What is a Padlock?
Padlocks are defined as portable locks with a shackle that may be passed through an opening to prevent use, theft, vandalism or harm. A padlock is traditionally used to secure; gates, sheds, bikes etc.
What do I need to consider when buying a Padlock?
The first thing you need to consider is what your padlock will be protecting. If it’s just going on your shed to stop any kids from stealing your plants then you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money. However if your padlock is securing a £600 bike, then it might be worth investing a little more money in a high security padlock. Once you’ve decided on how much you want to spend then there are some other factors you may want to consider.
Materials and design– As with most things in life you get what you pay for, so if you buy a cheap padlock made with cheap materials, it will be easier to break. Whereas a well-made padlock, constructed with high grade materials will provide you with more protection. If your padlock will spend most of its life outside, then consider buying a weatherproof or waterproof padlock. Its rains a lot in this country so you don’t want your padlock to rust and therefore become ineffective.
The Shackle– you are looking for the silver loop at the top that clicks in to secure the padlock. If you can, get a padlock with the shackle almost completely hidden. One way thieves break padlocks is by snipping the shackle with bolt cutters, but if they can’t get near the shackle, they can’t cut it. Cheaper padlocks tend to have the shackle completely exposed, so again, it goes back to what you are trying to secure and how much you want to spend on a padlock.
Is it a good standard? – To be sure that you are getting a padlock that has been rigorously tested and vetted by a trusted authority, you need to look out for mark of quality. Look for the ‘British Standard’ kite mark. When you see this mark you know that a padlock has been tested by the British Standard Institute and that it passed the criteria set by them.
The British Standard Institute will test the different qualities the padlocks have, for example; how long a padlock would take to pick, or how much force it would take to get through the shackle. So you can be sure that if a padlock has this symbol on, it will be of good quality.
Combination VS Key- You might be more familiar with the key designs as they are more common, but like we’ve stated before it depends on what you are using your padlock for. For example, if it is being used to secure a back gate in a family home, then a combination lock might be best, as many people will need access and there is no risk of losing the key. However if it only one person using the padlock for say, a bike, then a key lock may be more beneficial as you don’t want the code falling into the wrong hands.
If you do decide to go for a padlock with a key then you want as many pins as possible, the more pins the harder it is to copy the key. If you are really worried about someone coping the key then you do have the option of buying a high-end padlock with a restricted key, this means that a Locksmith or key cutter will refuse to cut a new key without evidence that you are the owner.
1. Master Lock ProSeries 6321EURD Weather Tough Shrouded Padlock
The Master Lock shrouded padlock has a number of high security features that would appeal to those looking to secure something valuable. It’s a heavy duty padlock with a key opening design rather than a code. It boasts a hardened iron shroud, which has been designed to protect the shackle from anyone using bolt cutters, as well as a dual ball locking mechanism which makes its extremely hard to pick or tamper with. It’s also a great padlock to choose if you need it to endure some bad weather. The Master Lock Shrouded Padlock has a Weather Tough® cover protects lock from water, ice, dirt and grime. It’s currently on Amazon for £35.19, so the price isn’t extortionate, but it’s a little higher than the price of a standard padlock. This will be one of the highest security padlocks you will find, plus it comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can be confident it delivers on all it promises.
2. Neulock Sold Secure Pad-Bolt
The Neulock is a chunky padlock that secures using a bolt and features a seven-lever lock. The padlock has the Sold Secure approval and you can tell it’s a solid peace of kit. It’s made from high grade stainless steel that is rust resistant and won’t corrode. Its designed to attach across a door and its frame, so can serve as a bolt as well as a lock. As part of the testing process, it’s been established that the Neulock can withstand bolt-cutter, drill and hacksaws. The Neulock will come with four keys and a unique ID number, which means that new keys cannot be cut unless the number is provided. It’s currently on Amazon for £64.95, this may seem a large amount of money, but you must consider what you will be securing with the Neulock. Spending almost £65 on a lock will seem worth it, if it stops £1000 worth of items being stolen.
3. Rolson Alarm Padlock
The Rolson is perfect for securing bikes, as it features an in-built alarm that will activate if the lock is tampered with. The 110Db alarm sounds for ten seconds if triggered, after 35 seconds it will reset itself. The idea behind this alarm is that the loud noise will scare off a thief trying to break it or draw enough attention to the situation for them to be apprehended. This does mean that the lock itself isn’t as strong as some more expensive models, so we would recommend that you never use it without the alarm set. Another downside of this lock is that it’s not weatherproof, some users have said that if the lock gets wet, the alarm will no longer work, which may leave your bike vulnerable. You can buy this lock on Amazon for £12, which isn’t exactly breaking the bank. If used properly the Rolson is a good little device, however without the alarm in use, it could leave you open to a theft.
4. Squire Steel All-Weather Combination Padlock
This sturdy little padlock is great if you want a heavy duty combination lock. This padlock will work well on gates, vans, large sheds and garages. You can set your own code and with over 10,000 variations, it’s highly unlikely anyone will ever guess what your code is. It features a 48mm steel body and the shackle is made of hardened steel, meaning it’s a reliable and robust padlock. You can confidently use the Squire padlock outside, ‘All-weather’ is in its name and it lives up to this by being highly resistant to corrosion. It is currently on Amazon for £12, so you’re probably not going to find much better at this price.
5. Yale Closed Shackle High Security Steel Padlock
Yale is one of the biggest names in the security industry, if you’ve done any research on padlocks or any locks for that matter, then you will have come across the name. The Closed Shackle Padlock is perfect for securing anything indoors, tool boxes or internal doors for example. As mentioned before any padlock with a concealed shackle is going to be very hard to tamper with. The Shackle on this Yale padlock is made of boron steel; boron is high-grade precision steel that is used in advanced automotive and heavy-duty industrial applications due to its extreme strength. It also features double ball locking, this means that even if the thief cut the shackle on both sides, it wouldn’t move. The Yale Closed Shackle High Security Steel Padlock is a robust and secure padlock, the only limitation being that it’s not built to withstand bad weather conditions, so its use is limited to inside.
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