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.003 vs. .005 universal kits

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tpark

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Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:58 am

.003 vs. .005 universal kits

I'm curious to know what locksmiths prefer as their "universal" pinning kit. I've been buying brand specific kits for the locks I deal with most, but for oddball stuff a universal kit might fill in the gaps. Is the additional precision of the .003 kit worth it?
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Anarchy_won

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Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:06 am

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

both of my Universal pin kits are .003 I got them in a lot of stuff from a retired locksmith.
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jimu57

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Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:55 am

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

I have both. I have not come across anything that the 005 will not work with. If you need a size in the 003 but only have 005, worse case is the pin from 005 is of by .003", but usually by only .002".

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madsamurai

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Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:58 pm

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

I'm also getting started as a locksmith and I've been researching this question for months, off and on. From what I've read either is probably fine. I've been knocking around the idea of putting a spreadsheet together with as many brand's pin sizes as I can find and which universal kit the pins would be supplied in (or not), but it sounds like a lot of work and I haven't motivated myself to get into that yet. I suspect there's a chart somewhere already, but haven't found it yet... At the moment I have Kwikset and Schlage pin sets, which I think will accommodate the majority of residential work in my area (since that's all they sell at our many hardware stores). I was planning on going with .003 to cover the random encounters. My logic would be to look up the pin sizes for locks that are going to be most common around you and pick the kit that covers those best. You can always buy a few additional refill packs for oddball sizes to fill the gaps for a buck or two.

Which reminds me, if you don't need the big metal case you can save a lot of money and actually get more pins by just buying the universal refill kits... I like to use these plastic fly boxes (for fly fishing) for my carry kit, with a box filled out for specific brands, and keep the extras in the envelopes in a little card organizer in the back of the truck, just in case. This way I can do quick on-site re-keys without carrying a big awkward metal box around. Here's my Kwikset kit and the stack I carry around with Kwikset, Schlage and a box that's all security pins... big enough for plenty of pins but compact enough to throw in a backpack...
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mdc5150

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Post Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:36 pm

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

I have used both but I prefer the .003 kit. It's just preference.

I will say this though, the universal kits are nice but you will jave occasions where the right kit for the lock is even better.

I have had a few Sargent locks that worked much better using Sargent pins, and I had a large master keying job with Yale original locks. Using the universal kit we just couldn't get the locks to operate like they should. We switched to a Yale original kit and everything went perfect after that.
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jeffmoss26

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Post Sun Apr 09, 2017 1:39 am

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

Lab mini .003 kit - no complaints here!
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tpark

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Post Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:10 am

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

Thanks you all for your help. I'm going to go with the 003 kit, hopefully it will cover for cases where I don't have the exact pins.
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TylerJThomas

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Post Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:46 am

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

.005 kits came out first, at most they would only be off .003" from any manufacturer's pinning system .003 kits followed and reduced that number to .002".

A lot of the old timers utilize .005 because that's what they started with and know best. I use both but if I had to pick either or I would go with .003".
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MrWizard

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Post Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:07 am

Re: .003 vs. .005 universal kits

I started out using .005 kits and have never found I needed to change to .003. Plus using .003 with the rounded tops of the pins makes it harder to keep master pins from sliding off when checking to be sure all keys will work before putting the cyld back in the shell. Plus having the 2 dome shape pins against each other seems to make the gap at the shearline wider than flat top pins possibly easier to pick. What ever you feel like you want to use either one is fine.
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