Padlocks - Top Six things you need to consider when buying padlocks
Padlocks are our universal friend when it comes to securing stuff that dont really conform to any such shape. Used for generations, as long as there has been a need to secure stuff padlocks have been created, built and modified to suite the consumers needs.
But when considering choosing a padlock for an application what do you need to consider.
1: Firstly the size of the hole that the shackle is going to be put through and does the shape of the shackle that after the item is padlocked lock back into the body to secure what you need.
2: Security, DONT think that all padlocks are made the same way. It is one of those cliches in life, the more money you can afford the better the padlock you can buy. Take away the simple padlocks for the likes of your suit cases and lockers, if your investing in a padlock for your home or shed then choose a padlock that would cost over £30.00 or more. Bear in mind, however, that dont put a £150.00 padlock on a shed that you can just unscrew the hinges, yeah I think you get the idea :-)
3) Weather Resistant - As crazy as it may sound manufactures dont guarantee their padlocks for external use, even though we all know most padlocks are on chains or doors open to all elements. But they do try to use materials that will resist the weather like stainless and brass, or in some cases bronze. Abus Paldocks, the guys who made the diskus padlock have come out with a new material Titalumin which is light weight, but at the same time the padlock is not effected by the cost of brass going up and down in this industry.
4) Padlocks use a load off different ways that they lock the hasp into the body. stay away from snap shackle padlocks, in my experience the more moving parts in a padlock the more chance of contamination, corrosion and eventually the break down of the padlock. Keep it Simple Stupid is really the order of the day with a padlock design. always go for a padlock that uses ball bearings to lock the padlock shackle into the body. and if the budget allows make sure the both sides of the padlock shackle is secured into the body, using a bolt croppers on a padlock means they have to cut twice to gain access.
5) CEN grading of padlocks have been around for some time. The higher the number the better the security of the padlock CEN Grade 6 is the dogs Bo&**(ks. You would be paying well over £60 + for this type of padlock, even up in the hundreds.
6) Lubrication. DONT use WD40 in fact DONT use any fatty based oil at all, Fatty oil congeals with age and stays wet which attracts dust and grit and it is this that clogs up the padlock with time. I have in the part rejuvenated a padlock by sitting it in some paraffin over night and then washed all the grit out. I then used old engine oil as a lubricant. the carbon from the engine had infused into the oil and lubricated all the moving parts, because the viscosity of the oil has almost gone it was like water and therefore, would not attract dust as much. It worked for me and the padlock 15 years later is still on my gate and have not lubricated it for some time. I am not suggesting that the manufactures would recommend old engine oil, and the official line is silicon based dry lubricants or graphite dust. (Graphite dust is carbon :-))
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***UPDATE 15th Jan 2015*** - We now have an incredible range of Abus Padlocks, suited on our EPS Cylinder range! Take a look here : High Security ABUS Padlocks with LocksOnline EPS Cylinders
Hope this helps in your decision making process
head of the tech department
TRUST Security - Trust LocksOnline