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Mark's Locksmith

How much time will it take to rekey one lock?

Most of the time it will take about 12 to 20 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 a lock involves changing the lock's internal pins and tumblers so that it can be opened with a new key, while rendering any old keys useless. The process involves replacing the existing pins and tumblers inside the lock cylinder with new ones that are configured to match a new key.

When a lock is re-keyed, the locksmith or person performing the re-keying process will disassemble the lock and remove the existing pins and tumblers from the cylinder. They will then replace the old pins and tumblers with new ones that are configured to work with a new key. Once the new pins and tumblers are installed, the lock will only be able to be opened with the new key, and any old keys that previously worked with the lock will no longer work.

Re-keying a lock is often done for security reasons, such as when you move into a new home or business and want to ensure that previous occupants or employees cannot gain access with their old keys. It can also be done if you lose your keys and want to prevent someone from finding them and using them to enter your property. Additionally, re-keying a lock is typically less expensive than replacing the entire lock, making it a more cost-effective solution in many cases.

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.)

There are several reasons why you may want to re-key your locks:

  1. Security: Re-keying your locks can help improve your home or business security. When you re-key your locks, you are essentially resetting the lock so that only new keys will work. This means that any old keys that were previously used to access the lock will no longer work. This can be especially important if you have lost your keys or if you have recently moved into a new home or business and are unsure who has access to the old keys.

  2. Cost-effective: Re-keying your locks is typically less expensive than replacing the entire lock, making it a cost-effective solution to update your security.

  3. Convenience: If you have multiple locks with different keys, re-keying them can help you streamline the number of keys you need to carry around. By re-keying your locks so that they all work with the same key, you can simplify your life and eliminate the need for multiple keys.

  4. Peace of mind: Knowing that your locks have been re-keyed and that old keys will no longer work can give you peace of mind and help you feel more secure in your home or business.

Overall, re-keying your locks is a simple and effective way to enhance your security, convenience, and peace of mind. It's a relatively inexpensive way to update your locks without the need for replacing them entirely, and can be done quickly by a professional locksmith.

Can a Schlage Key fit in a Kwikset Lock?

No, a Schlage key cannot fit into a Kwikset lock, and vice versa. This is because Schlage and Kwikset use different keyway designs, which are the shapes of the keyholes that the keys go into. The keyway design determines the size and shape of the key that can fit into the lock.

While both Schlage and Kwikset locks are commonly used residential locks, they are not interchangeable. Attempting to use a key that does not match the lock's keyway design could potentially damage the lock and prevent it from functioning properly.

It's important to ensure that you have the correct key for your lock, and to use only keys that are designed to fit the specific lock that you have installed. If you need to have new keys made or want to replace a lock, make sure to choose a locksmith or hardware store that can provide you with keys that are designed to fit your specific lock.

I have a key marked “Do Not Duplicate” Can I get a copy of it anyway?

If a key is marked "Do Not Duplicate," it is typically meant to discourage unauthorized copies from being made. However, in most cases, it is still possible to get a copy of the key made, even if it is marked as such.

In general, it is up to the individual or company who is providing the key copying service to decide whether or not to honor the "Do Not Duplicate" marking. Some key copying services may refuse to make a copy of a key that is marked as such, while others may require proof of ownership or permission from the owner of the key.

It is also worth noting that in some states or cities, it may be illegal to copy a key that is marked "Do Not Duplicate" without permission from the owner or proper authorization. Therefore, it is important to check local laws and regulations regarding key copying before attempting to get a copy made.

Ultimately, it is important to respect the intent of the "Do Not Duplicate" marking and only get a copy of the key made if you have permission or are the rightful owner of the 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, there is no single key that can open all locks. Different types of locks have different keyways, which are the unique shapes of the keyholes that the keys go into. The keyway design determines the size and shape of the key that can fit into the lock. Additionally, many modern locks have advanced security features such as unique pin tumbler configurations, electronic or magnetic mechanisms, and other anti-picking and anti-bumping features that make it very difficult for unauthorized individuals to gain access to the lock.

While it is technically possible to create a master key system in which one key can open multiple locks, this would require that all of the locks use the same keyway and pin tumbler configuration. This is often done in large commercial or residential buildings, where certain keys are assigned to specific areas or rooms, but a master key is also provided to management or security personnel who need access to all areas.

