How Much Does It Cost to Rekey a Lock?
If you’ve just moved into a new home, changed roommates or lost a key, you probably want to take steps to secure your doors.
Changing all your locks may seem time-consuming and expensive, but the thought of someone being able to walk right in is more concerning. Thankfully, the cost to rekey locks is significantly more affordable and will still ensure old keys don’t let the wrong person in.
What Is Rekeying a Lock?
Rekeying a lock is basically altering the lock mechanism. Locks have key pins or tumblers that fit to the keys and allow them to turn. By taking out this cylinder and replacing or reconfiguring the key pins, you can ensure the door can’t be opened with the old key. If you have the same brand of lock in each door, you can also rekey each lock to work with the same key, so you only need to carry one.
Rekeying Vs. Replacing a Lock
Rekeying generally costs less than replacing the lock. This is because changing the lock requires new hardware, and you may also need to alter the door. Replacing your locks can be a DIY job, which saves you money as long as you’re comfortable doing it.
While rekeying is generally the easier and more cost-effective option, not all locks can be rekeyed. Damaged locks also need to be replaced rather than rekeyed. A locksmith will advise you if a lock replacement is the best option.
The trade journal Locksmith Ledger has been conducting a National Average Price Survey since 1953. The 2022 data provides a good overview of the costs involved in rekeying locks.
The average residential locksmith call-out fee is $85 during business hours. In addition to the call-out fee, you have to pay for rekeying the cylinder. This costs $20 to $56 per cylinder, depending on the type of lock.
Car locks can also be rekeyed. The average call-out fee for an automotive locksmith is $82 during business hours. Rekeying the locks depends on the type of lock, but costs start at $90.
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- Lose Your Keys Often? Here's How to Prevent Lockouts
- Installing a New Deadbolt? Here's Everything You Need to Know
- What Is Rekeying a Lock?
There are a number of factors that can impact the cost of rekeying locks in your home. These include:
- Your location. The cost of living in your area impacts locksmith prices.
- Type of lock. Different types of locks can take longer to rekey. For example, high-tech or increased security locks tend to be more complex and will have a higher price.
- If you have the original key. If you don’t have the original key, the price will increase, as the locksmith will have to pick the lock first.
- If they charge a call-out fee. It's possible to remove the locking mechanism from your door and take it into a locksmith’s shop to be rekeyed. This will save you the call-out fee, but it will take up more of your time. You’ll also need to have someone stay in your house while there aren't any locks on the doors.
- How many locks you have. If you’re getting your whole house done, you also need to factor in how many locks need to be rekeyed. The cost is per cylinder, which equals the number of keyholes, not the number of doors. Some doors have two cylinders, with a keyhole on each side, requiring two locks to be rekeyed. Others only have a keyhole on one side and a thumb turn on the other, so they only need one lock rekeyed.
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