PinExpress Free Software Gets Update

PinXpress software has been improved to meet requests sent in by subscribers. Download this simple, free solution for how to pin 98 different types of lock cylinders.

To download the free Locksmith Ledger PinExpress program, go to and follow instructions for downloading.

Editor's Note: PinExpress software has been improved to meet requests sent in by subscribers. When you are masterkeying several locks which each have different change key combinations, it is no longer necessary to insert master key cuts or control key cuts for each new change key display. Master and control key cuts are retained and only the change key cuts must be entered.  This speeds up and simplifies each keying procedure.

Another change involves pinning charts. Our original program only displayed pin numbers. PinExpress now allows you to display either the pin number or the actual pin lengths. With the exception of lock systems which require special pin kits,  our PinExpress pin length display provides an accurate way to more easily rekey lock cylinders when using standard aftermarket pinning kits. 

PinXpress is especially useful when rekeying IC core lock cylinders. New safeguards in the program test master key, control key and change key cut numbers inserted by the user. Deviations from factory specifications are flagged and PinXpress displays the problem and solution which is required. This prevents wasted time and possible multiple rekeying of the same lock cylinder.

Linus Yale is the person generally accepted as the modern era inventor of the pin tumbler lock. Yale pin tumbler lock cylinders were patented in 1863. Egyptians are said to have first invented the pin tumbler idea but Linus Yale made a compact pin tumbler version with a paracentric keyway to prevent a large object from being inserted into the lock.

A major improvement to the Yale pin tumbler lock was made by Frank Best in 1925. While many other improvements and high security applications have increased the usefulness of the original Yale pin tumbler invention, the Best interchangeable core invention leads the list of improvements.

One extra movable part in the Frank Best invention made the big difference. The moveable control sleeve serves as the retainer to secure the lock cylinder into the cylinder housing. The outer dimension of an IC core outer housing is approximately the same diameter as the diameter of a standard lock plug. Diameters of the control sleeve and lock plug must be increasingly smaller in order to fit inside the IC core housing. A smaller diameter lock plug did not leave room for existing commercial keyways, so downsized key blanks had to be used.

Best Lock Company eventually developed a series of approximately 25 keyways, smaller diameter pin tumblers and special A2, A3 and A4 pinning systems. All three pinning systems were designed to provide the largest number of individual usable key combinations while adhering to the limitations of the smaller diameter plug dimensions.

Over the years other lock companies have tried to compete with their own version of an interchangeable core lock cylinder with little success. As the original Best patents expired, many other lock companies have introduced almost identical IC core cylinders and in most cases the locks match popular Best keyways. This group of downsized IC core lock cylinders has been given the name small format IC core locks (SFIC).

IC core cylinders have been developed more recently to accept larger standard keyways. IC cores for standard-sized keyways became known as large format IC core cylinders (LFIC). LFIC cylinders now allow lock manufacturers to use their own private keyways and furnish a mixture of LFIC and standard lock cylinders which can all be part of the same master key system.

A major percentage of commercial buildings built during the last 20 years are using at least some IC core cylinders. Locksmiths may not have been involved with the original installation but they are often called to rekey IC core locks at a later date. The majority of SFIC cylinders will use original Best A2 pinning. A2 mathematics requires pins in each space to total 23. More mathematics is required for figuring bottom, master and control pin lengths in each space. If one space has been figured wrong, the only recourse is to dump the pins and start over.

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