Inferior padlocks claiming tough security, but not delivering on that promise have flooded the market leaving unsuspecting consumers in the lurch after trusting their valuables to subpar products. Nothing is more disheartening than seeing your cut padlock on the ground and your bike gone, your boat trailer missing, the tools you needed for work this morning stolen from your truck, or your hard-earned treasures swept right out of your storage unit. If you have something that is truly worth protecting, don’t skimp on a quality padlock, the high-quality ones really don’t cost that much more than the cheap ones! To stop these punch-in-the-gut crimes from happening to you, I’ve gathered our team’s best tips on what to look for before buying a padlock.
- Hardened Steel – Nothing makes a burglar’s job harder than hardened steel. Quality steel products provide excellent resistance to burglary attacks. The most secure vaults, safes, and locks in the world are made of, you guessed it, solid steel. Look for a lock that has a hardened shell and a hardened boron alloy steel shackle. Most padlock are made of brass, but look for one that goes one step above and is covered in hardened steel for the ultimate security.
- Consider the Use – Improper padlocks can wear down with corrosion, dirt, and debris. Take how the padlock will be used and where it will be used into consideration. A marine-grade waterproof padlock will perform much better on your boat trailer than one designed to lock up a bike in the city. If you will be using the padlock in a dusty location, such as a construction site, look for one with a protective cover to prevent dirt from getting into the mechanics of the lock. Shackle protectors and plastic weather covers can step up the performance of your padlock.
- High Security Locks – Padlock manufacturers are taking cues from the deadbolt industry and are now creating locks that have the very same security cylinders as high security locks used in the homes of high-profile people and in high-rent commercial buildings. With true key duplication control, only the owner of a high security padlock can request more keys by showing the locksmith their issued key code card. That way, you will know exactly how many keys are out there that operate your locks. The great thing about high security keys is they are incredibly flexible and convenient and the keys for your padlock can be keyed to match other locks including high security deadbolts installed in your home or business. You can also set up master key systems so one key opens all your high security locks, and other keys have restricted access to select locks.
- Security Grades – Again, just like locks for your home, padlocks are graded for security. We recommend looking for a padlock that is Security Grade CEN 3 or higher if you have valuables that are important to you. The lowest grade is Grade 1 with the highest grade being Grade 6. High grade locks provide protection from sophisticated burglary attacks including hammering and drilling resistance while the high-precision pin tumbler systems provide excellent security from bumping and picking attacks.
- Consider GPS and GSM Communication – If you have something that needs protecting at a remote location or that is very valuable, you may want to consider a lock that has GPS enabled. This will allow you to receive alerts to the security of your belongings. Products such as WatchLock from Mul-T-Lock automatically notify you when assets are being accessed, as well as the asset’s location via advance GPS systems. Fully autonomous and battery operated with a wire-free installation, WatchLock combines the latest in tracking technology with some of the highest grade padlocks available on the market today.
- Security Beyond the Padlock – This may seem like a no-brainer, but consider what you are locking the padlock onto. If you are locking a wood shed by the door handles, what are the handles secured by? If it is just a few screws, your padlock might stay locked, but a good yank could dislodge the screws and the door handles allowing the door to be breeched regardless of the padlock. If you are using a chain, make sure to get a good one that would be a tough match for a bolt cutter. Be sure to reinforce whatever you are attaching the lock to and make sure that the handle, gate, or your bike’s wheel won’t be the weak link in your chain of security.
For a padlock recommendation, stop by our shop in Naples, we have plenty of high security padlock options and can order varied sizes, styles, and levels of security. We have highly trained security experts waiting to help you find the best products to secure what you care about.