Is There Such a Thing as a Universal Key?

by Team eLocal
Several Keys type such as household and car key

The concept of universal keys is a scary thought for anyone concerned about their home's security. These keys feature heavily in crime fiction, but do they really exist?

Are There Universal Car Keys?

There's no such thing as a universal key that can open any and every car door. However, there are devices known as universal keys that let retailers and individuals duplicate a remote key fob. For example, a customer may wish to create an additional fob to give to another driver.

Universal remote car keys are generic remotes that are compatible with multiple car brands. You can program the remote to open a specific vehicle by connecting it to a smartphone via an app. You'll need access to the vehicle and the existing key fob to program a universal key.

Are There Universal Keys for House Locks?

House locks have a series of levers and pins set to a specific formulation that only accepts a particular key. Therefore, there's no such thing as a universal key that can open any door lock. However, there are master keys that can open multiple locks set to accept them. Usually, these are used in commercial properties.

There's nothing special about a master key that makes it capable of opening multiple doors. Instead, the doors have special locks that can be set to accept two keys: the key for the individual lock and the master version.

What Is a “Bump” Key?

Bump keys have deep ridges that disrupt the locking mechanism when hit with a heavy object, allowing a brief window to turn the key and open the door. Locksmiths sometimes use bump keys to open locks, but there's also a risk that an intruder could use a bump key to access your home. Installing a keyless lock is an effective way to prevent someone from opening your door with a bump key.