Rekeying a lock to match key or lock?


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Old 02-27-19, 06:09 PM
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Rekeying a lock to match key or lock?

If I have an existing lock and a key, and I want to rekey a new lock for a side entrance to match, I take the new lock to a locksmith, now do I ask the locksmith to rekey the new lock so the key will work with it, or do I give the existing lock to the locksmith and ask him to match the cylinder of the new to the existing?

Is this basically asking the same thing? Or are there subtle differences?
 
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Old 02-27-19, 06:14 PM
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I would take the new set in, but bring along the old key. He will need both keys to key the new set to the old key.
 
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Old 02-27-19, 08:49 PM
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Your call. By changing the old lock to match the new key, you gain the potential security in knowing nobody has an old key to your place from a previous owner or something. I change the locks in any new place I buy for this reason alone.
 
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Old 02-27-19, 10:29 PM
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I am not sure I worded this correctly.

I have an existing set of locks (say lock A with key A). I have a brand new set of lock that I need to rekey to match A.

I am bringing the new lock set to the locksmith. Now, do I give the locksmith the key A (that opens lock A)? In other words, rekey new lock so key A will work with it?

Or do I bring the locksmith the new lock AND the existing lock A and ask him to rekey the cylinder of the new lock to match the pins in the cylinder of lock A?

It's more for my own understanding, will doing either one or the other result in the exact same thing, or not necessarily?
 
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Old 02-27-19, 10:42 PM
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To further clarify why I am asking this question.

I could have three doors with three different locks, all with it's own key, and I can have a master key that works with all three doors, even though the locks are keyed differently.

This those three locks all keyed differently can still be opened with one key (the master key). So the lock and it's key is not a one to one relationship, right?

Which seems to me if I give a key to a locksmith for the a rekey, there may be more then one way to rework the cylinders so that key will work? Am I making any sense?
 
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Old 02-28-19, 12:09 AM
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Am I making any sense?
That's a lot of words to say what I already said in 30 words or less.

Yes, rekey the new set so it works with key A if that is what you want to do. What you said in your first post is the same thing.
 
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Old 02-28-19, 01:13 AM
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Bring in the key (Key A) that you want to use to unlock all the locks, and bring in all the locks (new lock) that don't currently go with that key.
 
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Old 02-28-19, 02:32 AM
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I've always had them rekey the new lock to match the others when I bought it, they usually do this for free at the time of purchase. IMO bringing in all the locks is too much trouble along with possibly leaving your house unsecured in the meantime.
 
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Old 03-01-19, 12:14 PM
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Your question is not consistent; If (as stated in your 1st post) you want to fit a new lock to your existing key, bring the new lock and key to the smithy (or, some retailers will rekey free of charge, since you bought the new lock from them), provided the new lock is the same brand/keyway.

On the other hand, if (as stated in your 1:42 post), you want to MASTER KEY them, you need to provide all locks, new and existing. You then have several options on keys: Generate all new keys, or use some existing keys as change keys or master keys.

You correctly define Master Keying as several locks with their own keys, and a Master for all. Many lay persons equate "Keyed Alike" with "Master Keyed" ,
and most homeowners simply want all their locks "Keyed Alike" as there's usually no reason to give a resident a key that only allows entry into one door.

A common variation to Master Keying for a residence, might be if you have a room or section that you are "renting" with it's own separate entrance, and no internal access to the rest of the house. In this case, a new lock is purchased for that room, (same brand/keyway) , and taken to the smithy along with your regular key, so that the new lock can be Master Keyed to fit both keys.
 
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Old 03-01-19, 04:42 PM
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Take a real close look at the lock set, I recently replaced a Schlage outdoor lock set, had the wife take it to a local locksmith to re-key, only to find the lock cylinder was removable from the old set and just spent $15 for nothing!.
 
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Old 03-03-19, 11:30 PM
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Your question is not consistent; If (as stated in your 1st post) you want to fit a new lock to your existing key, bring the new lock and key to the smithy (or, some retailers will rekey free of charge, since you bought the new lock from them), provided the new lock is the same brand/keyway.

On the other hand, if (as stated in your 1:42 post), you want to MASTER KEY them, you need to provide all locks, new and existing. You then have several options on keys: Generate all new keys, or use some existing keys as change keys or master keys.
It's not that my question is not consistent, it may be that I am not quite asking what I wanted to know correctly.

I mentioned master key, not because I wanted to create a master key, but I was using it as an example. In my case, I do already have a master key for the lock to my front gate and the locks to my house. The key to the front gate I give to the company that service my pool and lawn. They can get inside the gate but not inside my house, yet I can use one master key to open all the locks.

