Master Keyed Cylinders – a short guide

Why a masterkey?

Buildings come in many shapes and forms and whether residential or commercial access control for personell, occupiers, landlords, facilities managers etc can pose a problem if you are trying to keep a building secure yet accessible to people requiring different levels of access.

Master Keying is the solution.  It should not be confused with Keying Alike.  Keying alike is for example, one cylinder with 30 keys, all the keys exactly the same.  Master keying enables access for some, total access for others so not all 30 keys would operate the same lock.

In its more sophisticated form, Master Keying can also extend to locking systems you may not have considered such as padlocks, cabinets, sheds etc.

Security is also an issue and copyright protection on keys is no longer a way of protecting against illegal key duplication.   Manufacturers are looking at patent protection instead.

Adequate control of keys should ensure that registered keys or copies of are only available from the correct sources. Under current legislation the only types of key that can be protected in this way are those covered by an up-to-date international patent.

Typical buildings requiring master keys would be:

  • Apartment Blocks
  • Hospitals
  • Office Blocks
  • Secure Units
  • and more

The diagram below used by Assa Abloy a world leader in the field of locks, hardware and access control systems illustrates simply how master keying works

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