Master Key

What Is A Master Key System?

The best way to explain this is by giving a real world example. Let’s say you own two condos, condo A and condo B. You want to rent these condos out and want the tenant of condo A to have a different key from the tenant of Condo B.

However, you do not want to keep track of two different sets of keys yourself. In this case a master key would be the most elegant solution.

What we would do is make 3 different keys, one for condo A, another for condo B, and a third, master key. The key for condo A would only work on that unit, the same being for the next key, while the master key would work in both condos.

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How does a master key system work?

To understand how a master key system works you must first understand the simple mechanics of how a lock functions. When you put a key in a lock it makes the top and bottom pins align along a sheer line. Once they are aligned along this the pins are no longer blocking the shear line and the cylinder can turn. This means that if you can have two different sets of pins, one working for one key, and another one of different lengths to match another key, then you can make a master key system.

How to get a master key?

In theory, any lock with pins and springs should be able to be rekeyed to work with a master key system.

This means that some locks like kwikset smart locks will not work with master key systems, but the majority of residential and commercial locks on the market can be made to work with a master key system.

If you want to find out if we can convert your locks to match a master key system, simply give us a call today and we can send a technician to you.

Levels of a Master Key System

Master key systems can range from being very simple to more and more complicated. Each level of a master key system indicates a different level of complexity and of how hard it would be to create a master key system with that many levels.

Level 1: Keyed Alike System (KA)

While this is not really a master key system it is included in the most common charts. It is just different locks that are keyed alike. It is the foundation of master key systems that is why it is included as level 1.

Level 2: Master Key System (MK)

This is the first real level of a master key system. It is included of one master key and other individual keys. The master key (MK) would be able to operate each less powerful key, the change keys (CK)

So let’s say you had 3 units, Unit A, B and C. and wanted one MK to open all the units, and each CK to only operate one of the units. What we could do in this situation is have 4 different keys

CKa CKb CKc and MK

CKa would only work for unit A

CKb would only work for unit B

CKc would only work for unit C

And MK would work for all three units

Level 3: Grand Master Key System (GMK)

This is the next level of a master key system and it is even more complex. In this system you one main master key which is called the grandmaster (GM), 3 master keys (MK), many change keys (CK). It would be like having 3 master key systems with one GM key that would work with the rest and change keys for all individual units

GM key (works with all units)

The GM key would work with MK1, MK2, and MK3. MK1 would work would work with all CK1 locks, MK2 would work with all CK2 locks, and MK3 would work with all CK3 locks. Each CK key would only work with that one CK

MK1

CK1a
CK1b
CK1c

MK2

CK2a
CK2b
CK2c

MK3

CK3a
CK3b
CK3c

Level 4: Great Grand Master Key System (GGMK)

This is the next level up. It consists of multiple GM keys and one Great Grand Master Key (GGM). In this level you have multiple GM key systems, and one GGM key that fits with all locks in the system

GCM

The GGM key would work with all the keys. GMa would work will all locks in the A section, GMb would work with all locks in section B, and GMc would work with all locks in section C. The master keys would work with their respective change keys, and each change key would only work with that individual lock.

GMa

Section A
MKa1 MKa2 MKa3

CK1aa CK2aa CK3aa
CK1ab CK2ab CK3ab
CK1ac CK2ac CK3ac

GMb

Section B
MKb1 MKb2 MKb3

CK1ba CK2ba CK3ba
CK1bb CK2bb CK3bb
CK1bc CK2bc CK3bc

GMc

Section C
MKc1 MKc2 MKc3

CK1ca CK2ca CK3ca
CK1cb CK2cb CK3cb
CK1cc CK2cc CK3cc

Professional Master Key services Salt Lake City

If you need a master key service in Salt lake then look no further than Extra Locksmith.

We can help you no matter how complex you want your system to be.

Call today for a quote or if you simply want to ask one of our technicians and find out if a master key system is the right choice for you.

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