Last Updated on March 14, 2023
As part of our high security lock solutions, ACME Locksmith provides, and ships, high security padlocks designed for multiple applications. Storage units, storage yards, bay doors, etc… can all be better protected using high security padlocks. Contact Us Here.
- The best high security padlocks will offer enhanced construction (stronger, thicker, harder material) and protected key cylinders that are pick resistant, bump proof, and drill resistant. Their keys are often copy protected for key control (protection from unauthorized key duplication).
- High security padlocks can cost over $250. But there are many options that focus mainly on key-cylinder security that can be had at a fraction of that price.
- Locksmiths are your best source for high security padlocks. When you need additional keys, the locksmith our got the padlock from will be able to provide them. Most online resources will not.
What Make a High Security Padlock?
Best High Security Padlock for Storage Spaces
High security cylinder
Small shackle cutting area.
Best High Security Padlock for General Use
High security cylinder
Available with and without shackle guard
Over 2 lbs.
Best Heavy Duty Padlock with Standard Keyway
Variety of cylinders available
Up to 5/8″ shackle
Best Commercial High Security Padlock
Hardened Boron Steel
What Makes a Padlock High Security?
Heavy Duty Construction
High security padlocks will be built using better material than budget brands. The will have a solid body, hardened steel construction (meaning the body is a single piece of metal). A solid body construction makes the padlock much more difficult to pry open. Some high security padlocks weigh upwards of 10lbs!
Reinforced, Protected Shackle
A high-security padlock will also have a shackle made of hardened steel, which is much more difficult to cut or break than regular steel. Shackles are usually greater than 3/8 inch in diameter, and many will be further protected from cutting using a shackle guard.
A shackle guard is additional steel around the shackle that prevents someone from reaching into and cutting the shackle with a saw, bolt cutter or other device.
Some will be made of Boron or carbon reinforced. These materials are even harder than hardened steel. They will provide even greater resistance to cutting and sawing.
Enhanced Key Cylinders
High-security padlocks use anti-drill ball bearings, anti-drill pins or reinforced casings around the lock cylinder to protect against drilling the cylinder out.
Anti-drill ball bearings spin when drilled making it difficult for the drill bit to grip into any metal. The anti-drill pins are designed to grab bits and break them off.
Pick-resistant key cylinder
High-security padlocks usually come with high security keys. These keys are pick-resistant and bump proof. They may include special pins or other mechanisms that make it more difficult to manipulate the lock.
Unlike standard padlocks that come with basic keys, which can be easy to pick, impression, duplicate or cut by code for; most high security padlocks come with restricted keyways
Restricted keyways prevent unauthorized duplication of keys. While common keys can be copied at a multitude of big box stores and hardware chains, restricted keys are not common and cannot be found in those types of stores.
Some restricted keys require going to a specific company to obtain copies. Additional restrictions may require presenting an issued card in order to get keys. And some require going to the manufacturer of the lock for keys.
Detailed Product Overview
Best for Storage Shed – the ABUS 32474 Disc
ABUS makes a padlock, Model 32474 Discus Padlock suited for storage units and several other applications that has a very unique keyway.
To get duplicate keys for this lock, you must contact ABUS directly, providing a code which is on a card that comes with the padlock.
The key is a ABUS plus keyway is a type of high security key. It is extremely difficult to bypass, and it offers great anti-duplication features.
An ABUS Plus Key cannot be copied by a standard locksmith or a key cutting machine. Your padlock will come with a special unique Code Card which you must use to purchase replacement keys in the future.
It also featured a hardened steel shackle and an anti-cut plate.
ABUS Granit Padlock – Best for General Use
Going up a level to a lock with more construction features, is the ABUS Model 37 series.
We prefer the ABUS 37/80, which feature a 1/2” hardened alloyed steel shackle and shackle guard, but a smaller ABUS 37/60 with a 7/16” shackle is available. You can also get an ABUS Granit without the shackle guard if additional space is needed to secure a chain (the ABUS 37/70).
The ABUS Granit uses the same ABUS plus key as the discus lock above giving you all of the same benefits of that high security keyway.
The lock comes in at over 2 lbs of hardened alloy steel in both the shackle and the body, and the key cylinder is inserted into the body at the top of the lock for optimum drill and pull resistance.
ABUS High Security Chain
If you are going high security, do NOT skimp on some cheap chain that can be easily cut.
Combine the Granit padlock with ABUS Security Chain (available in several lengths and gauges) for applications like securing a motor bike or scooter.
Best Heavy Duty Padlock – ABUS ROCK 87/80
If you’re less concerned about key control and more about the lock construction and resistance to damage, consider ABUS’s The Rock series.
At over 3 lbs, the very appearance of this lock is intimidating to a potential thief. It made of hardened steel, has a drill resistant cylinder, and the diameter of the shackle is 5/8”.
Standard, the ABUS ROCK comes with a typical keyway, but, the material in its construction is more robust and would better resist blunt force attacks than those above.
However, if you desire key control, you can special order ABUS restricted key cylinders at additional expense.
They make smaller versions of this lock that include a shackle guard, which we always highly recommend when available.
Best Commercial High Security Padlock – Mul-T-Lock C-Series
For larger applications, like business settings, you want the absolute best in terms of design quality and key control. Locks designed by manufacturers that focus specifically on high security (see our article on Best High Security Lock Brands).
These padlocks can often cost more than $200 each, but will allow for rekeying, master keying, and are made with the most durable construction and lock defeat protection available.
It’s best to go to a local locksmith, such as ACME Locksmith in Phoenix, since some online sellers do not provide the card needed to make additional keys, and some keyways may not be available to you locally if there isn’t a local locksmith with license rights to that keyway.
One of our favorite high-end high security padlock products is Mul-T-Lock’s C Series.
These are made of Boron hardened steel shackles and bodies. The #13 series has an ½” shackle.
All C-series padlocks come with a shutter to prevent dust contamination, and drainage holes to prevent freezing.
Options include a variety of padlock sizes, shackle lengths, shackle guards, and whether or not they are key retaining (must be locked to remove the key).
Additional hasps are also available that can be welded, or bolted, to steel, wood, or aluminum structures, further their increasing protection.
The Mul-T-Lock C-series is what we use at ACME Locksmith to protect our shops and equipment.
Another good lock series from Mul-T-Lock is the G series. They are a bit more affordable but come with solid brass bodies with hardened boron alloy steel shackles.
A Word on Padlock Security Ratings:
The UK has a padlock security rating, the CEN rating. It is a grade from 1-6 with 6 being the highest.
The US has no such rating and most padlocks purchased in the US will not show any real (i.e. verified and tested) rating, with one exception.
The is the UL 437 rating, which is a anti-burglary rating for keyed locks. Only the best locks will have undergone this testing.
To be rated as a security container lock, the padlock just have resisted picking, forcing, drilling, sawing, prying, pulling and punching a minimum of 30 minutes.
For many individual uses with high security needs, especially small use settings (requiring fewer than 4 padlocks total), any of the high security padlocks listed above will increase your level of security over basic off-the-shelf padlocks.
High security padlocks at lower price points focus on the key cylinder technology to protect from drilling, picking and lock bumping.
At high price points the focus moves also into the body of the lock. With all-steel, boron hardened bodies and shafts to increase protection from a forced entry.
Robert has been the Owner of ACME Locksmith, Arizona’s #1 Rated Locksmith, since 2007. Robert’s company has provided locksmith service to over 160,000 Phoenix houses and businesses.