How SECURE is your nice new house?

If you bought your house from the builder and have not yet had it professionally re-keyed by a locksmith 
chances are that your house is not as secure as you think

Call Locksmith Charley at 602-230-8888 today for more information and to make an appointment to professionally re-key your house.

Most subdivision construction is done by one developer / builder. In order to ensure easy access for their carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc. All of these workers have what is called a BUILDER’S KEY or CONSTRUCTION KEY. The locks are usually ordered in sets for each house and usually specified so that each house has a different key and the BUILDER’S KEY will open all of the houses. The locks are made so that the first use of the home owner’s key will lock out the BUILDER’S KEY, BUT, what they may not tell you is that the lock is still stuffed with master pins. The builder may also have specified that the locks be delivered with a master key that will work after the builder's key is locked out.    

The significance of master pins is the large increase in the number of keys that will operate a cylinder containing master pins. 

If you put 1 master pin in one chamber it creates 2 shear lines in that chamber thus 2 keys would operate that cylinder. 
When you put 1 master pin in each of the 5 chambers then 32 (25) different keys will operate the cylinder. 


What does "construction keying" mean?
Construction keying means that the locks are pinned up in such a manner as to allow a "construction key" or "builder key" to be issued to every carpenter, electrician, plumber, etc. that will function to permit entry into a premises during the construction phase but will be subsequently locked out by use of the occupant's key after change of possession.  

Kwikset's documentation shows how a protecto-keyed® lock is pinned up. The first diagram is a picture of the diagram in their book. The 2nd picture, modified by Charley, shows the addition of a master pin creating yet another (3rd) shear line in the pin stack in question.


If the locks are pinned up with one master pin in each chamber + protecto-key balls in one chamber that makes the total number of keys able to open that lock 64. Once the protecto-key balls are raised above the shear line into the upper chamber of the lock the spring will force them into a small hole milled into the side of the plug where they will reside, doing nothing, until they are physically removed.  




What does this mean to the homeowner?

Quite simply that anyone with a small level of knowledge about locks can very quickly & easily, with one lock and one house key, determine the cuts of a key (not the locked out builder’s key) that will act as a master key that will likely open not only YOUR home, but also some or all of the houses in the subdivision.

The ONLY way to ensure the security that your family deserves is to have your house re-keyed to a new key and have all of the master pins removed from your locks OR replace your locks or cylinders with HIGH SECURITY locks or cylinders.

If you contract with our company to re-key your locks we will take the added step of replacing some of the “top pins” with special “spool pins” or “mushroom pins” that will serve to make your locks considerably more resistant to anyone attempting to enter your house by picking the locks. Below are diagrams of a regular top pin and an anti-pick "spool" pin. These pictures were taken from a Kwikset® pinning kit. 


You may also want to consider replacing your locks with HIGH SECURITY locks such as ASSA® or Schlage PRIMUS®. They’re a little more pricey, but you have exclusive key control and it is virtually impossible to pick them. If you would like more information about high security locks, please see:

This information is being presented as a public service by

Locksmith Charley 602-230-8888

Member of Associated Locksmiths of America


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