Padlock Potential

Sept. 1, 2008
Padlocks have come a long way to offer an expanded line of features and benefits that allow you to provide your customer with a customized product to fit their needs

Padlocks have always been a substantial segment in the security hardware business. In the past, the small size and design often meant that your keying choices were limited. However, that is no longer true today.
Years ago, padlocks weren’t rekeyable and weren’t serviceable. They could be ordered keyed-alike or keyed-different. If you needed long shackles, you had to order the locks that way. If you wanted brass shackles, you had to place another order.

Padlock manufacturers have realized the huge field of potential to recover lost sales by offering special products and services to the locksmith.
The two biggest features are the ability to match keying to house and/or office keys and stamping or engraving padlock bodies to promote your company or to allow your customer to promote his. Padlock identification to controls key system information for the user.

Following is an overview of padlock companies and their products.

The potential to key a padlock to a house or office key originated with Almont Lock Company of Almont, Mich. Almont still makes a line of brass padlocks in two convenient sizes that will key up to a series of popular cylinder keys.

The 112 series padlock is a solid brass lock with 1 ½-inch body. Various shackle lengths are available in steel or brass. The 134 series features a 1 ¾- inch body with interchangeable shackles up to four inches in length.
Compatible manufacturers’ keyways for the locks include Schlage C, Schlage Composite C-K, Kwikset, Yale 8, Weiser and Russwin. All locks come with a pair of 0-bit keys.

Because the cores and bodies are pre-drilled for chamber spacing, you cannot interchange parts between manufacturers’ brands and body sizes.

The rekeying process includes using some specialty tools. A special bottom tip cut allows a working key or blank to turn the core past the normal operating stop. A special retaining wire is then used to capture the drivers and springs in the upper chamber while the core is withdrawn.

The core is then keyed or master keyed as required. Pushing the core back into the body along the guide wire then reassembles the lock. After it is fully inserted, the wire retainer is removed and the core returned to the at rest position.

The trick is to do all of this without ‘dropping’ the upper chamber contents. If the wire comes loose with the core out, the drivers and springs come tumbling out. A special reloading tool is then used to repack the upper chamber.
If you are rekeying a master keyed padlock, you must be sure to empty the upper chamber of any existing master pins before setting to a new key. If all operating keys are present, a ‘clean-out’ key can be used to disassemble the lock. If not, pull the wire out, clean it out and start from square one.

Because of the effort involved to reload a dumped lock, many locksmith shops have a box or drawer with “extra parts” for Almont padlocks. Although it took a little practice to be able to quickly rekey these locks, the ability to offer a customer ‘keyed-alike’ locks to fit their door key outweighed the design limitations.

Information: contact your favorite locksmith distributor or Almont Lock Company Inc, 113 School Street, Almont, MI 48003. Telephone: 810-798-8950.

Abus Lock has been offering a huge selection of padlocks and accessories for decades. Their product selection includes aluminum and brass body padlocks, bike locks, Discus locks, laminated steel and brass padlocks, marine brass padlocks, motorcycle locks, hasps and more.

This article will focus on their line of rekeyable cylinder padlocks. The 83/45-300 Series offers a 1 ¾-inch solid brass body padlock with a Schlage C keyway cylinder and a one-inch solid steel shackle.
The Abus 83/50-3000 Series is a two-inch body rekeyable brass padlock with a Schlage C-K keyway cylinder.

For interchangeable core customers, the 83/45IC Series offer the ability to insert your own small format six- or seven-pin core into the solid brass lock. Adding a suffix of –1, -2 or –4 indicates the shackle length you require. Ordering an 83/45IC-2 indicates a 2-inch shackle is needed, while an 83/45IC-4 would result in a four-inch shackle, etc.

Other Abus padlocks include the 36 and 37 Series which offer rekeyable and master keying options, but theses operate on the standard Abus keyways and not the popular KIK/KIL sections.
Information: contact your favorite locksmith distributor or Abus, 23910 N. 19th Ave. #156, Phoenix, AZ 85085. Phone: 800-352-2287. Web Site:

Pacific Lock Company is a relative newcomer to our industry but is rapidly gaining market share by listening to their customers. Introduced in 2005, the company has gained popularity by offering a unique set of features and benefits combined with short lead times, small order quantities and customized products.

A complete line of rekeyable padlocks is available. Choices include locks with a solid hardened steel body or solid brass body. A line of anodized aluminum body padlocks offers a choice of six colors.
The ‘X’ Series padlock accepts standard KIK/KIL cylinders including Schlage, ASSA, Mul-T-Lock, Medeco, Marks, Bi-Lok, Ilco, All-Five, General and GMS. These locks come less cylinder, with multiple tailpieces to fit the above applications.

