New Ideas In Mobile Locking Products

March 1, 2016
Padlock manufacturers have improved the original shackle and body padlock design with new forms and functions

It is hard to pinpoint the exact time when padlocks were first invented but Chinese versions of shackle and body padlock designs appeared as early as the first century. These early padlocks usually had simple expanding prongs connected to the shackle which blocked removal of the shackle. A key of the correct shape could be inserted into the padlock body keyway to press the prongs together. This unlocked the padlock by allowing the shackle to be removed from the padlock body. Similar Chinese padlocks are still available today more for decorative than security purposes.

Chinese padlock locking designs required long narrow padlock bodies to accept the expanding prongs. Keys for these padlocks also needed to be quite long to actuate the prongs. An evolutionary process accelerated by the Machine Age produced the compact padlock bodies and "U" shaped shackles found on many modern-day padlocks. The relatively small padlock body and a shackle which is permanently fastened to the body make the modern padlock a mobile, multi-use locking device which can be used for many different security applications.

Until a few decades ago, not much attention was concentrated on padlock key systems. While padlocks were made in many different sizes, key blanks and amount of tumblers remained the same. As example, several decades ago popular Master Lock had padlock came in sizes such as of 1 & 5. A number 5 padlock was the largest but used the same amount of tumblers and the same key blank as the smaller number 1 padlock.

The following examples show how manufacturers have improved the original shackle and body padlock design with new forms and functions.

CCL Security Products

A new addition to the CCL product line is the 83 series brass bodied padlocks. The padlocks can be ordered as cylinder-included or less-cylinder. Locks come standard with a Schlage 'C' keyway or can be ordered with Yale or Kwikset keyways. Check with factory for keyways available. 83 series padlocks are available in shackle sizes of 3/4", 1", 1 1/2", 2", 3" and 4" lengths. Shackles can be field-changed and can be ordered in brass, chrome plated molybdenum or stainless steel material and in shackle diameters of 5/16" or 3/8". Parts are included with each padlock for setting a key-removable or key-retained function. Secure, double ball bearing locking is featured. When in the unlocked position, a set screw can be accessed in the shackle cavity which allows the lock cylinder to be removed for combination changing. Series 83 lock cylinders contain anti-bumping and anti-picking pin tumblers.

FJM Security Products

A SX-575 is the perfect combination lock for lockers. SX-575 offers dual access through a combination or a key. The key can open the lock and also can discover what combination was previously set if forgotten. No more throwing away locks. SX-575 padlocks use an easy-to-see 4-dial combination with up to 10,000 possible combinations.

SX-800 series padlocks have large, front-facing dials which are easy to use. No more turning the lock upside down to enter the combination. This lock features no spring loaded parts that can wear or rust over time. Heel and toe locking is featured. SX-800 series locks are available in 1" and 2 1/4" sizes.

SX-790 combination disc padlocks are designed to be difficult to attack with bolt cutters or intrusive tools. Stainless steel frame and parts provide rust resistance and reliability. 10,000 possible combinations offer keyless convenience without compromising security.

The high security SOBO Padlock line includes a variety of chrome plated European style keyway locks at competitive pricing. Hard to access, rotating hasps in shrouded "D" shape locks have a 7/16" shackle to deter attacks with bolt cutters and saws. SOBO padlocks have a high security European style keyway and have no spring-loaded parts which would bind or wear out with time.

Master Lock Company

A new product from Master Lock is their built-in Multi-User combination lock which offers convenience for visitors at health and fitness clubs and facilities who need a locker for temporary use. The user sets their personalized 3-digit combination to secure belongings and simply clears it for the next user once they are finished using it. A supervisory key for staff management is available, providing emergency access to any locker if necessary. The Multi-User lock fits most wood or metal locker styles. Model 3630 and 3631 are available for lockers with a lift latch; model 3670 has a retractable deadbolt for single point latch locker doors.

Medeco Security Locks

Medeco Security Locks recently launched their Protector II padlock. A unique, proprietary toe and heel locking design increases the strength and durability of the padlock. The Protector II is also key retained when in the unlocked position for the highest level of security. Protector II padlocks are ideal for use in outdoor or corrosive environments. The body is constructed of solid, industrial grade stainless steel which provides durability in harsh weather and extreme conditions. An optional dust cover provides further cylinder protection from weather, dust and dirt. Hardened boron alloy steel shackles provide strong resistance against physical attacks. The Protector II padlock is coupled with the UL437 listed Medeco mechanical lock cylinder.


Not all padlocks are created equally, nor should they be. We need different sizes, strengths, shackle types and ruggedness to meet all the needs out there. Mul-T-Lock's NE and NG line of padlocks were designed to meet all sorts of needs, including harsh environmental conditions. Mul-T-Lock NE and NG padlocks offer high security while maintaining the high performance and serviceability associated with Mul-T-Lock products. Mul-T-Lock padlocks incorporate patented innovations and meet or exceed rigorous international standards such as ASTM and CEN standards EN 12320- Grades 3,4,5 6 - The NE Series padlock offers the highest level of security.

STRATTEC Security Corp.

The concept behind a STRATTEC BOLTLOCK is that an owner can quickly set the BOLTLOCK to operate with the key to their vehicle in three simple steps.

  1. An owner inserts his or her vehicle key in the lock
  2. The key is rotated once
  3. The lock 'learns' the key combination.

BOLTLOCKS are available in padlock form and also configurations as cable locks, hitch receiver locks and specialized locks for tool boxes and Jeep hood latches. BOLTLOCKS are available in different keyways for many Ford, GM, Dodge, Toyota, Nissan, Jeep and Land Rover models. BOLTLOCK products are made in USA with corrosion resistant materials for long service life.

TrakLok International

TrakLok International specializes in transportation control systems for over the road and intermodal containers. The TrakLok system consists of a GeoLok and TrakLog web interface.

The GelLok is a reusable locking and tracking device that is affixed to the doors of cargo containers. The GeoLok can withstand attempts to access cargo in an unauthorized manner such as through prying, cutting or impact tools and will communicate a wireless alert in the event of an attempt to access cargo in an unauthorized manner. The TrakLog is a web portal that allows clients to access real-time information on the location and the integrity of their cargo. The TrakLok system comes complete in a standalone system or can integrate with several fleet management systems.

The TrakLok system uses a combination of location and password to control access. This combination eliminates key custody issues, while improving access security. The lock can only be opened in the right location, by the right person. Lock access can be changed on the "fly" so rerouting of shipments do not cause down time. TrakLok provides physical security, a remote alarm system, and post trip information.

For More Info

For more information on the products mentioned in this article, contact your local locksmith distributor or visit the following manufacturer websites: