Padlocks have been around for a very long time. It’s believed that the Romans started using the padlock idea about 500BC. These iron locks featured a metal bolt which held the lock closed. A 90° bent piece of metal was fashioned as a key.
Obviously between then and now there have been a lot of changes made to the humble padlock. There are many choices available from material to size. Not all padlocks are made the same and ensuring you’ve got the right one for the job makes a difference to your security. So below are some things to consider when shopping for a padlock.
PADLOCK SECURITY LEVEL
General purpose padlocks will usually have a manufacturers security rating. This rating is decided by the manufacturer and isn’t an industry security standard.
However, high security padlocks are a different story. There are two industry standard ratings which high security padlocks follow. The Sold Secure and the CEN ratings.
Sold Secure ratings are in three different categories. Each category represents the levels of attacks which the padlock must withstand. These categories are gold, silver, and bronze; with gold being the highest standard.
CEN rating is a European standard and works in the same way as Sold Secure. Padlocks are rated from CEN 3 to CEN 6, where CEN 6 is the highest level.
Knowing the level of security that you require from a padlock will help you buy the right padlock for a job. The requirements of a padlock for a gate to an industrial site are obviously a little bit different to those of a padlock for a general mail box.
There are two main parts of a padlock. The body and the shackle. The diameter of the shackle will assist you with recognising the security level of the padlock. Shackles that are 7mm or less in diameter are generally used in low security need situations. If the shackle is between 7mm and 10mm it is a medium security padlock, and greater than 10mm shackles are used for high security applications.
The alloy in which the shackle is made from also provides insight into the padlocks use and strength. A stainless steel shackle usually signals outdoor use and hardened alloy shackles are used in high level security situations. The treated alloy offers greater protection with superior strength.
The padlock body is also very important and provides insight into the strength of the lock. The body protects the enclosed lock cylinder and lock mechanisms.
Solid brass padlock bodies are the standard in low level security offerings. Solid steel alloy padlocks are tougher than the solid brass ones and provide a higher level of security.
The price of the lock is also going to affect your purchasing decision. A high security padlock comes with a much higher price tag than a low security level one. Exactly as you had likely suspected it would work. Generally you are after a high security lock because you are trying to secure something of high value. General padlocks that might be cheap are still great if they assist you where needed. Sometimes you just need to create a bit of a barrier which makes accessing something a little bit harder for someone else.
It might be able to be penetrated but with a bit more effort than if it wasn’t there. Sometimes the lock is there as a sign. People are more likely going to be stopped by a padlock than a sign on a cupboard in a science classroom that says “don’t open this cupboard of chemicals”.
If you’re looking for a padlock check out the Wynns range and feel free to come see us if you need a hand picking the right padlock for your job.