How Much Does It Cost to Rekey a Lock?

Last Updated on May 28, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

When moving into a new home or office, rekeying the locks is an important step for safety and security. But with costs ranging from $50 to $200 per lock depending on the type and complexity, it’s essential to understand the factors that determine rekeying prices.

This comprehensive guide will break down the typical costs for residential and commercial rekeying services, variables that impact pricing, real-world examples, DIY options, and tips for saving money. Read on for an in-depth look at everything that goes into the price to rekey locks.


  • Expect to pay $19 to $200 per lock depending on type and complexity. More locks mean higher overall costs.
  • Standard residential door locks are the most affordable at $20 to $35 per lock. Specialty and commercial-grade locks cost more.
  • Factor in a service call fee of around $50 to $125 per job.
  • Request bulk pricing discounts for rekeying 4+ locks at once.
  • DIY rekeying saves money but requires mechanical skill and proper tools.
  • Rekeying provides cost savings over full lock replacement in most situations.

How Much Does It Cost to Rekey a Lock?

On average, expect to pay the following for complete professional rekeying services:

  • Residential door locks – $50 to $130 per lock, including $20 to $30 for labor. This covers standard entry door locks like key-in knobsets or deadbolts.
  • High-security residential locks – $70 to $150 per lock for specialty mechanisms like high-end smart locks or commercial-grade deadbolts which require more expertise to rekey.
  • Car door locks – $75 to $180 per lock for basic mechanical lock rekeying without replacing keys.
  • Car ignition cylinders – $120 to $225 per cylinder for more complex rekeying including cutting new keys.

For a standard single-family home with 3 exterior door locks and a car, expect to pay $300 to $600 for a full professional rekeying service. The more locks that need to be addressed, the higher the cumulative costs due to labor. But prices ultimately depend on the complexity and number of locks.

Cost Range by Lock Type

Pricing for rekeying also varies based on the specific type of lock being addressed:

  • Basic entry door locks – $19 to $32 per lock for standard residential knob, lever, and deadbolt locks. These basic key-in locks are the most affordable to rekey.
  • High-security residential locks – $32 to $37 per lock for specialty mechanisms like high-end commercial-grade deadbolts and smart locks which require advanced skills and precision to rekey.
  • Apartment and commercial locks – $24 to $50 per lock depending on the grade and complexity of the locks. Commercial office spaces often utilize higher-quality locks than standard apartments.
  • Car door locks – $75 to $100 per lock for basic mechanical rekeying without replacing the keys themselves. Still relatively straightforward for professionals.
  • Car ignition cylinders – $120 to $150 per cylinder for more intricate rekeying paired with cutting new customized replacement keys. More precision work than door locks.
  • Safe deposit box locks – $175 to $225 per unit due to the sensitive nature and small, intricate mechanisms that require great care and expertise to rekey.

According to eLocal, the average call-out fee for an automotive locksmith is $82 during business hours, and rekeying the locks depends on the type of lock, but costs start at $90. For residential locksmiths, the average call-out fee is $85 during business hours, and the cost to rekey a lock cylinder ranges from $20 to $56 per cylinder, depending on the type of lock.

Thumbtack provides a comprehensive guide to locksmith prices, stating that the cost to rekey locks ranges from $40 to $100, plus $5 to $25 for each lock cylinder.

They also mention that many people rekey locks when they buy a new home, if they lose all the keys to a lock, or if they’re concerned that unauthorized copies of their keys exist. The average cost to rekey locks is $104, with a national average price range of $99 to $125.

ACME Locksmith offers insights into the cost to rekey a house, stating that the cost to rekey a house with three doors is from $200 to $250, including a service call and the cost to remove and reinstall the locks.

They also mention that bringing the locks to a local lock shop can reduce the cost to about $13 per lock cylinder (per keyhole). The cost to rekey a house in Phoenix, Arizona, is about 5% less than the national average.

DandL Locksmith provides estimates for locksmith services, stating that home lock rekeying normally costs between $80 and $160. They also mention that you may need to pay a trip fee of $50 to $100 if you request a locksmith to come to your home.

The average locksmith appointment costs $158, and the cost to change a door lock can range from $50 to $200, depending on the number of locks and type of door lock.

As you can see, more complex lock mechanisms demand higher rekeying costs due to the extra skill, labor, parts, and time required for specialty residential, commercial, and automotive locks.

Overview of Rekeying Locks

Rekeying a lock means reconfiguring its internal tumbler mechanism to accept a new key. It allows you to replace all the existing keys used for that lock. Professional rekeying services are important when moving into a new property so old tenants or previous owners can’t access the locks.

Rekeying is also recommended when keys are lost, stolen or copied as a security measure. Rather than fully replacing expensive locks, rekeying allows affordable maintenance by generating new key codes. Knowing typical costs helps budget and plan for rekeying projects.

Factors That Impact the Cost of Rekeying

Rekeying a LockSeveral variables affect the total price charged for rekeying locks:

Number of Locks Being Rekeyed

  • Rekeying a single lock is straightforward. But costs scale up with additional locks that need to be addressed.
  • Per-lock savings typically start around 4 locks. Bulk discounts of 10-15% off standard rates may apply for large rekeying jobs of 10+ locks.
  • The more locks that need rekeying, the higher the overall project cost due to the cumulative labor involved.

