The 4 Best Padlocks Around  (Reviewed 2022)


The Toughest Padlock

  • Interchangeable Design
  • Pick Resistant
  • Patented

Best Overall


  • Alloy Steel Material
  • Indoor & Outdoor Lock
  • Extended Shackle

Best Features

  • Smart Key Re-key Technology
  • Works w/ Kwikset Key
  • ‎Alloy Steel Material

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

01.21.2022

Written By: John Fox | Security expert / Locksmith 30 Years Experience

Locks are not as safe as we like to believe. Cheap and poorly made locks can be compromised literally within seconds. Pin-tumbler and wafer locks that don’t have pick resistance can be picked within seconds using a simple raking pick or a lock pick gun. Locks made of low-quality materials can be drilled through or cut through, and locks made of plastic internal parts can be melted using a torch.

High-security locks are made contemplating all these factors. We bought some of the most acclaimed locks in the market and tested these locks against all kinds of attacks ourselves. We reached the consensus that the Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock is the best padlock for most applications.

Here we discuss the 4 best locks according to our testing.

Best Overall

Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock with Key, 1 Pack

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock

Master lock is one of the largest and most recognizable lock manufacturers in the world. Their locks are designed considering all possible vulnerabilities locks can have. And the same is true for the Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock.

The Master lock padlock is made from laminated alloy steel. Laminated here refers to padlocks made with several layers of hardened steel stacked on top of each other. This makes the master lock padlock much tougher than plastic or brass padlocks.

The shackle on padlocks is vulnerable to being cut with a saw, but the Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock has a shackle made of hardened steel which is quite difficult and time-consuming to cut manually. Hardened steel shackle also protects against “the double wrench method,” which can be used to break the shackle within seconds.

Another vulnerability locks have is drilling. An intruder can use a drilling machine to drill through the body of the lock, destroy the lock cylinder, and get past it. But the Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock has a tough enough body to resist wireless drilling machines. Most locks are particularly vulnerable to drilling at the bottom where the cylinder is exposed, but this lock has a hardened steel bottom plate, securing the cylinder from drilling.

The Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock also offers significant resistance against picking. The lock has a 4-pin W1 cylinder which has multiple false sets. False sets are false setting positions on the pins that appear as if the pins are in the right place when they’re not. The false set is the primary protection locks have against raking.

In our testing, we weren’t successful in opening this lock with a raking pin even once. The only way to pick a lock with false sets is by manual picking, which takes a lot of time, even for experienced lock pickers. Most intruders find it safer not to spend time picking a lock with false sets and leave.

Another vulnerability locks have is lever picking. Lockpickers can insert a small sheet of metal to access the lever that locks/unlocks the shackle. But the Master Lock 3KALF Padlock has two levers, both of which are protected against lever picking.

This lock also has weather and rust resistance for extended life. It can be used indoors as well as outdoors. This lock is perfect for residential and commercial garages, gates, fences, workshops, sheds, toolboxes, etc.

Features:

  • Rekey: No
  • Body Material: Laminated Alloy Steel
  • Shackle Material: Hardened Steel
  • Weather Resistance: Yes
  • Best For: Indoors and Outdoors
  • Pick Resistance: Yes
  • Cut Resistance: Yes
  • Temper Resistance: Yes
  • Shackle Diameter: 7mm
  • No of Pins: 4
  • Dimensions: 1.02 x 1.32 x 1.27 inches

What We Liked:

  • Tough body and shackle protect against physical tempering
  • Has two levers, protecting against lever picking
  • Offers significant pick resistance
  • Offers weather and rust resistance and has a long life

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t have a re-key option

The Toughest Padlock

Commando Lock Total Guard High Security iCHANGE Shrouded Padlock with...

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Commando Lock Total Guard High-Security iCHANGE Shrouded Padlock

Commando is popular for creating some of the toughest high-security locks in the market. These locks aren’t just rated military-grade; commando locks are used by militaries all over the world. These locks are made in the US and are designed to meet US military standards.

