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Terminology when designing a suited lock system

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What is the difference between a 'differ' and a 'submaster' when it comes to designing a suite of locks for, say, a school?


Is one advantageous to the other?


Is one riskier than the other if a key was lost?


I thought I understood all this until someone at the wholesaler rocked the boat! I'm glad they did because it looks like I don't know what I thought I did...

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Master suites usually follow this pattern.



Sub master


Grand master

Great grand master.


You need to break them down.


It's like a family tree you start with the master at the top

Then you can have say sub suites a,b,c which have differs 1-4


So master fits all

Sub master a fits all in group a (same for b and c)

Differ a1 fits a1 only. Next differ is a2 and so on.

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like this




Drat. That's what I thought. The wholesaler was talking about something else. About a risk where if a differ key was lost all the cylinders would have to be changed but whereas if a submaster was lost that would not be the case.


Think I'll need to give him a ring...

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