Choosing the right lock pins
Locksmith pins come available to the aftermarket in a variety of pin sizes, brands, and packaging. Understanding the specifics of these can be a big factor in choosing the most effective and cost efficient lock pins. The tolerances of different locks and manufactured pins necessitate a locksmith to decide on choosing .003 universal pins,.005 universal pins, or brand specific lock pins.
BRAND SPECIFIC LOCK PINS
Brand specific lock pins are manufactured to the exact specifications of that particular brand of lock. For example, if a particular brand of lock had a #1 depth of .143, the brand specific lock pins would reflect the exact same depth of .143 as the #1 lock pin. Each of the manufacturer’s set depths, possibly #1 through #6, would have the exact size in a set of brand specific lock pins.
UNIVERSAL LOCK PINS
Universal pins work quite differently. These are sold in two variations depending on the increments between pin sizes. These are either .005 or .003 increments. A locksmith interested in .003 lock pins could purchase pins .030 and .033 for top/master universal pins and a .300 and .297 bottom pins. Another lock technician may desire to use .005 lock pins. These universal bottom pins may be .195 and .200, sizes unavailable to the .003 set.
There are several drawbacks and benefits to both universal and brand specific pins. Especially when keying Kwikset locks, brand specific pins can be very useful. A few of Kwikset’s depths do not reflect sizes that are close to sizes available in universal lock pin sets. This can cause problems with the smooth operation of a Kwikset lock. Universal lock pins can be useful when keying locks to worn out keys or when there have been modifications to the lock cylinder. The brand specific pins may not be able to compensate for these small variances.