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What is a rekey and is it effective?

Rekeying is a very common practice in the locksmith industry.  This is done by removing the cylinders from the existing hardware and replacing the internal parts of the lock to correspond to the new key.  The old key will no longer work after this process has been completed.


This is a very safe, secure and affordable alternative to replacing all of your locks with new hardware. 

How long does a rekey usually take to complete?

Most average size residential homes have 3 exterior doors: front, back and garage that typically have 1 or 2 locks on each door.  For this size home a re-key usually takes 30 - 45 minutes to complete in most cases.  However, sometimes the job can take longer to complete if for example, the hardware is old, if there are no current keys available and we have to 'pick' the locks open, etc. 


Also, if we are performing added services like CO and smoke alarm checks, installing new hardware, etc, a job could take between 1 - 3 hours to complete.

Can I have all my locks on a single key? 

Many times, yes.  However, it depends on what type of hardware is currently installed on your home.  It is not uncommon for a homeowner to unknowingly replace some of the locks in their home with new ones made by a different manufacturer. Not all keys are shaped the same, so the easiest way to see if having all your locks on a single key is possible is to take your current key and insert it into all the locks in your home.  If the key goes into all the locks, then  yes- they can all work on a single key.  But if the key will go into some locks but not others, then you have two different types of 'keyways' and you will not be able to use the same key for all the locks.  However, if having the convenience of one key is important to you, we can replace certain locks, or components of the lock to work on a single key at an extra cost.


In most cases, the most common keyways found in most residential homes are Kwikset and Shlage.  These keys are easily identifiable by their shape; Kwikset keys have a rounder head (actual term is 'bow') and are stamped KW1, and Shlage keys have a more triangular bow and are stamped S1.

Are there any types of locks that cost more to rekey?

Yes, there are some locks that are more labor intensive to rekey, such as profile cylinders, mortise cylinders and key in knob cylinders that are installed in multi-point locking doors and elecronic kepads.  However, these type of locks are not commonly found in the majority of residential homes.  

Profile Cylinder
Mortise Lock &  Cylinder
Multi-Point Lock
Electronic Keypads