When it comes to securing valuable items or equipment, there are many ways to go about protecting them. The padlock is a simple and ideal solution for many people looking to protect their goods and products. They are widely used in various settings – including homes, businesses, schools, and outdoor environments, and they can be purchased at components stores such as RS Components. In this article, we take a broad look at padlocks, including their types, components, and common features. Keep reading to learn more about them.
What are padlocks?
Padlocks are detachable locks. They usually incorporate a U-shaped bar and are both portable and removable. They are designed to be passed through an opening to protect against theft, unauthorised use, vandalism, or harm. They are typically comprised of three basic components: the shackle, body and locking mechanism. Padlocks can provide security for both commercial and residential use.
Types of padlocks
When it comes to picking a padlock, there are plenty on the market today. This makes it slightly overwhelming when first starting out. Padlocks come in all shapes and sizes, and some are designed for high security, while others have weather protection and are better suited for outdoors. Below we have broken down a few popular types of padlocks:
Padlock with key
Much as its name suggests, a padlock with a key requires a physical key to open and lock it. Some key padlocks are self-locking, meaning they lock automatically when the shackle is inserted back into the lock. This makes them incredibly straightforward and reliable to use, and the keys can be duplicated in needed. That said, it is still possible to lose the key, which can cause problems with opening the lock.
Combination padlocks generally use a numerical or alphanumeric dial or wheel mechanism to set a unique passcode combination. This eliminates the need for keys, making them ideal for individuals who prefer to not carry or risk losing keys. When aligned correctly, the padlock will open. That said, it can be easy to forget the combination code.
Keyless Bluetooth padlocks
These padlocks are a lot more sophisticated and modern. Instead of unlocking them manually, they are instead unlocked using a smartphone or mobile app via Bluetooth connectivity. As such, they provide convenience and additional security features such as activity tracking, access sharing, and tamper alerts.
Components that make up padlocks
The shackle refers to the U-shaped or straight metal part of the padlock. It goes through the opening to secure the locked item. It is typically made of hardened steel or other durable materials.
The body of the padlock will typically house the locking mechanism. It also provides protection for the internal components of the lock. It is often made of some kind of metal, such as brass, stainless steel, or hardened steel.
The locking mechanism includes the mechanism that holds the shackle in place. It prevents it from being released without the correct key, combination, or digital authentication.
Keyway or dial
When it comes to keyed padlocks, they have a keyway where the key is inserted. On the other hand, combination padlocks come with a dial or wheel mechanism that allows users to set and enter the correct passcode combination.
Other features and considerations
When it comes to picking a specific padlock, there may be other considerations to keep in mind. We have listed a few common additional features that people may be on the lookout for.
Padlocks come with various security levels that are based on construction, material strength, and resistance to tampering. Higher security level padlocks are often designed to withstand more forceful brute force attacks and manipulation.
Depending on the padlock’s intended usage, they may need to be weather resistant. This means they are better at withstanding the outdoor elements, such as rain and wind. So, look for padlocks with features such as corrosion-resistant coatings, weatherproof seals, or protective covers.
Size and weight
Padlocks come in different sizes and weights, so they allow users to choose the most appropriate options for their specific needs. Consider its application and the space available for the padlock when selecting its size and weight.
Regarding key padlocks, key control refers to the ability to control the distribution and duplication of keys. Some padlock manufacturers offer key control systems that require some level of authorisation to duplicate keys, enhancing the padlock’s security.
On the whole, a good padlock provides people with security and peace of mind. There are plenty on the market to choose from, so buyers can pick the one that best suits their needs. Versatile and flexible, padlocks are a good choice for anyone needing to secure anything.