Choosing to rent a self-storage facility is a great choice for numerous concerns, both for personal and business needs. It is likely that you will need to put your valuable items in a storage unit at some point in your life. When you are picking a storage facility, it is crucial that you purchase a quality lock with key features to keep your items safe.

In the eyes of a determined criminal, standard locks can be twisted and broken, and this type of lock may be circumvented quickly. However, for a storage unit, a lock that gives additional protection and increase the level of security of your items is one to go for. In general, bolts are usually thicker, have a protective shell, and keep bolt cutters at bay. Locks add another security level to protect the assets housed in the storage facility. A strong lock made of a durable material, and with an affordable price will increase your sense of security and provide you with the peace of mind that you’re entitled to.

This post is written to assist you find the perfect lock that matches all your needs and add some layers of security to your belongings.

What is the hardest lock to cut?~Bellhop Bellhop Blog

Key features of the best uncuttable locks

  • Three main components: While there are several components of a quality padlock, there are three of utmost importance—the body, shrouded shackle, and lock mechanism. The type of padlock and the overall performance of your lock will hinge on how cohesively these three work together. 
  • Body construction/material: Start with a solid lock. The strength of an uncuttable lock begins with the material used by the manufacturer. Generally, padlocks are used for outdoor purposes; you will want to be mindful that the material can withstand the elements–ensuring it is corrosion resistant, weather resistant, resistant to acid corrosion, has a good tensile strength, can withstand outdoor conditions, as well have other attack protection features. Even if the application is for indoor use, the option to use it outdoors would be beneficial down the road. Better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it. Popular amongst high security padlocks are hardened steel, stainless steel, steel alloy, titanium, Titalium and brass, which are made of 
  • Protected shackle: The shackle is the most obvious first point of attack on the average padlock and where bolt cutters would be attempted. The shackle can be in one of three forms: open, closed, and semi-enclosed (or shouldered). In general, the shorter the shackle the more secure.
  • Locking mechanism/number of pins: In condensed terms, the fewer the pins in the locking mechanism the lower the security. Competitive padlocks will begin around 5 or 6 pins and continue up to as many as 10 pins. In general, more pins means more resistance to prying.
  • Keyed alike: Is this your only padlock or are you juggling multiple? Keyed alike options make for a more streamlined organization. 

How to choose a lock that is hard to cut

When it comes to choosing a lock for your storage unit, many manufacturers provide a ‘’Security Rating’’ guide. This guide informs the buyer about the security level of a padlock he wishes to purchase. However, if you are looking for an industry standard rating, there are two reliable guides which can come in handy, ‘’CEN’’ and ‘’Sold Secure’’.

The first one is an European standard and is categorised with numbers ( from CEN 3 to CEN 6). It is pretty straightforward- the bigger the number is, the higher protection level is assured. When it comes to Sold Secure, they have a different rating system; which consists of three categories- Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Bellhop - "Best Movers Ever'

Regardless if you want an industrial rating to assure your security, or are looking for something less advanced, it is still handy to know what makes a lock safe. One of the first characteristics you should take into consideration is the type of a padlock.  Padlocks usually fall into one of four categories, based on their shape.

Types of locks

Shutter-lock/Anvil lock are generally used to secure motorcycle chains or parking posts, as well as the shop fronts. Discus locks are often used for securing entrance- on shed doors and beach huts. They are usually used with a special discus hasp and staple set, to offer extra protection.

Even though the name implies otherwise, shackless padlocks still have a shackle, just on the underside of the lock. They come in many shapes, but are typically designed to be used easier with a security hasp. Shackless padlocks are one of the more secure options, when it comes to general padlock types; they were traditionally used to secure storage units and warehouses, but nowadays people don’t hesitate to use them on a broader scale.

Conventional lock have undoubtedly the widest range of usage. They can be used for something simple like a tool box, but can also be found securing factory gates.

Different materials of lock

Since we’ve covered the four main types of padlocks, it’s time to go through the materials and types of padlock bodies. The purpose of the body is to protect the lock mechanism from attacks. The usual body types you will come across are Solid Steel Alloy, Pressed Steel, Laminated Steel, Solid Brass and Armour Encased Brass.

