When your security is at stake, you can’t rely on anything less than the best. Among numerous padlocks floating around the market, it gets way too time-consuming to choose the best one. Outdoor padlocks must be stronger than your indoor locks. When you are using a padlock for outdoor purposes, the lock stays more exposed to intruders and damages than your indoor locks. That means you need to bring your ‘A’ game when you’re shopping for outdoor padlocks.
Evaluating all pros and cons of every single padlock will take you a million years before you can actually buy one, which is why we’ve created a super shortlist of 5 best outdoor padlocks to make your work easy. Comparing features that are must-haves when it comes to security, our list will make it convenient for you to decide which one to get.
5 Best Outdoor Padlock
The best outdoor padlocks are always brought to you by the manufacturers that keep everything in mind when offering a padlock to the market. Go through the following locks that excel in almost all features you would hope to have in your outdoor padlock.
Stanley Hardware Shrouded Laminated Outdoor Padlock (Best All-Around)
You get an immediate sense of security when you hear the name Stanley. An outstanding outdoor lock designed by this brand is almost invincible to basic attacks. You will hear people saying how they tried different tools to access this lock without using a key and failed. The six-pin anti-pick mechanism will let you rest assured that whatever you are trying to keep safe stays safe. You can use this lock for diverse situations because of its powerful security features.
Some people look for strong padlocks to use in their gym, outdoor barn, garage, and so on. All problems come with one simple solution- this padlock from Stanley.
Suppose you have to keep the lock open for someone other than you to lock it up. Isn’t it bothersome to have to leave the key with the lock? What if it gets lost?
With this lock, you can remove the key from the hole even when the lock is open. However, some people don’t prefer this feature.
- Get a sense of higher security with a lock that protects bolt cutters and basic picking tools
- Perfect for any outdoor door that needs extra security
- The key comes off even when the lock is open, so there’s less chance of losing the key
- The keys are big in size, which may seem inconvenient for some users
Fu Volante Stainless Steel Outdoor Padlock
A well-built lock with a long shackle makes you feel safer. Fu Volante brings this stainless steel padlock with a robust structure to help secure your external doors. Exterior doors are the ones that need the highest level of security. So make sure you are getting the right kind of lock that ensures strong protection against forced entry.
You don’t have to go for lock shopping very soon again because Fu Volante is popular for its durability. Moreover, the lock is rust-free, so you don’t have to worry about it rusting when getting drenched.
You are getting three keys with one lock, so that’s a plus point when you want extra spare keys in case you get locked out. Few users don’t like the feature when keys come out while the lock is open. With this lock, you can’t remove the key before closing the lock.
You have to insert the key, turn the key to full 180 degrees position and pull the shackle open when opening the lock. Reverse the same process to lock it.
- The lock is weatherproof, so you can use it on an exposed door or storage without worrying about rusting it
- It comes with three keys to help you store two spare keys to provide access to other users or in case of emergencies like losing the primary key.
- Strong and robust built makes it a perfect outdoor lock to prevent forced entries.
- The locking and unlocking system may come to different to some user
Master Lock Hardened Steel Outdoor Padlock
It’s impossible not o come across the name Master Lock when you are shopping for a lock. Master Lock has earned its reputation with the best quality locks made for multiple purposes. This one has everything necessary to make it the best among others. Hardened boron alloy shackles are for granting a difficult-to-cut structure to the lock.
The cylinder is removable and features a 5-key mechanism, so you can easily re-key the lock if you wish. A 5-key mechanism is perfect for providing maximum security for outdoor uses. Use it for your gates, sheds, or storage. In fact, these might be the best padlocks for gates.
The shackles are also very thick that prevents your lock from power cutting tools. You need to keep in mind while purchasing this if the shackle will accommodate where you want to install it.
So, you are getting cut-resistance, pick-resistance, and durability all in one lock. There’s no reason why this lock shouldn’t make your bucket list.
- The lock is hard to pick, which provides strong security for your outdoor use situations
- It provides protection against picking and sawing so you can have a durable secured sense with this lock
- The lock features a 5-key mechanism that makes it hard to access by the people who shouldn’t get access
- The shackle may not fit some facility
Master Lock Heavy Duty Outdoor Padlock
Hardened boron alloy provides very strong security against cutting and sawing when it comes to shackling materials. Master lock outdoor locks feature hardened boron alloy shackles that make them perfect for outdoor uses, especially for businesses.
It’s weatherproof and can withstand dirt and moist to keep this lock from getting damaged. Another thing you will love is its ease of use. Despite offering a satisfying security level, the lock is very easy to use.
