If you have to put your items in a storage facility, the last thing you want is for your lock to be less than totally secure. One of the best ways to keep your belongings safe is to invest in a high-quality lock.
A typical self-storage facility often has issues with break-ins and locks being broken with a bolt cutter. These security issues make sense given the number of valuables people put into their storage space.
Finding a lock that’ll be up to the task of keeping your items secure is not quite as straightforward as you might think, though.
There are literally thousands of companies out there with a different kind of security feature for every kind of storage unit lock available.
To help you prevent that storage unit door from being opened by the wrong person, we’ll review the best locks on the market.
In order to compile this list, we took several factors into consideration, such as cost, durability, stability, practicality, and brand reputation.
You’ll also find some useful tips on how to find the best lock for your needs.
Tips for Choosing the Best Lock for Your Storage Unit
There are many different types of locks available, so it makes sense to first familiarize yourself with these before you buy one.
Two Main Types of Locks
While they’re all designed for the same purpose, there are many different types, from combination locks using a built-in numbered dial to enter a passcode, to keyed padlocks where you use keys to open the shackle. The latter tend to be among the most secure locks.
The main thing to keep in mind is whether you prefer a combination lock, or one that uses a key. Think about your own personal needs and preferences. If you’re worried about losing the key, a combination lock might be a safer bet.
The Size of the Lock
As you may suspect, locks come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Before you make a purchase, it’s well worth checking the dimensions of your storage unit’s lock attachment.
But if you haven’t taken possession of the storage unit already, you can contact them to ask for the dimensions required for compatible locks.
You definitely don’t want to spend the money on a high-quality lock only to discover it won’t work with your storage unit.
Find Out if the Storage Unit is Indoors or Outdoors
Not all locks are designed for outdoor use. Given that any reasonable padlock is going to be constructed primarily of metal, they can be susceptible to corrosion and rust.
Luckily, many padlocks have corrosion resistant coatings, which keep them sturdy even with long-term exposure to the elements.
If your storage unit is outdoors, make sure you purchase an appropriate lock.
The Best Locks for Storage Units
Stanley Hardware – S828 – 160 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock
- Straightforward design makes it easy to use
- Six-pin Schlage mechanism keeps the lock safe from lock-picking attempts
- Heavy-duty stainless steel shackle protects the lock from bolt cutters
- 1” shackle clearance, so it fits most storage units
- Reasonable price for a high-quality lock from a reputable brand
There’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Stanley. For well over a century, they have built an incredibly strong reputation by building some of the most trusted hand tools and storage products on the market, so it is no surprise that their storage unit padlocks are built to a high standard.
This fully enclosed professional grade hardened steel padlock is designed to give your possessions the highest level of protection possible. The heavy steel body makes it virtually impenetrable, which provides high level security and peace of mind.
You will not have to worry that your lock can be picked or broken, as it completely blocks bolt cutters from being able to access the connecting loop. It has an ASTM security grade of 5 and uses dual stainless steel ball bearings to further prevent pry attacks. The commercial 6 pin cylinder also has anti pick pins.
To add a further level of security, the keyway uses a cover that is capable of protecting the lock from drill bits. Given the high level of security that you get from using this lock, the price point is more than reasonable.
The outstanding quality and durability that we have come to expect from Stanley is sure to be up to the task of keeping your storage unit secure.
Medeco – M3 5/16” Shrouded Boron Padlock
- Weather resistant design is perfect for outdoor storage units
- Extremely durable boron alloy steel body
- Protected against lock picking attempts and bolt cutters
- Rugged appearance deters thieves
- Affordable price
The first thing you’ll notice about Medeco’s shrouded padlock is its durable appearance. While it may sound naïve, some robbers will immediately walk past a heavy-duty lock and move on a storage unit that looks less protected. So in some ways, just having a mean, powerful lock can act as a theft deterrent.
Luckily, Medeco padlocks back up their rugged appearance with impressive performance. They feature heavy-duty, weather resistant casing with a shrouded shackle.
They’re made from an extremely durable type of boron steel alloy, which ensures that would-be thieves cannot break the lock.
The rugged shroud keeps the lock resistant to cutting attacks, while its impressive tensile strength makes it resistant to any sort of pulling attempts. The cylinder itself uses a high grade, hardened stainless steel insert to provide a high level of defense against drills and other internal attacks.
