locks after losing a key?

Rekeying is a practical and cost-effective solution after losing a key, as it ensures the old key no longer works.

5. What are the benefits of changing locks?

Changing locks can enhance security, address damage or wear, and offer new features such as smart lock capabilities.

6. Can I rekey my locks myself?

While it is possible to rekey locks yourself with a rekeying kit, it is recommended to hire a professional locksmith for accuracy and security.

7. When should I consider changing my locks?

Consider changing locks if they are damaged, worn out, or if you want to upgrade to high-security or smart locks.


Deciding whether to rekey or change your locks depends on your specific needs and circumstances. Rekeying is cost-effective and convenient for enhancing security, while changing locks offers improved security features and addresses lock damage. At Trinity and Sons Locksmith in Charlotte, NC, we provide expert rekeying and lock-changing services to meet your security needs.

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