Padlocks are not all made equal!There are different types and styles and each one is used for a different task; some are used to lock a garden shed and others to lock down a top secret military installation. Although the function of the two locks is the same, the security implications vary greatly.
The Different Types Of Padlocks
There is a big variety of padlocks available to choose from, and they all come in different security grades and with different features.
There two main types of locking mechanism used today are: integrated locks and modular locks.
Integrated locks have a system of rotating disks that are rotated by a key; the lock is designed in such a way that it cannot be taken apart and is considered one of the better locks available because they are virtually unpickable. These locks are very popular in Scandinavia and particularly in Finland, where they originated from.
Modular locking mechanisms are the most recent incarnation of locks and have cylinders that use a system of pins, wafers or disk tumblers to operate the locking mechanism.
The most popular are the pin and tumbler locks which consist of a series of small pins and springs, which the correct key will move into the right positions to open the lock.
How Secure Is A Padlock?
A padlock can be “cracked” in two ways; the first way is through forced entry by using tools such as bolt cutters, hammers, drills and chisels, the second way is through more deceptive means such as picking or bumping the lock or using unauthorized key duplication.
To prevent the former, locks are hardened and reinforced to bolster their resistance to forced entry and, to prevent the latter, lock manufacturers constantly have to improve the “unpickability” of their locks.
Because creating duplicate keys is one of the easiest ways to open a lock, companies such as Medeco from Virginia have a special patented process to protect their keys from duplication; this is also why their locks are used by the Pentagon and the White House.
Locks are rated according the different security grades by institutions like The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). These grades will vary according to a lock’s ability to resist the above two main ways of cracking it.
Padlocks have many different uses and if anything needs to be locked, a padlock can do the job. You can lock doors on garden sheds, gates, lockers and garages. You can secure work trucks, trailers, RV’s and boats; you can use a padlock to secure just about anything.
Their uses vary according to their assigned tasks and the quality of the lock will depend on the task that it needs to perform; a lock for a garden shed will be of a lower quality to a lock needed for use in a military installation.
Just remember, the padlock that you buy for $2.50 down at the local Home Depot is not going to hold up to would be attackers; you get what you pay for. If you are serious about securing your possessions then you would do well to ask your local Locksmith in Tacoma for advice; he will be able to provide you with the best lock for the job you have in mind.
Padlocks are a necessity in our every day lives and we constantly use them to protect our homes and our businesses. It is therefore important to ensure that you always use the right lock for the right task.