What is a padlock?

A padlock is a portable lock for limiting access to an enclosure or prevent anyone from removing objects within the area. They are used in everyday life for high and low-security installations. People use them to secure their luggage when travelling, lock fences, hasps, gates, cabinets, doors, lockers, chains and other areas or objects.

The most popular locking designs are warded mechanisms and pin-tumbler. In the past, lever padlocks were famous but has dwindled in most parts of the world in favour of the above-mentioned mechanisms.

All padlocks have a U-shaped shackle that only comes apart when the appropriate key or correct combination is used. Padlocks are not recommended for high-security buildings or homes because the shackles can be easily sawed or cut with a hacksaw or bolt cutter respectively. However, some newer models mitigate this problem with tough boron alloy shackles, shrouded to make it harder to cut.

A Padlock

Who invented padlock?

Padlocks have been used for thousands of years to defend against unauthorized entrance, theft, sabotage and vandalism. The earliest padlocks were used between 500 BC and 300 AD in ancient Babylon and Egypt. It spread to other civilizations in Greece, China and Rome and was only used for security purposes. As it travelled through countries, padlocks featured new upgrades such as swing shackle joints and ward springs in the 17th century.

Initial efforts by the Egyptians only found limited patronage in the Middle East and North Africa until Chinese locksmiths developed the first universal models in 1000BC and continued updating it until the rule of the Han Dynasty when it became an accessory for the wealthy, noble class. Romans had their first encounters with these padlocks during travels to Asia around 500 BC and it spread to the rest of Europe from there.

Modern technology has witnessed significant advances in manufacturing, resource gathering and tool production, which has helped locksmiths find new ways to create stronger, reliable locks that can stand the test of time and hold steady against burglars and thieves.

Parts of the padlock

Most padlocks have the same design features, which includes:

  • Bolt or shackle – a rod made from steel material, attached to an object such as a chain, hasp or fence. The shackle keeps the object and padlock connected but it’s also the weak link where thieves cut through to gain access.
  • Body: the body surrounds the shackle and locking mechanism. It is developed from strong material, which makes it harder to tamper with the padlock’s mechanism. Newer models attempt to cover as much of the body as possible to protect the shackle from forced entry and such padlocks are called shrouded padlocks.
  • Locking mechanism: There are two types of locking mechanisms; Integrated and modular. The integrated mechanism requires the padlock key to unlock or close the padlock while the modular mechanism doesn’t directly engage the tumblers to lock the shackle but features a plug in the cylinder that allows the locking dog to retract from the notches in the shackle.

How do padlocks works?

The three essential parts of the padlock are the life force are its life force. If you look inside the padlock, you will find the lower and upper metals going into the cylinder of the padlocks. The metal pins lock the cylinder until the correct key is inserted to release the padlock.

Types of padlocks

There are different types of padlocks depending on its’ use from home, travelling, organizations and businesses. To provide the best options for each group, a broad variety of styles and options are in existence. These are the most popular padlock types in use today

Breakaway shackle: A type of locked with a scored shackle that breaks when struck by a substantial object such as a hammer. It is used when the lock might be removed quickly as an emergency response just like with a fire hose or sprinkler hose.

Combination lock: a lock that requires a series of symbols or number to open the lock. The number series might be entered through a single rotational dial or with rotation discs featuring inscribed numerals. Unlike conventional padlocks, combination locks do not use keys. The types of combination locks vary from high-security safes to three digits locks.

Shrouded padlocks: This type of lock features a heavy metal shield that guards the surrounding shackle on either side leaving only the top U shape visible.

High-security padlocks: One of the most secured padlocks in the market. Each one is made from hardened steel shackle, pick resistant cylinder, shrouded shackle and reinforced locking mechanism.

What padlock should I buy?

Padlocks are sold at any locksmith shop in London. When looking to buy a padlock here are some features to look out for:

  • The padlock should fit the object and possess the required strength.
  • The insurance company must approve the locks if it’s to be used on an insured property or item.
  • Buy padlocks from a reputable brand and retailer recommended by your locksmith
  • The price you pay for the padlock should reflect in the value of property it’s Buy good padlocks such as high-security combination locks for valued properties.

Your London locksmith specialist will offer more advice on the correct lock for any purpose, object or area.

How much is a padlock?

A padlock is an investment to secure your valuables. The type of material, brand and strength of the padlock determines its’ price. If you buy a cheap padlock it means the item or area you’re trying to protect has no meaningful value such as a shed with potting mix or an empty detached garage. A padlock for your tool shed, safe or office locker will require a high-tech model that is costly but worth it in effectiveness. Cheap padlocks are made from low-quality materials and leave you susceptible to a break-in or burglary so do not sacrifice quality for cost.

Are padlocks secure?

The strength and effectiveness of the padlock to secure your home and vital properties depends on the materials and design used to build the padlock. Your London locksmith is the best person to recommend the best padlock within your budget to safeguard your property and valuables.

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