The Commando iCHANGE Shrouded Padlock is one of the toughest padlocks you can find. The body of this lock is made from carbon steel, and the carbon steel plates are riveted together, making the lock impossible to take apart. The plates are held together with an extreme force of 200,000 lb. The lock has a recurved design which protects it against hammer blows. The body is plated with zinc to make it further weather resistant.

The shackle is made of a steel alloy, but it’s not the same steel alloy from the previous product. “alloy” is a term used for materials made from mixing metals and other substances together. Hence, “steel alloy” can refer to any material that is a mixture of steel and other substances. Commando hasn’t revealed what steel alloy they use in the Commando iCHANGE Shrouded Padlock, but this alloy is 50% harder to cut than even hardened steel.

If that’s not enough, the Commando iCHANGE Shrouded Padlock has a shrouded guard that covers the shackle making it much harder to cut. The shackle guard is bolt cutter proof and gives 25% more shackle coverage than any other shackle guard in the market.

Commando locks have many unique, innovative features that can’t be found anywhere else since commando has the patents for these innovations. One such feature is the iChange. The iChange in the name refers to one of the patented technologies incorporated in this lock. The lock comes with two shackles of different lengths, and you can interchange the shackles for different applications. You can even use a cable instead of a shack, making it a bicycle lock. (1)

It’s difficult to top all the features mentioned so far, but we think the most impressive feature of this lock is its pick resistance. The lock uses a 5 pin cylinder and has 10 security pins, making the lock virtually impossible to pick using raking. Even manually, this lock is impossible to pick for most but the most experienced lock pickers. TheLockpickingLawyer, a popular lock picking channel on YouTube, deemed this lock as one of the most pick-resistant locks you can get your hands on.

Features:

  • Rekey: No
  • Body Material: Riveted Zinc-plated Carbon Steel
  • Shackle Material: Steel-alloy
  • Weather Resistance: Yes
  • Anti-drill: Yes
  • Best For: Indoors and outdoors
  • No of Pins: 5 + 10 security pins
  • Pick Resistance: Yes
  • Cut Resistance: Yes
  • Temper Resistance: Yes
  • Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.75 x 5 inches

What We Like:

  • Extraordinarily high sturdily makes the lock almost impossible to break
  • 5 pin cylinder with 10 security pins makes the lock nearly impossible to pick
  • Interchangeable shackles make the lock perfect for most applications

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The removable shackle can be annoying when locking and unlocking

Best Features

Kwikset 026SMTLNG SHKL PDL Stanley SmartKey Padlock Long Shackle, 50mm,...

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Kwikset 026SMTLNG SHKL PDL Stanley SmartKey Padlock

Kwikset is its own place in the padlock market; they produce locks with amazing and convenient features without compromising security.

The Kwikset Stanley SmartKey Padlock uses the same stacked metal plates design as some of the strongest locks in the world. The body is made from steel alloy, whereas the shackle is made of hardened molybdenum, which resists cutting and breaking.

The body is smaller in size than other locks. This is a design choice that protects against damage from shock waves resulting from hammering. When you hit a solid object with something, it results in sound waves that travel throughout the object that “bend” and vibrate the same way a rope vibrates. But, smaller objects are better at absorbing the shock because smaller objects are harder to bend. This is the reason pebbles are harder to break using a hammer than a large marble tile.

Now, let’s talk about the features we mentioned before. The Kwikset Stanley SmartKey Padlock uses a smart re-key technology that allows you to change the key of the lock-in for 30 seconds. All you need is the current key and the new key, and you can change the key in 3 simple steps. This feature is perfect for landlords who have to change the lock every time someone leaves. You may want to check rekeying vs changing locks.

The lock also has the key retaining feature. This means that once you unlock the lock using a key, the key stays inside the lock till you lock the padlock again. It makes sure you only lock the padlock when you have the key on you; it is all too common for people to mistakenly leave the key inside the garage they just locked.

Like the other locks here, the Kwikset Stanley SmartKey Padlock also has to pick resistance. The lock uses false sets to resist ageist raking and is quite time-taking to pick manually.

The shackle locks via a dual ball bearing mechanism that protects against lever picking.