Not only that, but it can also be re-pinned because the cylinder is removable. So, in any case, you don’t have to change the lock. Instead, you can re-key it and use it again without inconvenience. The lock features a 5-pin locking mechanism, so you can guess how difficult it will be to pick the lock. You would get two keys with one lock for keeping one as a back-up key if you lost one key.
- An easy re-keying feature lets you keep the lock even when you need to change the cylinder
- Easy to use and offers you robust security back-ups against lock picking, prying, cutting, and sawing
- The weatherproof feature makes the lock freezeproof and protects against dirt, grime, and moist
- Some user may prefer a better-looking lock if they prioritize appearance
Master Lock Magnum Laminated Steel Outdoor Padlock
The last lock to make a list also comes from Master Lock. This is explicitly made for using outdoor because the shackle features boron carbide material. It has a 4-pin and ball-bearing mechanism to make it the most effective against picking and cutting.
It’s a pack of two locks that comes with two keys. You can use both keys to open any of them, which means they’re keyed alike.
There can’t be any doubt about the lock quality or how strong it is against forceful attacks. The shackle itself answers everything. And if that isn’t enough, the lock features dual armor protection for making the lock weatherproof. Without saying, that’s one of the most important features when you are shopping for an outdoor padlock. Some people may not like that there’s no spare key. Even though the locks are keyed-alike, two keys for two locks means no spare key. Other than that, you can’t complain about anything with this lock.
- Strong protection against lock picking, cutting, and sawing, which is the primary expectation from a lock
- A Weatherproof feature makes the locks stand exposed without damaged
- The keyed-alike system provides an effortless lock-unlock system because both keys can open both locks
- No spare key comes with the package; you only get two keys with two locks
Characteristic of a Good Padlock
What makes a lock better than others? How do you determine which is good? While it’s pretty tough to grade a lock on a scale of security, there are some features you can use to compare and evaluate if a padlock is good or not.
The shackle construction of a padlock determines how difficult it is to cut a lock through to get access with forced entry. If a lock is well-built and hard to cut through, the padlock is considered good.
The shape of the shackle also plays an essential role in making the lock more robust and making it difficult to access a bolt cutter.
Shackle guard is another feature to provide a lock with a good padlock label. It adds another layer of security and makes it hard to access by someone who shouldn’t.
If you compare two locks, weight is an important issue. The heavier a lock is, the better quality materials have been used to make the lock. So, when you are stuck between two locks, go for the heavier ones. Heavy locks are also difficult to cut with basic tools by lock pickers.
Ease of use
The first three characteristics define how secure a lock is. Ease of use for the users with authority to access the lock. If a lock is so complicated that the users themselves can’t access the lock, there’s no use of the lock. A good lock will be hard to access by the intruders and easy to access by the owner.
Another thing that makes a padlock better than others is durability. The longer a padlock can provide you with security, the better the lock. If you compare two locks, find out which one will last longer without damage.
Types of Padlock
Padlocks come in various types depending on different features. The types aren’t determined by the lock’s appearance, but by the mechanism used to open the lock. We’ve discussed different types of padlocks you’ll find in detail below.
To close a keyed lock, you will have to insert a key into the lock so that several lock pins are pushed into place until the lock can be opened. A locking pin is a thin metal pin that slides into the lock core. Each pin must be set to a certain height with a key to turn the drum and open the lock. Incorrectly cut keys will incorrectly set the pins, and you will not be able to open the lock.
This lock style is the safest, but requires maintaining a key. They are also very popular for diverse use and comes with a lot of sub-types. Basically, all locks that require a key fall under this type.
Combination locks use a numbered combination to turn the various cams into positions that allow the shackles to be released. The cams are small discs with a groove. The shackle opens when the cutout of each cam is aligned, and the lock is opened. The shackle is the curved metal strip that opens or closes.
Combination locks are suitable for inexpensive items that people don’t bother to steal or in fairly safe places like school. While you won’t have to worry about the key, overall, they are the weakest choice in terms of security.
One of the most common ways to access a lock by an intruder is cutting a lock’s shackle. Shackle-less locks are designed without the U-shaped part of the lock to eliminate this cause and increase security. While the idea is undoubtedly clever, the use of these padlocks is very limited.
You will mostly see them being used on vehicle doors. Because of their unique installation requirements, they can’t be used everywhere.
