The Sargent Degree key system is actually comprised of 3 sub-systems:
- Degree Level 1
- Degree Level 2
- Degree Level 3
Degree Level 1, or DG1, utilizes a patented keyway with conical pins. If you are at all familiar with the Medeco3 BiLevel platform that is essentially what DG1 is.
Degree Level 2, or DG2, utilizes a patented keyway with angled pins that then interface with a sidebar. Furthermore, each key features a “notch” to interface with slider that, again, interfaces with a sidebar. If you are at all familiar with the Medeco3 platform, that is essentially what DG2 is with one exception: there are only 3 labeled pin angles (Left, Center, or Right) and there are no fore/aft positions on the key.
Degree Level 3, or DG3, is DG2 with a UL437 certification.
If you are at all curious of the influence of Medeco designs with the Degree key system, there is a good reason: the cylinders utilize existing Medeco patents (Sargent and Medeco are sister companies under the ASSA ABLOY umbrella).
Sargent sells two pin kits related to the Degree key systems:
- 437 DG1 Standard Pinning Kit
- 437 DGM Master Pinning Kit
The 437 DG1 Standard Pinning Kit services DG1 conventional cylinders and LFICs. The 437 DGM Master Pinning Kit allows you to service DG1, DG2, and DG3 conventional cylinders and LFICs. Replacement pins, springs, and covers are all available through Sargent distribution channels
Large Format Interchangeable Cores (LFICs)
Much like the traditional Sargent 6300 LFIC, Degree LFICs utilize two different stack height values: 10 for non-control chambers (chambers 1, 2, 5, 6) and 13 for control chambers (chambers 3 and 4).
Additionally, DG2 and DG3 key sub-systems must utilize a conical pin in the 6th position of LFICs. Due to the physical size limitations of the Degree LFIC, which is essentially the same form factor as the traditional Sargent 6300, there is not enough material left in the core to mill the indicator slot for angled pins. Do not attempt to force an angled pin into this position as it will eventually cause operational problems. This requirement does not impact keys, specifically what angles or depths to use in the 6th position, or vice versa.
Unlike the previously mentioned Medeco designs/systems, Sargent Degree conventional cylinders do not utilize top pins that match the numeric value of the deepest cut in each respective chamber. For example, in a Medeco Original cylinder with a 4 cut in the 1st chamber, the locksmith must utilize a 4 top pin. With Sargent Degree, the plug total must always equal 10 for conventional cylinders. So, if we have a 4 cut used in the 1st chamber of a Sargent Degree conventional cylinder, our top pin must be 6 (4+6 = 10). In master keyed cylinders and chambers, bottom and master pins (plug total) are added together and subtracted from 10 to determine the top pin. Here is a pinning chart example for a master keyed, Sargent Degree conventional cylinder:
Construction Master Keying
Construction master keying is available for all Degree platforms by using the “lost wafer” design. Similar to a “lost ball” design, a Sargent Degree plugs with the appropriate cylinder option contain a “donut” hole to the left and right of the 3rd chamber. This hole captures a special wafer through typical construction keying change/protocol. As you can see in the illustration below, this design is in place so that only these special wafers can become trapped in the plug.
Sargent Degree cylinders, except hotel function cylinders and LFICs, use the “21 -” option for construction master keying capabilities. LFICs use the “64-DG-” option.
Pinning Chart Tools
We have 4 tools available to assist you with creating pinning charts for Sargent Degree LFICs:
First, we have Sargent’s Degree Key System Technical Manual.
Second, we have two Sargent Degree pinning worksheets on our Pinning and Decoding Worksheets page. One is for 6300/LFICs and the other is for conventional cylinders..
Finally, we have 2 key bitting specifications; one for the DG1 sub-system and one for the DG2/DG3 sub-system.