Complexity and Grade of Locks

  • Simple, standard residential entry door locks with basic pin and tumbler mechanisms are the most affordable to rekey at $19 to $32 per lock.
  • High-end, high-security deadbolts and smart locks found in upscale homes require greater skill and precision to rekey properly, increasing costs to $32 to $37 per lock.
  • Likewise, commercial office spaces utilize higher-grade locks than typical apartments. The complexity and quality of materials impact prices.
  • Any damaged, sticky, or corroded locks also take extra work and finesse to rekey, driving up service costs.

Additional Rekeying Charges

  • A standard service call fee between $30 to $125 is common for coming onsite to the property, on top of the actual per-lock rekeying costs.
  • For homes located farther away or in remote areas, the technician’s drive time and mileage may add to the service fee.
  • Any extra labor and parts needed to handle damaged or unusually complex lock mechanisms also increases the total project price.
  • Lockout services due to lost keys incur added fees on top of standard rekeying costs. Combination change services also cost extra for safes or combination padlocks.

Customer Priority and Timing

You might also like our articles about the cost to use MinuteKey, to copy a key at Lowe’s, or cut a key at Ace Hardware.

  • Requesting emergency same-day rekeying service often comes with rush charges or overtime fees.
  • After-hours or weekend rekeying is also costlier due to higher demand charges. Plan accordingly.

Cost Saving Tips for Rekeying Locks

While hiring a professional locksmith is recommended for those unfamiliar with lock components, there are ways to reduce rekeying costs:

  • DIY rekeying kits available for $10 to $25 allow technically-skilled DIYers to rekey their own locks after watching tutorials. However, these kits only work for specific brands like Schlage or Kwikset.
  • Requesting bulk discount rates for rekeying 4+ locks at once since the technician is already onsite. Per-lock savings apply to large jobs.
  • Choosing standard entry locks rather than expensive specialty locks whenever feasible. Opt for basic equipment to reduce rekeying complexity and costs.
  • Asking locksmiths about move-in specials or first-time customer discounts which offer small savings. Promotions vary by company.
  • Moving rekeying to normal hours instead of overnight or weekends to avoid premium demand charges.

For most homeowners, the convenience of professional rekeying outweighs minimal DIY cost savings. But understanding where potential discounts exist can optimize budget.

Typical Residential Rekeying Cost Examples

To understand real-world rekeying costs, here are two examples for reference:

New Homeowner Rekeying All Locks

A new homeowner needs all the exterior door locks rekeyed right after closing and moving in.

  • 5 entry door locks total
  • 3 exterior deadbolts, 2 door handle locks
  • $25 per lock rekeying fee
  • $90 technician service call fee
  • Total Cost = $215

Bulk discounts wouldn’t apply for only 5 locks. But all gain fresh new keys for improved security through professional rekeying.

Rental Property Rekeying Between Tenants

A landlord needs all the locks rekeyed after tenants move out of a 5-unit rental property before new renters move in.

  • 10 total exterior door locksets to rekey
  • Basic key-in-lever locks
  • $19 per lock rekey fee for standard mechanisms
  • $125 service call charge since remote location
  • Total Cost = $315

Here, hitting the 10 lock threshold qualified the job for a small bulk discount off typical per lock rates for a property of this size.

Rekeying vs. Full Lock Replacement

When considering a lock revamp, key factors to weigh include:

  • Rekeying costs $50 – $130 per lock depending on type
  • Replacement runs $65 – $280 per lock for new locksets
  • Rekeying saves money compared to replacement, provided the locks are in good shape. The one exception is if locks are too damaged or degraded to rekey.
  • Replacement ensures full security with new equipment but comes at a premium price.

For most properties, rekeying strikes the right balance of refreshed security at an affordable price compared to outright lock replacement. The existing sturdy hardware gets reused.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a locksmith rekey a lock without a key?

If you’ve lost all keys for a property, a professional locksmith can still rekey the locks. Here’s how:

  • The lock must be disassembled so the core can be accessed. For mortise and cylinder locks, the cylinder must be removed.
  • Special locksmith tools like wafer jigs, pick guns, and plug followers allow the core pins and springs to be aligned to new shear lines without existing keys for reference.
  • This allows new operating keys to be cut for the reconfigured lock. However, manipulating locks without a working key already in hand requires extra skill, labor, and tools.
  • Expect to pay added costs of $35 or more per lock for this more advanced process compared to typical rekeying.

Is it hard to rekey a lock yourself?

With proper caution and patience, DIYers can rekey their own locks at home using kits. However, there are a few considerations:

  • Rekey kits cost $10-$25 but only work for specific brands like Kwikset or Schlage. You must get the right kit for your locks.
  • Full disassembly is required to replace key pins and springs so parts don’t get lost or damaged. Caution is required.
  • Technical skill and manual dexterity are necessities to manipulate tiny spring-loaded pins inside the barrel. Steady hands help.
  • Perfect alignment is crucial for smooth operation after reassembly. Any misalignments will prevent proper lock function.

For those comfortable with detailed mechanical work, DIY kits provide decent cost savings. But for most casual homeowners, professional rekeying may be less frustrating and provide confidence in refreshed security.

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