In today’s blog we talk about key systems, a more secure way to protect your loved ones and your possessions. We will mention Multi Lock and GMS, but these are not the only key systems.
There is no lock that cannot be defeated. However, there are certain lock technologies that offer a greater level of security than others. In this blog we will confine ourselves to mechanical locks, that is, those in which we use a key to access.
In mechanical locking systems a key is inserted into a lock cylinder. The lock cylinder houses what is known as the keyway. Simply put, we cannot put a square peg into a round hole. This is, simplistically speaking, how a mechanical locking system works.
Key blanks are manufactured by lock companies so that the key will fit precisely into the keyway of the lock(s) manufactured by that company. There are more than 1,000 blank key/keyway combinations. The key blank has a pattern that you see along the shaft of the key, often horizontally cut grooves (see the key blank below). A key cutting machine is used to cut a pattern that looks like a mountain range along the top of the key. Upon insertion of the key into the keyway, this cut moves tiny pins within the lock cylinder. The correctly cut key will allow the keyholder to insert the key into the keyway, move the pins just so, and turn the lock mechanism, thereby gaining access.
Old keys used to look like this—simple to copy. One can easily imagine that the keyway was basic as well. So why would such keys and locks have been used. The answer to this question is important and holds true today. Security is often, not always, about being better protected than others. Thieves want the path of least resistance. If you had one of the keys and locks below, and others did not, you were in pretty good shape.
Now just below, even though the outline of the key is similar, we can see the technical progression in terms of the more precise cuts, and the grooves that are not on the first pair of keys.
Most of us are familiar with the kind of keys pictured below, clearly more technologically sophisticated than the ones above. This key requires the ability to make precise cuts. However, this key is relatively easy to copy and if it ends up in the wrong hands there is no obstacle to creating a copy. If I possess this key, I can simply walk into any locksmith and he will find the right key blank (let’s say the one to the right of the keys), and use a machine that will make an accurate copy of this key. The locksmith cannot, and does not, verify that the key is mine.
A new generation of high tech keys look something like this one from Mul-T-Lock.
As you can see the level of complexity is significant and the ability to duplicate the key given the cuts requires a key cutting machine is expensive, non-standard, and therefore not widely available. You won’t find this machine in Home Depot or Lowes, and in fact you won’t find it in most locksmith shops either. Of course, Karpilow Safe, Lock & Security has it. We offer the full suite of Mul-T-Lock products.
It is important to understand that there are other elements that make Mul-T-Lock amongst the most secure mechanical locking system. As noted above, you need a special machine to cut this key. In addition, to use this machine to duplicate this key you need a code that is unique to this key. This effectively represents a two-factor authentication, a very high standard.
Mul-T-Lock is a key system. It is of the highest quality and priced according to the security it delivers. There are other key systems that are less expensive, do not have the same degree of authentication, but have security that is still a significant step up from a commodity residential mechanical lock and key. For many residential uses this is more than enough.
Karpilow Safe, Lock & Security is pleased to offer GMS quality cylinders and locks. The security in this locking system is provided by limited access to blank keys. As a preferred provider Karpilow Safe, Lock & Security is awarded access to the supply of blank keys that work in GMS cylinders.
We hope this was helpful. Please call or visit. Our mission is to provide peace of mind by offering the most robust security solutions.