What kind of padlock is most secure

There is nothing more important in a lock than knowing it’s going to do its job and it will be secure. If you were to be a victim of a crime when a padlock went missing overnight, you’d feel very angry that this measure you took to protect your property did not do its job.

That is why it’s important to learn about the different options on the market for padlocks and know what to look for in one that is going to be the most secure when replacing your locks. From knowing the right brands to looking for the right materials and sizes, here is a look at the types of padlocks and what will be the most secure.

What to look for in a padlock

There are many features that you can look for in a padlock that will allow you to make a wiser purchase and a more sound investment. You’ll be able to determine if a padlock is a cheap, unreliable option, or a secure and sturdy one.

padlock on a iron gate

Start with considering the materials and size of the lock and the key. You’ll want to make sure the lock size is big and the key has as many pins as possible to increase the security. Choose a padlock that features either carbide or alloy steel for the best security. The better the metal you have the more secure your padlock will be. Make sure you choose a thick metal like alloy but don’t worry about its weight as this isn’t always a sign of its strength.

Next, look at the shoulder shroud because the thicker and larger it is, the better. This is also known as the shackle cover and any metal that shrouds the shackle will add an additional layer of metal that has to be cut or removed to access the lock for opening it. 

Keeping that shackle more protected happens with less access and a shackle cover.  Also, if you have a hardened plate called an anti-drill plate, you’ll find that a drill won’t be able to break through which will mean better security.

A common bypass for locks is shimming the shackle and this can happen when there are no ball bearings. The shackle can release in different ways affecting the security too, which means if you have a shackle that needs to be released on both ends rather than just one end, a criminal would have to spend more time cutting which can buy you time and slow them down.

Lastly, the core of a padlock where you would put the key in is a major part of whether or not a padlock is going to remain secure. The key is inserted into the cylinder and from there the lock’s variety of pins will play a huge role. You’ll want to ask questions about how many pins there are, what type of pins are they, and if there are other features like side bars or counter milling.

Brands on the market

Now that you know what to look for, it will be easy to spot a great product from a poor quality option. Look for brands on the market such as Sargent & Greenleaf, Ingersoll, ABUS, Master Lock, Hi-Shear, and Stanley Hardware. Depending on your budget, you can find a great variety of price points to suit your current needs. For a budget-friendly option, check out the Stanley Hardened Steel Padlock at a price around $50. For the absolute top-of-the-line type of products, you can find a $2,600 padlock called the Sargent & Greenleaf 951C which features military-level security.

Other popular options include the Ingersoll 10 at around $260, the Hi-Shear Padlock for just a little bit more, or the very simple ABUS  80TI/50 for just $15. Some of these options are going to offer more of those features above while others will allow you to save money while still offering some level of protection on your property.

While it’s important to save money, it’s worth the investment to get the security that comes with the higher-end padlocks. These are the things to look for that will tell you a padlock is most secure.

What Factors Influence the Cost of Locksmith Services?

Sooner or later, you'll likely need a locksmith. While it may not be a service you count on regularly if you get locked out of your home or car, you need to replace or rekey a lock, or you need a safe installed, you'll likely call a locksmith.

When the time comes for you to call a Chicago locksmith, it's a good idea to understand what factors will influence the cost of locksmith services. Here are a few factors that will be taken into consideration when determining the cost.

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The Actual Service

You may only think of locksmiths helping you get into your car or home when you've been locked out. However, a locksmith provides many other services, such as rekeying locks, replacing doors, key duplication, safe installation, and more.

When you hire a locksmith, the type of service you require will be the starting point for determining the cost. The same amount won't be charged for opening a jammed lock compared to installing a new door or safe in your home. The skills needed, along with the time necessary for the service will help to determine the cost you will pay.

Type of Lock

One of the biggest factors in the cost of locksmith services is the type of lock. A complex lock will take longer to access and may cost more than a simple lock. With the massive selection of locks on the market today, it's necessary for locksmiths to determine the cost of their services based on the time and skill they will need to invest.

Mortise locks, high-security locks, and interchangeable core cylinder locks won't come in at the same cost, as they are all a bit different. Your locksmith will need to know the type of lock they are dealing with before they can provide an estimate of the cost.

Location

When a locksmith comes to your home, your car, or your office, they will charge a specific fee based on how far they have to drive. Some locksmiths have a flat, built-in fee for a specific service area and will charge extra for any job outside of their service area. Hiring a local Chicago locksmith will help keep the cost lower if they don't have to travel as far to get to you.

Time of Day, Day of the Week

Some locksmiths charge an additional fee depending on the time of the day or the day of the week. Usually, this will apply to any emergency services, as simply having a lock installed or rekeyed may be a service you can schedule during regular business hours.

