Padlocks are always useful locks to have and can make many things secure – from suitcases to bikes and sheds – but what are the best ones to buy?
Firstly, you have to consider what you want to secure with a padlock. If its just to keep the kids out of the shed, you probably won’t have to spend much. But if it is to keep something of a higher value safe, then it is wise to make a greater investment.
With padlocks, there is an element of you get what you pay for. Cheap padlocks are likely to be easily broken or picked, whereas more expensive ones are made from more robust materials and/or have better locking mechanisms that are much more difficult to cut, pick or generally break. They are worth the investment, especially if they are helping to protect something with a high value.
There are a wide variety of padlocks on the market that provide varying degrees of security. You should look out for the European standard for grading the security of padlocks, which is known as CEN. The grading ranges from 1-6, with grade 1 being low security and 6 maximum – the latter is rarely seen. But beware that many manufacturers grade their own locks, rather than have them assessed independently.
The most common form of padlock is the shackle – where there is a loop at the top that clicks into place to secure it. In general, the more of the shackle that is hidden, the more secure it is. If the shackle is hidden, it is more difficult for thieves to break the padlock with tools like bolt cutters.
You should also consider what sort of locking mechanism you want. For example, some padlocks are key operated. In general, the more pins the lock has the better, as this makes it more difficult to pick the lock or copy the keys. Some padlocks also come with built-in alarms, which deter many would-be thieves.
Other padlocks come with combination locks. Combination locks can be more secure – no keys that can be stolen or picked – although you do have to remember what the combination is and keep it secret or restricted only to those who are trusted.
It is also worth considering where you will be using the padlock. If it is being used to secure something outdoors, then it is worth investing in a weatherproof padlock, which are made from stainless steel and/or have weatherproof coatings and therefore don’t corrode.
For keeping higher value items safe, consider buying a padlock with restricted or protected keyways, which have a key that is very difficult to copy or is unique to the lock. The keys on these sorts of locks cannot be copied and records are kept of the owners. These also have a high CEN insurance rating.
For the more technologically minded, there are padlocks available that are operated by Bluetooth using an app on your smartphone. Padlocks like this can also have a GPS function fitted so you can track it if someone has stolen it along with your property. However, if you have a flat battery, it can be difficult to open the lock yourself.
All types of padlocks – which are produced by a variety of manufacturers, including Yale, Abus, Ingersoll and others – can help you to keep your valuables safe.
If you want to check that your padlocks – and security systems in general – are up to scratch, then give Inta-lock Locksmiths in Peterborough a call. Our team can offer a free survey and expert advice on locks and security, including for insurance purposes. Give one of our friendly team a call and they will be happy to help with any lock-related queries you have.