In this article, we’re taking a look at pin lock vs. ball lock kegs. These types of kegs have similarities, but there are a few defining points that we will touch on.

These types of keg locks are often in use on the Cornelius keg. These are most commonly used by homebrewers to store their freshly brewed beer. Before homebrewers used them, they were used within the soft drink industry to store soda. Now the soft drink industry has moved to the plastic bag in a box as it is much cheaper than the corny keg.

In this article, we will take a look at the pin lock keg and then the ball lock keg. After this, we will summarise where you can find all the pros and cons of each type of keg.Pin Lock Vs Ball Lock Kegs

Pin Lock Kegs

The pin lock kegs were used by Coca-cola to transport their soft drink to local retailers and restaurants. They are now heavily used homebrewers to store and transport their brew if needed.

The pin lock mechanism is a simple one. The pins that are around the connection post. You simply press the disconnect onto the post, so the pins connect up correctly. Once pressed down far enough simply turn and the connection is complete.

pin lock kegs

These are impossible to place the wrong connection onto a keg point. It is because the gas line will have three pins and the liquid line will have two pins. This setup means it’s impossible to connect a liquid connection to the gas line.

These are cheaper than the ball lock but can be a bit more difficult to remove from the keg.

Check out my article on the pin lock keg if you want more information on this particular keg.

Ball Lock Kegs

Ball lock kegs are in use by the Pepsi and again like the pin lock was simply used to store and transport their soft drink.

Using a ball lock connection is easy. They work by pulling up the collar then placing it on the keg stub. To form the connection, you release the collar.

One of the downsides to the ball lock is there is no easy way to tell the difference between the gas and liquid lines. No clear differences mean you may end up placing the wrong connection on and ending up with a seized connection.

ball lock keg parts
Another downside is these are a bit more expensive than the pin lock. However, there are several reasons such as the easy connection & disconnection as to why you might be tempted at spending a bit more on these.

Again if you want to learn more about these then check out my article on the ball lock kegs.

Pin Lock Vs. Ball Lock Kegs Summary

In summary of our pin lock vs. ball lock kegs guide it comes down to preference on the type of lock you wish to use on your kegs.

Overall I found there were the following pros and cons of using a pin lock keg.


  • Cheaper
  • Impossible to accidentally connect the wrong lines

  • Can be hard to remove after the keg has been used & depleted.

The following are the pros and cons of the ball lock keg.


  • Easy to connect and disconnect
  • More popular

  • Can accidentally connect to wrong lines.
  • More expensive

If you decide to go with a different type of lock that is already on the keg, then you look at using a conversion kit to change it. This conversion would probably only be worth it if you love using a particular type of connection.

Hopefully, this Pin Lock Vs. Ball lock kegs guide has been able to help you in deciding which is the best for you.

If we missed something or you have anything to add then be sure to let us know your thoughts below.