Recommended Secure Lock Brands


I'm not an expert in locksmithing, lockpicking and am definitely not trying to pick any lock.

I'm currently looking for a 40mm padlock that can secure my locker. Being a paranoid person who values my privacy and the security of my belongings, I hope to push the security level offered by my padlock to the extreme, never mind if under extreme circumstances, whoever want to gain access to my things in my locker illegally or covertly would resort to using a blowtorch to cut or explosives to blow open my locker. :)

So I went to a few hardware, home-fix and DIY shops to see what are available. But seems like the packaging offers little details as to how secure each lock really is in the real world. Some brand like Yale offers a vague numerical scale that denotes the security level and recommended use with 1 the lowest (deterrence only) to 10 (high security). Each brand try to tout itself as anti-picking, anti-prying, anti-sawing, anti-drilling, anti-blowing etc. but do they really stand up to lockpicking and brute force attacks on the lock?

The brands I saw are TriCircle (China), Yale, Magic Mart, Secure-Loc, Eye Brand and Abloy (4 to 5 times more expensive than the rest)? Is Abloy really the "unbreakable" lock for high security application?

So I hope to tap the real world experience of locksmiths who are involved in breaking and picking locks.

When deciding which brand, of padlocks to purchase and use, is there any general rule of thumbs or recommended brands that are proven to be more secure, reliable or resistent to lockpicking or brute force breaking. I definitely do not trust certain cheap locks made in China that can be easily pried open with a screwdriver, or picked by someone trained and skilled in lockpicking in 5 seconds.

What are the criterias to look at when assessing whether one lock is stronger than another? Are those locks with cylindrical/rounded keys more secure than those with flat keys? Are brass-bodied locks stronger/weaker than steel locks? When the shackles are marked with the word "Hardened", do they have to meet certain common criteria or standard i.e. could one brand definition of "Hardened" be softer than another brand? Are there some kind of locks or lock designs to avoid totally, because they are proven to be insecure and easily picked or broken by force?

Sorry for the long posting. I have a lots of questions in my mind about how to pick a good lock.

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The question you have to ask yourself is not how good a lock you should purchase, but how strong the locker it is being used on is...

Don't go out and buy a $50 dollar padlock to use on a sheet metal locker because someone with a large enough screwdriver could twist it right off without even opening it...

If you are this paraniod, you shouldn't be keeping things in the locker you are being allowed use of, as it is not your property and is subject to serach by the school or business on whose premises it is located and you do not have any rights to nor should you have any expectation of privacy when you are using a locker...

If this is some kind of storage locker, insuring the well documented contents and installing an alarm will do more for you than buying the fanciest most secure lock on the market, as someone will come along and find a way in without opening the lock at all... That shiny secure lock will attract unwanted attention from the kind of people you seem to want to avoid... A "good" lock on the door = GOOD STUFF inside it...

Good Luck with your padlock shopping...

Evan, ~~ formerly a maintenance man, now a college student...

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American makes some nice shielded shackle models. A lot of really strong padlocks are going to have too large of a shackle diameter to work on a locker. If this is a storage locker your best bet is an Abus discus.

Reply to
Roger Shoaf

"ykgoh" wrote in message news:

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You can't find an adequately secure lock until you clearly determine what "adequately secure" means in this particular instance. Part of that is looking at other attack vectors and assigning some level of risk of each. For instance, if the locker has hinges that are easily removed, your lock needn't be any more secure than the amount of effort to remove the hinges. Why spend $100 on a lock if I can drill the rivets holding the hasp on in a minute and replace them with pop-rivets as soon as I'm done going through your things? You also have to consider whether your primary notion of security is deterence or prevention. Even a cheap lock provides quite a bit of deterence - especially if it is likely that other lockers nearby probably don't have a lock on them at all. On the prevention side, you have to consider whether the person you are trying to prevent from getting in to your locker is making the attempt because it is convenient (i.e., they have access to the area and no one else happens to be around) or because they have specific reason to want to get into your locker because it is *your* locker. You also have to consider whether you are only concerned about someone getting in that is trying to hide the fact, even from you, that they've been in or someone that doesn't care if it is obvious to the world that the locker was broken into less than five minutes ago. Also keep in mind, especially if you don't own the locker, that the owner of the locker has probably reserved the right to open the locker with or without your permission and the locker may have features that permit the owner to bypass your lock entirely to do so. Another thing to consider is whether one of the attacks you want to protect yourself from is a search warrant. When all is said and done, it comes back to my original point - you can't find an adequately secure lock until you clearly determine what "adequately secure" means in this particular instance.

Reply to
William L. Bahn

Yes, there is a standard that you can use to rate various locks but most manufacturers don't print their qualifications on the package. The standard is ANSI/ASTM F883 and I think the latest version was 2004 or

2005. Call the manufacturer to determine where their lock rates, 1 is lowest, 6 is highest, and there are 5 or 6 categories of attack that are rated as well as environmental tests in that standard.

I would suggest that a more secure padlock can always be found at a locksmith instead of the retail consumer oriented places you have been visiting. There are many padlocks in the commercial marketplace that are designed to accept a door hardware compatible cylinder which means you can use a high security one that has UL437 listing, (another standard). There are also shrouded versions available which make the shackle inaccessible and there is always the padlock that doesn't have a visible shackle, typically referred to as a 'hockey puck'.

Just remember, the padlock is >

Reply to
Billy B. Edwards Jr.

You got some good advice here!

I wouldn't too much on a securty lock for a locker! There is absolutely no need to pick the lock at all! They can be popped open easily by any teenager! A lock on a locker is only meant to keep honest people honest. It has no deterence to some one that really wants to get in your locker. No need for torches or explosives, just a heavy duty screwdriver!

If you really want to throw some thing up thats cheap and difficult to pick, go to walmart and buy a small shrouded Brinks lock ($12). It's actually very good quality and not so easy to pick. The average picker would have trouble with it. It would take them at least 5 minutes probably longer. Any one with even less experience would take them days! This is the reason why most thieves do not pick locks, there are many easier and faster ways to gain entrance. But any level of security is better then no security.

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