High Security Locks, Abloy vs Mul-T-Lock vs Medeco

Our company supplies and installs Abloy locks that are high security with restricted keys. Abloy Protec2 locks are our favorite choice out of the current known set of high security lock options including Medeco, Mul-T-Lock. We have made this choice because of the research and our experience as described below.

There are two reasons our customers need high security locks.
1) Restricted Keyway. They want to keep those who have the key from making unauthorized copies. All the three brands listed above have physically and procedural restricted key copying. Generally when a customer has a restricted key, they need to go back to the locksmith who supplied that key and lock system to make a copy. Other locksmiths cannot make a copy they don't have the key copying equipment or access the original key blanks of that brand of lock which are physically different and wont fit into another locksmith's restricted keyway. In addition to finding the locksmith who originated that key, you also have to show proof that you are allowed to copy the key via a registration card or other signed documentation. How do you find the originating locksmith? It should be stamped or marked on your high security key.
2) They have important stuff to protect. So it's important the lock has no weaknesses against surreptitious and unauthorized entry. They shouldn't be able to be picked open or bypassed even by locksmiths, and they should take forever to get through even via forceful destruction.

Mul-T-Lock Issues:
1) Patent expired. The patent for Mul-T-Lock Interactive expired 2013 [1]. That means that it can be legal to make equipment to copy keys and copy keys, though third party solutions might not be readily available at the time of writing to the general public.
3) Wear and tear. We have experienced a few calls in the field involving keys to these locks wearing out and not being able to smoothly open the locks or not at all. Often the key is hard to push in because the pins are worn and the key has difficulty ramping up.
4) Springs. This lock uses pin-tumbler design (though a neat inner and outer set) that has springs. Springs wear out.
5) Limited master key range. Because it's pin tumbler design, the master key combinations are limited to the length of its pins.

Medeco Issues: (note at the time of writing, our company supplies and installs Medeco brand M3 locks)
1) Locks can be opened via photo of the keys and special work around [2]
2) Keys can sometimes break, especially when the keys are cut deeply. We have a few customers who need to order more Medeco keys once a while as theirs snap at points on the cut that are deep.
3) Patent expires soon. The latest M3 Medeco expires 2021. http://lockwiki.com/index.php/Key_patent_expiration_dates
4) Springs. This lock uses pin-tumbler design (though near angled pins) that has springs. Springs wear out. Also some of our customers who have had their Medeco locks after about 10 years need the locks rekeyed due to simply wear on the key and pins, they grind down slight enough for the cylinder to not be as exact to as it was originally.
5) Limited master key range. Because it's pin tumbler design, the master key combinations are limited to the length of its pins.
6) Keys can be theoretically 3D printed
7) Research has shown that certain models can be bumped open, given the correct setup of bump key.

Abloy Issues:
1) The core of Abloy locks might be able to be punched through when not installed into the lock housing. Wayne Winton of TriCounty Locksmiths has suggested this it be a non-issue when the core is installed into a lock housing. We believe this to be the case for mortise and key-in-knob housing where there is something behind the core.
2) because it is disc detainer design and not a pin-tumbler design that more people are used to, on certain installations such on store front mortise deadbolts, it does require an extra quarter turn on the rotation that is slightly different feel than traditional designs; though in our experience, untrained customers haven't mentioned that to be an obstacle in using it daily

In conclusion we like the Alboy Protec2.
It's from Finland.
European stuff is fancy to us Canadians.
It's cost effective (on par with the other brands). It's patent protection goes until 2031 [4]. They look great and are shiny and are heavy. Heavy is good when buying locks. Light weight is not. The key is slim and fits well in your pocket. The tip of the key is centered and has lots of metal to avoid breakage. It has the largest master key combination range of the different brands. The key goes in not too deeply and slips in easily and is easy to turn. There are no pins and springs in its design and should be good to go for long term use without maintenance. There is no known way to pick open these locks as they provide no false sets. By design, bumping is not a method that applies to these locks as there are no pins or springs. There's even a small floating ball on each of your Abloy Protec2 keys that makes it tough to make a 3D copy of using 3D printers; the only key design that his this little floating ball in the industry that we know of. The core technology has been around for a while and has been tried and tested.
In our province, Abloy Protec locks are the standard for AHS in our hospitals. Also Canada Post uses them to protect our postal system.

Interesting facts for conspiracy theorists:
Medeco is owned by the ASSA ABLOY Group, which also owns Abloy and many other lock manufacturers.
Mul-T-Lock is fully owned by ASSA ABLOY Group
Abloy is owned by....suprise! ASSA ABLOY Group and many other lock manufacturers.

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