Padlocks are one of the most basic security measures you can use when you are trying to protect your belongings, and they are also one of the most accessible on the market. While they won’t stop a dedicated thief or somebody who really wants to get through, they are a great first line of defense and can be a great deterrent or misdirection tool to back up your more expensive or less reliable security measures.
Even if it is not protecting anything particularly valuable, a decent padlock adds a nice feeling of security to sheds, fence gates, employee entrances, or side rooms that you use to store certain equipment. Beyond that, they are also a good way to stop people wandering off into areas they shouldn’t have access to.
Choosing a padlock might seem simple on the surface, but it can quickly get complicated. Below are ten padlock models and designs that might be perfect for your security needs.
View the Best Padlock, Below.
- Master Lock 178D Combination Lock Set
- ABUS 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock
- Master Lock 141D Covered Keyed Padlock
- Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Lock
- Master Lock M175XDLF Outdoor Combination Lock
- Master Lock 1535DWD Combination Padlock
- Stanley S828-160 CD8820 Hardened Steel Padlock
- Master Lock Laminated Steel Padlock
- WGCC Bluetooth Fingerprint Padlock
- Kwikset 50MM SmartKey Padlock
1. Master Lock 178D Combination Lock Set
This Master Lock combination padlock uses a four-digit combination that you can set yourself, allowing you to either keep it as one memorable number or adjust it regularly to use a fresh code every few days. The steel body is designed to prevent basic tampering and theft attempts, using a steel shackle to stop people from simply cutting through the lock. It is also fairly weather-resistant, and won't rust easily.
The lock’s fairly wide body and damage-resistant design give it plenty of durability, and the four-digit system allows for thousands of unique combinations. Unlike many locks, you need to push it to open it on the correct combination, so it is harder for thieves to keep trying numbers until they guess the right order and sequence.
This lock is a good choice for general-purpose security, making it harder for thieves to get into a secured area and resisting most common types of weather or forced entry damage.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. ABUS 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock
This ABUS padlock is made using high-quality stainless steel, giving it a much higher level of durability than a standard lock. The materials have been deep welded to boost its strength even further, and it is fitted with anti-cut plating to stop a thief from slicing it off and bypassing it entirely. Not only that, but this padlock is designed to prevent most types of tampering and forced unlocking, including lockpicking.
In addition, the lock is made using a special ABUS-Plus disk cylinder, boosting its durability even more and giving it a great amount of protection against heavy-duty damage, including attempts to wrench it out of place or drill into the lock directly with power tools.
This padlock offers a massive amount of physical durability, letting it withstand all kinds of damage that would normally tear it to pieces, even from extremely heavy-duty gear.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Master Lock 141D Covered Keyed Padlock
Another Master Lock padlock, this design is a simple keyed lock that comes with two spare keys as standard. It is straightforward yet durable shape, and construction makes it great for low-level security reasons, and the 4-pin internal cylinder makes it much harder to pick than a basic lock. This, along with the relatively small body, makes this padlock too fiddly for thieves to handle quickly, slowing them down immensely.
To stop them from cutting it off, the padlock has a tough steel shackle that is built to be cut-resistant, ensuring that it won’t easily come off quickly. The main body isn’t easy to bash open, either, making it tricky to bypass despite its size.
This lock might be simple and small, but it offers a great level of reliability and isn’t easy to pick or bash open, making it an ideal padlock for situations where you need quick-to-set-up, hard-to-crack security.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Lock
Desired Tools have designed this combination padlock for excellent performance during light-duty tasks, allowing you to use any unique 4-digit combination to keep your possessions safe both indoors and out. The numbers are easy to adjust and read, which makes it easier to put in the right combination without giving thieves an easier job of guessing the code.
The padlock itself is made with durable and reliable zinc alloy and plated steel, making it far harder to bash open and break apart. This increases its effectiveness in terms of security while also helping it withstand a lot of natural wear and tear from harsh weather or long-term use.
While this padlock might not offer anything extremely unique, it builds on a reliable design to give you a durable, consistent, and hard-to-crack layer of extra security for your home, shed, property or possessions.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Master Lock M175XDLF Outdoor Combination Lock
This heavy-duty combination padlock uses boron-carbide in its design, a material that's 50% tougher than most types of hardened steel. This removes a lot of its physical weaknesses and gives it a high amount of cutting, bashing, and natural damage resistance – the special roller pin cylinder is designed in a similar way, making it really hard to pick or pry open. Unlike a lot of combination locks, the dials have their own cover on the bottom of the padlock, hiding them from view and stopping them from jamming in outdoor weather.
