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Multiple rows of padlocks, copper and red and gold, hang from cables along a bridge. Credit: Getty Images

The Best Padlocks of 2022

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Multiple rows of padlocks, copper and red and gold, hang from cables along a bridge. Credit: Getty Images

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Editor's Choice Product image of ABUS 80TI/50 Titalium Aluminum Alloy Padlock
Best Overall

ABUS 80TI/50 Titalium Aluminum Alloy Padlock

Not only is the ABUS Titalium Aluminum Alloy Padlock easy to open, but it's also compact and lightweight. Read More

Pros

  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Difficult to pick

Cons

  • Can be shimmed open
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Padlock
Best Gym Lock

Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Padlock

With its easy-to-turn numbers and lightweight form factor, the Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Padlock has a lot to offer. Read More

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Not great for outdoor use
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Product image of Kwikset SmartKey Padlock

Kwikset SmartKey Padlock

Made of hardened molybdenum, the Kwikset SmartKey Padlock is pretty darn resistant to sawing and cutting. Read More

Pros

  • Tough and sturdy
  • Easy to rekey

Cons

  • Large and hefty
4
Product image of Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock

Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock

The Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock is super easy to use, as it unlocks with the press of a button. Read More

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Secure

Cons

  • Not great for outdoor use
5
Product image of Master Lock Word Combination Lock

Master Lock Word Combination Lock

With its fun colors and affordable pricing, the Master Lock Word Combination Lock is perfect for a young student. Read More

Pros

  • Fun colors
  • Uses letters instead of numbers

Cons

  • Frustrating to use

While it might not stop a determined criminal dead in their tracks, an outdoor padlock, when used with a heavy chain to secure a bicycle or grill in your backyard or to lock down the latch on a garden shed, can be an effective, affordable way to provide additional security to your home or valuables. In some instances, the sight of a sturdy padlock can be enough to make a crook look elsewhere for easier pickings.

After investing in a significant amount of time in research and testing 10 different padlocks for durability and ease of use on a variety of different gauges of steel chain, we've determined that the top outdoor padlock you can buy right now is the Abus Titalium Aluminum Alloy (available at Amazon).

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Padlock on a door.
Credit: ABUS / Reviewed

Through rigorous testing, we found that the ABUS Titalium Aluminum Alloy Padlock is the best padlock for most people.

Best Overall
ABUS 80TI/50 Titalium Aluminum Alloy Padlock

Our Best Overall, the Abus Titalium Aluminum Alloy padlock, aced our tests and is a good choice for most people. I had no trouble opening the Abus and it fit over every chain I tested it on. Made of an alloy steel shackle with nano protect coating, this lock survived all our destructive tests and still opened just as easily as the first time I tried to open it.

The lock itself is a six-pin cylinder, which makes it harder for the average person to pick. It’s much lighter than other padlocks we tested, but reviewers warned that the lock can be shimmed if someone desperately wanted to get in.

Pros

  • Durable

  • Compact

  • Difficult to pick

Cons

  • Can be shimmed open

Desired Tools 4 Combination Padlock
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Desired Tools 4 Combination Padlock is a fantastic choice for the gym.

Best Gym Lock
Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Padlock

For those times you need to lock your prized possessions away from the world, the Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Lock gets the job done. Setting the combination was very straightforward (it even has an online tutorial!) and the numbers were the easiest to turn of all the combination locks we tested. While it's less than ideal for outdoor use, its lightweight and compact size makes it ideal for securing a gym locker.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact

  • Reliable

Cons

  • Not great for outdoor use

Product image of Kwikset SmartKey Padlock
Kwikset SmartKey Padlock

The Kwikset SmartKey is a fine keyed lock. It’s made up of Hardened molybdenum that makes it more resistance to sawing and cutting compared to cheaper locks. You can rekey it to any Kwikset home key, and you need to lock the padlock before opening it, making it good for forgetful people. My main issue with it was that the lock was too narrow, which made it difficult to fit around a bike lock and I had trouble taking it off a chain.

Pros

  • Tough and sturdy

  • Easy to rekey

Cons

  • Large and hefty

Product image of Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock
Master Lock Bluetooth Padlock

Once I got the app set up, I found the Master Lock Bluetooth padlock very easy to use. As long as I had the app open on my smartphone, I could easily unlock the lock with a press of a button—no key or combo required. There’s even an added security feature that lets you set a “locker mode,” preventing someone else from trying to unlock it while your phone is near.

The reason why it isn’t higher on the list is I’m concerned that those who aren’t as tech savvy won’t be able to use it with ease. You also need to keep an eye out for a dying battery indicated by a yellow glow or else you’ll be stuck jumpstarting the lock to get your precious trapped items.

This lock was also the only one to fail the water test. The batteries short-circuited as expected, which leads to some concern of potential water damage if it’s used outside. I would personally use it as an indoor lock, though.

Pros

  • Easy to use

  • Secure

Cons

  • Not great for outdoor use

Product image of Master Lock Word Combination Lock
Master Lock Word Combination Lock

The appeal of the Master Lock Word Combo is its fun colors, and memorizing a four-letter word instead of a combination, and that’s where it ends. Unlocking this lock became increasingly frustrating. Each time I would try to change a letter, I would end up nudging one the adjacent letters and would have to redo my set word. Also, over time, its white lettering could fade.

