Customers often question if it is better to buy a padlock from a Locksmith or just get one from the internet, or local hardware store.  I usually tell people it depends on what you are trying to secure…….  There is no real point getting a Locksmiths padlock for locking cupboard drawer at home, by the same thinking it would be very remiss to put a cheap padlock on a factory gate.

In my opinion, the cheaper padlocks that I have come across simply give the illusion that they are secure.  They look big and strong, but provide little in the way of physical security.

I recently bought a few padlocks from the internet to evaluate, despite their shackles being printed with the word ‘Hardened’ I was able to cut half way through the shackle with a hacksaw in a little over 15 seconds.  The majority of cheaper padlocks won’t use ball bearings to secure the shackle in the body, thus leaving them vulnerable to shimming.

When you buy a padlock from a Locksmith, it will no doubt, be 5 times more expensive than what you can buy at the local hardware store.  Locksmiths padlocks will always have a genuinely hardened shackle.  A simple way to tell if a shackle is hardened, is to run a hacksaw across the shackle, if the blade skates and doesn’t bite, it is hardened.
Locksmiths padlocks will generally have the ability to be re-keyed to suit an existing key (or restricted key).  Handy, if you are adding the padlock somewhere that is already keyed alike.

I try to (where possible) use the ABUS 83 padlock.  It has a nifty feature that allows it to be changed from its non-key retaining to key retaining by inserting a ‘Z bar’.  With most padlocks available, the key can be removed regardless if the shackle is open or closed.  In a key retaining padlock, the key will only be released once the shackle is locked.  It is intended to prevent the padlock from being left open for someone to steal.
The Abus 83 is very easy to change from non-key retaining to key retaining.  The whole process took me 2 minutes.

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