We often get calls from concerned customers who are wondering if they can rekey their locks or if they should be changed out entirely. It’s cheaper to rekey locks if your current lock system will support it. However, it can also be less secure. It’s best to get personalized advice from a commercial locksmith about which is best for you, but this quick guide can help you understand your options a bit better.
Rekeying vs. Changing Locks
Of course, changing the locks involves taking out the whole lock and installing a new one. Rekeying is instead changing the pins within the lock. This way, old keys will not work with the lock, but you don’t have to undergo the hassle of taking the lock out and installing a new one. Rekeying is ideal from a budget standpoint. It takes less time, doesn’t involve buying a new lock, and is still quite secure. You will still need to buy all new keys after the lock has been rekeyed, but otherwise, it is fairly convenient.
When You Should Change the Locks
However, there are some circumstances where just rekeying the lock is not as secure as changing the locks. You should change the locks entirely if:
- The lock has sustained damage in a break-in or an accident. In this case, the security of the lock has been compromised.
- The lock sticks or struggles to accept keys. It is simply too old or damaged to continue to serve you, and it is probably inconvenient.
- The lock no longer fits your security needs. The latest locks may offer better security for your building. Or, you might look into access control systems to do even better.
If, instead, you’re dealing with a missing key, stolen key, fired employee, or another tenant leaving your commercial space, then it is probably preferable for you to simply rekey. However, not all locks will support rekeying, so it is wise to run your plan past a professional.