With Solid Steel Alloy the internal cavities within the lock body need to be machined out. Compared to brass, steel alloy is a much harder material, so the machining operation takes longer- and to put it simple, they cost more. The body of this padlock is very robust and will make a drill attack near impossible They also come with a special feature that prevents them from rusting. Since they are usually a bit pricey, you will want them to last and this feature ensures just that.

Pressed steel locks are usually associated with a discus style lock. They are made from from double stainless steel shells welded together. These types of locks can offer a decent level of security for general usage, mostly because pressed steel locks are secured in the locked position at two points.

Laminated steel padlocks are made from numerous pre-punched steel plates that are welded together to form the body block. However they tend to have lower manufacturing cost, and as the end result have some weak points; for example, the exposed rivet heads. Depending on what you wish to secure, you may find them to be just the thing you need; but if you are in need of advanced protection, we would advise something else.

Shackles of lock

Another element of security is the shackle of a padlock. More often than not, this is the prime attack point. Most padlocks have a good mechanism that provides security at two places within the body, when your padlock is locked.

There are some differences to shackles, and they usually come as open, closed and semi enclosed. A closed shackle padlock is designed to have the minimum amount of shackle exposed; which means that if a criminal wants to saw it off, they will have a hard time doing so!

This type of a shackle typically has a higher security rating compared to an open or semi enclosed shackle. Although they may provide higher protection, they can be somewhat impractical to use. For making them more user friendly, some manufacturers include ‘’removable shackles’’ feature that allows you to fully release shackles from the body of the padlock.

Compared to a closed shackle, an open shackle padlock is much more easier to use; especially if you need your shackle to pass through chain links. Even though you will have no problem securing gate with a chain with this level of protection,  you might be more vulnerable to potential attacks-  since an open padlock has more of the shackle left exposed.

The Better Way to Move

Following are some of the locks that are hardest to cut:

Abloy PL 362 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock

It is one of the toughest padlock to cut or drill since it is attack resistant to all of that along with its hardened boron steel shackle. It is tensile resistant and also shrouded with a hardened steel body.

It is a heavy duty padlock and one of the biggest padlocks in the world as well as one of Abloy’s largest. All these make it one of the toughest outdoor padlock to cut. It features a top loading cylinder that is ideal for resisting direct drilling of the retaining screw.

If required and since it is a ‘rekeyable’ padlock, the latter can be re-keyed at the time of order or at a later date. It might be one of the best padlock for gym since it has resistant to extreme attacks which will keep your gym equipment safe. The PL 362, with its raised shoulders, makes it virtually impregnable.

Key Features of Abloy PL 362

  • 1 and 3/16″ (30mm) wide shackle clearance.
  • 1″ (25mm) tall shackle clearance.
  • Grade 6 Padlock.
  • 1″ and 3/16″ (30mm) thick body.
  • Hardened Steel Body.
  • 3 and 3/4″ (95.7mm) tall body.
  • Top Loading Locking Cylinder offering extreme drill resistance.
  • 2 and 13/16″ (72mm) wide body.
  • Case Hardened Boron Steel Shackle.
  • 5/8″ (15mm) thick shackle.
  • Raised shoulders to shroud shackle from attack.
  • The strongest padlock in the market.

Abus 83/55mm Rock Steel Padlock CS

The best feature on this lock is the shackle guard, protecting the shackle on both sides. This makes it difficult mechanically to get the bolt cutters near the shackle. It’s also made of hardened steel, making it further resistant to being cut by bolt cutters. As far as security goes, hardened steel is about as safe as it gets. It’s resistant to bad weather conditions and has additional strength.

