If you’ve ever lived in an apartment complex, you might have experienced a situation where the building manager had to enter your apartment. To be able to do this, they carry what is known as a master key. These special keys prevent the need for having copies to every unit on the property. For those new to these devices, the locksmiths at Cohen’s Key Shop in New Haven, CT, explain how they work below.
Change Keys & Master Keys
Some locks, like those typically found on the doors of apartments, are made to work with two different types of keys. Your key, also known as the change key, will only open your specific lock. A master key, however, is made to open multiple locks from the same group. In some instances, there might also be a grand master key, which can open every master system under it, and a great grand master key, which can open all grand master key systems under it and subsequent master keys.
According to this locksmith service, these keys tend to work off a basic pin tumbler lock. Inside these locks, there are pieces of metal known as key and driver pins. When the key enters the lock, it will push them to a specific height so that the cylinder can turn.
In a master key lock, there is one additional piece of metal, a master wafer, added to at least one of the pins. This creates a unique pattern, allowing two different keys to open the lock. The more master wafers that are added to a specific lock, the more possible combinations exist for opening it. For instance, in a basic pin tumbler lock with five master wafers, 32 possible keys could unlock it.
If you run a business or own a piece of property and you don’t want your employees handling multiple sets of keys, contact Cohen’s Key Shop. They provide a full array of commercial locksmith services, including rekeying locks and setting up access control systems. For assistance, call them today at (203) 397-3528 and visit their website for more information about their specialties.