If you have been following our articles, here at Lock Judge, we have recently covered Master keys and Skeleton keys in this series.
Next up, we have keyed alike locks.
What is a keyed-alike lock? A keyed alike lock means the lock is in a group of other locks that can be opened by the same single key.
What Does Keyed Alike Mean?
Keyed alike means a single key will be able to open a set of locks as they are pinned identically.
Looking at the internals of a keyed alike lock we can answer that question. Upon gutting the lock we need to inspect the pinning between two (2) keyed alike locks.
Comparing the key and driver pins, we can compare the pinning of the two (2) locks.
The pinning in the locks will match up with the biting of that single key. As we explained in our previous article on “How to Pick a Lock”, the same key will push the pins to the shear line thus allowing us to open the lock.
So is it a Master key?
No, but a keyed-alike lock could follow under a Master key system. Just a reminder, a master key system is a tiered triangle-like structure of the different master key levels of a security system.
The bottom of a master key system contains locks that may also be opened by a unique key, as well as the Master key.
With keyed alike locks, one key can open each of them.
Imagine a house.
By having the front and back doors keyed alike, the same key would be able to open each.
If there was a shed requiring its own unique key, but there existed a Master key it could be possible to have the Master key open the front and back down of the house along with the lock to the shed.
Keyed Alike vs Keyed Different, What’s the difference?
Locks that are keyed alike can all be opened by the same key. Locks that are keyed different will require different keys to open each lock.
It is as simple as that.
Keyed Alike Door Locks
Ideally, you would want keyed alike door locks in your home. You could access all the doors with a single key instead of having a number of different keys for all the different doors of your home.
Kwikset makes a SmartKey with a reliable deadbolt. The SmartKey technology allows you to rekey the lock easily.
The Kwikset SmartKey has a 981 deadbolt ANSI Grade 1 security rating to boot.
If you are looking at something different, this next lock is something odd but still has some great applications.
For higher security options in the door deadbolt space, we recommend these two locks by Mul-T-Lock. They are rated highly for their security features as well as their deadbolt strength.
Kwikset Smart Key
EASILOK Keyless Twist Deadbolt
MUL-T-LOCK Interactive+ B60N High-Security Deadbolt
Keyed Alike Padlocks (Padlock Sets)
Keyed alike padlocks are also locks that can be opened by the same single key. This can also be known as a padlock set. So if you see a set of 6 padlocks this means that they all have the same key.
These Schlage padlocks would be great for outdoor use. They are heavy duty and provide great security features in their pick resistance as they are full of security pins. They are a great value option.
For cheaper and in low-security situations, these Abus 64TI/40 locks are a good option.
You could also have a keyed alike padlock and door lock.
This would recommend a locksmith, but it is a possibility.
SCHLAGE Round Padlock Set
ABUS 64TI/40 Titalium Padlock Set
There are a number of choices available for keyed alike systems for purchase. These locks can be bought at your local locksmith or bought online.
When purchasing from a locksmith, they can make a new key for a set of new locks. Working with a locksmith also gives you the ability to add a lock that can be keyed to an existing key.
The rule is, that you will have to match the brands. A Kwikset will only work with a Kwikset and a Schlage will only work with a Schlage.
It is important to understand that keyed alike locks may appear different, but their pinnings are identical, thus allowing for the same key to be used in the different “locks”.
It is the cores and keys of the locks that match one another.
As a lock picker, the pinning sequence may and likely will be different between the keyed alike locks, as the mechanical boring of the chambers is what will determine the pinning sequence.