Losing the key to a lock usually means hunting up the spare key you have tucked away for just such an emergency. But what if there is no spare key? Or worse yet, what if there is a spare, but you’ve misplaced it, too? Replacing the lock is not your only option. Even though some less than honest locksmiths claim they cannot rekey a lock without a working key, this is usually a tactic for directing their customers to other higher priced services. The fact is, it is possible to perform a lock rekey – with or without the current key.
Locksmiths Don’t Need a Current Key
Any competent locksmith is able to take apart most any lock in a matter of seconds and then rekey it without having a current, working key. This is considered a fundamental skill that any good locksmith will master relatively early in their training. If a locksmith wants to drill out and replace a lock, rather than rekey, simply because you don’t have a working key, they are either not well trained or seeking to charge the client more money for services that are actually unnecessary. It is simply a myth that a current key is required to rekey a lock – in many cases it is the basis of a scam.
Basics of Rekeying Without a Current Key
Obviously, rekeying a lock is somewhat easier when a current key is available. However, a lock re-key with or without the current key is not overly complicated or time consuming for a skilled locksmith. A cylinder removal tool is used to remove the lock cylinder. The cylinder top is removed, exposing all of the springs and pins, which are removed from the cylinder. The top pins and top springs are separated and saved. A new key to which the lock will be rekeyed is selected. A gauge guide is then used to determine all of the low points on the teeth of the new key, and new pin numbers, as determined by the gauge guide and type of key, are inserted into the ports of the cylinder. The top pins are then reinserted into each port followed by the top springs. The new key is then inserted to test if it is able to turn the lock cylinder; this verifies the lock has been rekeyed correctly. The cylinder top is then reattached, securing the pins and springs. The cylinder, now rekeyed, is reinserted into the lock, which can then be reinstalled.
A lock rekey, with or without a current key, is a relatively simple task for a competent locksmith. While the process of rekeying a lock, especially without a current key, may seem complicated to those unfamiliar with locks, a good Locksmith in Kirkland can accomplish this task in a short time. And the absence of a current, working key is only a minor hurdle. Beware of poorly trained or unscrupulous locksmiths, operating mostly in larger cities, who attempt to capitalize on the desperation of those locked out without a key. Do not do business with any so-called locksmith unable to rekey a lock simply because a current key is unavailable. You will likely pay too much for work that is shoddy, unnecessary, or both.