However, in general, each lock is designed to be opened only by its specific key or a select few keys, depending on the locking system in place. It is not possible for a single key to open 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 and changing a lock are two different processes that can achieve different results.

Re-keying a lock involves changing the internal pins and tumblers of an existing lock cylinder so that it will only work with a new key. Essentially, the lock is taken apart, and the internal mechanism is reconfigured so that a new key can be used to operate the lock. This is often done for security reasons, such as when you move into a new home or business and want to ensure that previous occupants or employees cannot gain access with their old keys. Re-keying a lock is typically less expensive than changing the entire lock and can be done quickly and easily by a locksmith.

Changing a lock involves removing the entire lock and replacing it with a new one. This can be necessary if the lock is damaged, worn out, or if you want to upgrade the security of your property. When you change a lock, you are essentially replacing the entire locking mechanism, including the cylinder, latch, and strike plate, with a new one. This can be more expensive than re-keying a lock, but it can provide a higher level of security and can be a good option if you need to upgrade the lock on your door or if you want to switch to a different type of lock altogether.

In summary, re-keying a lock changes the internal pins and tumblers of an existing lock so that it will work with a new key, while changing a lock involves removing the entire lock and replacing it with a new one. Both processes can be useful depending on your specific needs and goals.

How much can a Locksmith charge 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.

The cost of unlocking a car by a locksmith can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of vehicle, the time of day or night, and the locksmith's experience and location. However, on average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 or more for a locksmith to unlock your car.

If you need emergency service outside of normal business hours or in a remote location, the cost may be higher due to the increased level of urgency and travel time. Some locksmiths may also charge extra fees for specialized equipment or techniques required to unlock certain types of cars or for additional services such as making a new key on the spot.

It's always best to get a quote from a locksmith before proceeding with any service to avoid any surprises or hidden fees. Additionally, be sure to choose a reputable locksmith who is licensed, insured, and experienced to ensure that the job is done properly and to prevent any damage to your vehicle.

What is covered by State Farm Insurance for Roadside Assistance?

State Farm Insurance offers a roadside assistance program as part of their auto insurance coverage. The specific services covered by State Farm's roadside assistance program may vary depending on the policy and location, but some common services that are typically covered include:

  1. Towing: State Farm will arrange and pay for a tow truck to transport your vehicle to a repair facility or other desired location.

  2. Lockout Service: State Farm will send a locksmith to help you if you have locked your keys inside your vehicle.

  3. Jump-starts: State Farm will provide a jump-start if your battery is dead.

  4. Flat tire changes: State Farm will send a service provider to replace a flat tire with your vehicle's spare tire.

  5. Fuel delivery: State Farm will deliver a small amount of fuel if you run out of gas.

It is important to note that the specific terms and limitations of State Farm's roadside assistance program may vary depending on the policy and location. Some policies may have limits on the number of service calls or miles that are covered, or may have restrictions on the type of vehicle or location of the breakdown. It is important to review your policy or contact your State Farm agent for specific details about your roadside assistance coverage.

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.

Replacing a mailbox lock can be a relatively simple task that you can do on your own, depending on the type of mailbox and lock you have. Here are some general steps to follow:

  1. Purchase a new mailbox lock: You can purchase a replacement mailbox lock at most hardware stores or online.

  2. Remove the old lock: Using a screwdriver, remove the screws or bolts that hold the old lock in place. Pull out the old lock from the mailbox.

  3. Install the new lock: Insert the new lock into the hole where the old lock was removed. Align the lock so that the screw holes on the lock match up with the screw holes on the mailbox.

  4. Secure the new lock: Using the screws or bolts that came with the new lock, secure the lock in place by tightening the screws or bolts.

  5. Test the new lock: Make sure the new lock is functioning properly by testing it with your mailbox key.

It's important to note that certain types of mailbox locks, such as those that are built into the mailbox or require special tools to remove, may be more difficult to replace on your own. If you're unsure about whether you can replace your mailbox lock on your own, or if you encounter any difficulties during the process, it's best to consult a professional locksmith for assistance.

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 lease for now...but wait you will down-the-road.


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.

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