Rekeying vs Changing Locks: Choosing the Right Solution for Your Tacoma Property

When it comes to securing your property, understanding the difference between rekeying vs changing locks is crucial. Peak Locksmith, serving Tacoma, Washington, brings you a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option, compare costs, and offer tips on choosing the best security solution.

Rekeying vs Changing Locks: An Overview

Rekeying and changing locks are two distinct methods of enhancing security. Rekeying involves altering the internal mechanism of an existing lock so that it works with a new key. Changing locks means replacing the entire lock mechanism, usually with a different model. Both methods offer unique benefits and drawbacks that we’ll explore further.

The Process of Rekeying

Rekeying is a relatively straightforward process performed by a locksmith. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Disassemble the Lock: The existing lock is carefully dismantled.
  • Replace the Pins: The locksmith replaces the old lock pins with new ones.
  • Provide New Keys: You receive a new set of keys that fit the reconfigured lock.

When to Rekey Your Locks

Rekeying is often a smart choice in the following situations:

  • Lost Keys: If you’ve misplaced your keys but still have the lock.
  • Change of Tenants: After tenants move out, it’s essential to rekey.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Rekeying is typically less expensive than changing the locks.
  • Key Control: When you need to limit the number of people with access.

The Process of Changing Locks

Changing locks involves entirely replacing your existing lock hardware. This process is more complex:

  • Remove Old Hardware: The locksmith removes the current lock from your door.
  • Select New Lock: You choose a new lock model that fits your security needs.
  • Install New Lock: The locksmith fits and tests the new lock.

When to Change Your Locks

Changing your locks might be necessary in these scenarios:

  • Malfunctioning Lock: If your current lock is damaged or malfunctioning.
  • Upgrade Security: For better security, consider switching to high-security locks.
  • Change in Style: If you want to update the appearance of your door hardware.
  • Break-in: After a burglary, replace compromised locks immediately.

Rekeying vs Changing Locks: Comparative Table

Aspect Rekeying Changing Locks
Cost Less expensive More expensive
Security Maintains current security level Offers potential upgrade
Time Quick process Longer installation
Key Control New keys needed Entirely new lock and key set
Appearance No change New hardware look

How to Choose Between Rekeying and Changing Locks

The choice between rekeying and changing locks depends on various factors:

  • Budget: If you’re cost-conscious, rekeying is usually cheaper.
  • Security Needs: Choose changing locks if upgrading your security is a priority.
  • Convenience: Rekeying is faster and less disruptive if time is a concern.
  • Aesthetics: Opt for changing locks to revamp your door’s appearance.


Q1: What is the primary difference between rekeying and changing locks?

A: Rekeying modifies the existing lock mechanism to work with new keys, while changing locks involves completely replacing the old hardware. Both options are viable but differ in cost, time, and the level of security upgrade.

Q2: How much does rekeying typically cost compared to changing locks?

A: Rekeying usually costs less because it involves modifying existing hardware. Changing locks requires purchasing and installing a new lock, leading to higher expenses. However, final costs depend on the lock type and complexity.

Q3: Is rekeying as secure as changing locks?

A: Rekeying maintains the current security level of your locks but does not enhance it. Changing locks can increase security if you upgrade to high-security models, but rekeying is adequate for key control.

Q4: Can I rekey my locks without professional help?

A: Some DIY kits are available, but rekeying is best done by a professional locksmith for accurate results and enhanced security. Improper rekeying can compromise your security and require additional repairs.

Q5: Should I rekey or change locks after moving to a new home?

A: Rekeying is usually sufficient when moving to a new home, as it ensures that old keys won’t work. However, consider changing locks if the current hardware is outdated or incompatible with your security standards.

Q6: How often should I rekey or change my locks?

A: Rekeying is advisable after a security breach or tenant change, while changing locks should occur if hardware is damaged, malfunctioning, or you’re upgrading security.


Rekeying vs changing locks—choosing between the two depends on your specific needs. Peak Locksmith, serving Tacoma, Washington, can guide you in securing your property with the most appropriate solution. Whether it’s cost-effective rekeying or upgrading through changing locks, our expert team is ready to help. Contact us today to protect your property with reliable and professional locksmith services.

For comprehensive security solutions, visit Peak Locksmith and secure your peace of mind.

Table of Contents

Latest Posts

Skip to content