The Difference Between Master Keys and Rekeying

Master Key

Many people have the misconception that when lock manufacturers make a specific lock model they design it so that one master key can open any model of that lock. Urban legends abound of car theft rings getting their hands on a master key for a specific model of car, making it easy for them to steal any car of that make and model.

Commercial LocksIt is possible for more than one lock to be opened with one key, but all of the locks need to be keyed the same way in order for this to be possible. A locksmith needs to reset the tumblers in all of the locks the same way so that they can all be opened with a master key. Lock manufacturers do not make them that way.

The Use of Master Keys

In order for a master key to be able to unlock more than one lock, all of the locks need to have been made by the same manufacturer, or they need to be similar enough in design so that the tumblers can be reset to accommodate the master key.

Master keys are commonly used in apartment buildings or other businesses in which owners or managers need access to all of the locked doors in a building. Many business owners and managers have all of the locks in a place of business set to be opened with a master key simply so that they do not have to carry around more than one key and keep track of which key goes to which lock. If a master key is lost or stolen, all of the locks that the master key opened will need to be rekeyed or replaced. If they are replaced, the new locks will have to be rekeyed to accommodate the new master key.

Locksmith Rekeying Service

Locksmith RekeyingRekeying is similar to setting up a master key system, with the difference being that a locksmith resets the tumblers on only one lock when rekeying. Rekeying can be a less expensive alternative to replacing a worn out lock. A licensed locksmith can rekey a lock if the key to the lock has been lost or stolen. Of course, the locksmith will also need to provide a new key if he or she rekeys a lock.

Rekeying can be a prudent thing to do if a homeowner or business owner has to give copies of a key to tradesmen or employees. Doing this is necessary when employees have been fired and do not return their keys. It is a prudent thing to do even if they do return their keys, as they may have had a chance to have a copy made. They may have been able to do this even if the key is marked “Do Not Copy.”

Let Locks Plus Keys help with your master keys or rekeying locks for your business

Keys are an important part of business security systems and home security systems, so setting up a master key system or rekeying existing locks should be done by a licensed locksmith. Hiring an unlicensed locksmith may cost less for rekeying, but could result in great cost if unauthorized keys get into circulation.

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