Lever/Safe Deposit Key Bitting Specifications Added

5 lever/safe deposit key bitting specifications are now available on the Key Bitting Specifications page in the Tools section. The first 5 key bitting specifications are for Sargent & Greenleaf. They are as follows:

  • 41XX Series
  • 4231 Guard
  • 4231 Renter
  • 44XX Guard
  • 44XX Renter

The new key bitting specifications for lever/safe deposit keys contains information for:

  • Key Origination
  • Spacing
  • Cut Width
  • Root Depth
  • Blanks

As always, there is a “Notes” box to relay any other pertinent, related information.
In the coming weeks, we plan to launch more lever/safe deposit key bitting specifications. We are putting the final touches on key bitting specifications for Diebold, Mosler, and more from S&G.

Tools Update: New Key Bitting Specifications and Pinning Worksheets

New Key Bitting Specifications

There are 5 new key bitting specifications (KBS) available on the Key Bitting Specifications page in the Tools section:

  • Chicago Disc Tumbler
  • Corbin Russwin Access 3 (AP)
  • Master Lock Pro Series
  • National Disc Tumbler (Single Sided)
  • Sargent Degree (DG1)

The Chicago and National Disc Tumbler represent two of the most popular specifications in use for wafer/cam locks. The Master Lock Pro Series is an equally popular specification for padlocks. Finally, we have the Corbin Russwin Access 3 (AP) and Sargent Degree (DG1) specifications. These are two very unique cylinder/key platforms.

New Pinning Worksheets

There are also 2 new pinning worksheets available on the Pinning Worksheets page, also in the Tools section:

  • Sargent 6300 Decoding Worksheet
  • Sargent 6300 Pinning Worksheet

The Sargent 6300 Decoding Worksheet is an updated version of our original 6300 Decoding Worksheet. We have made a few changes to it that we think will allow locksmiths to further streamline it’s use. The Sargent 6300 Pinning Worksheet will allow locksmiths to draft pinning charts for these cores in seconds. Both worksheets contain pinning rules and formulas as well as pin segment lengths and measurements.

Schlage Wafer Lock Key Bitting Specification

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Walter Schlage patented his unique wafer lock system in 1927 (Patent No. 1,691,529).  At the time the design was quite innovative. It was one of the first locks suitable for permanent mounting in a door that was constructed entirely from stamped metal parts, it was of the first commercially successful examples of the now common cylindrical bore format of locks, and coincidentally was remarkably resistant to weather and debris. Schlage’s company would continue to make improvements on the design for the next four decades before finally ceasing production sometime after 1960.While these locks are now considered to offer very little in the way of security they have hung on long enough to be considered important for maintaining the historic aesthetic of buildings from the 1930s through the 1960s.
After extensive research, we have compiled the following key bitting specification for the Schlage wafer:
Schlage Wafer Key Bitting Specification
For more information on the Schlage wafer lock, see the following:

How Key Bitting Specifications Work

If you haven’t already, take a moment to stop by our Key Bitting Specifications page in the Tools section. For those new to locksmithing or for those that might not understand some of the abbreviations or information listed, I’m going to take a moment to cover each item by using one of the most popular keying systems in the United States: Schlage Classic.
Throughout this article I’m going to reference information as it’s organized in our key bitting specifications. Yes, we organize information in an arbitrary manner (one we think is the most conducive), but the information we include is the same information manufacturer’s use as well; that’s where we draw our information from, after all. Also, I’m not going to focus on items like key origination options or notes – that’s self-explanatory. Finally, I’m going to define terms using The LIST Council’s Professional Locksmith Dictionary. With that said, let’s cover the information left to right, top to bottom.

Schlage Classic key bitting specification.


What’s in a Key Bitting Specification?

