Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > ball lock vs pin lock?
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:13 AM   #1
drhall23
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Default ball lock vs pin lock?

What is the difference between these two kegging systems?
Is paying the extra $40 worth it (other than the fact it is in stock)?

http://morebeer.com/view_product/181...em_-_Ball_Lock

or

http://morebeer.com/view_product/120...tem_-_Pin_Lock

Thanks!


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Old 09-22-2012, 03:10 AM   #2
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Hello
Pin type have 2 different connectors so you cant mess up the connection. In only goes to in, out only goes to out; reportedly ball lock can be reversed. 5 gallon size the pin type keg is a bit shorter. Both are rated to 130 psi, at least the ones I have. I dont have any long term experience with either as far as connector reliability, longevity, leaks, etc. There are likely people that prefer one over the other for various reasons. I have both because they were cheap.
If you are sizing for a fridge etc then size may be a factor.
I dont personally see one being worth 40 more bucks over the other.
Longer term corny keg brewers will likely correct me

Eric


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Old 09-22-2012, 03:21 AM   #3
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the main difference is that ball-lock keg parts are cheaper and easier to get than pin-lock, other than the height/circumference differences
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:07 AM   #4
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Ball lock lids have a manual/mechanical pressure relief valve, pin locks are only mechanical. The versatility of the manual valve allows you to purge the kegs easier. You may need to get a modified socket to remove the posts on a pin style where as on a ball lock you can use a standard 7/8" box end or 12 point wrench. But if price is what is restricting you these are problems that you could work around.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:21 AM   #5
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About the only difference I can find other than the shorter and fatter pin lock and the relief valves is that pin are no longer being made and you can still buy brand new Ball locks from a bunch of vendors. I caught a pin lock system on sale and saved enough to get an extra keg to go with the kit. Now I have multiple possibilities rather than having to label bottles to keep them seperate. They were originally part of the non interchangeable idea between Coke and Pepsi so that each other couldnt steal the others kegs easilly. There are special sockets available to switch them over if you want, but I personally don't see a reason to go to that much trouble just to change a fitting style to keep up with the proverbial Jones's. That just my opinion and it is worth about what you paid for it, but thats how I see it.
Bob
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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Just a point of clarification: in the used market you'll find all kinds of crazy stuff, with pin lock sized kegs with ball lock connections and ball lock kegs with pin lock lids being fairly common. I have both types of kegs and they work just as well, and a mixed system is easy if you use MFL connections for gas and liquid. I honestly don't see the pressure relief valve on the lid being all that important of a feature, but that's just my opinion...
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:10 AM   #7
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Attaching the ball locks are easier but yeah you can get them reversed if you're not paying attention. The pressure relief valve is handy if you need to bleed CO2 from the keg for cleaning. T[
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone for the feedback.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:09 AM   #9
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I use both because I made sure to set up fittings instead of barbs. The only problem I have run into is that the more stout pin locks don't always fit where ball locks do.

For example many mini fridges will hold two ball locks but only one pin lock. When purchasing ball locks for this purpose make sure that they are not converted from pin lock bodies as you will run into the same problem.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpher View Post
the main difference is that ball-lock keg parts are cheaper and easier to get than pin-lock, other than the height/circumference differences
I've heard it the other way. The supply of used ball locks is starting to run low, so the price is going up. Pin locks are generally less desired, so they are cheaper and easier to get. Coca Cola made the pin locks so you know there is a huge supply of kegs/parts.
That's how it was explained to me.

(To the OP: And there are the size differences, like the others have mentioned.)


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