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How Long Does It Take to Rekey a Lock? – A Detailed Answer

Fact checked by Teddy B.Miller

how long does it take to rekey a lock

Surely, rekeying your lock is more cost-efficient than replacing it, but some homeowners may worry about the task being time-consuming. So, I am here to answer your question, “how long does it take to rekey a lock?”

In a normal situation, it only takes less a few minutes to rekey any lock. But the actual time varies depending on the skill of the person doing the task and the type of lock that will be worked on.

How Long Does It Take to Rekey a Lock?

When securing your home, one of the most integral parts is ensuring the functionality of your key. And over time, that essential tool for your safety tends to become worn out or damaged at worst.

And in that case, you either need to change a lock or rekey it and make a key that’s different from your old one. But truth be told, replacing a lock is an expensive and longer option, especially when the lock itself is not the issue.

That’s where rekeying comes into action.

It is a relatively simple process that a locksmith can often do on-site. Replacing a lock typically requires more time and effort, and a locksmith change lock may cost up to $500.

The time it takes to rekey a door can vary depending on several factors, including the type of security device, the person who’ll do the process, and the job’s complexity.

For instance, if you’ve lost the key to your door, rekeying may take 30 minutes or longer. The same thing applies to complex, high-security devices like deadbolts and smart locks. If there are missing parts, the timespan may extend to an hour.

Rekeying the Lock Yourself

News flash! Everyone can rekey their lock as long as they know how to remove it from the door and have a rekeying kit.

All you have to consider is that the kit must correspond to your current lock—meaning, you should buy a Kwikset rekey kit if Kwikset manufactures your device.

Another thing to consider is the cost to rekey a lock. Though it may only set you back $20 to $50, frugal homeowners may prefer to do the task themselves than have a locksmith rekey a lock.

Here is a general guide on the time to do this task by yourself:

1. Identify the type of lock

In order to have a proper kit, you first need to identify the type of lock you’re dealing with. To do so, look at the package of the product or its manual. If these items are no longer in the house, an online search should suffice. The whole process should take five minutes in most cases.

2. Remove the lock cylinder


The next step is to extract the lock cylinder from the door. This can be done by removing screws and pulling the cylinder out of its position.

This step may take about two minutes if you’re used to the task. The more complex locks, the longer it may take to have them removed.

3. Disassemble the lock cylinder


Once you have the lock cylinder out of the door, you will need to disassemble it so that you can remove the old pins and replace them with new ones.

In this step, you are expected to remove the retainer ring and cylinder plug from the cylinder.

This process can take anywhere from five to thirty minutes, depending on whether you know the parts of the lock and have become familiar with disassembling them. If not, it is not the end of the world, you can rely on guides to do it properly.

4. Replace the pins


After you have disassembled the lock cylinder, you can begin replacing the old pins with new ones that match your new key.

In this step, it is important to note the proper order of the newly added pin. Usually, it requires you to work delicately so that you won’t risk the chance of having disarranged pins.

This process can take a few to fifteen minutes, depending on the number of pins and the lock’s complexity.

5. Reassemble the lock cylinder


Once you have replaced the pins, you will need to reassemble the lock cylinder and reinstall it in the door. This process typically takes three minutes or so.

Hiring a Locksmith to Do It

This goes without saying, but if the task is too overwhelming, you can depend on a locksmith rekeying your door. They are seasoned and knowledgeable in the field of locks and keys.

For sure, the locksmith will tell you the estimated time based on the situation.


Why should you rekey the lock?

Rekeying a deadbolt or any lock should be done if you have experienced some security issues, such as a lost, stolen, or old key that needs upgrading.

Is it hard to rekey a lock?

Rekeying a lock is not considered a particularly difficult task and can often be done by someone with basic knowledge and tools.

How much does a lock repair cost?

Although relatively inexpensive compared to replacing a lock, rekeying a lock can cost you a dime, whether you do it yourself or hire a locksmith.

Doing it yourself would only require you to spend on rekeying kits, which can go for as little as $7. But if you hire a locksmith, the cost might go up to $150.


And that’s it! Now, your question on “how long does it take to rekey a lock” has been answered.

Should you do it yourself or hire a rekey lock service? Well, that depends on your specific needs and circumstances. What matters is, at the end of the day, you give yourself peace of mind with how secure your home is.

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