Essential Padlock Purchasing Tips

Padlocks have been around since times of old, and there’s no sign of them waning in popularity yet. For as long as they can continue to perform their function – which a good quality padlock can certainly do – they will be used to secure items and property well into the future. Naturally, the type of lock that you need will depend entirely on what you are trying to secure, but here are a few general pointers and tips to help guide you when purchasing a padlock:


  • Size is everything

Measure the distance that your padlock will be required to reach around to keep the item secure; the closed shackle should be as tight as possible around the object.

  • A padlock is nothing without a strong support

Many use padlocks to fasten around chains, but there is little point investing in a good, strong padlock, if the chain itself is flimsy and can easily be broken with the right tools.

  • The cost should reflect what you’re trying to protect

While investing in a good quality padlock is advisable, you may not need to spend quite so much on a padlock that is going to be securing an item of lesser value. For things that are precious to you, either for sentimental reasons or for their value, then never scrimp on a padlock and always buy the very best that you can afford.

  • Check for ball bearings

If you open the shackle of a padlock, you’ll be able to tell if it has ball bearings by the circular grooves, and the product information or seller may also tell you. Ball bearings give you much better protection against a criminal technique called ‘shimming’, in which an aluminium can and a pair of scissors are all that’s needed to break a padlock.

  • Is the padlock ‘anti-drill’?

A padlock with plates and/or a pin made of hardened steel will give the best protection against a drill and should mean that a drill bit would bounce off of the lock if it is tampered with.

  • Protection against cutting

Again, hardened steel gives the best protection against lock tampering, and if someone is trying to cut through a padlock in which the shackle and body of the lock are made of hardened steel, then their attempts should fail.

  • Is the padlock weatherproof?

Many padlocks are outside and exposed to the elements all year round, and if they’re not sufficiently weatherproof, then they may tarnish or break over time.

  • Never waste your money on an all-purpose one size fits all lock

A good padlock should be an investment and as with any investment, you want it to be effective and to fulfil the role it’s intended for. If a padlock doesn’t properly fit the item it’s being used to protect, then you may as well not bother to lock it, since thieves will quickly take advantage of an ill-fitting one.

As with many purchases you make in life, cheap does not always equate with quality, and if you are serious about protecting your property or items that are valuable to you, then you should never try to cut costs by purchasing a cheap padlock. For more detailed advice and guidance on buying a padlock, talk to your local lock dealer who will help to ensure that your treasured items are kept as safe as possible.