Re-keying a lock is a common and cost-effective solution for enhancing security without Replacing The Entire Lock Mechanism. This process involves changing the lock’s internal components to operate with a new key, rendering any old keys useless.

Understanding the time required to re-key a lock can help you plan accordingly and ensure minimal disruption to your daily routine or business operations. Several factors influence the duration of this task, including the type of lock, the locksmith’s experience, and the specific circumstances of the job.

Understanding the Re-Keying Process

Re-keying a lock typically involves the following steps:

  1. Removing the Lock: The locksmith will first remove the lock from the door. This step is generally quick, especially for standard residential locks, but can take longer for more complex commercial locks or those integrated into a security system.
  2. Disassembling the Lock: Once the lock is removed, the locksmith will disassemble it to access the lock cylinder. This part requires precision and knowledge, particularly for advanced or high-security locks.
  3. Changing the Pins: Inside the lock cylinder are a series of pins that correspond to the cuts on your key. To Re-key The Lock, the locksmith replaces these pins with a new set that matches the new key.
  4. Reassembling and Reinstalling: After re-pinning, the locksmith reassembles the lock and reinstalls it on the door. The lock is then tested to ensure it works smoothly with the new key.
How do you rekey a door lock?

Understanding the Re-Keying Process

Factors Influencing Re-Keying Time

  1. Type of Lock: The complexity of the lock plays a significant role in the time required for re-keying. Simple residential locks, such as those on standard doors or deadbolts, can quickly be re-keyed. On average, re-keying a basic lock takes about 10 to 15 minutes. However, high-security, smart, or commercial-grade locks may require more time due to their intricate mechanisms and additional security features.
  2. Locksmith’s Experience: The locksmith’s skill and experience also affect the re-keying duration. An experienced locksmith familiar with a wide range of lock types can complete the job more efficiently than someone with less experience. Professionals with extensive training can often re-key multiple locks in a short period, ensuring that your security is restored quickly.
  3. Number of Locks: The total number of locks to be re-keyed will impact the time required. Re-keying a single lock might take 10 to 15 minutes, but re-keying several locks in a home or business can add up. For instance, re-keying five locks might take around an hour, assuming each lock takes about 12 minutes.
  4. Condition of the Locks: The condition of the existing locks can influence the re-keying time. Older, damaged, or poorly maintained locks may require additional work to disassemble and reassemble. In some cases, the locksmith might need to perform minor repairs or clean the lock components before re-keying, which can extend the process.
  5. Accessibility: The ease of access to the locks can also affect the time required. Locks that are easily accessible and straightforward to remove will take less time to re-key. In contrast, locks that are part of a larger security system, integrated into electronic access controls, or located in hard-to-reach places might take longer to handle.

Can You Rekey a Lock Without the Original Key

Special Considerations

  1. Emergency Re-Keying: If you need an emergency re-keying service, such as after a break-in or losing your keys, the time taken can be slightly longer due to the urgency and potential additional security measures the locksmith might implement.
  2. Key Management Systems: Rekeying can be more complex and time-consuming for businesses using master key systems. The locksmith must ensure that the new key configuration aligns correctly with the master key plan, maintaining the integrity of the hierarchical access levels.
  3. Customized Locks: Custom or antique locks might require specialized tools and techniques to re-key, which can lengthen the time needed. These locks often need more careful handling to avoid damage and ensure proper functioning after re-keying.


Re-keying a Lock is a relatively quick and efficient way to enhance security. Most standard locks take 10 to 15 minutes per lock. However, the exact time can vary based on factors such as the lock type, the locksmith’s expertise, the number of locks, and the condition and accessibility of the locks.

Understanding these variables can help you plan appropriately and ensure your property remains secure with minimal disruption. Professional locksmith services can provide a timely and effective solution to your security concerns, whether for residential or commercial needs.