Ilco Peaks Plus: A Closer Look

Jan. 2, 2023
The newest version of the company’s longstanding Peaks high-security keyway isn’t a radical change.

Late in 2022, Kaba Ilco released the latest iteration of its venerable Peaks high-security key system. The new version, Peaks Plus, is patent-protected to 2042. Although it keeps many of the same features as the Peaks Preferred program, it has a few noteworthy changes, so let’s discuss what’s different and what’s the same with Peaks Plus.

Plus the Change

In continuing with the Peaks tradition, Peaks Plus keys and cylinders rely primarily on conditions around the “peak” on the key close to the key bow.

Peaks Plus has a new two-piece mechanism that replaces the Peaks Preferred Patented Bottom Pin. The two-piece pin mechanism comes installed from the factory, and in some models of uncombinated cylinders, it will be held in place by an insert in the pinhole that’s over the top of this mechanism. This ensures that the two-piece pin stays in place and isn’t displaced during transit. This new system has passed well over 40,000 cycles in testing for different cylinder models.

There’s a new key bow shape; however Peaks Plus still incorporates tip and shoulder stops on the blank for pinpoint accuracy in keying small-format interchangeable core (SFIC) or other Peaks Plus cylinder models. Peaks Plus keys are rearward-compatible with Preferred and Peaks Classic, which means the new key will operate both earlier generations of Peaks, but older generation keys won’t operate new Peaks Plus cylinders.

From a business standpoint, there’s new nomenclature for ordering. Peaks Plus is the 9400 series; Preferred is 8400, and pins also have different model numbers, among other changes. Peaks Plus contracts also have been revised and are available for locksmith dealers and end users. Key-cutting authority can be controlled by an end user who has a locksmith on hand, by a locksmith dealer exclusively or by a locksmith dealer on behalf of an end user.

Plus the Same

As with Classic and Preferred, Peaks Plus is available in many different models to fit almost all popular hardware. In many applications beyond what’s available, new cylinders can be manufactured at the factory to fit specialized hardware demands, and any Plus keyway can be manufactured across all models to be operated by one key.

Bitting and keying remain unchanged from the Preferred program since 2017 when new upgrades and updates were implemented in Preferred. No special key machine or cutting requirements have been added to the Plus program. The required pins applicable to each model (either six or seven pins) for keying is in the “Peaks Plus Price List.”

In Plus, SFICs will continue to be available in .150 and .140 pin hole spacings, but only the .140 spacing is used when including multiple cylinder models on one keyway or master-key system. Most accessories used for mortise, rim and key-in-knob (KIK) cylinders are the same as those that are used all over North America for Ilco brass replacement cylinders.

Other than the naming changes, the ordering process is the same as with Preferred, with the same two finishes available: satin brass or satin chrome. Keying options remain: keyed alike, keyed alike in pairs and fours, keyed different, master keying, grandmaster keying and construction master keying. Master keying and grandmaster keying options can be keyed alike or different.

For more information, go to

Mike Phillips is the Peaks Plus team leader for Kaba Ilco Corp.