What is a Master Key System?

We try our best to hold everything near and dear close as a society. We want to provide protection, keep people and our belongings secure, and have an overwhelming sense of security. To do that, we must rely on various tools, gadgets, and systems. One such system is a master key system.

locksmith professional key duplicate machineWhat is a Master Key?

Master keying is a popular security system where one key opens multiple locks. It is most commonly found in office buildings and apartment complexes where each employee or tenant has a key to open their door, and the maintenance staff or landlord has a single key they use to open every lock when necessary.






Master key systems can be constructed to meet the varying needs of residential or non-residential buildings. In cases of emergency, such as a fire, gas leak, etc., emergency personnel can use master keys to gain easy access to locked doors and solve issues. They can also be used if you lock yourself out of your apartment or to make life easier for janitorial staff to clean offices when everyone goes home.
Master key systems are great for private homes and apartment buildings because they are practical and secure. This helps in ridding the annoying issue of heavy keychains. They are also advantageous for office and other non-residential buildings because of the reduced number of keys and allow for easy managing of access control.

How does a Master Key System Work?

Master key systems are made up of different key levels that provide complete or limited access to specific locations, allowing a lock to be opened by two or more keys. With a master key system, particular keys are utilized to grant access to different doors. This system results in the reduction of keys and limited circulation of keys among staff members, tenants, etc. The multi-level access provided by a master key system is ideal for businesses with many rooms/offices and wide-ranging levels of responsibility among employees.

The technicalities of a lock and master key system are as follows:
A cylindrical lock consists of two sets of pins – key and driver pins.
Key pins are located on the lower level of the lock and are slightly raised when the ridges on a key touch them.
Driver pins are above the key pins and are raised when the key pins push against them.
When the correct key is inserted, the two pin sets come together at the shear line or center ridgeline, and the lock is opened.
Master key systems have an additional pin called a master pin (any standard lock can be made into a master key system lock with the addition of the master pin).
The master pin is located between the key and driver pins, forming two shear lines that allow two different keys to work on the same lock.

The Benefits and Risks of a Master Key

bunch of keys

Convenience – This is the most significant benefit of a master key system. It makes access easier for designated people and reduces the number of keys in circulation around an office/building.

Increased Security – A master key system provides the opportunity to design your key-distribution hierarchy to give employees access to where, and only where, they need to be.

Higher Level of Control – A master key system increases the difficulties of key duplication, giving more control over keys and key holders. Restricted master key systems have a registered design, allowing only a specific locksmith to duplicate the keys after receiving the proper permission and verification.

Lost or Misplaced Keys – It is essential to ensure the keys, especially the great grand, grand, and master keys, don’t fall into the possession of unreliable sources. These keys grant access to critical areas of a business/building, and the loss of one of these keys can put you in a compromising position.

Cost of Misplaced/Lost Keys – Missing or unreturned master keys are the most significant risks involving a master key system, but what comes afterward can be just as problematic. If a key is misplaced and your business’ security is at stake, the entire building might have to be rekeyed – resulting in lost time and increased costs.


Why Choose A&B

A&B Security Group‘s professional technicians have assisted the Las Vegas community for 33 years. We know just how essential locks are in our everyday life and how hard it can be to find a reliable, trustworthy locksmith. Our mission is to provide Las Vegas with the highest quality locksmithing services imaginable, and we’re here to help anytime, anywhere.