The cost of locksmith services will likely be higher on weekends, holidays, and after business hours. Make sure you ask if there's a fee for requesting services during these times.

Demand or Availability

Locksmiths work on a first-come, first-serve basis. Even though they may set appointments for non-emergency jobs, they won't leave a job because you have an emergency. Choosing a company offering locksmith services compared to an individual locksmith is a good idea.

Not only will you avoid paying extra due to an individual locksmith being in high demand, but you may also receive a faster response. Most locksmith companies have a team of locksmiths, which means if one isn't available, another will likely be available to help you.

When it comes to the cost of locksmith services, it really comes down to the location of the job, the complexity of the job, the skills necessary, the time of day/week, and the availability of the locksmith. Make sure you ask what fees you can expect up-front before you hire a locksmith or you may be surprised by something you didn't expect.

When Will You Need a Locksmith to Open a Safe?

Your safe gives you a place to store valuables and keep your things secure. No matter what you store in your safe, it can become rather stressful if you cannot figure out how to get it open.

Locksmiths can help with anything from installing a safe to opening a safe you cannot get into. Here are the times you should consider hiring a local locksmith to help you get into your safe.

picking a safe lock

You Broke the Key in the Lock

If the key broke off in the lock, you will need a locksmith to help you get into your safe. It's not a time to panic as this is a solvable issue, but you will need some assistance.

Often, this happens when you look through a loved one's belongings after they have passed away. You may discover a safe with a corroded lock or key and try to open it. Then, the key beaks and you cannot get into the safe.

Of course, this can happen with any safe that requires a key. If the key breaks in the lock, call a local locksmith for help.

You've Lost the Key or Combination

The most common reason you will need a locksmith to open a safe for you is a lost key or combination. Don't try to break into the safe yourself as you will likely damage it and you could hurt yourself. Instead, call a professional locksmith and they can use the proper tools to get into the safe without causing damage to it.

Jammed Bolts

In some cases, the bolts on a safe may jam and you cannot get it open. Even with the right key or combination, you cannot get in and you need the help of a locksmith.

Jammed safe bolts can happen when the safe malfunctions and a locksmith will know how to get into your safe.

Lockout Mode Engaged

If you have a more advanced safe that offers a lockout mode, you may need a locksmith if this mode becomes engaged. Most commonly, this happens because you forgot your combination code and entered it wrong too many times. This will trigger the lockout mode to go into effect and you will need a locksmith to get into the safe for you.

This feature is common on electronic safes and you will need a locksmith with the ability to work with an electronic lock. Maybe you didn't enter the code wrong, but someone tried to break into your safe and triggered the lockout mode. Either way, a good locksmith will help you get into the safe.

Damage to the Safe

Whether the internal components or the wiring has been damaged, a damaged safe may not let you in. It could have become damaged due to neglect, an attempted break-in or another reason. No matter the reason, if you have a damaged safe you need help getting into, a locksmith should be your next call.

Anytime you cannot get into a safe you own, you should call a locksmith before attempting to break in on your own. A locksmith will likely be able to get into the safe and also keep it from becoming damaged in the process.

How can you increase the security of a door lock?

Your door locks are in place in your home to protect your home and your family. That is why it’s important to always take the time to perform maintenance and increases to your home’s security system. This all starts by ensuring your locks are as secure as the day you first bought them and utilizing technology to increase your security as new features hit the market. Take a look at the ways you can increase the security of your door lock and keep your home safer.

large lock on commercial door

Upgrade them

Start by upgrading your locks. Since this is a thing you use every single day and it’s a major way that you keep your home secure, you should make sure you are using the right kind for your door and that it’s working properly. Did you choose one that is appropriate for your door? Is it going to be weak against blunt force or the use of a bump key?

It may be time to call a locksmith to replace your old locks and install one of the trusted brands of door locks on the market. It’s also a great time to make sure you have a deadbolt since the handle or keyed knob is less important. Your deadbolt will be much harder to break-in compared to a spring loaded latch because you can’t get the bolt to move without rotating it at its core.

Your front door’s locking system is your entire security system to your home, which is why it’s so important to have the latest technology in door locks and have a professional locksmith install it for you. The wrong locks could mean a break-in and harm to your entrance. Make sure to get a deadbolt that extend one inch beyond the door and choose be a high-quality brand like Medeco that will be resistant to lock-picking or fake keys.

Reinforce your doors and glass surfaces

Next, take the time to have your doors and glass surfaces examined. These are other ways that criminals will try to break in. If you are using an old, light-weight door, it may be time to replace it with a solid door made with hardwood or metal inserts.

