Kwikset 5 & 6 Pin Keys

Posted by Brian Hermansen on

NOTE: Keep in mind that the following blog post ONLY applies to those ordering Kwikset keys!!!

Our support email is often flooded with a variety of questions, most of which are generally pretty easy to answer! However, there is sometimes an email or question that is a bit hard to explain, and to be frank, we're still trying to learn all the many different aspects of keys and locks ourselves!

We've tried making it as simple as possible to determine whether our customers need a Kwikset or a Schlage key. We have a diagram on each product page, beneath the product descriptions, that look like this:

In addition, we have an entire page called the Keyway Reference Guide with more detailed info on the key ways, which can be found here:

Fun fact: the most common key way in the United States is a Kwikset for homes, and Schlage for offices!

After a purchase has been made, we ship the items as quickly as possible, and normally, life goes on and all is well!

Occasionally, however, we receive an email that looks a little something like this:

"Hey Key Armory Team, Got my keys today and took them to get cut at my local Home Depot. Unfortunately, the guy at Home Depot said that my key is a 6 pin, and the key I received is a 5 pin key. I don't even know what that means! Please help!"

This is a good opportunity to point out a few different things:

1) While Home Depot and Ace Hardware are better than Walmart or a "do-it-yourself" machine, we always recommend going to a local locksmith. Actual locksmiths, as opposed to someone who was trained at a key cutting machine for a few minutes, tend to have more knowledge regrading keys and the cutting of keys. So, if possible, always try to find a local locksmith!

2) Home Depot employees (along with employees from Ace Hardware, Lowes, Walmart and anywhere else that you might try to get your key cut) might be intimated by keys you get from The Key Armory. This is because A) they simply look a bit intimidating, and 2) many of these places have a policy that states that if the key is cut incorrectly, they need to replace it. However, because these hardware stores don't sell these keys, they have no way of replacing it. There's an easy work-around, which is to simply let them know that The Key Armory will replace any incorrectly cut keys for free, so they are off the hook. Generally, the employee will then be willing to cut the keys!

3) There are many different types of keys, even within the very general Kwikset/Schlage blanket we've set up here at The Key Armory. Let's not get into the differences between 5 and 6 pin keys, because it gets kind of hard to understand/explain. But there are two different types of Kwikset keys!

But the biggest takeaway from all this is that our keys, KW10's at heart, are compatible with both 5 pin and 6 pin keys. So, if you're ever told by a locksmith or hardware store employee that your key is a 5/6 pin and it won't work with the key you've received, they are likely wrong, and that it IS compatible!

Of course, never hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have, and we will always do our best to get you an answer!

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