Everything I Know About Standard Pins
Last Updated: 2017/08/28

The standard pin is a simple design. It consists of a smooth cylindrical pin, uniform in diameter. it is the most common type of pin found in locks. Its sole purpose is to keep the plug tight in the cylinder and prevent any back-and-forth play. It provides no further security of any type.

Key Pins and Driver Pins

Standard key pins (Illustration ::0) are the most commonly found keypins. The reason for this is that most pick resistance comes from the driver pins and there's not a lot you can do to a key pin that will add security (aside from extreme bitting). Unless the plug is altered, non-standard keypins won't come into play where the action is taking place.

Standard driver pins (Illustration ::1) are the most commonly found driver pins. The reason for this is that most lock manufacturers put a lot of R&D into physical strength of the lock (resistance to hammers, bolt cutters, etc); not much goes into pick resistance. Standard driver pins are also the cheapest to manufacturer. All pins start off as standard pins, additional machining is what makes custom pins, that also adds overhead, making the lock more expensive. Even high end locks that are full of security pins will usually have at least one standard driver pin. This will remove a lot of the play/slop in the lock, making it feel tighter and more secure; this is security theater.

Illustration ::0

Standard Key pin

Illustration ::1

Standard Driver pin

Detecting and Defeating

Detecting a standard pin is pretty simple, as is defeating it. When you are pushing up on the key pin, the key pin and driver pin as a whole will slide up the chamber is a relatively smooth until the shear lines line up and clicks into place. With a featureless pin, there is nothing to hang up on. Simply lifting upward is how you defeat standard pins.


For practice with standard pins, almost any lock from any chain store in the USA are all standard pins (minus Brinks, Schlage, and Kwikset Smartkey). These locks will typically range from 4 to 6 pins and will all be standard pins. The most common locks people use for practice with standard pins are the Masterlock Number 3, 5, and 7. Pretty much any masterlock with a model number (keyword number) that is less than 3 digits long will do; a Master No 5LXKD is still a Master No 5. Any Kwikset or Kwikset clone will do as well (again, except the Smartkey).