In’s and Out’s of Padlocks

The weather is getting nicer. Which means it’s time to take those toys out of storage. Each year thousands of boats, motorcycles, and quads get stolen (trailer and all).

The usual cause? Unreliable and cheap padlocks.

Contrary to popular belief, padlocks are not all made equal! The padlock you buy for $2.50 down at the local home depot is not going to hold up to would be attackers. We would like to educate you on padlocks and what you can do to keep your possessions safe. Whether it be to lock up your:
– Work truck
– Boat, Motorcycle, ATV trailer
– RV/Motorhome
– Shed
– Garage

Bulger Safe and Lock has the perfect solution for you. Come on down and see us at our easily accessible Lake City (North Seattle) location to get a high quality padlock.

Different types of padlocks

When it comes to padlocks, there are usually three different main types which then branch off into their own subcategories:

1. Standard Padlocks

This is probably what most people think of when you say the word padlock. There is usually a rectangular “body” of the padlock and then a horseshoe shaped “shackle.” These padlocks come in all different shapes, sizes, and qualities. Remember: Just because they all look the same, DOES NOT mean they are going to hold up the same when attacked by a burglar.
These are best suited for:

– Locking up lower-valued items
– Locking up things that the other two options do not fit
– Large quantity orders that all need to be keyed-alike (one key fits everything)

Some standard padlocks come with weather-resistant or guarded-shackle options (see below)

2. Round Disk Padlocks

These padlocks are round in shape with a shrouded shackle. These locks do not leave as much shackle exposed, but lack the longevity of a standard padlock. Less shackle means, less places to cut with bolt-cutters. These locks typically cannot be rekeyed and must be ordered keyed-alike from the factory; we do stock some that are already keyed alike, but depending on your needs may need to special order them for you (this is a very simple process–just ask).

These are best suited for:

– Replacing a lock that continuous gets cut using bolt cutters
– An area that is not as susceptible to rain and other weather

3. Hockey Puck Padlocks

To the naked eye, these do not appear to be padlocks at all. Hockey puck locks are designed to be used on a chain or a specially mounted bracket. Hockey puck padlocks are the most secure option as they do not leave any shackle exposed for cutting (it is hidden behind the puck shaped solid steel body). If you can make this style padlock work, this is by far the best option for securing your possessions.

These are best suited for:

– Adding an extra level of security to your work vans with expensive tools inside
– Adding an extra level of security to your work truck with expensive tools inside
– Adding an extra level of security to your garage or shed
– Replacing a lock that keeps getting cut with bolt-cutters
– Locking double doors or single doors shut with the use of a protected bracket

Padlock Upgrades

High Security Keyway

– Keys are registered to one locksmith (in this case Bulger’s)
– Keys cannot be duplicated by anyone else
– If someone takes key to another locksmith or hardware store, they send them to us
– If someone comes to us, we check their ID and make sure they are authorized. If they are not authorized, we tell them they must find someone who is.

To read all about High Security Keyways, there is another article that focuses solely on this topic here.

High Security Cylinder

You get all the above mentioned High Security features, plus:

A high security lock cylinder. These locks, such as Medeco, come with a high security lock cylinder that is pick resistant, bump resistant, and drill resistant. We cannot legally say “pick-proof” or “bump-proof,” but we have never seen anyone do it.

The High Security Keyway article also covers High Security Locks in more detail. It can be found here.

Remember, we can key up pretty much any padlock to your current house key (including: Schlage and Medeco).

Interchangeable Core (I/C)

If you already have an I/C system, this is perfect for you. I/C systems allow for easy swap out of the cylinder portion of the lock. You have us pre-pin an extra core for you. If someone loses a key, you are able to painlessly swap out the “cores,” so that they old key no longer works. Many apartment complexes use I/C systems for simple, pain-free key changes (since it takes the urgency away).

Combination Padlocks

Combination padlocks all users to open with the use of a code instead of a key. The quality of these locks are typically less than our other padlock selection. These are best-suited for light indoor use.

Guarded Shackle

One of the biggest problems with padlocks, is that they shackle is left exposed allowing easy access with bolt cutters (a padlocks worst nightmare). A lock with a guarded-shackle helps prevent this. The shackle guard comes up along the side of the shackle, protecting it. See the picture below for an example.

Weather Resistant

Steel rusts. That is a fact of life. Fortunately there are some standard padlock options that are built to last longer in our Washington weather. Rain and snow can dramatically decrease a lock’s life; the weather resistant padlocks have a rubber outer and weather door that helps keep moisture out and lubrication in.


Recent Posts