A ReKeyable padlock could be any size from any manufacturer. They could be solid steel, laminated or brass. In other words any padlock could be made so that it is ReKeyable. Let’s first look at the rekeying process. To rekey a lock the cylinder must be made so that it can be removed from the padlock. Once removed the combination pins are changed to a new configuration and keys are cut to match. This process can be done many times. Not all padlocks are ReKeyable though, it depends on the manufacturer, the manufacturing process and the cost. Most padlocks sold at big box stores are not ReKeyable. padlock seal
If you lose your keys and you want to make sure that your stuff is still secure you either have to purchase new padlocks or rekey them. The rekey process is much cheaper. For years high security padlocks were manufactured to be ReKeyable. With these locks the rekey process is a little different. These types of locks use restricted lock and key codes. This usually means that only you will have those lock codes and therefore the keys to open those locks.
For businesses these types of locks offer many benefits:
- The ability to change the lock codes quickly if keys are lost
- Padlocks can be keyed alike in groups from two to thousands
- There is the ability to create a master system
- Key control, you know where your keys are and who has them
There is another type of lock cylinder that go into padlocks. These are called removable core, SFIC or changeable. With these the complete lock cylinder is removed from the padlock and replaced with another one. The core can then be rekeyed and made ready for use in another padlock. The benefit to these types of locks is that anyone can change the padlock core. This helps to regain control of your keys immediately. Removable core padlocks are usually available only at service centers or locksmith stores and cost more than standard padlocks.
So how can you tell if a lock is ReKeyable? For the average person it could be tough. If you go to big box stores the padlocks are usually carded, sealed in plastic and hung on a hook. Unless it is stated on the packaging it would be difficult to know. I don’t think that store personnel would be any help. If you want this type of padlock go to a professional Service Center.
George Uliano is a security professional with years of law enforcement and security experience. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Business graduating with honors. George holds three U.S. patents on different locking principles. This combination gives George and His Company Locking Systems International Inc the unique ability to provide its customers with the correct security at an affordable price.