There are only two reasons to buy a padlock; to prevent theft, or to prevent unauthorised access to an area or item. Whether you’re securing access to your home or valuable items, you want to choose the right padlock for the job – or you may as well not bother.
Choosing the right high-security padlock means knowing exactly what to look for. Understanding what it is that’s thief-proof will help to ensure successful home and valuable security, regardless of who tries to break in. High-security padlocks should be resistant to cutting and twisting, tough to drill and part of an overall security solution – even the best locks will be useless if they’re secured to an unreliable door! Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing a padlock for your needs.
1. Understand Your Padlock Choices
From padlocks to cabinet locks, deadbolts to specifically designed safe deposit locks; there’s literally a lock for every purpose. On the higher end of the scale, cam locks and electromechanical locks are ideal for commercial purposes. Before deciding what lock you should be looking at, think about your security needs carefully. For home security starting at your front door, deadbolts and knobs/levers are typically the go-to options. For the ultimate security for your property’s front and back though, deadbolts are thoroughly recommended.
2. Choice of Metals
It’s certainly not an obvious point to consider when shopping for a padlock, but the metals it’s made from can make a huge difference in its durability and function. Most padlocks are crafted from steel and brass, but depending on your security needs; you’ll want to consider weather-resistant coatings like chrome and zinc. Plastic and reinforced metals are ideal too.
Consider the body of the padlock too. Pressed steels, solid brass, solid steel alloys and laminated steel are the most common metals used. Because it’s the body of the padlock that protects the internal lock mechanism when attacked, you want to ensure you’ve picked a sturdy lock body with the right metal for the job. For top-quality padlocks, look for hardened and stainless steel as these are the hardest for thieves to cut and break.
3. Padlock Build Quality and Function
Quality is key when buying the best padlock for security purposes. Opt for locks that are properly engineered as these are designed to withstand someone trying to break-through. High-quality models will have parts machined to very accurate tolerances for better resistance too.
To determine what level of quality the lock should be for your needs, consider the function of the lock. What room will you be locking? Functionality falls between entry, privacy and passage and will help to decide what level of endurance and security you need.
4. Safe and Secure Shackles
The shackle is the key part of a lock and usually the first point of attack. Thieves will try and break the shackle using bolt cutters or a saw, thus you want it to be as heavy-duty as possible. High-quality locks will also come with a locking mechanism, which secures the shackle in two places with the body once the padlock is locked. The lock’s shackle will fall into three categories – close, open and semi-enclosed. A close shackle has less shackle exposed, ensuring there’s less of a chance to be tampered with, and will provide the highest level of security.
5. Multiple Key Options
By choosing a padlock that offers the largest amount of key variations, it’s less likely for the key to be copied and used without permission. Restricted key systems can be put into place too for an extra layer of security. This will prevent any keys to the lock from being copied and is especially great if you do happen to lose or misplace the key yourself.
6. Level of Security
Each lock has a level of security which determines whether it can provide exactly what you need. Again, you’ll need to carefully consider the function of the lock before deciding what level of security works best for you. Levels of security are categorised by ‘locking grades’ with grade 1 offering the highest level of safety. Residential leaver locks are usually available in grades 2 and 3 and all lock grades should be BHMA certified.
Whilst the locking grades can guide you as to what’s the best for security, there’s no point in investing in a high-quality product if it’s getting put on an unstable door that can easily be broken into.
At Lock, Stock & Farrell – we have a range of quality padlocks to suit your security needs. Contact us today to find out how we can assist you.