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What are the most secure types of padlock?

Whether you've got garden sheds, shipping containers, a garage or a lockup to secure, padlocks offer a convenient and affordable way to keep them secure and ensure unauthorised access isn't allowed to would-be intruders.

Watch Out For CEN Numbers!

You'll find a wide array of choice on the market when it comes to padlocks, with a range of heavy duty padlock products available. The choice you make will depend on what it's going to be used for and the CEN level scale is used to determine strength.

At the bottom end of the scale, level 1 represents the weakest, with the high security padlocks offering the stiffest test for burglars usually being at CEN level 5 or 6 (the highest).

A wide range of heavy duty padlock products exist

It is important to get the right one for a number of reasons, with perhaps the most important being to keep your personal belongings, money and valuable items safe.

So, come with us now as we look at the diferent types of padlock that are available to protect your property and comply with your home insurance company's guidelines.

Iron (Open Shackle) Padlocks

iron padlock on a door

Our first option is solid iron padlocks which offer high levels of durability and feature an exposed shackle that's relatively easy to get at with bolt croppers.

Despite being manufactured from iron, the best brands are fully tested against rust, with a virtually impervious outer coating that makes them perfect for use as locks on gates, chains, sheds, or anything else that needs to be secured.

Typically supplied with 2-3 keys and as a keyed alike option (i.e. multiple padlocks can be opened with the same master key), they can be used as a lock either indoors or out and require regular cleaning and oiling to keep the function nice and smooth.

This is a product that's available in a selection of sizes that include 32mm, 38mm, 50mm, and 63mm, depending on your requirements.

Security Rating: 6/10

Laminated & Brass Padlocks

brass padlock on a green door

Offering roughly the same level of security as iron padlocks are zinc-plated laminated padlocks and solid brass padlocks, both of which have the same open shackle design.

The zinc-plated laminate padlocks are available in 30mm and 40mm sizes, whereas solid brass products come in 20mm, 25mm, 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 63mm options.

Exisiting on the same page in terms of security with an almost identical design, you can also find long shackle products, as well as weather-resistant padlocks.

Security Rating 6/10

High Security Padlocks

numbered padlock

Now we get to the big boys, as we look at what could accurately be described as high security padlocks. These high security locks are the type that many insurance companies are happy to deal with. Typically speaking, insurance companies will require padlocks to be at least one of the following:

  • A 5-lever design

  • Have a closed shackle

  • Be at least CEN 3

  • Be a sold secure padlock

Sold Secure is a UK certification & testing house that denotes padlocks to be either sold secure bronze, sold secure silver, or sold secure gold, depending on the level of security provided, with gold obviously being the highest level possible.

Several high security padlocks available

Let's have a look at some of these high security padlocks that are much less easily broken during an attempted break-in.

Disc padlocks -

Disc padlock

With a circular design and a closed shackle, disc padlocks are one of those locks that will likely deter any attacks using drills or cutters. Crafted from high-grade, reinforced stainless steel, it's an option that offers a high degree of safety & security.

Security rating: 9/10

Armoured padlocks -

Armoured padlock

Another high security option that should be considered are armoured padlocks that are resistant to drilling, cutting, and the weather. Made from hardened steel, it's one that a burglar will think twice about attacking.

Security rating: 9/10

Also available are high security combination padlocks

Companies like Mul T Lock offer high security combination padlocks that don't require any keys at all to operate, rather just a number. While mostly secure, it does raise an issue similar to the keyed alike options we spoke about earlier.

Security rating: 7/10

Getting the Right Level of Security For Your Needs

So, as we can see, there's quite a difference between mid-range padlocks and the most robust choices available. The good news is that you'll find pretty much all the options we've talked about in stock and available from the Hiatt online store.

You'll also find a wide range of complementing products like gate bolts, hasps, and auto gate latches supplied with free delivery for orders over £65.

That's it from us for this time. Check back with us again soon for more from the home of premium quality door hardware.