Features:

  • Rekey: Yes
  • Body Material: Steel Alloy
  • Shackle Material: Hardened Molybdenum
  • Weather Resistance: Yes
  • Anti-drill: Yes
  • Best For: Indoors and Outdoors
  • Pick Resistance: Yes
  • Cut Resistance: Yes
  • Temper Resistance: Yes

What We Liked:

  • The lock can be re-keyed to any Kwikset key within seconds
  • Key remains inside the lock when it’s unlocked
  • The lock does not compromise on features despite having smart features.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Re-key option compromises pick resistance a bit

Best Fingerprint Lock

iPhone Bluetooth Fingerprint Padlock Smart Keyless Security Locker Lock Gym...

Last update on 2022-01-21 / Affiliate links / Ratings / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Inovare Bluetooth Fingerprint Padlock

Smart locks are not the same-level strong as mechanical locks, but they’re perfect for indoor use. The body of the Inovare Bluetooth Fingerprint Padlock is made of Zinc Alloy, while the shackle is made of stainless steel. These materials aren’t as strong as the previous locks in this article, but it would be really difficult to build a smart lock with a stacked metal plates design, so this lock is the best that’s possible for now.

But, locks for suitcases, lockers, backpacks, handbags, and other indoor applications are not risked by as many physical assaults anyway. What they are vulnerable to is lock picking.

The Inovare Bluetooth Fingerprint Padlock is the most pick-proof lock that can possibly exist; it has no key in the first place. The lock has a fingerprint sensor that can recognize your fingerprint within a fraction of a second. The lock is perfectly able to analyze your fingerprint from all angles and doesn’t unlock when someone else attempts to use it.

The lock is water-resistant and comes with a 24 months free repair and 12 months quality warranty. (2)

One downside is that this lock uses a Lithium-ion battery. This kind of battery lasts pretty long, but you can be careful when you charge it, or it shrinks incapacity. If you buy this lock, only change the battery when it’s completely dead and not before. The battery lasts about 1500 unlocks; you’ll probably only have to charge the lock once a year.

Features:

  • Rekey: Yes
  • Body Material: Zinc Alloy
  • Shackle Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weather Resistance: Yes
  • Anti-drill: No
  • Best For: Indoors
  • Pick Resistance: Yes
  • Cut Resistance: No
  • Temper Resistance: No

What We Liked:

  • Quick and reliable fingerprint sensor
  • Long-lasting battery

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only works with iOS devices

Value Editorial and Buying Guides for the Best Padlocks

What does a shackle guard do?

A shackle guard protects the shackle from being struck directly and picked directly. The shackle is the only thing keeping the lock closed. With enough time, any shackle can be cut using a saw. Once the shackle is cut, the intruder can simply rotate the two pieces in the opposite direction to unlock the lock. A shackle guard minimizes the amount of shackle that is exposed.

What do security pins do in a lock?

Most lock picking methods involve using a tension wrench to force the lock cylinder and using a pick to set the pins. Security pins are placed in the place of some of the real pins to prevent anyone from picking them this way. A security pin is designed such that when it’s lifted, it keeps the cylinder from rotating and unlocking. When you insert a key, the key doesn’t lift any of the security pins, but when a lock picker attempts to pick a lock, they do accidentally lift several of the security pins, which makes it impossible for them to rotate the cylinder and unlock the lock even after they’ve picked it.

Wrapping Up

All the locks discussed here are winners of their own subcategory, and it doesn’t seem fair to pick a winner here. But if we had to choose one, we would go with the Master Lock 3KALF Outdoor Padlock. This lock is secure, compact, and best for most indoor and outdoor applications.


References

(1) bicycle – https://www.britannica.com/technology/bicycle
(2) warranty – https://www.britannica.com/topic/warranty

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John Fox

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Fox and I’ve been working as a security consultant for over 20 years now. During my time in the industry, I’ve learned about what it takes to ensure your home and family are always safe. With Safe Now, I’ve tried to take those two decades of experience and share it with others. My goal now is to help others figure out how to make the right choices for their businesses and families. On my website, you’ll find tips and guides on how to prevent crimes, as well as product recommendations. What’s more, my readers can learn more about what to do in case of an emergency and how to protect themselves at all times. So, if you want to know everything there is about security systems and home safety, I invite you to join me and my team and help us build a community together.