Pros

  • Fun colors

  • Uses letters instead of numbers

Cons

  • Frustrating to use

Product image of Master Lock Set Your Own Combination Padlock
Master Lock Set Your Own Combination Padlock

The glaring issue with the Master Lock Set Your Own Combo is that it’s kind of backward. You push down to open the lock as opposed to pulling and you need to scramble the numbers before closing the lock, which I found to be quite annoying. I felt like I was playing against the force and hurt my hands a bit when attempting to open it. The numbers don’t move smoothly either, and I had to jiggle it quite a bit in the cold.

To change the combination you need to use a small key provided, but it would be easier to just get a lock with a key than having to worry about both a combination and a key. That being said, once I got a hang of the reverse opening method, it opened very smoothly when it was attached to the chain. It also survived the destructive tests with ease.

Pros

  • Long lasting

  • Easy to set combination

Cons

  • Numbers are difficult to turn

Product image of ABUS Diskus 20/70 Padlock
ABUS Diskus Padlock

I initially struggled with opening up this disk padlock. You need the three layers of keyholes to line up perfectly, or else it won’t open. Its small hole made it incredibly difficult to fit around any of the chains we tested on. Strength-wise, it’s made of stainless steel and held up well in our destructive test. Nonetheless, these style of locks are ideal for storage units or moving trucks, but I wouldn’t use it for anything else.

Pros

  • Great for storage units

  • Rugged

Cons

  • Difficult to open

Product image of Master Lock Standard Dial Combination Lock
Master Lock Standard Dial Combination Lock

The Master Lock Standard Dial gives the iconic look and feel of high school lockers. With a long combination sequence, it’s very easy to mess up and I found myself attempting the combination a few times before successfully opening it. I would not use this on anything but a locker—it looked very awkward on chains and you have to spend a bit of time performing the combination sequence, which would be annoying if you’re in a hurry to open a bike lock or gate. This lock was the only one that opened upon impact in our drop test, so it’s the easiest to break into.

Pros

  • Fun color options

  • Affordable

Cons

  • Awkward to use

Product image of ORIA 4 Digit Combination Lock
ORIA 4 Digit Combination Lock

The Oria 4 Digit Combo is designed as a gym locker, but it’s also one of the harder ones to use. It’s relatively easy to set up the combination, but it felt stiff while changing the numbers. The lock itself feels very loose, and to relock it you need to scramble the combo first while it’s still closed, which was a bit difficult to do when playing against the force of a chain. It was also damaged during our weathering tests. Although it still opens, it now makes an annoying squeaking sound and the numbers are harder to move.

Pros

  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Heavy

Falling Locks
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar / Jeremy Stamas

How We Tested Padlocks

I found 9 of the most popular padlocks and pitted them against each other to determine the best of the best. For the combination padlocks, each lock was set with a combination and opened several times to determine how easy each padlock was to unlock and lock. We also tried opening the locks while they were locked by pulling on them. Next, these tests were applied to a bike lock and a chain to see how they fared in action.

Next, we had some fun with a few destructive tests. Locks were chucked from the second-floor fire escape of our building to see how easily they would break or if they would open on impact. We also checked a while later to see if they still worked. The locks were then submerged in water for 24 hours to see if weathering would damage them.

Finally, they were placed in a freezer for 24 hours and I then attempted to open each one, to simulate how they would fare in cold weather. Taking bolt cutters to them was just about the only test we didn't put these padlocks through.

How to Choose the Right Padlock for You

Different uses call for different kinds of padlocks. Typically, keyed locks are the easiest to use and are often made with a higher level of security in mind. You’re going to want to opt for ones with more key pins, which means they’re more difficult to pick, and ones made of tougher metals. But if you’re locking up simple things at a gym or an employee locker room, or sharing a locked space, combination locks work will too—you may just struggle with a combination a few times before opening.

When you're shopping for a reliable padlock, look for locks made from weather-resistant materials such as brass, laminated steel, or aluminum. You might not plan on using your lock outside, but it's is nice to have the option to do so, down the road.

If you're looking for a padlock that'll provide a higher level of security, Home Depot suggests die-cast zinc, solid-steel bodies, and boron-steel shackles as they "provide additional cut and pry resistance."You may also want to consider investing in a lock with a shrouded shackle: a covered shackle makes it more difficult and, in some cases, impossible for a crook to use bolter cutters to circumvent a padlock's security.

It's important to note that the best padlock in the world won't secure your valuables if it's fastened to a poorly made door or cheap chain or latch. Your home's fixtures and a heavy-duty chain play just as important a role as finding the right lock does!

Meet the tester

Courtney Campbell

Courtney Campbell

Contributing Writer

@courtcamps

Courtney is an editor and shopper with a passion for finding the best things on the internet. She's a foodie and will talk about the latest batch of kombucha she's brewing to anyone who will listen. She has previously worked for Country Living, Woman's Day, and Our State Magazine.

See all of Courtney Campbell's reviews

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