Master Keys: What They Are and When They’re Useful


If you’re a homeowner or business owner in New Zealand, you may have heard of master keys. But what exactly are they, and when are they useful? In this article, we’ll explain the basics of master keys and when they can come in handy.

What is a Master Key System?

A master key system is a type of lock system that allows different keys to access different areas within a building. In a typical lock system, each lock has its own unique key. But in a master key system, there are multiple levels of access. A master key can open all locks in the system, while sub-master keys can open certain locks but not all of them. Regular keys can only open a specific lock. Master keys systems can be used to create a hierarchy of access within a property to improve security and convenience.

However, despite the name, in a master key system the key itself does not have any special features. The power of a master key system is derived from the lock itself. To create a master key system, additional cylinders are added to the lock’s pins, which create more ways to open it.

When are Master Keys Useful?

There are a few situations where a master key system can be particularly useful:

  • Large Buildings: In a large building with multiple tenants or residents, a master key system can simplify access control. With a master key system, property owners or managers can provide individual keys to tenants or residents while still retaining access to all areas of the building. This can make it easier to manage the property and provide necessary maintenance or repairs.
  • Employee Access: In a business setting, a master key system can be useful for managing employee access to different areas of the building. For example, a manager may have a master key that can open all locks, while individual employees only have keys that can open their specific office or workspace. This can help to maintain security while also allowing for easy access to necessary areas.
  • Homeowners: For homeowners, a master key system can be useful for giving trusted individuals access to certain areas of the home without giving them complete control. For example, a housekeeper may have a sub-master key that allows them to access certain areas of the home, while the homeowner retains control over more sensitive areas.
  • Emergency Access: In the event of an emergency, a master key system can be useful for providing first responders with quick access to necessary areas. For example, a fire department may have a master key that can open all locks in a building, allowing them to quickly access any area that may need attention.

Master key systems can be a useful tool for managing access control in large buildings, businesses, and even homes. By allowing different levels of access, these systems can provide greater flexibility and convenience while still maintaining security. If you’re considering a master key system for your property, it’s important to work with a qualified and experienced locksmith who can help you determine the best options for your specific needs.

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