Have a professional locksmith come out to reinforce doors that do not need replaced and then have them examine your windows. Since windows are by most front doors, a criminal may try to break-in through this method. Strengthen your windows and glass by replacing them with a stronger material or by adding a security window film for extra protection. You can get a tinted window film or a clear one that will at least discourage most burglars because it’s not easy to shatter.

Add a security screen

Speaking of window films, you can also add a security screen to your front door. This is basically like having two doors in which one door is in front of the other door. This allows you to have a metal barrier with additional locks for your front door. Since they are made to open out, attempting to kick them in will likely be unsuccessful.

If a criminal sees additional deadbolts and keyed knobs to get in a house, they may give up on their plans. You will have the option to see through this door much better than a peephole while still remaining inside the house.

Lengthen set screws

Talk to your locksmith about how they can lengthen set screws. This is another trick to improve home security that is simple but effective. Simply have your strike plate and hinges’s ¾ inch set screws changed to 3-inch screws. If someone tries to kick the door in, you’ll find that the door is more likely to just splinter and fracture but not actually get kicked in.

Typically with the shorter set screws, when the door is kicked in the strike plate will get torn off the door when the trim is breaking. With a longer set screw, the strike plate won’t be as vulnerable since you are likely just attacking the stud of the door jam. You must also secure the door’s strike plate and hinge side in order for this to be effective during an attack.

Maintain and install more hardware

Finally, make sure you take the time to maintain your hardware and add additional features where needed. You can use slipcovers to add more metal content to a door to help strengthen it where it has vulnerabilities. If you have exposed or weakened bolts that you use to secure a door, get a cover that extends over the jam.

Consider installing securing devices from inside the home, such as a lock in the middle of the door or a chain lock. Add front door monitoring through surveillance cameras, smart locks, and smart doorbells to improve your ability to see what’s going on and deter criminals.

Use these tips to increase your front door locks since it is the most important security feature of your home!

How can a locksmith improve my home security?

Typically people think to call the locksmith only when they need out of a jam. You can actually call a locksmith to help you with improving your home security. Just like when you see the doctor for preventative care, you can have a locksmith come help with preventative security threats to your home.

While a locksmith is the one to call when you’ve lost your keys or need to change the locks to your home, you can also call them to replace your window locks, to reinforce the door, and to get a security system installed. Take a look at these reasons and more your locksmith is going to help you improve your home security.

Reinforce your door

One thing that your locksmith can do to start off your efforts of improved home security is to reinforce your door. It’s possible that an intruder could kick in your door and it’s how many people end up with an intrusion. Don’t allow a criminal to kick in the door by reinforcing it with a professional locksmith.

Installing a deadbolt and high-security lock

Now that your doors are more secure like when the house was first built, you could install a deadbolt that will ensure it’s extremely difficult to break-in. just the presence of a deadbolt will convince a criminal to go elsewhere. Deadbolts will decrease the chances of a thief gaining entry, along with your reinforced door. They also can’t be pried open with a card.

The Professional Locksmith can reinforce doors and install deadlocks

You could also use this as a chance to install high-security locks. Getting locks on the door that can’t be picked at or drilled will give you peace of mind and decrease the threat of a break-in. Make sure to have a professional locksmith help with you both of these services.

Smart locks and cameras

Use the latest technology to your advantage. Smart locks are a great way to improve your home security. These are great for homes and offices and will come with a motion sensor camera that will detect the tiniest movements and alert you. Get a smart lock with a camera on the front door.

While you are getting security cameras, make sure you put a sign up to show criminals they will be filmed if they attempt anything. If something were to happen, you’d have video evidence and you would be able to watch a smart device from inside the home or another location as long as you have an internet connection.

Replace your window locks

While you’re reinforcing the doors, installing new locks, and setting up your security cameras, you should also keep in mind that windows can be a vulnerable place for an intruder. Your window locks can wear down over time so it’s important to replace them as needed. If there is a damaged window lock, an intruder may find it as they are attempting any way to get into your home. A locksmith can get these installed for you once you’ve chosen the option you want.

Minimalize your keyring

Lastly, having so many keys can feel overwhelming, especially on your keychain that you use all day. Getting one key to fit all is a great way to simplify your life and have everything you need on you. A locksmith can do a rekeying of all of your locks to have it so that it only requires one key to get inside the home. You won’t have to worry about forgetting a certain key and you’ll have a lighter keychain too. One key could open your front door, your shed, and more.

Call a professional locksmith today to get some of these preventative measures done on your home and you’ll have peace of mind like never before.