What makes a good lock for storage units?

It’s easy to think that all locks are made the same regarding quality. The truth is that, like most consumer goods, there is a scale of good to bad. So, what makes a good lock? Here is some information to help you choose between a combination lock and a padlock.

  • Little to no space for the shackle to be preyed open
  • Quality build Material
  • Resistance to corrosion

Components of the combination lock 

A combination lock typically uses a wheel pack system. Wheel packs are what they sound like; wheels that “know” the combination that works together to unlock. Internally there is also a spindle that runs through the entirety of the lock. This spindle is responsible for moving the wheels to where they need to line up by being turned by the combination lock. The lock also has a component called the “drive pin.” The drive pin is responsible for making contact with each of the wheels. The drive pin moves up the lock as the wheels fall into the correct positions. This is a very high view of how combination locks work to keep this information palatable. 

Components of the padlock

Padlocks are most often the less complex option for lock systems. The general components are relatively the same across the board – the shackle, locking mechanism, and body. The eternal components are the same as a combination lock but often with less complexity. With their simple make and easy-to-use features, padlocks are used for various applications. Generally, the components stay the same, but the strength, shackle clearance, and materials change. Examples include the breakaway shackle. Most commonly used for areas that need to be quickly accessed but still lightly secured. On the other side of the spectrum, there are padlocks used by the government to meet specific standards to stay within compliance.

Usage Recommendations

Using a combination lock or padlock is down to personal preference. The use of combination locks does mean access time may be slower, but cracking it will be much more difficult. For an extra level of security, there are also options with a combination that is only accessible by first unlocking a key mechanism. Ideally, for higher-value item combinations, locks are the best option. Notably, most industrial safes are combination locks. If you have ever tried using one, you will know that it’s a very sensitive process. 

Padlocks feel like the more universal locking system since almost all households have a variation of one. The readily available options make for an easier time finding what you need. Outside of protecting storage units or valuables in the house, padlocks are often used on heavy-duty chain bike locks. The easier opening speed makes the padlock ideal for those looking for a quick in-and-out lock.

Both options are great choices, but the combination lock may give you more peace of mind that stored items are safe, hard to access, and very personalized to your personal information.

Purchase Recommendations

It is highly recommended that all locks are purchased from a reputable supplier. Avoid websites that may be offering locks that are cheaper but less reliable. When using a site like Amazon, it is important to look at who the actual company offering the lock is.

If you are still feeling like you want to be extra sure of your purchase – contact a local retailer or big box store. Their options are typically more secure, and the ability to find something tailored to your needs is less convoluted.