How a Master Key System Works and Benefits Your Business

person unlocking door with master key

How a Master Key System Works

A master key system is a hierarchy of keys made up of two or more locks that have some form of common relationship with each other. Locks operate as you would expect but, what makes a master key system unique is how the locks are pinned (the process of determining which keys will be accepted). Once you’ve determined which keys work in the lock, the keys are cut and distributed accordingly.

In this hierarchy, the grand master key is at the top because it works in all locks. Sub-master keys are next in the hierarchy and work in only certain groups or quantities of locks. There can be several levels of sub-master keys. Standard keys are at the bottom of the hierarchy and they operate only one lock.

A master key system can be as small as two locks or large enough for multiple sites or buildings, each with multiple locks. Design combinations are virtually limitless.

Real-Life Example of a Master Key System

In a business with multiple door locks and a standard key configuration, all of the keys work in all of the locks. But, what if you wish to restrict access to designated areas? You could have a particular lock pinned differently and have keys cut for it, distributing those keys accordingly. But now, all of those keyholders have to carry two keys. Now imagine if you had multiple locks with that requirement. It’s easy to get into a situation where countless keyholders are carrying multiple keys.

These inconveniences can be avoided with a master key system. Each keyholder carries only one key. No need for the bulk of multiple keys or trying to find the key that works for a particular lock.

Top Benefits of a Master Key System

Convenience & Efficiency

A master key system simplifies access control for business owners, managers, and authorized personnel. Instead of carrying a large set of keys, one master key grants access to multiple areas within the business, reducing the risk of key misplacement.


Enhanced Security

The system allows business owners to control access to different areas within their establishmentS. By providing individual keys to employees or departments, owners can restrict access to sensitive areas while granting access to essential areas as needed.


Customizable Access Levels

As mentioned above, business owners can create a custom hierarchy of access. For instance, a sub-master key may grant access to specific departments or floors, while individual keys are limited to certain rooms. This level of customization helps maintain security while accommodating operational needs.


Cost-Effective Solution

Installing a master key system can be a cost-effective alternative to rekeying multiple locks individually or installing an access control system. It simplifies key management and reduces the number of keys required for authorized personnel, streamlining overall security costs.


Quick Lock Changes

In the event of personnel changes or security concerns, business owners can easily update the system by rekeying individual locks while keeping the master key intact. This flexibility allows for swift and efficient security updates.


Reduced Key Duplication Risk

Not only are there fewer keys in circulation with a master key system, but the risk of unauthorized key duplication is absent. With Medeco, your locks won’t allow for consumer-level duplication.

Building Your Master Key System

In building your master key system, we securely record and maintain your system details so we know how many of each particular level of keys have been cut, which keys work in which doors, and when key cylinders have been re-pinned. Our experienced lock reps work with you to determine who has access to which doors.

Furthermore, we are a Medeco authorized dealer with our own patent, meaning your keys cannot be duplicated and your locks cannot be repinned unless the requestor is on an authorized list. Master key systems can change, in whole or in part, as your needs change. It’s considered a “living” system.

Contact Us for More Information

The master key system is ideal for district or regional managers, restaurant owners, high schools, college campuses, grocery stores, and more. It can be designed to span several locations, buildings, or an entire campus. If an access control system is not within your budget, this is an affordable way to control access and maintain your building’s security. Contact us to learn more!