You don’t need any special tool to adjust the code, meaning that you can customize this padlock straight away without running the risk of a thief resetting it with their own tools.
This padlock is an excellent choice for outdoor security, combining a hard-to-bypass design with a hidden set of dials that thieves might just completely miss.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. Master Lock 1535DWD Combination Padlock
This vertical combination lock uses words rather than numbers, giving you four letters to use when creating your own code. This can make it harder for thieves to keep track of the combinations they've already tried and gives you more ways to choose a memorable but hard-to-guess combination. The unusual shape of the lock means that it can’t be bypassed with any conventional tricks, either.
This padlock has a hidden reset button on the bottom that can be triggered with a coin, meaning that you can still get through if you forget the code, and the dial itself is designed with gripping points to help you cycle each letter accurately.
This padlock isn't the strongest or most durable, but its excellent design, and word-based combination system makes it great for confusing, annoying, and frustrating would-be burglars in the hopes that they will give up or do something that gives them away.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Stanley S828-160 CD8820 Hardened Steel Padlock
This straightforward key-based padlock is made with incredibly tough steel: the outer body uses a full layer of shrouded and hardened steel, whereas the internal parts are made with stainless steel instead. This gives it plenty of resistance against bashing, picking, and cutting, while the special Keyway Cover gives it an extra level of protection from tools like drills and other penetration attempts.
The six-pin cylinder design improves its pick resistance even further, as well as making it harder to crack with a fake key, but still makes it just as easy to use as any other lock. With 1 inch of shackle clearance, it can even be used on thick chains if needed.
This padlock’s sheer toughness makes it perfect for protecting important areas or possessions, but the fact that it’s pick-resistant able to prevent drilling makes it ideal for stopping even persistent thieves.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Master Lock Laminated Steel Padlock
This very simple padlock uses a standard design that you are probably already familiar with, meaning that it is very easy to set up and lock as soon as you get it out of the packaging. The durable hardened steel used for all of its body means that it won’t be broken easily, even with heavy tools, and the same materials are used on the shackle to keep it consistently cut-proof.
The interior of this padlock uses a dual-locking lever mechanism that is slightly more difficult to pick compared to a standard lock, as well as making it a more reliable design in general.
This padlock design is quick to use, easy to lock, and perfect for securing a door, box, window, or another object that needs to be kept closed. It is also not that complicated in terms of how it is used, meaning that it is excellent for short-notice situations.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. WGCC Bluetooth Fingerprint Padlock
This Bluetooth padlock is exceptionally secure and doesn't rely on a physical key or combination that can be guessed with trial and error. From a full charge, it lasts for up to 30 days, and it can be recharged with a simple USB cable. The strong aluminum body and steel hook can endure a lot of punishment without breaking, stopping people from trying to cut or smash them.
There are two ways to open this padlock. The first is through your phone via the app, which is linked to specific phones and can’t be opened by just any phone. The other is with fingerprints, something that is almost impossible for a thief to steal or replicate.
This padlock is incredibly secure, recording every time it is unlocked and only opening with either a fingerprint or phone-based Bluetooth single. It is almost impossible to trick your way through, even with heavy-duty tools.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Kwikset 50MM SmartKey Padlock
This incredibly tough padlock uses a mixture of laminated steel and hardened molybdenum for a high level of resistance to corrosion, physical damage, and bad weather, making it incredibly hard to break even if you are using corrosive materials to weaken it. The basic design is the same as a lot of other padlocks, making it familiar and easy to set up.
This doesn't mean that it is easy to crack, though. The hardened shackle prevents cutting and bashing, while the ball-bearing-based locking mechanism offers excellent protection from lockpicks and targeted bashes. This padlock also has a key retaining feature to make sure you don't trap your keys inside the object you are locking.
This padlock is very durable for its size, meaning that it is a really reliable tool for keeping an area locked even if there are persistent thieves in the area that won't hesitate to try and break into your locker, shed or garage.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Padlock Buyer’s Guide
Padlocks offer security, and you generally want the best security possible in every situation. You never know when something you own could be threatened, and there is more to a security measure than just durability: you need to consider almost everything it brings to the table, especially if you don’t know exactly what you should be looking for.
