How Master Key Systems Work
How Master Key Systems Work

Oct 25, 2021

How Master Key Systems Work

A master key system provides access by using one key to open multiple locks. Essentially, it is the responsibility of the building owner to select which areas should be accessible. Each key controls more than one lock. It works to allow or deny access to certain locks and doors.

Most master key systems are arranged in a family-tree-like way, with the Great Grand Master or GGM being at the top of the rank. The GGM, as confirmed by skilled locksmiths from Fast Austin Locksmith, has unrivaled access to all the locks below it.

In comparison, other types of master key systems can only open a few or one lock. Little wonder why it should and can only be possessed by established  organizations.

Types of Master Key Systems

There are three main types of master keying systems:

  • Traditional single-key
  • Multi-key systems
  • And restricted multi-key systems

Each one is not as secure as the other, but have individual disadvantages and advantages.

Traditional Single-Key or Simple Key System

One key can open all the locks connected to the same pin tumbler lock cylinder in a traditional single key system. This type of master key is the least in terms of versatility. It can only open locks with the same pin arrangement as it has.

Multi-Key System

A multi-key system provides several different keys that can each open only certain locks within the building. A more sophisticated system with an arrangement that is pyramidal in nature. In a residential settings, a single key can open common areas like lobbies and public balconies.

Restricted Multi-Key/Great Grand Master Key System

The restricted multi-key system works by having a single key open or granting access to all the locks and areas in a building. Commonly called the great grand master key system, the arrangement involves lower-ranking keys that work for a particular lock or door only, while the great grand master key opens all the locks or doors in the building. Less security if in the wrong hands.

What Are Master Wafers?

Master wafers are small pieces of metal installed in the locks to prevent them from opening and allow minimal access. The wafers sit in between the gate and driver's pins: when there is no key inserted, they block the bottom of the cylinder; when a key is inserted, they raise out of their hole, allowing the cylinder to turn. They are an important part of the master key system as well-arranged master wafers will translate to better security and smooth operation.

As reiterated earlier, master key systems are security systems that allow the people who have access to keys to specific locks or rooms. This keying system is mostly made available to landlords and government officials. Making use of them for criminal intentions is highly discouraged. Instead, homeowners are advised to seek directives from the authorities.

As always, never compromise privacy and security by giving a master key to unauthorized people At Fast Austin Locksmith, we help businesses install master key and high security systems. If you want to upgrade the security of your commercial facility, do not hesitate to contact us.