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What’s the Difference Between Re-Keying a Lock and Changing A Lock?Maybe there’s an old key floating out there, in the hands of someone you don’t trust.  Maybe you’ve just moved into a new apartment.  Maybe you’ve had a break-in and are looking for added security.  One way or another, you need to change your lock.  Or perhaps just re-key it?

Both changing a lock and re-keying a lock alter who has access to your home – it means old keys won’t work, and new keys are required.  But what, exactly, is the difference between them?

Re-keying a lock involves adjusting the locking mechanism in your existing lock.  Most door locks work with a sequence of pins – your key enters the lock cylinder, pushes up the appropriate pins, and allows the cylinder to turn.  All a re-key is, essentially, is replacing those pins with new ones, calibrated to work with a different key.  Any existing key won’t have the correct groove pattern to line up the pins properly, and thus won’t allow the lock to be opened.  If your lock is in good working order, and you’re just concerned about other people having access, re-keying is an affordable option.  It’s also a good option if you’re not allowed to replace the locking hardware itself – the locksmith can create a new key that operates the same locking mechanism.

Replacing a lock involves actually taking out the old lock entirely.  If it’s damaged, or old and hardly functional, re-keying a lock won’t give any significant improvement; security requires replacing the lock entirely.  Sometimes, locks simply wear past the point where a rekey can improve its function.  You also might want to replace a lock with something that fits your needs better – an aesthetic choice, or an easier-to-operate handle for someone with a disability, for example.  No amount of re-keying will help there; you’ll need to replace the lock entirely.

If you’re not sure about what you need, a professional locksmith like the experts at The GTA Lockman can help you make that determination.  Our security experts will make sure you get the service you need.  Call us today!