What I wanted to know is, if I give a lock to a locksmith, and ask him to re-key the lock to match a key, are there different ways to configure the lock cylinders for the key to work?

Let me provide an example to further illustrate. Let's say I am selling my house, and I have a front gate lock which uses key A, which is different from all the other house locks (which use key B). I also have a master key that opens both. At closing I give the buyer the master key and I didn't tell him it's a master key. The buyer tries the master key on all the locks (gate, house front door, back door, side door etc...) and they all work. He thinks all the locks are keyed alike to his key but he doesn't know it's a master key.

Now the buyer wants to add a new set of locks somewhere. He buys a new set of locks and takes it to a locksmith and ask the locksmith to rekey it to the master key. Can the locksmith tell that it's a master key or does it just look like any ordinary key? Let's assume now the locksmith re-keys the new lock to the master key, but this lock cylinder is certain to have a different pin configuration then the front gate lock and the other house locks.

So now, we have three different sets of lock cylinders and they can all be opened by the master key, right? The buyer still thinks all the locks are key alike when in fact there are three different cylinder configurations here. This seems to me then there can be one key to multiple lock cylinder configurations.

Therefore, to me if you just want a key to open a new set of locks. then give the locksmith the key. If you want to make sure the lock cylinder pins are identical then you bring the locksmith the lock? Sorry if this is getting obstruse and tedious.
 
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Old 03-04-19, 06:21 AM
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I think you mean obtuse? LOL maybe.

You take him the key you want to match. If the key you are wanting to match is a master key, bring it. If you want them both to work, you bring both keys. It is that easy.

In your example, everything seems to be correct except you do not need to bring the locksmith the old lock in order to match it exactly if you have a key that you know is original to the lock. He can tell which is the original key and which is the master by inserting them each into the lock and examining the pins, or by comparing the two keys side by side.

The only reason I can see that he would need ALL locks is if a homeowner wanted to actually physically check to see that a key (which he thought was unique) was really just a submaster. Because for all you know, key B could be a submaster and a third person could have a key C that is unique that fits at least one lock.

Another reason might be if the key that is provided is worn down by use.

Either way, anyone with any brains will either get new locks or have them rekeyed when a property changes hands.

I'm sure our locksmith friends will be along to give their two cents eventually.
 
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Old 03-04-19, 10:21 AM
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Question 1: No, there are not several ways to configure the lock to match a new key, other than omitting one or more pin tumblers; the pattern on the key determine the size of the tumblers, case closed.

Of course, if you wish for the key that came with the new lock to also work, that can be done, and so now you have 2 different keys working the lock, your existing Master Key and the new key.

Question 2: With few exceptions, the locksmith cannot tell by looking at a given key, that it is a "Master Key". While certain key patterns, especially in large master keyed systems such as universities or hi-rise office buildings are occasionally used for convenience, it by no means guarantees, even then, that one can identify it as "The Master Key", or "The Grand Master" etc.

At your conclusion, I think what you're getting at, is that, yes indeed, the new homeowner is unaware that the Gate lock, in your example, is Master Keyed, in that it has been configured to have it's own key, (called a "Change Key", oddly enough), so maybe you're asking if you want the new lock to also be opened with an existing Change Key, you need to give the smithy that key as well as the Master. Now if you've lost the Change Key to let's say, the Gate Lock, bring in the Gate Lock along with your Master Key, and the Change Key pattern can be deduced (decoded) and a new Change Key can be made.

But even here, depending on how the locks were Master Keyed, you may not end up with the same Change Key pattern as the lost one, even tho it works the lock fine. For any given masterkeyed pin tumbler cylinder there may exist a dozen or more "Ghost Keys" we call them, that are not part of the system, and are patterned differently from the legitimate Master Key and Change Key, but they open the lock fine, nevertheless. This is why masyterkeying a lock typically diminishes the locks' security, in that the tumblers can now be manipulated (by key or lock picks) to several more positions in addition to the intended keys.
 
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Old 03-04-19, 10:08 PM
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Based on the replies I think I need to rethink the whole thing.

I just bought a property but it is still vacant. It will remain vacant until I finish repairing and rehabbing what I needed done then I will move in.

There are altogether 22 keyed locks for this property (half of them dead bolts half of them regular keyed entry door knobs. The seller has only one key. The key only works for half the locks. He said he doesn't have keys for the other locks.

I think what he gave me is a master key, except he might not know it's a master key.

Half the locks are Schlage, half of them are Kiwiset. None of the Kiwiset locks have keys.

