padlock securing a storage unit door

Disc Locks vs Padlocks: The Best Storage Unit Locks

Just like good locks mean a secure home, storage unit locks keep your stored property secure. No matter where you live, storage unit thefts are a real threat. While the best storage facilities go to great lengths to keep their customers’ belongings safe, doing your part can mean taking a bit of effort to find the best lock possible.

The question is, which type of storage unit lock should you use? Below are a few good tips and types of locks to consider.

Invest in a Good Lock For Your Storage Unit

Yes, you do need to invest in a secure lock for your storage unit. Most storage facilities don’t supply you with a lock, and, most places will actually require that you provide your own lock. Otherwise, this is an open invitation to thieves looking for easy access to something they can steal.

What Should You Look For In A Storage Unit Lock?

There are many types of locks you can pick up at your local hardware or retail store, but not every lock is built to secure a storage unit. Two important factors to look at include the material the lock is made of and the actual locking mechanism.

Stainless Steel is the Lock Best Material

Something like a basic padlock can be made out of a range of materials, such as hardened steel, brass, and metal alloys. For the most part, hardened steel is not a good choice because it can degrade when exposed to the elements. Instead, look for locks made of stainless steel, which can stand up to the elements without the risks of corrosion.

Some metal alloys are also good, such as zinc alloy. However, steer clear of locks made of softer metals that are easy to cut through with bolt cutters like those made with aluminum alloy.

Keyed Locks are the Preferred Locking Mechanism

Locks have different types of locking mechanisms, some more complicated than others. For example, padlocks contain a keyway and a series of pins, while a combination lock would consist of a cylindrical locking mechanism that can only be opened when the right numbers are chosen in the right sequence.

Both types work well as storage unit locks, but keyed locks are generally preferred.

What Types of Locks Are Best for Storage Lockers?

Basic Padlocks

Padlocks are some of the most affordable locks to use on a storage locker—you can pick up general padlocks just about anywhere for around $20 or less. Padlocks are easy to find and they have a simple build with a u-shaped shackle that snaps into place to secure the device in a hasp. Just be sure to look for a padlock with a shackle made of thick metal that would be difficult to break or cut. Stanley Hardware makes a great basic padlock.

Closed Shackle Padlock

While padlocks are fine, a closed-shackle padlock is the better option, even though it can be a bit more expensive ($40 to $130). These padlocks have a shackle that has very little of the actual shackle exposed once the lock is closed and lopped through the hasp. The shackle is shrouded by the lock casing with only a small section visible. This makes it much harder to use cutters to cut through the metal because you can’t easily get beyond the shrouding. This closed shackle padlock has over 250 4-star ratings on Amazon.

disc lock for a storage unit

Disc Locks

Disc locks are probably the most popular option for use as storage unit locks. So popular, in fact, that a lot of storage facilities either sell or recommend them. The disc lock has a round body instead of a square body like the average padlock, and, in most ways, a disc lock is a closed-shackle padlock type. However, the circular shape and shackle make this lock notoriously difficult to tamper with, even with a good set of bolt cutters. The only true downfall of disc locks is that they can be the most expensive option ($50 to $100). This ABUS disc lock is one of the best for storage units.

Closed-Shackle or Disc Locks are Best For An Outdoor Unit

The best storage unit locks are usually either closed-shackle padlocks or disc locks because the two offer a better level of protection than a standard padlock. You really can’t go wrong whether you choose a combination or a key-type locking mechanism—this can be a matter of preference. For example, if you are constantly losing keys, a combination lock may be the best option. But, if you have a hard time remembering combination numbers, you may be better suited with a key.

ABUS, Brinks and Master Lock Make The Best Storage Unit Locks

ABUS, Brinks, and Master Lock are some of the most trusted names when it comes to locks in general. However, these brands are also well-trusted in the storage industry. Master Lock offers a collection of heavy-duty, stainless steel disc locks, which are quite popular, but all brands offer good options.

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Categories Storage