Home Security

What’s the Difference Between Re-Keying a Lock and Changing A Lock?

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!


How Can Master Rekeying Help You?

How Can Master Rekeying Help You?There’s an inherent contradiction in security needs for owners of businesses or managers of apartment complex.  They need to be able to access all of the apartments or offices in their complex at all times, so they need a key that works on all locks.  On the other hand, tenants need to be able to lock their own space and not be able to access anyone else’s space.  A universal key would be great for the landlord, but a massive security flaw for the tenants.  Individual keys are great for the tenants, but can be a massive hassle for landlords.

There is a solution, however.  A trained locksmith, like the experts at GTA Lockman, can rekey the entire complex, installing a master key system.  It’s the best of both worlds – it gives the owner access to all units, and preserves individual privacy for the tenants.

How does it work?  While there are a number of different systems, for standard pin-tumbler locks, you essentially have two keys that work.  There are multiple shear lines in the lock cylinder.  Each lock has its own unique shear line, meaning that each tenant’s individual key will work on that lock and that lock alone.  They also, however, have a common shear line – one pattern that will work on every lock in the set.  That’s for the master key, and that’s what allows the landlord to have one key that will work in all locks.

Landlords do have other options – they could install electronic keypad locks with their own master combination on all locks, for example.  Master keying, however, is simple, quick and comparatively inexpensive – and certainly easier than trying to keep track of dozens of keys!

The experts at GTA Lockman will ensure that your master rekeying goes smoothly.  Contact us today, and we’ll help shore up your security!