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The difference between restricted & non-restricted keys

20th July 2021

You may have been in a position before where you wish to copy a set of keys only to find out the keys cannot be duplicated. What does this mean? Can the keys never be duplicated? Why are these keys like this? There may be many questions running through your head. In this blog we hope to answer all raised questions as we explain the difference between restricted v's non restricted keys. 

Restricted keys

So, let’s start with restricted keys, in our example above if you wish to copy a key and it can’t be duplicated it’s likely because the key is restricted. These types of keys are high security keys and often require permission before they can be copied.  These keys are much harder to duplicate and typically require a locksmith professional to ensure the duplication is carried out correctly. Also, as a locksmith I would also need to check if there are any rules surrounding the keys, if so, I’d adhere to these. Sometimes manufacturers put patents and other rules in place to protect the keys which require approval before duplicating.

Non-restricted keys

Sometimes called common or standard keys, non-restricted keys are typically the standard keys we all use. These keys differ from restricted keys as they can be copied freely at any time and require no prior authority or permission. Keys can easily be duplicated in a matter of minutes, perfect if you’ve lost your keys and quickly need access to a property. There are pros and cons to both however non restricted keys tend to be cheaper and are much more preferable if there ever is an emergency. The disadvantages of the keys being widely available is that keys can easily be copied without proper authorisation. 

Benefits of restricted keys

Now we know what a restricted key is let’s have a look at the benefits of using them. The major benefit is of course greater security; fewer people have access to entry points and copies can only be issued to individuals that have been given authority. These types of keys also allow you to maintain a record of the number of copies issued ideal for landlords. Another great feature of these keys is their unique design and shape making them extremely difficult to pick. Due to their complex and patented design it means no one else can manufacture them. For business owners this is great as this ensures spare keys aren’t being made without their permission.

Do you require better security?

If you’re a commercial organisation or manage multiple properties investing in restricted keys can provide you with maximum protection. When it comes to securing your business, you don’t want to take any chances. We’ve got more than 25 years’ experience designing, maintaining and installing restricted key systems for many businesses. To discuss restricted keys with a locksmith professional give us a call on 01302 378067.

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