I was looking at a spacing and depth chart and they listed a MACS of 4.  What is this?  How does it effect simple key cutting?

Hello Greg,

A MACS is Maximum Adjacent Cut Specification.

This means that key cuts can't exceed the number shown when the cuts are next to each other.

Example - in your MACS 4 you can't have cuts that are 39743.
This is because a 3 to 9 is 6 difference.  The reason that's an issue is because the actual depth of those cuts are so great - deep valleys and high peaks - that the key would either not go in, not come out or would eventually cause a major issue with the lock working.

Most brands of locks have a MACS of 5 or 6.  If you have one with 4 that tells me that there aren't many depths available for that lock or that there's another issue with the design.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

I have a diploma in Masterkeying, Advanced Locksmithing & Locksmithing from Foley-Belsaw.

Past/Present Clients
US government, colleges, schools, city and state governments, large and small corporations, home owners.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.