A master key system allows you to use one key for multiple locks. To understand how this is possible, you need to learn how cylindrical locks work. Standard door keys have series of notches on just one side. These fit pins found inside the lock. These pins are in varying lengths and in pairs. They rest on a cylinder and are kept in position using a spring. Once a key is inserted, each pin falls into the notches and are paired into different levels. To open the lock, these pins have to line up evenly to where the cylinder and housing come together. It is called a shear line.
Locks contain small pins inside the cylinder. When only one key opens a lock, it is a “change key” and it works in only one location. When different pins are added to the lock, it becomes possible working it with a master key. Such pin is called a spacer. Master keys feature locks that are constructed to work using both keys. The system takes standard pinning to a higher level and uses spacers in each chamber. These spacers create additional shear line, allowing a master key to turn in all locks. There are different pinning combinations at different levels but the additional shear line allows different ways to open the lock.
Master key systems offer benefits in a way that a single key can be used to open multiple door locks, which is great in desperate situations when it is vital to enter a room. Quick access during emergency is a top advantage. However, if the key gets in the wrong hands, security can be compromised. But this can be solved with simple master system re-key. A general locksmith can perform such task in a breeze. Landlords and businesses typically use master keyed locks, and they ensure that only authorized persons get hold of the key. Domestic or commercial buildings also use a key tracking system for improved lock security. This system of lock and keys has both advantages and disadvantages, and it is important for a competent locksmith to create and maintain it.
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