Master Keyed System

We provide master keyed locks systems for businesses, hotels, offices & more. If you would like keyed alike locks or master keyed locks for your business get in touch on: 07721876571

Master Keyed System
Master Keys

What is a master keyed system?

A master keyed system consists of when all locks can be opened by the same one key. There are many different types of systems however that’s the jist of it. A master key (MK) is the highest ranking key and is a key that opens many locks-keyed alike. There can be other keys which work on this system such as slave keys. A slave key is a key which can open only certain locks within the master keyed system.

Grand Master Keyed System
Grand Master

This can be useful for example if a company wishes for certain staff members (e.g. cleaners) could be given designated keys to have access to certain rooms only. But not have access to other rooms on the master keyed system with sensitive information inside.

Keyed Alike Locks VS Master Keyed Locks

Keyed alike locks are often known as paired alike locks. These are usually referring to cylinder locks and are us to describe when at least two or more locks are pinned up in the exact same way outside. These locks will all work with the same type of key and cannot be set up so that one can works with one but not the other. These are usually used for example of double french doors where two locks are situated next to each other.

These would not normally be used in commercial properties, e.g. in a master key hotel system these locks would be master keyed as opposed to keyed alike. If you have ever heard the term keyed to differ then this just means the opposite. This means that all cylinder locks work independently from one another with completely different keys.

What is a change key?

This is a type of sub-master key, this can only open one lock so is very limited. It can only open locks which are exactly the same as each other. Bear in mind that any lock which can be opened with a change key can also be opened with a master key.

Grand Master Keys Explained

A grand master key is a top level key which can control multiple master keyed systems. For example a business could have a separate master keyed system for each level of its building. Each master key for each level would only be able to open the locks on that level. However a grand master key would be able to open any lock on any level of the lock suite. Grand master key systems are where things start to get complicated, we would strongly suggest to use only an experienced locksmith in this area.

Master Keys & Slave Keys
Slave Keys System

This means that this key is very important to keep safe as if this gets into the wrong hands, all locks on all master keyed systems can be compromised. Some companies even have great grand master keyed systems or even great great master keyed systems GGM, it can become confusing. Often a diagram can be provided to you which shows the hierarchy of the master key system. We can provide you with a grand master key chart with you system to make everything clear.

How do master keys work

Master keyed cylinder locks are created by changing the sizes of the pin tumblers inside the cylinder cores. All cylinder locks have what’s called a shear line. When all pins are aligned on the shear line this allows the lock barrel to turn. When the correct key is inserted into the cylinder lock the pins align to the correct height and allow the lock to turn. Different pin sizes such as with master pins in the lock can be used so that slave keys and master keys work with the different locks on the system.

How does master key system work?

Driver pins are set universal sizes, whereas the key pins are all different, it is the key pins which change in size.  Each pin has a small spring underneath it which causes it to push up to the shear line, once the key is inserted the pins are pushed down into their chambers. Each key on the system has groves cut into the blade which allow them to match up with the corresponding pins. The keys can be cut to lift the correct pins in a master keyed or grand master keyed system and can work with a large variety of shear lines. Only the correct designated key will fit into the correct key keyway of the master key set.

What is a master key system lock?

Master keyed systems are ideal for businesses that wish to restrict access to certain employees. Perhaps important information is kept in separate rooms and only managers are allowed to enter these rooms, these managers would be given the master keys and the lower level employee would be given the slave keys.

Master Key System For Landlords

These systems could also be used in properties owned by landlords. For example in a larger HMO property there could be 10 separate tenants bedrooms.

A landlord would wish for each of the tenants keys to only work with their own rooms, whereas the landlord would wish to have just one key which can access any room so that checks can be performed. We have installed master keyed systems in companies, schools classrooms and even care homes with pre-defined doors. Master key door locks could be the perfect option for your business.

What if you loose a key for your master keyed system?

If you have lost key to master key lock then don’t worry, we provide a master key cutting service for businesses in the local area. As a local locksmith we can arrive on your premises within 30 minutes if in Leeds or 45 minutes for other nearby areas. We are considered a master key locksmith and specialise in such systems. We have installed master keyed cylinders in schools, hospitals, universities and care homes. Master key lock systems are essential for the security & convenience of larger buildings and can even be fitted on communal doors.

Advantages Of Master Keyed Systems

Having a master keyed system for your business is very convenient and allows the prevention of having to hold large bunch’s of keys for your building, reducing the number of keys required. Having just one or two keys which can open all doors in the building can also be good for security.

We installed a master keyed system in a school in Leeds recently and had it so that the caretaker had the master key. This allowed the caretaker to properly look after the school and lock it up correctly during the holidays. Master keyed systems:

  • To allow emergency services to enter your premise in the event of an emergency out of hours e.g. fire.
  • Prevent the need to carry large bunches of keys for your building.
  • For improved security so that certain rooms and areas can have restricted access.
  • Single key can open multiple locks


Cost Of A Master Keyed System

Master locks keyed alike do indeed cost more than regular locks and the costs vary greatly depending on how large the lock system is. The actual euro lock master key doesn’t cost anymore in terms of material, it costs more than a regular lock and key due to the work involved in pinning them. Feel free to give us a ring to discuss your options. Here at Lemon Locksmith we are a commercial locksmith & can provide a larger range of suited key systems. As well as mastered euro cylinders, we also provide suited mortice locks whereby you could have one master key for all locks on a larger number of doors. Also please note, master keyed systems not only work on standard cylinder keys. They can also be set up with high security locks too for extra security.

Master Keyed Systems On Glass Doors

We can now provide either keyed alike or master keyed locks on commercial glass doors too. These often come as corner patch locks which are positioned on the top and bottom of double glass doors. We can change these locks so that they are keyed alike or part of a master keyed system in order to allow just one key to be used to open all doors. This is much more convenient for your staff members when opening up in the morning as only one key is needed as opposed to a large messy bunch of keys.

For further reading on master locked systems see below:

How Master Locks Work

Learn More About Suited Locks



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