Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Ball Lock or Pin Lock
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:33 PM   #1
KDKid
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Default Ball Lock or Pin Lock

I'm looking to get a kegging system. Is there a big difference between the two. I find that most feedback is biased because some like one and not the other. They're roughly the same price. Is one easier to find or repair? What's the deal? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 03-09-2012, 11:37 PM   #2
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Figure which fits best with your fridge/ kegerator situation/ set up. Pins usually short and stout. Balls usually tall and slim. You can convert each to the other. If u can fit 4 pins and only 3 ball or vs verse etc...


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Old 03-09-2012, 11:50 PM   #3
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As the ball locks are slim, it's easier to fit many of them in less floorspace than with pin-locks, but as pin-locks are short, there are probably more refrigerators and freezers that you could use with minimal/no modification for at least _some_ kegs. A lot of compact fridges you find on the shelf simply aren't tall enough, and if you only want to fit one keg, pin lock would be the easy fix- but if it's a couple inches taller, you might be able to fit 2 or 3 ball-locks there (provided the freezer/compressor hump allow)

I think it's safe to say that ball locks are somewhat more popular, so you'll see the kegs themselves often run $5-10 more apiece.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
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You do need a special socket (or at least make your own) to get the pin lock fittings off the keg. If you don't have the deep sockets for the ball locks any way....then it is pretty much a wash. I would have gone pin but I already had a couple ball when I started kegging.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatjonguy
You do need a special socket (or at least make your own) to get the pin lock fittings off the keg. If you don't have the deep sockets for the ball locks any way....then it is pretty much a wash. I would have gone pin but I already had a couple ball when I started kegging.
I have pin locks and I can use the open end of a wrench to get the posts off. I believe it's a 13/16.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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Is the pressure relief value different between the two and is that a consideration?
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #7
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Pin lock kegs do not have pressure relief valves.
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opus345 View Post
Is the pressure relief value different between the two and is that a consideration?
Ball locks have them, and pin locks don't. That was why I went with ball locks. To degass a pin you can take the gas-in connection off and press down with a screwdriver or something I'd guess. And I guess after you put pressure on the keg there isn't an easy way to 'burp' the O2 out of the key w/o some game of pressure, screwdriver degas, pressure, screwdriver degas, etc. I just couldn't see any pro for pin locks vs ball locks. I guess if somebody gave me a pin lock for free I would have went in that direction? Or if my fridge had some height restriction? People use them, must be a good reason.

And as it turns out for me, I can fit 6 ball locks exactly in my fridge if I had to. I never thought I would do that, I was just going to have 1 keg on tap. You know where the story goes, well, now I have 4 on tap, 1 that is 'on deck' cold conditioning/carbing and my nitro tank all in the fridge. My c02 sits outside the fridge.

Oh kegging.. how you have ruined my wallet.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:48 PM   #9
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I tried looking up dimentions but am horrible with the search button. I got an old GE mini-fridge (with freezer I'll need to remove somehow) I want to convert. Anybody know the dimentions of each ball and pin lock kegs with fittings at the top? thanks for the help/advice
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:54 PM   #10
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ball, because they still make them.


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