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Maximum Adjacent Cut Specification

The Maximum Adjacent Cut Specification (or MACS) of a lock is the maximum variance of component sizes between two adjacent components. This term is primarily used in pin-tumbler and wafer locks to define restrictions on the number of real key differs to ensure the proper operation of the lock. Failure to abide by the MACS can make keys difficult to insert or remove from a lock, potentially even causing back cutting.

Calculating MACS

See also: Differs (Including MACS Restrictions)

The MACS of given keying system is calculated based on the design parameters of the key and component sizes, particularly the number of components, their spacing, and how many total depths are available. The formula for calculating MACs is:

MACS = ([pin spacing]-[cut root])/([depth increment](tan([cut angle]/2)))[1]


  1. PULFORD, Graham (2007). High Security Mechanical Locks: An Encyclopedic Reference. ISBN 0750684372.

See also

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