how long does it take to rekey a lock

How Long Does It Take to Rekey a Lock?

The time it takes to rekey a lock can vary depending on several factors. Generally, the process involves disassembling the lock cylinder, removing the old pins, and replacing them with new ones to match a different key. A skilled locksmith can typically complete this task in about 15 to 30 minutes per lock. However, additional time may be required for more complex locks or if there are multiple locks to rekey. Factors such as the locksmith’s experience, the type of lock, and any complications encountered during the process can also affect the overall time. It’s essential to communicate with your locksmith beforehand to get an estimate based on your specific needs. Overall, rekeying a lock is a relatively quick and efficient way to enhance security and control access to your property.

What is rekeying a lock?

Rekeying a lock is the process of changing the lock’s internal pins or tumblers to fit a new key. This implies that only the new key will be able to open the lock; the old key will no longer function. Rekeying is a cost-effective alternative to completely replacing a lock, especially when you need to change the key that operates it.

The benefits of rekeying a lock

Rekeying a lock offers several benefits, making it a popular choice for homeowners. First and foremost, it enhances your home security by rendering any existing keys useless. This is particularly useful if you’ve recently moved into a new home or lost a key, as you can never be sure who might have access to your property. Rekeying provides peace of mind by ensuring that only you and those you trust can unlock your doors.

Additionally, rekeying is a much quicker and more cost-effective solution compared to replacing an entire lock. It saves you the hassle of purchasing and installing new hardware, and can typically be completed in a shorter amount of time. Because of this, it’s a desirable choice for people who want to improve home security without going over budget.

Factors that determine how long it takes to rekey a lock

While the actual process of rekeying a lock is relatively straightforward, the time it takes can vary depending on a few key factors. One such factor is the complexity of the lock itself. Some locks have more intricate mechanisms or additional security features that may require more time and expertise to rekey.

Another factor to consider is the experience and skill of the locksmith performing the rekeying. A seasoned professional locksmith with years of experience will likely be able to complete the job more efficiently compared to someone who is less experienced. It’s important to find a reliable and skilled locksmith to ensure the job is done correctly and on time.

Lastly, the number of locks you need to rekey will also impact the overall time it takes. If you’re rekeying multiple locks throughout your home, it will naturally take longer compared to rekeying a single lock. However, keep in mind that a skilled locksmith will be able to work efficiently and complete the job in a reasonable amount of time.

The typical duration required to rekey a lock

On average, rekeying a single lock can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. This includes removing the lock cylinder, replacing the pins or tumblers, and reassembling the lock. However, this is just a general estimate, and the actual time may vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier.

For example, if you have a particularly complex lock or multiple locks that need to be rekeyed, it may take longer. Conversely, if you have a simple lock and a skilled locksmith, the process can be completed more quickly. It’s always best to consult with a locksmith and provide them with specific details about your locks to get a more accurate time estimate.

DIY vs. contacting a qualified locksmith to rekey locks

When it comes to rekeying a lock, you have the option to either do it yourself or hire a professional locksmith. While the DIY route may seem tempting to save money, it’s important to consider the expertise required and the potential risks involved.

Rekeying a lock requires knowledge of the lock’s internal workings and the ability to properly reassemble it. Without the necessary skills and experience, you may end up damaging the lock or rendering it inoperable. Additionally, if you make a mistake during the process, it could compromise the security of your home.

On the other hand, hiring a professional locksmith ensures that the job is done correctly and efficiently. They have the expertise and specialized tools needed to rekey locks with precision. A professional locksmith can also offer valuable advice on enhancing your home security and recommend the best locks for your needs.

Tips for faster lock rekeying

If you’re looking to expedite the lock rekeying process, there are a few tips you can keep in mind. First, gather all the necessary information about your locks before contacting a locksmith. This includes the brand, model, and any additional security features. Providing this information upfront will help the locksmith come prepared with the right tools and materials, saving time during the appointment.

Second, consider rekeying all your locks at once if you have multiple locks that need to be rekeyed. This allows the locksmith to work efficiently and complete the job in a single visit. It also ensures that all your locks are operating on the same key, providing convenience and ease of use.

