Advantages and Disadvantages of Using the Same Key for All Locks

Using The Same Key for All Doors
The keyed door knob is among the most common type of door lock that is still used for home and business security purposes to this day. And while these locks are inexpensive, easy to install and effective (at least to a certain extent), they also have their fair share of disadvantages as well. Many home and business owners have more than one entrance to their residence or establishment and therefore need more than one keyed lock on their property. And for the sake of convenience, many of these individuals elect to use the same key for all locks within their facility rather than separate keys for their various locks. While this is seemingly practical, there are some notable pros and cons to consider before doing so. In this post, we’ll examine the pros and cons, as well as some alternatives to the keyed door lock.


The biggest convenience in using one key for all of your home or office’s door locks is none other than convenience. It’s convenient in that you’re not thumbing through your key ring trying to figure out which key goes to what door, something that can be frustrating – especially when you don’t use every key each day and have a tendency to forget which key goes to what door. Other advantages include:

More comfortable: Keys in the front pocket aren’t exactly the most comfortable feeling, being that they can scrape against your leg or perhaps even damage your trousers. And a wad of keys in a purse can weigh it down to the point where it’s uncomfortable to carry. Hence, lesser keys generally equal greater comfort.

Easier to combat weather-related lock issues: Is the lock on your front door completely frozen because of the weather? To access it would require thawing it, which can be done fairly easily, but can be time-consuming. With just one key able to access all doors, a frozen lock is no longer a time-consuming inconvenience – you can just go around to another door to enter the property


The biggest disadvantage of using one key for all of the door locks to your home or business is that if this one key falls into the wrong hands, the potential for a lot more harm is there. Think of it in terms of using the same password to access your online bank account, credit cards, Facebook profile, mortgage account, etc. – if that password gets hacked, you have a lot more to lose than if you switch up your password for each online account. With a key, a potential wrongdoer is able to access your front door, your back door, any locked room doors, possibly your safe or safe deposit box, maybe even your outdoor shed. In a business, just one key may permit a crook access to your office, filing cabinets, server rooms and more.

Though it may be convenient to only have one key for all door locks, your risk goes up significantly. Some other disadvantages include:
Lost key inconvenience: If you lose your key, you’re not just unable to access one door of your home or office – but all of them. Conversely, if you have different keys for each door of your home or business – or a keyless lock system (more on that later) – then things are likely to be much more manageable in the unfortunate situation that you lose your key.
Easy to pick: This disadvantage doesn’t have as much to do with a single key for all locks as it does regarding the keyed lock itself – and that disadvantage is that these locks are generally very easy to pick. So to a certain extent, a would-be thief wouldn’t even need a key to access a door outfitted with a keyed lock if they know what they’re doing.

Go Keyless

If you just dislike the idea of using keys to access your property – whether it’s a single universal key or several different keys – keep in mind that there are several keyless lock options that you can purchase and equip your home or business with. Two of the most popular are electronic locks and smart locks. Electronic locks open via an entry code that users will have to input into the keypad in order to gain access. Users can set multiple codes for different people and add or subtract codes whenever they wish.

The other popular keyless option is a smart lock. Smart locks are kind of like a more advanced version of electronic locks. They can be controlled and managed from a smartphone via an integrated app and can allow users to grant customized access to guests. What’s more is that smart locks can even alert users as to when a particular individual has accessed their property, which is a helpful feature if guests, contractors or friends and family members need to stop by at any point during the day.

Both electronic locks and smart locks are more expensive than the conventional keyed door knob, but they also allow users to have more control over their homes or businesses. Plus, users won’t have to worry about carrying around any keys.

For more information on the pros and cons of keyed locks, whether you should have a universal key or several keys to different locks and for additional information on electronic locks and smart locks, contact Great Valley Lockshop today by calling 610-644-5334.

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