This type of padlock is specifically designed to use in storage units. The shackles are usually too small in these locks to make it difficult for an outsider to cut the shackle. Even though these padlocks provide strong security, back-up, they’re not universally used everywhere. Their uses are limited to some storage units.
Other than the types described above, padlocks can be divided into many types depending on looks and mechanism. For example, if you categorize locks depending on shackle type, you will find closed shackle padlocks, straight shackle padlocks, shackle-less padlock, long shackle padlocks, and more.
Besides, there are other padlocks designed specifically for certain places and situations. Luggage locks can be accessed by a universal key possessed by security officers. They use it to access any luggage if they seem necessary.
Combination locks can also come with a key, so that falls in another category. To summarize all padlock types, there are basically two types: Keyed locks and combination locks. The rest are just sub-types of these two types.
Buying Guide for Outdoor Padlock
When buying a new lock, you need to understand the features that best reflect the lock’s quality. A padlocks need to be sophisticated enough to keep your property safe. Here we put some light on some of the most important features you should consider.
The shackle is the most visible part of the lock. Since it’s kind of a weak point for the lock, manufacturers often use a durable material to avoid damage. Shackle material types can be hardened steel, brass, stainless steel, boron carbide, hardened boron alloy steel, and molybdenum alloy steel.
Stainless steel and brass are comparatively lower quality variants that provide minimal impact protection. However, stainless steel shackles are rated for outdoor use for their corrosion resistance.
Hardened steel and hardened boron steel alloy are mid-range materials that are used to make shackles. They are heat-treated to form a hardened outer layer, although some power tools can still cut them. Boron carbide and molybdenum steel alloy are the most durable and expensive choices for shackle materials.
Ease of Use
Easy access by the owner is a crucial feature to consider when choosing a lock. If the lock is too complex to access the user easily, a lot of energy and time will be lost. Make sure to purchase a lock that’s convenient to lock and unlock along with other security features.
Closed shackle locks have metal covers to protect the shackle. The locking shoulders are metal sides that rise to cover the left and right sides of the shackle. Padlocks with shrouded shoulders are more resistant to electric tools and prevent access to the shackle more effectively. However, the same protection can make it difficult to use, as adding a large part of the cap reduces the size of the lock opening. Some locks come with a removable shoulder option that is completely separated from the body to make it easier to keep the trouble to a minimum.
Number of pins on the key
The number of pins determines how difficult it is to pick the lock. In general, the more pins a padlock has, the more secure it will be. Pin configurations can range from low 3-pin locks to complex 7-pin locks, although most locks fall in the middle of the scale with a 5-pin core.
Note that people can still choose a padlock with a pin using a hammer and a bump key.
Size of the lock
The bigger the lock, the tougher it is to pick and cut through by intruders. Large locks can shelter diverse options and more pins to make the lock more complex. Better material in a large size is certainly an admirable feature in a lock.
However, the weight of larger locks can make it difficult for users to use them. So we suggest you go for a medium-size lock, so it’s convenient and secure at the same time.
When there’s a chance that you’ll need to change your lock, it’s better to go for a lock with a removable core. So when you need to change the lock, you can just change the core without changing the lock. This feature comes in handy when buying a lock for a rented facility or a storage unit. For an outdoor lock, this feature is worth looking into.
- What is the best outdoor padlock?
The best outdoor locks usually come with the following features- weatherproof, chrome-plated, hardened steel body, and horizontal shackles to protect the lock mechanisms.
- How Would I Know What the Security Level Rating of a Padlock Is?
Unfortunately, there isn’t any standard rating for comparing the security level rating of padlocks. But the manufacturers provide guidelines and instruction with the padlocks to get an idea about how secure a lock is.
- How Would I Know Which Padlock is the Best for Me?
When buying outdoor padlocks, look for robust structure, weather-resistance, and a complex lock mechanism that’s hard to pick. If you wish to use the lock for indoor and outdoor use, make sure the lock is easy to use.
- Do These Padlocks Need Any Maintenance?
Not much maintenance is necessary for keeping padlocks working efficiently. However, lubricating the locks will keep the mechanism smooth for a long time. Dry graphite powders are considered best for lubricating padlocks.
The essential features every outdoor lock must possess are, weather-resistance, strong against forced entry, powerful materials to withstand pry attacks, and ease of use. Make sure the lock at least has these features, and then consider other side benefits.
You can go for different types of padlocks depending on what you prioritize in a lock. Depending on what purpose you’re looking for padlocks, the best one to make to the top will vary. Some locks excel in security and some in durability.
If you want everything in one lock, go through our list and pick the one that wins your heart.