When it comes to securing your home or business, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is whether to rekey or replace your locks. In most cases, rekeying is the more cost-effective option. This is because the pins inside the locks are relatively inexpensive, while replacing a lock requires purchasing all new parts. When you rekey a lock, you're only charged for labor, whereas replacing a lock involves paying for both labor and parts.
If you have one or more locks installed but don't have the key, you'll need to compare the cost of a new lock with that of rekeying without a key (which requires additional labor) and make an informed decision about what is more cost-effective. Each series of pins in the lock corresponds to a specific key, so when you replace those pins with different ones, you essentially configure a new key that will now operate the lock. Without the corresponding key, the only way to re-open the lock will be to open it with force and, although this is usually not a problem for an experienced locksmith, it can often entail additional expenses that can make it more expensive than replacing the lock altogether. Some newer types of locks offer the option of easily reopening them at home without having to dismantle them or call a locksmith. What many people don't realize is that instead of changing their locks, there's often a much better and cheaper solution: rekeying them.
While “changing a lock” is self-explanatory, rekeying requires a bit of explanation to understand. Rekeying a lock means changing the working key of the lock with a different key, without replacing the lock itself.