Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Padlocks are portable tools used to secure or restrict access to an object or area without proper authorisation. They are widely used in everyday life whether in low and high security installations, garages, premises or homes.

We want to provide you with all the information you need to buy the best padlock for your needs and budget. Here we will not only talk about the technical details, but we go further to teach you everything you need to know about this security equipment.




Summary

  • Padlocks are security mechanisms made of metal and are used to protect an object or to prohibit access to an area without proper authorisation. They can have different body shapes and sizes depending on the needs of the individual.
  • Padlocks are recorded to have been used in ancient times. According to studies, the earliest padlocks date back to Roman times. Evidence has been found of the use of objects that can be considered padlocks from around 500 BC and 300 AD.
  • Today the most commonly used padlocks are padlocks with a padlocking mechanism and protective padlocks. For a long time lever padlocks were also popular but their use has decreased over the years.

The Best Padlock: Our Picks

Buying Guide

We all want our things or space to be safe at all times, especially from people who love the unwanted, and thanks to padlocks this is possible. This tool, as small as it may seem, has the necessary strength to protect our belongings at any time and anywhere, even in the worst conditions.

Padlocks are security mechanisms made of metal and are used to protect an object or to prohibit access to an area without proper authorisation.
(Photo: auremar/ 123rf.com)

What are padlocks?

Padlocks are small portable security devices with a lock and shackle system that are used to limit access to people who are not authorised either to enter a space or to take goods that do not belong to them.

How did padlocks come about?

Padlocks are an artefact with a long history as they first appeared in ancient Egypt and Babylon, and then slowly spread to other ancient countries such as China, Greece and Rome. They were used for a variety of purposes, from guarding people's treasures to detaining criminals in cells.

Over the centuries, padlocks have received numerous updates in both their design and their constituent elements. This has made them one of the most common and secure security systems in the world.

What are the advantages of a padlock?

Nowadays, we can find multiple options of brands, designs and sizes of padlocks. While they have respected the original design, there are elements that have been modernised for today's age. Their economical price makes them ideal for protecting those precious things we have and want to protect.

Advantages
  • They allow to protect belongings or restrict access to areas
  • They are durable
  • They cannot be easily broken or destroyed
  • They come in various models and sizes
Disadvantages
  • Some models can rust and stop working
  • They are heavy
  • If the key or combination is lost we cannot access the things protected
  • They can be expensive

Combination, key, trailer, chain, adjustable or electronic padlock - what should you look out for?

Padlocks as mentioned above can be considered as the first security system in history. From them the locks we know today were invented. Today we can find a wide range of padlock models, but they can be grouped into 8 models.

Combination padlock: Together with key padlocks, this is one of the most popular models. Their lock is operated by a numerical combination system, which is usually 4 digits long. It is very common to see that this type of padlock is of a small size and is used in lockers or storerooms.

Key padlocks: This is the basic padlock, its locking system is through the use of keys and can come in different sizes depending on the user's needs. Depending on the size, it can be used to protect small boxes or to close commercial premises.

Trailer padlocks: As the name suggests, this type of padlock is used to secure the doors of transport trucks or trailers. Its locking system is through the use of keys and comes in different sizes.

Adjustable padlock: This model of padlock has a long arc that allows it to be adjusted to the needs of the object to be protected. It is commonly seen on irregular objects such as grills or pruning shears. Its locking system uses keys and this padlock can come in different sizes in both body and bow.

Chain padlock: This type of padlock incorporates a chain that may have a coating to make it more resistant if an attempt is made to cut it. It has a key lock and is widely used to secure motorbikes and bicycles.

Electronic padlock: The most up-to-date model of padlock. Its lock is electronic and works through the use of Bluetooth by using an app from a smartphone. They are generally small in size and are used to protect lockers, safety deposit boxes or deposits.

Combination padlock Key padlock Trailer padlock Adjustable padlock Chain padlock Electronic padlock
Lock Number combination system Keyed Keyed Keyed Keyed Bluetooth lock
Size Small usually Varies in size Medium Varies in size small plus their chain can be long They are small
Use Multiple uses Multiple uses For trailer doors For irregular objects like grills or mowers For bicycles or motorbikes Multiple uses
Outdoor or Indoor Indoor Outdoor and Indoor Outdoor Outdoor and Indoor Outdoor Outdoor and Indoor

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models Padlocks

It doesn't matter whether you want to secure a property, premises or a box or locker. A good padlock is vital to keep your belongings secure. But before you go to the nearest shop to buy one, you should pay attention to certain factors that will make your purchase more secure.

Material

When looking for a padlock you should pay attention to the material it is made of. This is an important aspect, as the choice of material for your padlock will depend on the security you need for your things.

Steel padlocks. The most common material used is steel, but although this is a resistant material, they are usually treated with a treatment such as cementing or hardening to make them invulnerable to any attack.

Other materials. We can also find padlocks made of brass, zinc alloy, stainless steel and aluminium which are used in situations that require a medium-low level of security and are therefore easier to break.

It is important that before buying a padlock you have at hand the measurements you need.
(Photo: J Plenio / Pixabay.com)

Size

It may sound a bit cliché, but in the case of padlocks, the bigger the padlock, the more secure it is. This is because its size makes it more resistant to knocking and sawing. But it is also important to know the space where the padlock is going to be, because if the padlock is too big, there is a risk that it will not fit in the area.

It is necessary that you take the necessary precautions and measure in advance both the place where the padlock will be and the size of the padlock so that it covers the space without it getting stuck and you cannot move it when you want to open it.

Arch

When buying a padlock, you can make the mistake of only paying attention to the sturdy body of the padlock and not paying attention to the lock's arc. It is equally important to know what the arc of the padlock is when choosing a padlock.

There is little point in choosing a padlock if its arc is too thick for the ring on which you intend to put it. That is why it is important that before you buy one of these devices you measure that space; because if it turns out that the hooking place is not the right one, you will have to make an additional expense to buy a new padlock that fits.

A good padlock will give you the confidence that your valuables are safe.
(Photo: The Digital Way / Pixabay.com)

Key retention

Today's padlocks have a security system that retains the key when the lock is opened. This prevents you from forgetting the key and having to break the lock to buy a new one.

If you are one of those people who can forget the key when handling a padlock, it is advisable to choose this type of padlock. This way you can be sure that you won't forget it anywhere.

(Featured image photo: lightfieldstudios / 123rf.com)

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