Medeco’s patented key program prevents the unauthorized duplication of keys and maintains the integrity of your lock. Not only is the lock safe from false keys, its triple-locking action makes it virtually impossible to pick.
Abloy – Protec 2 PL 362 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock
- Grade 6 hardened steel body and shroud
- Hardened boron steel shackle with raised shoulder protection
- Top loading lock cylinder for drill resistance
- Extremely durable design is resistant to cutting, grinding, prying, and drilling
This is one of the most durable storage unit padlocks you’ll find, as the grade 6 hardened steel is the highest-quality you’ll likely see on any sort of padlock. Thus it’s all the likelier that the items within your storage unit will be safe.
The added shoulder shrouding is resistant to bolt cutters. However, even if the shackle could be accessed, there’s not much chance anyone could cut through it.
The padlock has a chrome finish, which is intended to protect it against corrosion and other weather damage, so it works well with outdoor storage units. The lock also uses a rotating disc cylinder system, which increases security against picking and drilling attempts.
What we really like is the fact you can customize the keying system for an extra layer of security. Keep in mind however that this level of security comes with a higher price tag.
If you’re merely storing some old junk, you might not need this level of security; however, if you’re storing valuables, such a lock makes more sense for ensuring better peace of mind.
ABUS – Zero Bitted S2 Schlage 55mm Re-Keyable Solid Steel Padlock
- Option to rekey the lock for added security
- Shrouded shackle adds protection against bolt cutters
- Dual ball bearing locking mechanism is resistant to prying and pulling
- Hardened steel body for overall durability
- Chrome plated for added corrosion resistance
This re-keyable padlock offers a tremendous degree of security at a reasonable price. The chrome finish makes this padlock a practical locking solution for those with outdoor storage units.
The design makes it difficult to break through the lock, so you can rest assured that your storage unit will not be broken into. The shackle guard will help keep bolt cutters from accessing the lock’s neck.
One interesting feature of this lock is how straightforward the re-keying process is. You can quickly alter the key, so your lock remains useful and practical over its lifetime. Overall, this is one of the better cylinder style locks you can find that’s also practical for use with storage units.
American Lock – A700D 2 – ½” Steel Padlock
- Chrome-plated, hardened steel body
- Corrosion resistant boron alloy steel shackle
- 5-pin brass cylinder and dual ball-bearing locking mechanism for maximum security against picking attempts
- Very affordable price
This padlock offered by American Lock is the most affordable option on our list. You get a reasonable level of security at a more than reasonable price point.
The added chrome plating gives this lock enough corrosion resistance to make it safe for use outdoors. More often than not, padlocks at this price point are not weather resistant, so the fact it is suitable for outdoor use is impressive.
You have the option to re-key this lock down the line if you prefer; however, it’ll be more difficult to do so than it would be with some of the more expensive locks.
It has a straightforward design and offers a reasonable level of security, given its lesser cost. The one downside to this lock is that it doesn’t have the shoulder shrouds you get with some of the pricier locks.
Basically, you’re getting a classic padlock in a design that’s been used for many years in the security industry.
If you just want a basic lock that’s going to keep your storage unit closed when you’re not around, this might be the perfect lock for your needs. However, if you want to ensure the security of your storage unit, you may want to opt for a more durable lock from one of the more expensive brands.
ABUS – 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Re-Keyable Padlock
- Made from hardened alloy steel for durability
- Features a full coverage anti corrosion coating to keep the lock protected against the elements
- Includes two keys, one of which comes equipped with an LED light
- Uses a patented ABUS Plus disc cylinder to give it protection against picking attempts
This is the second lock from ABUS on our list, which is testament to the quality the brand puts behind their locks. This hefty padlock is made in Germany to a high standard.
The lock is ideal for outdoor storage lockers, as the black coating is designed to prevent corrosion and rusting, which tends to impact cheaper locks over the long run. The unique LED light key is a unique feature and makes it that much easier to access your storage locker in the dark.
It has a tensile resistance rating of up to 6 tons, which will probably alleviate your worry about someone trying to pull your lock off of your storage unit’s door. It comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, so you can remain confident that it’s built to a high standard.
Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the decision. Any of the padlocks on the above list will be capable of keeping your belongings safe and they’ll work with most storage units.
Again, just be sure to check the dimensions ahead of time to make sure your new lock is compatible with your storage unit.