Frequently Asked Questions
How much time will it take to rekey one lock?
Most of the time it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to rekey each lock. It also depends on the type of lock. These types of locks should take about 10 to 15 minutes each if the locksmith has a key to each lock he/she is rekeying (Schlage, Baldwin, Gatehouse, Dexter, Defiant, Promax, Master, Ace, Kwikset, Brinks, Pamex, Berlin, Modisch, Dynasty, Lawrence, Copper Creek, Emtek). For Best/Falcon Interchangeable Locks or ICC it will take about 20 to 30 minutes each to rekey the core because the locksmith has to setup the pinning chart and cut at lease 2 keys for the lock(s). One is for changing the core and the other is for the customer to open the lock.
What does it mean to 're-key' a lock?
Re-keying is when the cylinder of your lock is changed by replacing the pins so that your current key no longer works with it. Instead, a new key is used. It is like changing the combination on a safe.
Why should I re-key my locks?
The reason people should re-key their locks include; a tenant moves out, a key is lost or stolen, your purse is stolen, new construction you don't know who on the construction team still has a key, you just purchased a new home or moved into a new home as you don't know who still has a copy of the keys - Realtor and/or previous owners. One of the most popular reasons is to have all your locks using only one key. This makes it convenient for you to not carry a lot of keys around with you. This can only work, however, if all your locks are of a compatible brand in your house. (Kwikset, Schlage, Weiser, etc.) Sometimes when hardware is installed into your house you can purchase them to be ''keyed alike''. This means that all the locks operate on the same key. However, if you decide to add a lock later on, you can either re-key that lock to be on the same key as the rest of your doors or use two different keys. (Remember this only works if the hardware is compatible.)
Can a Schlage Key fit in a Kwikset Lock?
Unfortunately Kwikset and Schlage have two different key ways. They are not interchangeable.
I have a key marked “Do Not Duplicate” Can I get a copy of it anyway?
The laws states that keys marked ''Do Not Duplicate'', ''Do Not Copy'' or ''Unlawful to Copy'' must have a authorization letter from the owner or supervisor presented at the time of requesting duplication. Even though this is the law, locksmiths and key copying kiosks are willing to copy these keys for an extra fee. The restrictions that are stamped on the keys are merely a deterrent and the only way to secure duplication is with a restricted key.
I just moved into a new Home/Commercial Building, should I re-key the locks?
Yes! I highly recommend REKEYING the locks. It's impossible to know who has the keys or who has copies of the keys. It's better to be safe then sorry. Always re-key your locks when you move into a new property. It is the simplest and most affordable way to protect your valuables.
Is there a key that can open all locks?
No. A MASTER key is a key which works many locks. In order for a particular master key to work in a lock, the lock has to be set up to work on that master key. Locks are typically master keyed in hotels, office buildings, and schools. Rest assured that there is no such master key that opens all locks.
What is a Master-key System?
The best and easiest way to explain master-keying is to think of a hotel. The owner has one key that fits everything - all the rooms, store-rooms, offices, etc. The office manager has a key that fits only the offices. The maids have a key that only fit the rooms. Then the guest have a key that fits only the room in which they are staying.
If one of the guests leaves and takes their key, then a locksmith can come and invalidate that key and re-key the room to a new key. This will not, however, affect the other keys - unless the locksmith is poorly trained. Or if one of the house-keeping personnel leaves, the doors can be re-keyed to replace that key which will not affect the rest of the keys.
What is the difference between Rekeying a Lock and Changing a Lock?
Re-keying a Lock is when the cylinder of your lock is changed by replacing the pins inside so that your current key will no longer work with it. Instead, a new key is used.
Changing a Lock is when you replace a Bad Lock with a Good Lock.
How much can a Locksmith charge me to unlock my car?
Whatever the locksmith wants to charge. There is no law on what a locksmith can charge to open a car or home. It's up to the locksmith. A locksmith can and has charge someone $300 to open/unlock their car. This is true. Someone that called me to unlock their car was charged $300 from the last locksmith they used. It's a good rule of thumb and to ALWAYS ask the locksmith for the FULL PRICE to unlock your car or home. If the locksmith says something like, 'Prices start at..' Just hang up and call another locksmith. The locksmiths that say, 'Prices start at...' will charge you over $100 after they unlock your car. Also, some locksmiths will tell you one price and double it after they unlock your car. So make sure before the locksmith opens your car that a price is agreed on. If you don't like the higher price tell the locksmith to leave.
What is covered by State Farm Insurance for Roadside Assistance?
Towing service, Battery Jump Start service, Change Flat Tire service, Lockout service, and Fuel delivery service. You get a total of three (3) of any of these services per year.
I have State Farm with roadside assistance and I'm locked out of my car. Can I call a locksmith?
If you have State Farm Insurance with roadside assistance and there is an ''H'' on your policy card than Yes you can call any locksmith you want to unlock your car. Sometimes this is quicker than waiting for the roadside assistance guy to show up. It is very important to get a receipt from the locksmith or your insurance provider will not reimburse you for the lockout and therefore you will lose that money. What you need on the receipt is your car license number, year, make, model, and the VIN number.
Can I replace my own Mailbox Lock?
Yes, you can replace or change your own Mailbox Lock. It is NOT illegal to replace your own mailbox lock. Even if your mailbox lock is in one of those multi mailbox containers.
Should I buy a Kwikset Smart Key lock?
NO! I would avoid buying any Kwikset Smart Key locks.
Base on my 10 plus years as a locksmith here in the Portland Oregon metro area and rekeying many Kwikset Smart Key locks over the years. Here is my professional option about the Kwikset Smart Key lock in just three words, "THEY ARE TRASH!". Customers get mad at me because Kwikset makes a bad lock.
Here's why you want to avoid the Kwikset Smart Key lock:
First; there is a 50/50 chance that your original key or a copy of the original key is going to work. Especially after the lock was rekeyed.
Second; there are no pins in this lock. So you cannot pick it
Third; if you get locked out you have to paid a locksmith over $150 to drill out the lock. Now you have to buy a new lock for about $25 to $35. And if you are unable to install the lock yourself, you have to paid for a locksmith to come back out and install the new lock for you. Another $100 plus for the same locksmith.
Now remember, after the locksmith drilled out the lock your door is now open to anyone who may want to enter. If you had only one Kwikset Smart Key knob lock, or one Kwikset Smart Key deadbolt lock on your front door. Your door is now open to anyone who may try and enter while you are sleeping or have gone out to do some errands.
So it cost you over $275 or more depending on the price of the locksmith if you got locked out.
The ONLY plus side to buying the Kwikset Smart Key lock is that they have a life time guarantee. Meaning if you have any problems with this lock you can get a free replacement but ONLY through Kwikset.
Yes. You may have these locks and never had any problems...at lease for now...but wait you will down-the-road.
Remember: DO NOT BUY ANY KWIKSET SMART KEY LOCKS!
How come some locksmiths have more reviews than other locksmiths?
The reason why some locksmiths have more reviews than other locksmiths is because those locksmiths with lots of reviews are bribing their customers. They charge the customers $30 to $50 more and tell them that they will reduce the cost if they post a GOOD review on Google. The customer is still getting ripped off and over paying! So this is why these locksmiths have so many reviews!
The locksmith is paying someone outside the USA for good reviews. I have seen these reviews posted from people in Canada, and Australia.