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One of the most common questions we get about rekeying Kwikset locks is, 'What's up with the number seven Kwikset bottom pin, or the number seven Kwikset depth?' And that's a great question, and I'm going to do my best to answer it base on my experience and a couple of phone calls. I've tried calling Kwikset technical support, but they couldn't come up with an answer. Still, appreciate their time and service. If you have any additional information, feel free to put them in the notes below.
If you're new into the industry, rekeying Kwikset locks number seven bottom pins are almost standard in the locksmithing kits, but that was not the case back in 2008 and on. We had our big real estate crash during that time, and homes were getting repoed like crazy. Suddenly, companies started getting work orders to go and rekey homes to a Kwikset key with the number 7 in it. And it created all sorts of chaos. Pin manufacturers had a decent rush for .310 pins back then. To my understanding and my belief, that is what popularized the number 7 Kwikset bottom pin.
So up until that point, Kwikset depths 1-6 was what's common. When you get an OEM Kwikset key, you're going to see those same depths on there, 1-6. You're not going to see that number 7.
Something interesting that took me a little while is when I started getting these phone calls from companies, and they need this number 7. Many people were using Weiser bottom pin number eight, so the number 7 Kwikset depth or the pin link is a .310, so a lot of people were using the universal pin, the .310. However, some were using the Kwikset or the Weiser bottom pin number eight, which is a .312, but luckily, the tolerances on the Kwikset locks allow it to work. But after all, the word got out, and everyone got on the same page. Everyone starts using the .310. Shortly after that, you begin to see the number 7 started popping up in kits.
However, I had confirmed that back in 1993, there was a drawing of the number 7 Kwikset bottom pins. So, this is something that I think Kwikset had in their back pocket for years that I believe was used for more significant master keying projects. When you're doing master keying projects, the more depths you have available, the bigger of system you can use, especially if you want to do a more like a two-step system, not a one-step system. The one who came up with those key bittings with sevens is unknown, but suddenly, it became a big deal.
From my perspective, that is why the number 7 Kwikset bottom pin is on the map today. Back from that crisis in 2008 - 2012 when companies started requesting homes be rekeyed to a Kwikset Key with the number 7 bottom pin on it. I tell you what, when I was getting those phone calls, it was crazy. It was quite the deal back in the day; it's now popularized, which is a good thing. And if you are working on master key systems, you want to make sure you're using that number 7 Kwikset bottom pin because it will give you that little extra that's going to make it easier to do a two-step system.
If you want to learn more, watch this video about the history of universal lock pins. Thank you, and we'll see you next time.