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Basics On How To Rekey Locks

By Andrea Davidson

There are many different reasons why owners of a property might opt to rekey locks. The might be done by a professional or an owner. Rekeying is the word used to refer to this process where the lock is changed so a different key may be used to operate it. Usually this is done for reasons of security.

This process is considered an alternative to changing the wafer configuration or tumbler of the lock so a new key works while the old one does not. This can be done without replacing an entire lock unit. A New Jersey locksmith named Solomon Andrews first invented this process in the 1800s.

Locksmiths is the name of the professionals who are usually assigned to these jobs. Having this work done by a professional is ideal, but can be quite expensive. In fact, many of these businesses charge per individual lock and for those who have multiple locks and doors, the bill could get pricey.

People can rekey locks like a professional for far less. There are numerous kit products, also known as pinning kits, sold at retailers. These should be purchased for the brand of lock that is used at the property. They are available at more hardware stores, home centers and through online retailers at varying costs. The kits typically rekey up to six locks, but people can purchase extra pins if there are more to be done. Usually these can be used on deadbolt and entrance locks. It comes with two keys and most of the necessary tools.

Many people do this after there has been a breech in security, such as a break in or theft. The process can be carried out on cars and houses. Some choose to do it when they have too many keys or have lost the key. It might also be done for convenience purposes, making it so that one single key can be used on every door of a property. The technique used may differ when done on homes versus cars.

The initial step is to get the right kit. The doorknob or lock face needs to be removed first and then the lock cylinder is to be removed. The cylinder retainer ring should be taken out, along with the cylinder plug. Old lower lock pins need to be removed so that the new key can be installed in the cylinder, as well as the new pins. Finally, the lock is to be reassembled.

Certain supplies that can be helpful during the process may not be included with the kit, such as pliers, tweezers and screwdrivers. To prevent the loss of springs or upper pins, consider working over a high-contrast surface or a dish or bowl that can catch components that might accidentally fall out. It is also suggested that light lubrication be done when replacing pins. Numerous instructional guides and resources are available to those who want to do this job themselves.

There are numerous reasons why a property owner may opt to rekey locks. This process can be done on car or home locks. Locksmiths will do this job for varying fees, but many manufacturers and retailers sell kits so that homeowners can do the replacement for less.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Davidson, Andrea "Basics On How To Rekey Locks." Basics On How To Rekey Locks. 25 Apr. 2014. 22 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Davidson, A (2014, April 25). Basics On How To Rekey Locks. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Davidson, Andrea "Basics On How To Rekey Locks"

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