How Does Rekeying Work?


Rekeying is a process used to change the internal workings of a lock so that it operates with a different key. It is a cost-effective solution that provides security and peace of mind when you move into a new home, experience a lost or stolen key, or need to restrict access to certain individuals. In this article, we will explore how rekeying works, the steps involved, and the benefits it offers.

1. Understanding Rekeying

Rekeying involves altering the pins inside a lock's cylinder to match a new set of keys. This process renders the old keys ineffective and allows the lock to be operated with the newly configured keys.

2. The Rekeying Process

The rekeying process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Gather Necessary Tools: To rekey a lock, a locksmith or an experienced individual will need a key decoder, a pinning kit, a plug follower, and a set of replacement pins.
  2. Remove the Lock Cylinder: The locksmith will remove the lock cylinder from the door using specialized tools. This allows access to the pins inside the cylinder.
  3. Decode the Existing Key: Using a key decoder, the locksmith will determine the key cut depths required for the new set of keys.
  4. Remove and Replace Pins: The locksmith will remove the existing pins from the lock cylinder and replace them with new pins that correspond to the new key cut depths.
  5. Reassemble and Test: Once the pins are replaced, the locksmith will reassemble the lock cylinder, insert the new keys, and test the lock to ensure smooth operation.

3. Benefits of Rekeying

Rekeying offers several advantages:

  • Enhanced Security: Rekeying provides security by rendering the old keys useless. It prevents unauthorized access by individuals who may have previously possessed a copy of the old keys.
  • Cost Savings: Rekeying is a cost-effective alternative to replacing the entire lock. It eliminates the need to purchase new lock hardware, saving you money.
  • Convenience: Rekeying allows you to operate your locks with a new set of keys, eliminating the need to carry multiple keys for different locks. It provides convenience and simplicity in key management.
  • Control and Access Restriction: Rekeying enables you to restrict access to certain individuals while granting access to others. This is particularly useful in situations where key holders change, such as when moving into a new home or changing employees in a business.


Rekeying is a practical solution to maintain security and control access to your property. By altering the internal workings of a lock, rekeying allows you to operate the lock with a new set of keys while invalidating the old keys. Whether you've moved into a new home, experienced a key loss, or need to manage access rights, rekeying offers a cost-effective and efficient way to ensure the security of your property.