Not all manufacturers list the same amount of information in each of their key bitting specifications. Some manufacturers choose to share more information than others. At the very least, we’ve found that spacing and root depth information is listed by all manufacturers. Schlage, on the other hand, leaves nothing to guess work; they list just about every relevant detail necessary for generating or decoding keys and/or pins of their keying systems. Regardless of availability, all manufacturer’s key bitting specifications include the following information:
MACS, or maximum adjacent cut specification, is the maximum allowable difference between adjacent cut depths. MACS essentially tells you which cuts are allowed to be next to each other. If your MACS is 7, for example, a 2 cut can be right next to a 9 cut because when subtracting their difference, 9-2=7, it is at or below the MACS of 7. If the adjacent cuts were 1 and 9, however, their difference would be 8, which would violate MACS and therefore would not possible. In the Schlage Classic keying system, the MACS is 7.
Increment is the distance between different, successive depths. If you look at the Root Depths, or the dimension from the bottom of a cut on a key to the bottom of the blade, you’ll notice that the measurements of different, successive depths increase or decrease, depending on the order in which you read it, by .015″. This .015″ difference is the increment for Schlage Classic.
Progression is defined as a logical sequence of selecting possible key bittings, usually in numerical order from the key bitting array. That might not make sense in our context but allow me to explain. Progression relates to master keying and can be represented as either “Single Step” or “Two Step”. Differences between cuts in progressed keys can either be 1 increment (Single Step) or 2 increments (Two Step), depending on the size of the increment. Due to tolerances and the potential for key interchange and even cylinder failure, progression must match the manufacturer’s specifications. For all intents and purposes, if the increment size is less than .023″ then it is considered a two step progression, if it is more than .023″ then it is considered single step progression. Using Schlage Classic, which is a two step progression, we cannot have a difference between cuts of 1 increment in the same chamber of a master keyed cylinder or the aforementioned risk of key interchange and cylinder failure will exist. Therefore, we must have two step, or 2 increment, progression for Schlage Classic.
E.P.D., or effective plug diameter, is the dimension obtained by adding the root depth of a key cut to the length of its corresponding bottom pin which establishes a perfect shear line. E.P.D. will not necessarily be the same as the actual plug diameter.
Included Angle is a measurement from one sloping surface of a cut to the opposite surface, typically stated in degrees. If you look at the geometry of key cuts you’ll see that they look very much like a valley. Each side of the valley is what the definition refers to as a “sloping surface”. The measurement between each sloping surface is our included angle. For Schlage Classic the included angle is 100 degrees.
Root Cut, not to be confused with the cut root, refers to the measurement of the bottom of the individual cut itself. It is also sometime referred to as cut flat. Key cuts may have different cut root shapes, or the shape of the bottom of the key cut (either flat or radium or even a perfect “V”), but the bottom of the cut will always have a measurable distance. In our example, the measurement of the bottom a cut in Schlage’s Classic key bitting specification is .031″.
Spacing is can refer to two things. First, T.F.C., or To First Cut, refers to the distance between the shoulder or tip, depending on if it’s tip-to-bow or bow-to-tip, to the center of key’s first cut. B.C.C., or Between Cut Centers, is the distance between the centers of adjacent cuts. If you have a LAB Universal Pin Kit both values can be found in each manufacturer’s box. In each case, we have the full spacing information for all key bitting specifications. That includes the T.F.C. measurement, the B.C.C. measurement, and each respective available spacing measurement possible.
Finally, we include all pin segments available for a respective key bitting specification. In the case of Schlage Classic that includes bottom, master, and top pins. In other examples, such as Corbin X Class (System 70), we include bottom and master pins for both available plug diameters as well as interchangeable core top pins and build-up pins. Whatever is available for a respective key bitting specification we include, and with the manufacturer’s verbiage.

How do we use a Key Bitting Specification?

As we say on the Key Bitting Specification page, you’re only limited by your imagination with ways to utilize and “translate” the information from key bitting specifications. The following tasks can be completed, or greatly assisted, with an accurate key bitting specification:

  • Key Generation
  • Key Decoding
  • Determining Keying Systems
  • Determining Applicable Blanks
  • Cylinder Pinning
  • Cylinder Decoding
  • Master Key and Master Key System Design
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