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The 411 on Master Key Systems

If you want to be able to access several apartments in your apartment or office building with one convenient key, a master key system might be the solution.​

Master key system chart

How Do Master Keys Work?

Simply put, a master key system works similarly to other lock systems, with the added benefit of having different levels of access to every lock.

On a technical level, all cylinder locks have pins in them. These pins work as a code which, when matched, will allow your door to unlock. A master key takes the concept of pins to another level by using something that we locksmiths call “wafers” or “spacers” in every lock chamber. When our locksmith technicians add spacers to a lock’s pin, they form an additional line that lets a master key open all the corresponding locks.

By adding these wafers, our customers can use different pinning combinations for different master key levels, while the added line lets different keys work in the same exact lock. You would never know it from looking at the lock from the outside, but once you’ve taken the lock chamber apart, it becomes evident that your lock is part of a master system.

Setting Up Your Master Key System

To ensure the long-term success of a master key system, it’s important to work with a commercial locksmith technician and to make an individualized master system that meets your specific needs.

It is important to take into consideration when creating your own system, your specific security requirements and how they relate to your personal needs and convenience. Once you know what exactly it is you are looking for, we can help you by developing the key system structure.

Wondering why you should use a master key system?

lock pinsWant your workers to have access to the main entrance but not to specific workspaces?  Do you want your cleaning staff to have access to some rooms but not others?

If you want your employees or residents to have access to certain spaces but not others, you should consider using one of these systems. 


Masterkey Systems Offer:

1. Convenience - Specific keys open the doors to specified areas which make it possible for everyone to get into the areas that they need access to.

2. Security - These systems give an added level of security to a heavily populated space by keeping staff, students, and employees out of places that they have no clearance to be.

3. Affordability - These systems are inexpensive to install, and even less expensive to customize down the line, should you decide to make some changes to your security arrangements.

Who Uses Master Keys?

Wondering if a master key system is good for you? We’ve installed these systems for people with a variety of needs, from university dormitories to factories and other commercial institutions. Master key systems are ideal for:

  • High schools
  • Hotels
  • College campuses
  • Apartment buildings and complexes
  • Offices
  • Filing cabinets

Wondering if a master key is a right choice for you? Just ask our experts, we can help you come up with a plan that best suits your security requirements.

Pros and Cons of Master Systemsmaster key

As with any security system or feature, there are advantages and disadvantages that must be considered before making any final decisions.

The Pros.

The positives of using these systems are obvious; they provide the ability to have controlled access to certain openings with one key, so you won’t have to carry so many keys around with you and then struggle to find the right key when you need it.

Bigger companies often employ a hierarchy type of master-key system that includes various levels of keys. In this system, some workers can unlock only one door, while a supervisor has access to several doors, and of course, the boss can unlock every door in the building.

The cons.

The one downside with a master key system is that since these locks can be opened by more than one key, they can be slightly easier to pick. If you do choose one of these systems, you will likely want to install heavy-duty locks on all the outer doors on your property as well.

As a matter of fact, some apartment renters have a master key on the door of their apartment, as well as a more secure lock. This is very helpful, as they can choose to use the more secure lock on a daily basis open and only use the master key lock as necessary (like when the landlord sends someone over to do repairs).

To have our experts install or repair or replace your master keys, call us today at (888) 415-1011!