As for picking, it has a paracentric keyway and shackle thickness, which curves the path making it difficult for a lock picker to figure it out. It’s also resistant to drilling( anti drill technology) with anti drill plates, so you don’t have to worry about a shifty co-worker going to work with it with a drill during your lunch break. It’s also self-locking, so you don’t have to worry about whether you locked the lock or not. It’s also double-bolted and accepts Scandinavian Oval cylinders. It is also a weatherproof padlock

Key features of Abus 83/55mm Rock Steel Padlock CS

  • Excellent price/performance ratio
  • Shackle guard
  • Lock pick protection
  • Drill resistant
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Can be keyed alike
  • 9/10 ABUS safety rating
  • Good protection against bolt cutters

Abus Granit Plus 37RK/80

 If you are serious about investing in a padlock that cannot be cut by bolt cutters, the ABUS Granit Plus is going to be your best bet. Called one of the world’s most secure padlocks, the tensile resistance is upwards of six tonnes and it is crafted from hardened steel. This type of padlock for storage unit is a re-keyable padlock; further features include the ABUS Plus disc cylinder for the highest protection against picking. It wraps may of the features of their other padlocks into one.

Key Features of Plus 37RK/80

  • hammer, drill, rake and bolt cutter resistant, 
  • A unique Black Granit outer coating for extensive corrosion resistance (will last 40 years)
  • A key card must be presented to a locksmith in order to duplicate the key
  • European security standard tested, CEN class 5
  • Closed shackle and anti-cut plate
  • ABUS-plus disc cylinder (inserted from the top for added security)
  • One of the most secure padlocks on the market

Stanley laminated steel padlock

This Stanley padlock is of security grade 4. Its body which is laminated hardened steel protects it against physical attacks. Since the shackle is also made up of hardened steel, the latter will resist other kinds of attacks such as cutting and sawing.The Stanley Laminated Steel Padlock is made of laminated steel! This material is constructed from smaller, thinner steel plates riveted together.

The rivet heads can be an Achilles heel to this padlock, which is precisely why Stanley Hardware not only puts steel caps in place for added protection and also designs the heads to be recessed. It is bolt cropper proof with additional security feature present. Commercial grade six pin brass cylinder allows for a re-keyable feature. It features a protected keyway, similar to the #1 ABUS lock already discussed. This makes it protected against lock picking.

Key features of laminated Stanley padlock

  • 6 pin cylinder for pick protection
  • ASTM security grade 4
  • Shrouded shackle
  • Reinforced laminated steel
  • Affordable

Stanley 24/7 all-weather padlock (solid brass)

It features a removable cylinder which is unique in that it allows the consumer to either key alike or different. The shackle is constructed of stainless steel which provides cut proof assurance. 

The Stanley 24/7 is a tough padlock to cut but it’s still the most susceptible to bolt cutting in the Stanley lineup. However, it’s a solid lock at an affordable price. It also provides good prying resistance and lock picking resistance, making it worth mentioning for lower security application.

Key features of Stanley 24/7 all-weather padlock

  • Affordable
  • Solid brass body
  • ATSM security grade 4
  • 6 pin cylinder for anti-pick protection and anti-prying protection
  • Removable cylinder allows different keying options

Master Lock High Security Pro Series Padlock

Master Lock has a humorous approach to their uncuttable padlock. Bumping is a practice where force is applied to a lock to “bump” the pins downward and thus out of place and opening the lock. Security assurance from more than just a pair of bolt cutters. This Master Lock is of the keyed alike variety, which means multiple locks will open with the same key and has tensile resistance. If having a ring of keys is not appealing, here is a solution. 

A hardened boron alloy steel shackle increases the ante of this being a bolt cutter proof padlock. Dual operating ball bearings work diligently to resist attacks from a pulling or prying attack. This padlock is available in a single pack or in packs up to 8. Should a consumer have multiple gates for example to secure. Excellent padlock and a fantastic, affordable, but also secure, option. 

Key features of master lock security pro series padlock

  • Inexpensive
  • Bump-stop for additional security
  • 5 pin cylinder
  • Chrome rustproof body
  • Boron alloy hardened steel
  • Rekeyable

Secure self-storage solution  

Bellhop is proud of its trusted storage facility partner networks which includes some of the top quality locations in America for maximum protection. With several different facilities across the country, there will always be a unit nearby that meets all your needs.

Our self-storage partners offer the best storage facilities in the country, ensuring your belongings are safe and secure. If you want to make sure your belongings are safe while on storage, consider storing them with Bellhop’s partners and stay worry-free! 

Lastly, if you need help with moving your things into storage, consider comparing moving company quotes to find the best mover for you.

Harrison Stevens