What is lock rekeying?

What is lock rekeying?

Lock rekeying is the process of changing a set of keys that will operate a specific lock. Typically it's less expensive to rekey an existing lock opposed to throwing your old locks away and then having to purchase new ones. It isn't uncommon for homeowners to replace their high security home locks by buying cheap locks from a local hardware store and doing it themselves.

Rekeying a lock can be quick and inexpensive compared to lock replacement services. Some locks require specialized equipment and tools to get the job done. When unsure of how to rekey a lock alone, it might be wise to hire a local locksmith service for assistance..

Consider having a lock rekeyed if it's lost or in the wrong persons possession. Having residential and commercial locks rekeyed is a good idea after going through a breakup, after a move, when dealing with a disgruntled employee, and for many other reasons. Ask us to rekey locks in Central Oregon when looking for the fastest and most affordable services in Bend, Oregon and the surrounding communities.

How Pin Tumbler Locks Work

Pin tumblers are regularly used with cylinder locks, a type of lock with an exterior casing in which a cylindrical hole houses a plug. When looking at a generic home deadbolt, as most are pin tumbler locks, the plug will be the circle in the middle that the key goes into. When inserting the correct key into a plug, it will spin, allowing the key to lock or unlock it.

 
 Image Credit:  Datagram ,  CC-BY-3.0 , Optimized For Web

Image Credit: Datagram, CC-BY-3.0, Optimized For Web

 

On the inside of the lock, there are driver pins that push down from the housing into the plug, through a series of holes drilled in the top of the plug. These driver pins are spring loaded so when no key is inserted, the springs push the driver pins into the plug, preventing it from turning.

The shear line is the tiny gap between the plug and the housing where the driver pins come down into the plug. When the correct key is inserted into the keyway on the plug, the driver pins will line up correctly with the key, allowing for an unblocked shear line, and plug rotation.

No Keys

When there are no keys in the lock, the driver pins will be pushed into the plug, blocking the sheer line and preventing turning. This is why locks won't turn when no keys are in them.

 Image Credit:  GWirken ,  CC-BY-SA-3.0 , Optimized For Web

Image Credit: GWirken, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Optimized For Web

Wrong Keys

If the wrong key is inserted into the lock, the shear line will be blocked. Wrong keys can't lock or unlock locks because the pins have to be flush with the shear line.

 Image Credit:  Pbroks13 ,  CC-BY-3.0 , Optimized For Web

Image Credit: Pbroks13, CC-BY-3.0, Optimized For Web

Correct Keys

When the correct key is inserted into a lock, the plug can spin because the shear line isn't blocked with pins. Below you can see a flush shear line because the proper key is in.

 Image Credit:  Pbroks13 ,  CC-BY-3.0 , Optimized For Web

Image Credit: Pbroks13, CC-BY-3.0, Optimized For Web

Lock Rekeying

When you need to rekey a lock, you can keep your existing lock and just replace the bottom red pins to match a new key. Usually it's less expensive than buying new locks.

 Image Credit:  Pbroks13 ,  CC-BY-3.0 , Optimized For Web

Image Credit: Pbroks13, CC-BY-3.0, Optimized For Web

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