The X-Series includes the 100AX, an aluminum 1 ¾- inch body, the 500X, a 2-inch hardened steel body, the 550X, a 2-inch solid brass body.

One of more unique products offered by PacLock is the 2170XIC. This is a hockey puck style lock that offers the ability to insert a conventional KIK/KIL cylinder with the Sleeve-X adaptor.
Likewise the 400XIC is the hockey puck with a Sleeve-IC adaptor to allow use of a small format interchangeable core cylinder.

In addition to a line of hasps, chains and accessories is the Pac Shield. This steel sleeve accepts most rectangular body locks to provide shackle and attack protection.

As far as customization, PacLock offers their “Your Logo, Your Locks” program. Starting with a blank padlock body (without the PacLock logo), the company will custom laser engrave your locks with your company logo or that of your customer. There are almost no limitations as long as your idea will physically fit onto the lock. Custom logos are welcomed and although large orders are encouraged, production can be set up for as few as six locks. Custom powder coating and custom anodizing are also available.
Information: contact your local locksmith distributor or Pacific Lock, 21618 Marilla St., Chatsworth, CA 91311. Phone: 888-562-5565. Web Site:

Originally started in 1848, Wilson Bohannon is the oldest family owned padlock company still producing locks in the United States.

WB said by their customers to mean “Well Built” is unique in today’s world of security hardware. The Marion, Ohio-based company proudly points out that their products are 100 percent made in the United States of America.
Wilson Bohannon offers a substantial range of Series 1 and Series C standard duty solid brass pin tumbler padlocks for general use. In addition there is the Series V, X and Y double-ball heel and toe locking padlock for added strength.

The series 84, 85 and 86 padlocks offer the ability to use standard small format I-Core cylinders and offer a range of six and seven pin IC cores in all of the standard keyways including A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, Q, 1C, 1D and KMT300. Cores are available in 4 or 26D finish, comminuted or uncompensated.

Although standard commercial compatible keyways are not available, WB offers custom stamping or engraving on large orders to meet your customer’s needs. Custom monogramming includes the ability to identify padlocks with information like the Company Name, Employee Name, Department ID, Clock or Lock Location, etc.

Information: contact your favorite locksmith distributor or Wilson Bohannon, 621 Buckeye St., Marion, OH 43302. Phone: 800-382-3639. Web site:

As the inventor of the laminated padlock, the name Master Lock is associated with padlocks more than any other name. Master’s acquisition of American Lock (Junkunc Brothers) in recent years allowed both companies to meld their expertise and experience to produce new and innovative products.

American Lock offers a wide line of rekeyable and non-rekeyable padlocks. An expanded line of accessories including hasps, mortise cylinders and specialty products is all aimed at the locksmith market. Their advertising slogan is “The Locksmith’s Lock.”

The A3600 Series is a 1 ¾- inch wide body and the A3700 Series is a two-inch wide body lock. Both feature solid brass bodies with Boron steel shackles in various lengths. The A3800 Series is a 2 ¼-inch wide padlock constructed on case hardened, chrome plated solid steel to resist cutting, sawing and corrosion. These padlocks include three-way flexibility to match door key compatible cylinders and padlocks.

The American Key Advantage cylinder is offered in four popular keyways and has a figure 8 shell but is not an interchangeable core. Rekeying of these cylinders is accomplished with a follower because they are blind drilled and the holes are plugged at the bottom of the keyway.

A second cylinder choice is the American Door Key Compatible cylinders. They use the same key that opens commercial and residential hardware with 27 popular keyways available. Factory keying and master keying and expansion is available with your records and cylinders can be ordered as part of a complete padlock assembly or separately, keyed up and ready to install in your system.

Third, the A3600, A3700 and A3800 Series of padlocks will also accept the following OEM cylinders: Medeco#20W20000 6-pin cylinder, Schlage 6-pin KIK/KIL, ASSA 65611, Lori 1539, Schlage Primus, General Lock and GMS cylinders. '

American also features include specialty products such as the WeatherBuilt Padlock Protector – a patent-pending device to protect the padlock and keyway from debris and moisture.
Special services include laser engraving of logos and characters to identify ownership and application of padlocks on a large construction, factory or institutional application. American offers 14 different laser engraving order forms online for different padlock series to make sure your customer gets exactly what they need.

Information: contact your favorite locksmith distributor or American Lock, 137 W. Forrest Hill Ave., Oak Creek, WI 53154. Phone: 800-323-4568. Web site:

All padlocks are not alike, nor are all customers. A line of inexpensive laminated padlocks can be offered by you to fill the need of the $3 lock customer.

Truly selling padlocks requires a list of features and benefits provided by you to the customer to promote what you have to offer that is unique – what sets you apart from the hardware store selection of padlocks.