Lastly, communicate your timeline and any scheduling constraints with the locksmith. By letting them know your expectations and any time constraints you may have, they can prioritize your appointment and work to accommodate your needs.

Common misconceptions about the time it takes to rekey a lock

There are a few common misconceptions surrounding the time it takes to rekey a lock. One such misconception is that rekeying a lock is a time-consuming and tedious process. While it does require a certain level of expertise, the actual process can be completed relatively quickly, especially for a skilled locksmith.

Another misconception is that rekeying a lock is a DIY project that anyone can tackle. While it’s true that some locks come with rekeying kits, attempting to rekey a lock without the necessary knowledge and experience can lead to costly mistakes. It’s advisable to seek advice from a qualified locksmith to make sure the work is completed accurately and quickly.

When to consider rekeying a lock

There are several situations where you may want to consider rekeying a lock. Newly moved into a home, you should rekey all locks to ensure you’re the only one with access. This provides peace of mind and eliminates any potential security risks associated with previous occupants or lost keys.

Similarly, if you’ve lost a key or had one stolen, it’s crucial to rekey the affected locks to prevent unauthorized access. Even if you retrieve a lost key, you can never be sure if it was copied or if someone had access to it. Rekeying the lock eliminates any doubts and ensures that only you and those you trust can unlock your doors.

Lastly, if you have multiple locks throughout your home that operate on different keys, rekeying them to work on a single key can offer convenience and ease of use. This eliminates the need to carry multiple keys and simplifies the process of unlocking your doors.

How to find a reliable locksmith for lock rekeying

When it comes to finding a reliable locksmith for lock rekeying, it’s important to do your research. Start by asking for recommendations from friends, neighbors, or family members who have recently had their locks rekeyed. Personal recommendations can provide valuable insights into the quality of service and professionalism of a locksmith.

If you don’t have any personal recommendations, you can turn to online directories or review websites. Look for locksmiths with positive reviews and ratings, and check if they are licensed and insured. This ensures that you’re working with a reputable professional who will prioritize your home security.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to contact multiple locksmiths and request quotes for the job. This enables you to identify the greatest fit for your needs by comparing costs and offerings. When choosing a locksmith, consider their reputation and expertise, as the cheapest option may not always be the best.


Rekeying a lock is a valuable process that improves the safety of your house by making your old keys useless. Time spent to rekey locks may vary depending on factors like how complex the lock is, the skillfulness of the locksmith, and number of locks to be rekeyed. Normally, it would take around 15 minutes to half an hour to rekey one lock.

Though it might be tempting for some people to do this task themselves, hiring a professional locksmith is highly advised to ensure proper and quick work is done. Attempting DIY rekeying can lead to expensive errors and weaken the security of your home. You can have confidence that your locks are secure if you follow these tips and find a good locksmith.

Remember when considering whether or not you need to rekey a lock; home security should always be one’s primary focus after which he/ she should consult with a professional locksmith. They have the skills and knowledge necessary for giving you personalized advice regarding what suits your requirements best. Take necessary precautions and consider rekeying your locks as may be required to protect your family members and home.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to rekey multiple locks?

The time it takes to rekey multiple locks will depend on the number of locks and their complexity. However, a skilled locksmith can typically complete the job efficiently, often within a couple of hours.

2. Can I rekey my locks myself?

While some locks come with rekeying kits, it’s generally not recommended for inexperienced individuals to attempt rekeying themselves. To ensure the job is done correctly and avoid potential mistakes, it is advisable to consult with a professional locksmith.

3. How often should I consider rekeying my locks?

There isn’t a set timeframe for when you should rekey your locks. It’s recommended to rekey your locks when you move into a new home, lose a key, or if you’re concerned about the security of your current locks. Consulting with a locksmith can help determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

4. Are all locks rekeyable?

It is possible to rekey most conventional pin and tumbler locks. However, some high-security locks or electronic locks may have restrictions on rekeying. It’s best to consult with a locksmith to determine if your locks are rekeyable.

5. Will rekeying my locks affect their warranty?

Rekeying locks without affecting their warranty can be done by a professional locksmith using the appropriate methods and tools. However, it’s always recommended to check the warranty terms and conditions or consult with the lock manufacturer to be certain.

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