The durability of your padlock is the only thing preventing thieves from bashing it open and brute-forcing their way to your possessions and valuables, so you need to make sure that it’s as strong as possible in the situation you are dealing with. Remember that durability won’t always be a binary thing, and different materials or designs can have a significant effect on how a padlock performs under different conditions.
Many padlocks are made with some variation of steel, which is generally the strongest material for most situations. There are very few situations where steel can be a bad choice, although it is not necessarily the most corrosion-resistant or waterproof option. If you are dealing with situations where these are important qualities, you might want to look for much more specific designs and materials.
On the other hand, aluminum can be much more lightweight, which can make a difference when you are using less sturdy locking systems or trying to lock objects that are suspended off the ground. A heavier lock can quite easily drag rope, chains, or other locking measures down with it, so you will need to find a good balance.
There are dozens of material combinations out there, and some of them are far better than others, so it is impossible to list them all in one place. Once you go high or low enough on the scale, they all blend together anyway: all materials that can be bashed open with a hammer are essentially the same, as are all the ones that can survive being run over with a vehicle. You don’t need to go for the most extreme option every time.
There are three major padlock types worth looking into. The first is a standard keyed padlock, which uses a key to open (view keyless door locks here). These are generally the simplest and most widespread designs, and they are also quite secure since they can’t be opened legitimately without the original keys or a copy made from those keys. However, since the lock is exposed, they are also vulnerable to lockpicking, and no conventional lock is completely pick-safe: still, some are designed to make lockpicking so frustrating and annoying that thieves won’t want to spend a full hour trying to open them.
The second main type is combination locks, which are generally smaller and more compact. These use a series of numbered, lettered, or symbolled reels that need to be placed in a pre-set order before the padlock will open. These are incredibly hard to guess, since a 4-reeled lock might have upwards of ten thousand possible combinations (depending on the number of symbols per reel), and can only really be bypassed with brute force. This makes them some of the most secure from a mechanical standpoint.
The final type is digital or Bluetooth locks, which open based on digital information: a fingerprint, Bluetooth signal from a certain phone, a face scan, or sometimes even a text or call from your mobile device to a special number. These are just as secure as combination padlocks, although they can sometimes be more fragile. It is also sometimes easier to “forget” the combination to them, especially if it is a fingerprint or face scan (since these can change to the point where they aren’t recognized anymore).
Some padlocks are meant to protect a location or object, while others are meant to drive thieves away. In some cases, a padlock might indicate to a thief that there is something worth having, which can make them more of a magnet than a repellent. However, in these cases, the locks are usually supposed to be annoying enough that they will either give up or do something that gives away their position and alert anybody nearby (like loudly trying to smash it open).
A padlock that is supposed to offer protection will usually be durable, small, and fairly inconspicuous, blending in rather than attracting any attention. They are only supposed to be used if a thief actually decides to break into that object or door and will blend into the background in every other situation. This is usually the case with easier-to-pick locks that aren’t as much of a challenge since a hard-to-see lock won’t draw in as many curious burglars.
On the other hand, some people will use the biggest, flashiest, and hardest-to-crack locks intentionally, seeing them as a way to make thieves want to give up and not bother breaking in at all. This doesn’t always work since it might make the thief decide to come back with more tools, but even if they do, it will still delay them by quite a while. If you happen to be home at the time, you are much more likely to notice that they are there, which can make it easier to catch them or call the police.
You don’t always need to worry about this point that much, since a decent padlock might be able to do both: if it is strong enough to survive brute-force damage and a hassle to try and lockpick, then it can prevent most burglars from getting in. If they really want to try and break it, they’ll have to use loud methods like hammers or drills, which can warn you that somebody’s there.
Keep in mind that padlocks can freeze in cold weather. This makes it much harder to unlock them, but it can also be a useful level of extra protection against thieves if you don’t need to open that door or shed for the season. If you do, make sure you use lubricant and de-icer to help remove the ice and frost.
Did you know?
Some padlocks are sold “keyed to differ,” while others are “keyed alike.” “Differ” padlocks all have unique key designs, while “alike” padlocks use the same key. “Master keyed” locks use a hierarchy system instead, and are mainly meant for office buildings.