The Three Main Types of Padlocks
Bicycles, motorcycles, toolboxes, and any other items that may be out of your sight for a period of time are extremely vulnerable to theft. Many people know that locking these items up is the best way to secure them, or at least to deter a casual thief. However, with some determination, many cheap or ill-suited locks can be broken or picked. It is important to choose the right kind of lock to best suit your purpose, with maximum security in mind. Most padlocks fall into three main categories: standard padlocks, disk padlocks, and hockey puck padlocks.
Standard padlocks are what most people think of when they picture a lock. These have a square or rectangular body with a U-shaped shackle, meant to loop around the item being secured. Most are operated by a key, though some feature a combination instead. Combination locks are generally less secure than keyed locks, but they can be adequate for low-risk situations such as school lockers. Standard padlocks are available in a large range of qualities. Be sure to purchase padlocks from an experienced lock company to be sure that it will really withstand any attempts to break it or cut through it. Standard padlocks offer a few advantages they are easy to install on many items, or they can be used to connect the ends of a chain that is looped around the object, such as with a bicycle. They are simple to use, and easy to order in large quantities that are keyed alike. Some standard padlocks are weather resistant or have extra-strong shackles to increase durability and improve security.
Disk padlocks, also called round shackle padlocks, are a great option for increased security. The body of the padlock is round, and the shackle is partially shrouded by the body of the lock, making it difficult to get at with bolt cutters or a saw. Disk padlocks offer an additional security advantage; on a standard padlock, the shackle is spring loaded, meaning that if the body of the padlock is forcibly damaged or drilled out, the lock may spring open. With a disk padlock, there is no spring acting on the shackle. If the keyhole of the lock is drilled out, the lock will remain closed.
Hockey Puck Padlocks
One of the highest security padlocks available is the hockey puck padlock. These locks are surface mounted, and do not look like standard padlocks. Instead, they appear to be a thick disk mounted over two overlapping plates. Hockey puck padlocks are extremely secure, because they have no exposed shackle at all. They are ideal for adding extra security to a van, shed, or toolbox, or for replacing a lock that is being continually broken into. It is important to match the level of security you need to the type of padlock you purchase. In many situations, a high quality standard padlock will suffice as a theft deterrent. However, some cases call for more security. If you are in doubt, call your local locksmith for help determining what lock is best for you.