The vast majority of doors in use today are controlled and secured using mechanical locking cylinders and keys. Each locking cylinder is usually operated by its own specific key, commonly known as a “Differ Key”. However, if someone is required to open multiple doors, having to carry multiple differ keys can become tiresome, and having to identify each specific key quite timely. As a solution to this, it is possible to construct cylinder locks so that multiple locks can be operated by a single key commonly known as a “Master Key”. It’s further possible to have multiple locking cylinder groups and multiple master keys all part of a suite of locking cylinders – we call this a Master Key System.
A Master Key System traditionally groups locking cylinders together in relation to their location, for example locking cylinders on the same floor of a building or locking cylinders within an entire building. For the purposes of system calculation and construction cylinder locking groups are structured into a hierarchical format.
A Master Key System does have its limitations, key holders may have to carry multiple keys, there are only so many cylinder locks that a system can accommodate so it is essential to carefully consider system capacity and future expansion. Master key systems can get complex and difficult for the end user client to administrate.