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Please contribute more knowledge!

Padlock types

The main choice issues with padlocks are security, corrosion and cost.

Miniature padlocks

  • Trivially easy to open without the key
  • Good for non-secure access control
  • At the bottom of the market, other samples may use the same key as yours
  • Little security

Iron padlock

  • Tough, but rust prone.

Brass padlock

  • Rustproof, but not so tough

Colour coded padlock

Shutter lock

  • Straight hasp, C shaped body

Stainless steel shackle

  • Harder to cut

Aluminium body

  • Lightweight lock, low security

Laminated padlock

  • Body made of sheet metal stampings rivetted together.

Cheaper to make than a cast lock

Stainless steel interior

  • For use in severe weather

Marine grade

Disc padlock

  • Hard for a cutting tool to get a good grip on the rounded shape

Heavy duty padlock

Wall anchor

  • Floor or wall fixing padlock for bike securing
  • pic

Combination padlock

  • Keyless
  • Some users forget the pass code
  • Some users fail to change the pass code
  • Slower to use
  • Vulnerable to shoulder surfing


Built up shoulders reduce the vulnerablity of the hasp, but have no effect on the more vulnerable parts of the lock


Keyed alike

Keyed alike padlocks share the same key pattern. Your batch of keyed alikes will have a different key pattern to someone else's batch.

Master keyed

These padlocks each have their own key pattern, but are also all openable by a master key.

Thatcham approval

Insurers may require a thatcham approved locks be used for a vehicle, otherwise the insurance policy is invalid.

Attack modes

Padlock security is low as they're easy to open. The main padlock attack modes are lock picking, cutting & shattering. Combination locks are also vulnerable to pass code guessing and dictionary attack.

In many cases the item the padlock is attached to is targeted instead. Standard basic hasps are more vulnerable than a half decent padlock. Using security screws can help to an extent.

See also