Changing your own locks (removing the lock cylinder and changing the pins) is not a very difficult task and can save you hundreds of dollars by not having to call a locksmith. In order to do this, you will need to order a locksmith rekeying kit, remove the knob, remove the ring retainer, remove the plug for the cylinder, and then put in to new pins to reassemble the lock.
How many times have you been locked out of your own home or worried that an intruder could get in? It is very hard to estimate the number of former residents or key copies that exist and that is why it is important to make sure you have the only copies for your home. Locksmiths will charge a HUGE fee. If you are able to rekey the lock yourself, it could save you a lot of money.
Buying a locksmith kit (rekeying kit)
Most locksmiths carry a number of different kits for rekeying all the different brands of locks that they will encounter while out on calls. Luckily, your home is likely to only have one or maybe two different brands of locks. You can buy these kits at your local big-box store and at many hardware retailers.
Each kit will usually allow you to rekey 6-8 locks (depending on the number of deadbolts, etc). These kits will also come with a lot of useful tools, minus a screwdriver, and a set of two keys. It is important to note that you will still need your old keys for the rekeying process as they are used to remove the cylinder from the locks you will be rekeying.
Removing the Knob
Using the wire toll that is included with your locksmith kit, gently take the doorknob and cylinder housing off of the lock. Once the knob is off of the door, you can get a good look inside of the housing around the cylinder. Simply remove the cylinder towards the back of the housing and it should come right out. This is the part of the lock which need to be rekeyed with your locksmith kit.
Remove the Ring Retainer
In your locksmith kit there will be a retainer tool which is used to remove the retainer ring. It should come off the lock cylinder with a little pressure . You will want to put this ring in a safe place so that you can put it back on after rekeying.
Remove the Plug in the Cylinder
Using your old key, you will remove the plug from the lock cylinder. This is a very important step that should be done very carefully, the pins and springs can shoot out so it is a good idea to use even uniform pressure. Once the plug is out, you are now deep in your lock, likely seeing how it all works on the inside.
Reassembling the New Lock and Putting the New Pins in Place
With the plug out, dump the old pins out and take the new key from the locksmith kit and insert it into the lock. Using a pair of tweezers, match the new pins from the locksmith kit and match them up with those on the locksmith kit reference chart. Once the new pins are inside the cylinder, you can begin reassembling the lock. It is pretty straightforward, just do the steps above in reverse to put it all back together again.
Confused? Need to Find a Reliable Locksmith?
The Associated Locksmiths of America is a reputable entity and I would suggest using their website to find a local qualified locksmith. Their website is http://www.findalocksmith.com.