To buy or re-key: That is the question

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Old 07-07-13, 05:31 PM
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Question To buy or re-key: That is the question

Hello Everyone,

New to the forum and looking forward to talking through a few things with folks.

Right now I am in a bit of a quandary. I am looking to change the locks in my place, but I am not sure whether to buy completely new sets, or take the core out and ask it to be re-cored and have new keys cut.

Specifically, one of the locks "matches" the older nature of the building and I would hate to uninstall it only to replace it with something that doesn't match the larger aesthetic of the building. So, I am considering taking out the cylinder and bringing it to be re-cored.

So are my questions:

1) Which is better when it comes to security?
2) Are there any places (i.e.: hardware stores like Lowes, etc.) that I can bring the cylinder to? Or does it have to be a locksmith?
3) Anything else I am not asking that I should be so I can make a good, informed decision?

Much obliged for any insight y'all can offer.
 
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Old 07-07-13, 09:10 PM
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Depending on the level of security and the quality of the locks it may cost much more to re-key them then to replace them.

I would take the entire lockset out and bring it to a locksmith if you want it re-keyed. I would not consider a big box store for that type of job even if they were set up to do it.

Maybe to save on the shock factor you could call a locksmith ahead of time and see if he can give you a rough estimate of the cost.
 
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Old 07-08-13, 08:18 AM
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You appear to be in Illinois and that means that being in a neighboring state, I think i could estimate costs within close proximity to what you may find.

I have been locksmithing for 30 years across 4 continents and right now I charge $15 per keyhole including parts and labor to rekey a cylinder on site. Often a service attendance fee is on top of that.

If you were to take your locks to a shop, expect to pay around $8-$10 per keyhole.

Which is better security? I believe that many of todays product lines found in big box hardware stores are inferior in construction to older products and do not offer better security for the money.

There are many product that even locksmiths may try to recommend to you to "upgrade" your hardware, but essentially a door lock is only as strong as the door and frame it is fitted to. If security is your principle concern, consider installing a door frame strengthener to prevent the door being kicked in. Grade 3 products (found more often in hardware stores) are designed and priced for residential use. They generally do not last very long. Grade 2 is more expensive but is considered heavy duty residential/light duty commercial, usually comes with a 10 year warranty but may not be as decorative as you'ld like. Grade 1 is considered heavy duty commercial and is priced accordingly with often lifetime warranties.

If key control is something you'ld consider, to prevent unauthorised duplication of your keys, you'ld be better off talking to a local locksmith. There are multiple brands and levels of security for mechanical key systems, so be sure to shop around.

Electronic lock products are usually grade 2 for residential use and require 4 AA batteries in many cases. While a wireless option may be considered valuable in granting limited access or not having to hand out keys, batteries can fail quite quickly in extreme weather changes (like Illinois) and you might be locked out when you least need it.
 
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Old 07-08-13, 11:58 AM
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I appreciate that insight, thanks much!
 
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Old 07-08-13, 12:01 PM
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That is amazing insight and perfect recommendations. Looks like I am going to pull the cylinders and get in touch with a locksmith in the area (Chicago if that can help you, help me further price point). Honestly, I expected it to be substantially more expensive (i.e.: $50 or more), so that's pretty reasonable for either a shop visit. Thanks so much for that information and any other info you would be willing to offer, I would be grateful for.
 
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Old 07-08-13, 05:08 PM
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there are some fairly decent locksmiths in Chito....but it depends where you are as to who i'd recommend. PM me with your rough location and I'll give you recommendations.
 
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