You’ve probably heard of the term keyed-alike locks before. But do you know exactly what it means or how it works? In this article, we’ll discuss what they are, how they’re different from regular locks, and some questions that you may have about them.
Keyed-Different vs Keyed-Alike Locks
Let’s get the simplest one out of the way. Probably the most common type of lock, keyed-different locks have keys that open only one lock. The idea is that the key that you have can only open one specific lock and nothing else. This is what comes to mind for most people when locks are brought up.
Keyed-alike locks, on the other hand, are a system of locks that operate using the same key. Simply put, one key fits all locks that are keyed-alike.
Advantages of Keyed-Alike Locks
There are numerous advantages to having a system of keyed-alike locks in your home. The most obvious one being convenience. When you can open multiple locks with the same key, you won’t have to carry sets of keys around the lock or building. It also saves you money as you would only need to buy or cut one key even if you have a lot of locks installed. Finally, related to the previous one is that if you lose or break your keys, you will need to get only one replacement key.
Despite these advantages, some are concerned that keying alike your locks and doors may reduce the security of your homes. However, this is simply not true. The technology used for locks used in this system are no different from regular locks. They’re just set so that the same key could work on more than one of them. Keying alike your locks does not make it easier for people with malicious intent to pick open your doors. If you take your security seriously and never misplace your key for anyone to take, these locks are just as effective as keeping people out of your property.
What Type of Locks Can Be Keyed-Alike?
The following types of keys can be keyed-alike:
- Euro Cylinder locks
- Mortice locks
- Sash locks
- Night latches
- Indoor house locks
- Padlocks—yes, even padlocks can get keyed alike
However, if you plan on getting the locks in your house keyed alike, you have to make sure that they all come from the same manufacturer. A Yale key won’t fit into a Schlage product, for example. So if your locks are different, then they will have to be changed so that you can use the same key for all of them.
Should I Get My Locks Keyed Alike?
If you wish to get the aforementioned benefits of getting your locks keyed alike, by all means, have a go at it. But it’s especially important to consider this option when you find yourself in the following situations:
You just moved into a new house.
When moving into a new house, it’s generally considered good practice to change all the locks around the property. This ensures that owners or tenants who previously lived there do not have access even if they had the old keys. At this point, you might as well opt to change into keyed-alike locks.
You have lost your keys.
A good locksmith will always recommend having your house locks changed if you ever lose or misplace your key. This is to protect against someone malicious who has stolen your keys or has found them by chance. In this case, you may want to go for keyed-alike locks. It has the added benefit of only needing to keep track of one key so that the chances of losing them in the future are smaller.
You want to upgrade your existing locks
Much like the previous ones, upgrading your existing locks is a good time to decide to go with a keyed-alike system. You can upgrade multiple locks to British standard and choose to have them all keyed alike.
How Can I Key Alike My Locks?
One thing you can do is to go to your hardware store and pick up keyed-alike locks. Some manufacturers sell sets of these locks which are already keyed-alike so you don’t have to worry about getting them re-keyed yourself. There are also online stores that give you the option to rekey the locks that you’ll order from them so that they’ll be keyed-alike when you receive them.
Alternatively, if your hardware store doesn’t already sell a set of these locks, you can just pick up different ones. However, make sure that they all come from the same manufacturer so that the same key could fit in all of them. Then, just ask your hardware supplier or local locksmith to rekey the locks for you.
If you’re looking for a local locksmith, we got you covered. We have listings of locksmiths all over the United Kingdom and Ireland. Simply visit our directory and look for locksmiths near you.