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Old 04-06-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
ceejengine
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Default Pin lock vs. ball lock kegs

I tried searching through the forums, but didn't have much luck (or just didn't hit on the right search terms)- so if this has already been discussed ad nauseum, my apologies!

I'm getting ready to convert my Sankey kegerator to one using Corney kegs, and have been researching what I would need. What I haven't been able to figure out is if there's a difference between going pin or ball lock. I know I need different fittings for the kegs themselves, but are there any advantages/disadvantages to going one route or another?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 04-06-2011, 04:58 PM   #2
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It has more to do with which kegs you'll get and continue to get moving forward. All new corny kegs are ball lock. IF you have some pin lock kegs on hand, then you might want to try and get some more. But, if you're going from none, probably better off going ball lock.

It all has to do with how the connections are made/secured to the kegs themselves. Also, you'll need a special socket to take the pin lock keg posts off, where the ball lock kegs use a standard socket (12 point either 11/16" or 7/8").

Personally, when I get into kegging, I'll be going all ball lock. For one thing, I don't think you can find 3 gallon pin lock kegs. That will be the size I use a lot. I'd rather have a single type of connections for the kegs, and not need to worry about either swapping them out, or allocating specific taps for either keg fitting style...

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Old 04-06-2011, 05:02 PM   #3
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The kegs are different sizes, so if you have a space issue that might cause you to go with one over the other. I had a mix and finally sold off the pins as I didn't want to have both kinds. I like the way the pin QD engages on the post, but I did not like not having the pressure relief on the lid.

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Old 04-06-2011, 05:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
The kegs are different sizes, so if you have a space issue that might cause you to go with one over the other. I had a mix and finally sold off the pins as I didn't want to have both kinds. I like the way the pin QD engages on the post, but I did not like not having the pressure relief on the lid.
This.

Pinlocks are slightly shorter and noticeably fatter.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
The kegs are different sizes, so if you have a space issue that might cause you to go with one over the other. I had a mix and finally sold off the pins as I didn't want to have both kinds. I like the way the pin QD engages on the post, but I did not like not having the pressure relief on the lid.
Some pin-lock do have a pressure relief on the lid. I have one, but it doesn't have the manual release that the ball-lock ones do.

I also got the threaded fittings instead of the barbed ones, so my lines can connect to both ball-lock and pin-lock connectors
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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I'm definitely going to be using the threaded fittings (I'm planning on using a conversion kit on my Sankey taps to keep everything compatible).

It just seems like pin-locks are more available (or at least, are cheaper) right now- but I might not be looking in the right place!

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Old 04-06-2011, 06:35 PM   #7
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cornykeg.com has a cheap conversion set to put ball lock posts on pin lock kegs. i think its like 11 bucks per pair of posts. I may down the line change to ball lock, but right now my 8 pin locks work fine.

The one thing i like better about ball lock is that the disconnects won't "slip" off if they get twiseted. With pin locks, due to the spring pressure, if your disconnect gets tweaked the right direction it will just pop off. (atleast mine do that from time to time)

Beyond that, both serve beer about the same i think... that's what really mattered to me.

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Old 04-06-2011, 06:59 PM   #8
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I think it basically comes down to the size issue. The slightly larger diameter of the pin locks may not seem like much, but it can definitely make a difference how many kegs you can fit into your keezer or kegerator. Of course you also need to keep in mind that the ball locks are taller, which in some cases could force you to go with pin locks if you don't have the height for ball locks.

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Old 04-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #9
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That all makes sense (especially the size issue)- I don't suppose anyone knows off-hand if the height/width difference comes into play in an upright (freezer on top) fridge (my current kegerator setup)?

Headed to the LHBS this weeked, and hopefully will return with the needed parts to make the switch

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Old 04-19-2013, 04:54 PM   #10
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Well glad to see that I just got a cheap pin lock for my first keg set. Comes with a 7LB CO2 tank.

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