Apartments, condominiums, hotels, and other complex buildings are made of multiple rooms and units.
We all know that each unit is secured by a lock that is opened by a particular key.
However, property owners and managers usually only carry one key that can access all the locks in the property.
This key to every lock is called the master key.
Learn more about what a master key system is and how it works through this article.
You may also inquire with our locksmith company if you’re planning to set up such an access system in your building.
Roy’s Locks & Keys will provide reliable locksmith solutions, including lock replacement and rekeying.
We can rekey locks to organize a residential or commercial master key system.
Call us today to provide you with free price estimates for our expert locksmith services.
How Does a Master Key System Work?
A master key system is an access network where a single key can unlock various locks in the system.
The key that can access multiple locks is called a master key, while those specific to a lock are called sub-master or change keys.
To give you a clearer picture, imagine a building with many rooms.
The number of sub-master keys depends on the number of rooms because it opens only a particular lock.
If there are 24 units in the building, there must also be 24 sub-master keys accounting for each lock.
On the other hand, a master key can unlock the 24 locked units.
It is a powerful tool because it gives anyone access to all the locks in the system.
Can You Add More Master Key Systems?
A master key system does not end with the master key being the most powerful tool.
It depends on the levels of access you set up in the system.
Suppose there’s another building with multiple units.
You want a single key to operate all the locks in the said building as well as in the previous example.
The key, therefore, has a higher level of access.
It’s called the grandmaster key, which can open all the locks that the master key can.
Adding more layers of access will result in a grand grand master key and so on.
However, a broader master key system can compromise your safety.
If someone gets a hold of your master key, they can easily access all the units on your property.
High-Quality Lock Installation
There are three locksmith services you need to have a master key system,
First is a lock installation.
This applies if the locks in your property are not of the same type and are not meant for master keying.
A professional locksmith will replace your unit locks with master locks before you can achieve a master key system.
A master lock contains an additional lock pin in one or more shafts in the cylinder.
This extra pin allows the lock to open using both the change and master keys.
Professional Lock Rekeying
Once you have master locks in your property, the next thing you need is to rekey.
A skilled locksmith will rekey the master locks so they can be unlocked using their individual change key.
At the same time, they will also rekey all the locks so that they operate using the master key.
Thanks to the extra pin, there are two ways to unlock a master lock.
The first is when the gap between the extra pin and shear line is above the pin, and the second is when it is below.
Expert Key Cutting and Duplication Services
Key cutting is the third locksmith service you need when installing a master key system.
Of course, you need the complete set of change keys and a master key that works well to unlock the units.
For this, you need a skilled locksmith with extensive experience in cutting keys.
Roy’s Locks & Keys can create all the keys you need for your master key system.
Our highly experienced locksmiths can make precisely cut keys to ensure they can unlock their intended lock or locks.
Call us today for same-day key cutting services and more.
Our locksmith will install your master key system and handle everything from installing master locks to cutting high-quality keys.