Restricted key systems, also known as master key systems, are perhaps the product our commercial clients  most request. This week, we discuss what restricted key systems are and why they might be the right choice for your business.

A master key system

A master key system allows certain individuals to unlock certain doors in your business but not necessarily all. For example, imagine you run a cafe. You may wish for the openers and closers of your cafe to have access keys to the front and side door but not the manager’s office. You may have a public restroom which requires a key. Owners, managers and cleaners may need access to all of these rooms but do not want to carry around four different keys. A master key system would allow for your singular owner’s or cleaner’s key to open all locks, your staff’s singular keys to be able to open only the front and back door and the restroom, and the restroom key to only open the lavatory.



A restricted key system

This type of system is called restricted because keys can only be copied by the locksmith who made them. The keys contain special blanks, designed by the locksmith who made them, preventing forgery. If a new key to the system is to be made or copied, the locksmith must first have the business owner’s authorisation.


Digital Alternative

An alternative is to ditch keys altogether and go electronic. The Lockwood 001Touch Keyless Digital Deadbolt, on which we have written previously, has a similar design. For it, 20 codes or key cards can be programmed, or a code can be used. Different people can be assigned different codes, with restrictions on time (say for three months, or one week) and on locks (this code will open the front door lock but not the back).


Keying Alike

Restricted key systems are different to keying alike. Keying alike is where different locks are adjusted to be openable by the same key. If you were to key alike your business, then the front and back doors could have the one key, the lavatory a separate key and the manager’s office a third. Staff then hold duplicate keys.

At Amalgamated Locksmiths, of course we can do this, but it does not solve the problem of having too many keys. Depending on your requirements, keying alike may work perfectly for your home or business.


A master key system allows for a hierarchy of keys. Locks are about controlling access. A restricted or master key system lets business owners do just this.  By grouping your employees by access requirements, your master key system allows greater accountability – you know who has access to what.

Amalgamated Locksmiths are Melbourne’s go-to commercial locksmiths. All of our products are in line with state and federal laws and comply with industry regulation as established by the Master Locksmiths Association of Australia. For more information about commercial security, our products and services or for a free on-site quote, please contact us today.