How Do Master Keys Work
Have you ever wondered how do master keys work? There seems to be a fascination with master keys among many people. I believe that the fascination comes from the device’s confusing nature. When one key opens two doors, but another key that opens one of them does not open the other? Are there special keys? How do the master keys work? Well, I must warn you that these answers are based on some math.
This article will help you understand any master key system, ranging from the simplest to the most complicated. By understanding the system’s basics, you can extrapolate possible improvements to its security.
What Is A Master Key?
There are a lot of people who wonder “How does a master key work? But the real question they should be asking is “How do master key systems work? Many people outside of the Locksmith industry don’t understand master keys.
In a Master Key System, the Master Key is the key with the highest level of security clearance. For homes, cars, or commercial hardware, no one master key opens all locks. A key like that would defeat the entire purpose of locks!
Master keys are usually stamped with the letter “M” and referred to as the highest key in small master key systems. The Master Key is commonly referred to as the “GM Key” in larger key systems with more doors and individual keys. It is the same key with a different label.
Master keys open all pin tumbler locks in a building, while still allowing single-access keys to open only one of those doors. But the magic is not in the key. Pin tumbler locks can turn with multiple shear lines instead of one because of the individual pins and stacking of pins.
How Do Master Keys Work?
The majority of master key systems are based on pin tumbler locks. To open a pin tumbler lock, it is necessary to elevate the stack of pins consisting of a driver pin and a key pin so that they are placed on opposite sides of the shear line. The key lifts the pins within the lock.
Each pin is different in size. Each driver pin will be a universal size. To lift the key pins to their correct height, the key must have the right grooves. Adding a master wafer (aka master pin) between the driver and key pin is all it takes to convert any standard pin tumbler into a master key system.
A master wafer is essentially a small pin in the shape of a hockey puck. The pin stack will have two shear lines when it is in place.
A shear line that has a master wafer above or below the line. This is a simplified explanation but feel free to reach out to one of the experts on the Best Buy Locksmith team for further clarifications and assistance, if needed.
Different Types of Master Keys
The following are listed in order of most to least access:
Great Grand Master Key
Grand master keys can open locks from all the master systems beneath it as well as locks created for the great grand master system.
Grand Master Key
Multiple master key systems can be accessed with a grand master key. The key will open all master systems under it, as well as any subsequent change keys. A master key is commonly abbreviated to GMK among locksmiths.
There is only one key for a lock if there is no master key. An ordinary lock can be changed into a master keyed lock using this key. For some systems, this key is the highest ranking key. Typically, a master key would be shortened to ‘MK’ among locksmiths.
The key can also be referred to as a submaster key. It can only open locks of the same type. A key higher in rank than the change key can also open the lock that the change key opens.
Using Master Keys To Protect Your Business
Having master keys allows you to prevent disaster in many situations. If you fire one of your employees, for instance, you can rest assured that they will not have copies of the keys they were given and that your keyed security system will remain intact and undamaged.
By using serialized master keys that are created on a restricted key-way, you ensure that no copies of the master key exist even if you fire a senior employee with access to the system.
In an emergency or disaster, master keys are also invaluable. Responding quickly to critical concerns is important in this situation. You can track who has access to different parts of your business premises remotely with cloud-based tracking systems. Therefore, you can devise a plan to keep your business safe even if you can’t get to your facilities or have to act quickly in the event of a security breach.
Additionally, key tracking can be useful if your keys are stolen. It may be possible to reduce investigation time and narrow down the list of suspects with the documented record-keeping process provided by a well-tracked key control system.
Let’s Sum it All Up!
In a Master Key System, the Master Key is the key with the highest level of security clearance. For homes, cars, or commercial hardware, there is no one master key that opens all locks. A key like that would defeat the entire purpose of locks!
Master keys open all pin tumbler locks in a building, while still allowing single-access keys to open only one of those doors. But the magic is not in the key. Pin tumbler locks can turn with multiple shear lines instead of one because of the individual pins and stacking of pins. Master keys are also invaluable to both your homes and businesses. For your business, it can provide added security when restaffing, as well as during unforeseen disasters
The Best Buy Locksmith team is not only highly trained; they have over ten years of experience in the field as well as all the right tools to get the job done. Reach out to them today to figure out how their experts can assist you with your master key systems. Contact them via email at [email protected] or phone at 267-506-5702.