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Master Key Systems

0161 839 0201

Your Manchester Masterkey Service

A Master Key System is an ideal solution, when you have many locks in a building which require individual keys but also want one master key to lock and unlock them. Perfect for hotels, offices or factories. We can offer bespoke systems to meet you needs – call us today!

Master Key Solutions for numerous settings

Master Key Systems are distinct from what locksmiths call a keyed alike suite, which is where one key opens a full set of locks – see our page on the One Key House.

We can design only, or design and install, a master key system to meet specific requirements because all our systems are designed in-house to meet a client’s needs. Whether it’s a simple 2 level system with just a master key and individual door keys or a complicated multi-level system with master and sub master keys we’ll design it to suit. We can also design suites for buildings where common entrance locks are needed, such as blocks of flats. The common entrance lock means all residents can carry their own apartment key which will also open the front door.

All our master key systems are assembled, and keys cut, in house so a quick turnround is guaranteed.

Another major advantage of our in-house assembly is that we can supply new systems piecemeal. This can be in groups, or individually. Meaning that when a lock breaks it can be simply replaced with one on the new system which will minimize the initial outlay.

If key security is required ask about one of our patented key systems. Patented key systems offer the best possible protection against unauthorised key duplication for the life of the patent, giving the suite holder peace of mind. 


What is a Master Key System?

A Master Key System is a suite of locks that have individual keys for each lock (or group of lock so with an overriding Master Key that opens every one of them. There can be many levels of Master Key, from a simple 2 level system to a multi-level system with Grand Master Keys, Master Keys and Sub Master Keys all opening specific groups of doors – the best way to think of it is a family tree where the key at the top of the tree, or branch, opens everything underneath it.

What is a One Key User System?

One Key User Systems are a form of master keying where the system is designed so that a person’s key opens all the doors they’re allowed through. It’s a much more complicated way of master keying but offers a greater level of convenience. However, the tradeoff is that adding or deleting users can be very complicated

Why have a Master Key System?

Convenience and security is the short answer! Having a Master Key System means that you can control who has access to which door or area, whiclst allowing specific key holders to be able to access every door

What happens if I lose a Master Key?

If we’ve designed the system we can redesign it and rekey the locks to work to new keys. This is much cheaper and more environmentally friendly that replacing all the locks. If it’s a Sub Master Key that’s lost then it’s a matter of rekeying just those locks affected and if it’s an individual key that’s lost then it’s just te one lock to change.

What is some of the terminology used in Master Keying:

Grand Master Key – the key at the top of the tree that opens all the Master, Sub Master and individual keys below it I the family tree Master Key – the key at the top of a 2 or 3 level system that opens all the locks below it in the family tree

Sub Master Key– The key below the Master Key that works a specific group of locks below it in the family tree but none of the other Sub Master Key locks on the same level

Differ Key – the individual door key that works only one lock. It could be a group of locks that all work to the same Differ Key combination. Common Entrance Lock – a lock that is opened by all the keys in the system. It should not be considered as a securoity lock

Cross-Keying – Cross Keying is the unintentional opening of a lock by a key that is not supposed to. Usually caused by poor system design or wear in the lock. To avoid the former, we use software to design our systems that actively looks for cross keying and eliminates any combination that may cause it.

Ghost Keys – A Ghost or Phantom Key is a combination that has been created but not used. Because of the mathematic calculations there are always combinations that are possible but not within the charts. For this reason it is essential to use a key profile that is different to the mainstream profiles to prevent the possibility of a key form outside the system being used. Ideally a patented key system as this is most likely to have only been used in master keying.



If you need a locksmith, we are just a call away!
0161 839 0201



Master Key Systems


Monday: 9am–1pm, 2–5pm

Tuesday: 9am–1pm, 2–5pm

Wednesday: 9am–1pm, 2–5pm

Thursday: 9am–1pm, 2–5pm

Friday: 9am–1pm, 2–5pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed