Rekeying vs Replacing Locks: What’s Better and When to Do Each

In the ever-evolving landscape of hotel security, the decision between rekeying and replacing locks is crucial for maintaining guest safety and operational efficiency. As a premier supplier of hotel door lock systems, Be-tech Locks understands the importance of making informed choices when it comes to your property’s security. This comprehensive guide will explore the nuances between rekeying and replacing locks, helping you determine the optimal course of action for your specific needs.

Understanding Rekeying vs Replacing Locks

Before delving into the specifics of when to rekey or replace locks, it’s essential to understand what each process entails.

What is Rekeying?

Rekeying is the process of altering a lock’s internal mechanism so that it works with a new key, rendering the old key useless. This is accomplished by changing the pins and springs within the lock cylinder, effectively creating a new key configuration without replacing the entire lock hardware.

What is Replacing Locks?

Replacing locks involves removing the entire locking mechanism and installing a new one. This option allows you to upgrade to newer, potentially more secure lock systems or change the style of your locks.

When to Rekey Locks

Rekeying is often the preferred choice for hotels in various situations. Here are some scenarios where rekeying is the better option:

  1. New Property Acquisition: When taking over a new property, rekeying ensures that only authorized personnel have access to the rooms.
  2. Lost or Stolen Keys: If a master key is lost or stolen, rekeying can quickly restore security without the need for a complete lock replacement.
  3. Employee Turnover: When staff members with access to multiple rooms leave the organization, rekeying prevents unauthorized entry.
  4. Consolidating Multiple Keys: If different locks in your hotel use different keys, rekeying can allow for a single master key system, improving efficiency.
  5. Cost-Effective Security Update: Rekeying is generally less expensive than replacing locks, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious properties.

Benefits of Rekeying

  • Cost-Effective: Significantly less expensive than replacing locks.
  • Quick Process: Can be completed in a matter of minutes per lock.
  • Maintains Existing Hardware: Ideal if you’re satisfied with the current lock design.
  • Improved Key Control: Eliminates the risk of old keys being used.

Cost Considerations for Rekeying

The cost to rekey locks typically ranges from $15 to $20 per lock cylinder, with additional costs for new keys (usually $2-$5 per key). Labor costs are generally lower than those for lock replacement. For a 100-room hotel, rekeying all locks could cost approximately $1,500 to $2,000, plus the cost of new keys.

When to Replace Locks

While rekeying is often sufficient, there are situations where replacing locks is the better choice:

  1. Outdated or Damaged Locks: If your current locks are worn out or no longer functioning properly, replacement is necessary.
  2. Upgrading to Advanced Security Features: When transitioning to smart lock technology or more secure systems, replacement is required.
  3. Aesthetic Renovations: If you’re updating the look of your hotel, new locks can contribute to the overall design refresh.
  4. Compliance with New Regulations: Sometimes, new industry standards or local regulations may necessitate lock replacement.
  5. Incompatible Lock Brands: If you’re trying to standardize your locking system across different properties with incompatible brands, replacement might be necessary.

Advantages of Replacing Locks

  • Enhanced Security: New locks often come with advanced security features.
  • Improved Functionality: Modern locks may offer better performance and reliability.
  • Aesthetic Upgrade: New locks can enhance the overall appearance of your doors.
  • Integration with Smart Systems: Replacement allows for the adoption of smart lock technology.

Cost Factors for Replacing Locks

Replacing locks is generally more expensive than rekeying. The cost can range from $100 to $350 per lock, depending on the type and quality of the new lock. Labor costs are typically higher for replacement than for rekeying. For a 100-room hotel, replacing all locks could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000, not including installation fees.

Be-tech Locks’ Hotel Security Solutions

Be-tech Locks offers a range of advanced electronic hotel lock systems that address modern security considerations:


Overview of Electronic Lock Systems

Be-tech’s electronic lock systems provide state-of-the-art security for hotels, combining convenience for guests with robust access control for management. Our SHADOW II RFID series is specially designed for hotels, offering:

  • Seamless integration with hotel decor
  • Compatibility with ISO 14443 A (MIFARE Classic) standards
  • Durable stainless steel handles

Smart Lock Features and Benefits

  • Keyless entry for guests
  • Easy programming for staff access
  • Detailed access logs for enhanced security monitoring
  • Option for mobile app-based solutions for contactless check-in

Integration with Hotel Management Systems

Be-tech’s lock systems can integrate with various hotel management software, including CHART, SOHO, KW Hotel, GiP, SOHIS FIDELIO, and more, allowing for seamless operation and enhanced guest experience.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Rekeying and Replacing

When making your decision, consider the following factors:

  1. Security Level Required: Assess whether your current locks meet your security needs or if an upgrade is necessary.
  2. Budget Constraints: Consider both immediate costs and long-term value.
  3. Long-term Plans and Technology Integration: Think about future renovations or technology upgrades you might want to implement.
  4. Existing Lock Condition and Age: Evaluate the current state and lifespan of your existing locks.

Case Studies

Successful Implementation of Rekeying in Hotels

A 200-room hotel in a major city faced a security breach when a master key was lost. By rekeying all locks within 24 hours, the hotel:

  • Restored security quickly
  • Minimized disruption to guests
  • Saved over $50,000 compared to full lock replacement

Benefits Realized from Lock Replacement in Hotels

A luxury resort upgraded to Be-tech’s smart lock system, resulting in:

  • 30% reduction in check-in time
  • Improved guest satisfaction scores
  • Enhanced security with real-time access monitoring
  • Seamless integration with the property management system

Future Trends in Hotel Lock Systems

As technology continues to evolve, so do hotel lock systems. Some trends to watch include:

  1. Biometric Integration: More hotels are adopting fingerprint and facial recognition systems.
  2. IoT Connectivity: Locks that communicate with other smart devices in the room for a seamless guest experience.
  3. Enhanced Data Protection: Advanced encryption and blockchain technology for guest information and access logs.

Be-tech Locks remains at the forefront of these innovations, continually developing new solutions to meet the changing needs of the hotel industry. Our smart biometric fingerprint door locks are leading the way in advanced security technology.


The decision to rekey or replace locks in your hotel depends on various factors, including security needs, budget, and long-term plans. Rekeying offers a cost-effective solution for many situations, especially when you’re satisfied with your current lock hardware. On the other hand, replacing locks provides an opportunity to upgrade your security and integrate new technologies.

Be-tech Locks offers solutions for both scenarios, with advanced rekeying services and cutting-edge replacement options. Our expertise in hotel security ensures that whether you choose to rekey or replace, your property will benefit from enhanced security and improved guest experiences.

Remember, the safety of your guests and the efficiency of your operations are paramount. By carefully considering the factors outlined in this guide and consulting with security experts like Be-tech Locks, you can make an informed decision that best protects your property and provides peace of mind for both you and your guests.

For more information on Be-tech Locks’ hotel security solutions or to discuss your specific needs, please contact our team of experts. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of hotel security and find the perfect solution for your property.

Don’t compromise on security – choose Be-tech Locks for innovative, reliable, and tailored security solutions that meet the unique demands of your hotel.

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