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Atlanta, GA

I accidentally locked myself out of my house on a Friday evening.  A kind neighbor called Top At Locksmith  LLC they were able to respond within a few hours.  The technician was professional and proficient and had the door open within a matter of minutes. Thanks  for saving  me

Lincoln Leo
Buckhead, GA

I lost my keys while going on a run. I called Top Atlanta Locksmith LLC and the tech was fast, efficient, and professional. Oh and reasonably priced. I scoured the web for quotes and they were the lowest in price.

Ian Eric
Mar 05 2023

Is It Cheaper to Rekey or Replace a Lock?

Changing or rekeying the locks is one of the first things to do when you moved in newly. As a business owner, you will have to keep changing or replacing locks if a sacked employee fails to return the keys. For such reasons, there has been a long-standing debate about the more expensive option between rekeying and lock replacement.

While some homeowners will go ahead to rekey their locks whenever there is an issue, others prefer to change the entire set.

To help you make an intelligent decision, we have evaluated the two options in this article. Firstly, we will have an overview of rekeying – all the factors to consider when you want to rekey your lock. We will then compare their different costs.

Lock Rekeying

Rekeying involves changing the mechanism or pins inside the lock cylinder to fit a new key. The dependable locksmith will have to dismantle the lock before performing the rekeying process.

Factors to be considered when deciding to rekey your locks include the number of locks, type, availability of original key, labor, or locksmith's service charges. An important consideration is that the turnaround time for lock rekeying is more when compared to replacement.

For instance, rekeying involves removing/dismantling the lock and a rigorous process of changing the internal mechanism. While lock replacement is a straightforward process – remove, replace, and test.

Rekeying a simple residential lock with a standard key may cost around $20 to $30 per lock, while replacing the same lock may cost $50 to $100 per lock. 

Another scenario is when copies of the original key are not available. The locksmith will not only dismantle the lock, but he will also have to pick as well as cut a matching key – this takes more labor time. Also, if the lock is a high-security lock or a smart lock, the cost of rekeying may increase. The same applies to replacing high security and smart locks.

Here are some of the instances lock rekeying is preferable:

  • Immediately after a home burglary
  • Missing keys
  • Evicted tenant refused to return the key
  • A sacked employee fails to return keys and more

Lock Replacement

Lock replacement is a straightforward process involving the removal and replacement of the lock. It is good to always involve a locksmith when you need a lock replacement in your home or office. The process involves getting ready the new lock, removing the faceplate, latch mechanism, and strike plate of the old lock with a screwdriver. Then the locksmith will start the installation process. After which, he will test to ensure everything is working properly.

Factors that could influence the cost of replacement include;

  • Lock type
  • Travel time
  • Number of locks
  • Equipment fees and more

If the replacement involves another lock brand, drilling, and some adjustments will be needed. Situations that must warrant lock replacement are if your locks are old or the locks are defective. Depending on the lock type and door, you could spend $50-200 for lock replacement. 


The decision to rekey or replace a lock depends on your specific needs, budget, and security concerns. From evaluations and research, rekeying is cheaper than replacement. Whether it is rekeying or replacement, you will need a professional locksmith from Top Atlanta Locksmith to provide a detailed cost estimate.