Most of the Kwikset locks are "Smart Locks", but since I do not have keys to them I can't rekey them. The locksmith said it's not worth it to rekey a Kwikset smart lock, should just replace them and get them all on the same key way. Either all Schlage or all Kwikset.

Also he has installed several high tech locks. Two of them with combinations, and two of them use bluetooth to open and close with phones. None of them work anymore. So I got to replace those as well.

Just a hodge podge of everything and I am trying to figure out what to keep and what to replace.

One other question...if you have french doors in the back yard and the doors are of those multiple panel glass doors, is it better to install regular dead bolt or double cylinder dead bolt locks? I am thinking double cylinder they cannot break the glass and just reach in and turn the knob?
 
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Old 03-05-19, 02:27 AM
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Double cylinder can be more secure but fire code requires that the key be in the inside portion at all times so no one gets locked in during a fire. IMO an alarm system makes more sense.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 05:21 AM
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I don't think locksmiths care for Kwiksets too much.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 07:50 AM
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Yes the locksmith I spoke to said its better to go with all schlage instead of all kwikset key ways.

incidentally, it seems all the kwikset knobs on the outside are rusted. All the schlage locks look fine.

I may have to replace it all. Just can't figure out when it's half schlage half kwikset, half without keys, some regular locks some smart locks and some Bluetooth locks, then some gold, some oil rubbed bronze some brushed nickel mixed in with some rusted LOL.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 07:51 AM
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Replace the Kwiksets with Schlage.

And RE: whether or not your operating key is a Master Key, while you can't tell by looking at the key, you certainly can tell by disassembling the lock. But since you will be rekeying them upon moving in anyway, whatever key system was in place, will be no more.

Double cylinder deadbolts have been discussed frequently at length in previous posts, for now suffice to say it is a personal decision that balances life safety with security. In most jurisdictions, building codes won't allow them in new construction.
 
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Old 03-05-19, 08:52 AM
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You sure do have a mish-mash of locks! Good to replace them all; to the extent you intend to master key them, good security will be maintained when the keying system is designed from the ground up, ie., you're not trying to integrate a number of existing keys. By "originating" new keys, a minimal number of "Ghost " keys will result.

Actually, if all you'll be doing is providing a Change key for the gate lock(s), the remaining 21 (let's say) locks being Keyed Alike to the Master Key only, if the gate lock is keyed correctly, it will have NO Ghost keys, by using a single strategically-placed master pin.
 
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Old 03-06-19, 04:16 AM
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Take a real close look at the lock set, I recently replaced a Schlage outdoor lock set, had the wife take it to a local locksmith to re-key, only to find the lock cylinder was removable from the old set and just spent $15 for nothing!.
Do it yourself wrong and you could have tiny lock pins and springs and parts flying all over the place and not be able to get it back together unless you have twenty five tiny fingers instead of the usual ten human fingers. Been there done that.

Normally you bring the lock, a key that operates the lock as-is, and a key you want the lock to operate with when the change is done.

It will confuse the locksmith if he finds master key parts in the lock when he makes the change. The original master and slave keying capability may or may not be lost leaving just the new key capability within the lock, if the locksmith elects to go ahead and do as you ordered without playing telephone tag and playing twenty questions with you for clarification..

Also, existing master keying may or may not be able to coexist with an arbitrary new key you want to adapt the lock to.

Yes, it is a good idea to replace or rekey every single lock, eliminating all former master key coding. If you want master keying, you could start off by ordering new locks for all doors using the same keying, specifying to the locksmith that you want the single new keying to be the grand master. Then at your leisure bring locks back to the locksmith a few at a time to have slave keying added.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 03-06-19 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 03-06-19, 03:05 PM
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Typically, when a customer hands a lock to the smithy, asking him to "re-key it to a new key" or "can you make it fit this key", without mentioning any desire to master key it to (2) or more keys, and, upon disassembly, the smithy discovers the lock is master keyed, which is not an uncommon discovery, he will simply toss the master pins, along with the bottom pins and key up the lock as desired. He might comment to the customer, "it's a good thing you had me re-key it, because there existed a master key to this lock, which now no longer works."

This is the usual scenario when the smithy is told, or he suspects, due to the type of lock handed to him, that it's from a single-family residence. This is especially true if the house is relatively new, and this is the first time it's been re-keyed since it was built, since many housing projects built by the same contractor, are master-keyed, rather than "Construction-Keyed".

If, however, the lock is a commercial type, the smithy, unless told otherwise (and even then) will assume it's part of a commercial property master-key system, and he may be more likely to ask the customer "do you want to ensure the master key still works? If so, I'll need the master key, as well".
 
 

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