Padlocks Get Stronger & More Versatile

March 2, 2018
Improvements to this venerable locking device include greater durability, new locking/unlocking methods, updated appearance and locks for specialty applications

Padlocks have been around for hundreds of years. The concept hasn’t changed, but improvements/updates have been made in four categories: durability, locking and unlocking methods, physical appearance and adaptions for specialized needs.

Increased Durability

Made of industrial grade stainless steel, Medeco’s Protector II Padlock offers excellent resistance to harsh weather conditions. Its hardened boron alloy steel shackle provides strong resistance against cutting, sawing and prying. And the patented Medeco M3 cylinder resists picking, drilling and other forms of physical attack. It can now be ordered in Medeco X4 keyways.

Its proprietary toe and heel deadlocking action locking technique increases the strength, quality, and durability of the padlock. The Protector II is also key retaining in the unlocked position for the highest level of security.

Protector II Padlocks are ideal for buildings in harsh outdoor or corrosive environments, such as heavy-duty industrial sites, factories, marine equipment, sheds, perimeter gates and other utility applications. The body is constructed of durable, solid, industrial grade stainless steel providing durability in harsh weather and extreme conditions. An optional dust cover provides further protection to the cylinder from weather, dust, and dirt. Right and left side canals along the interior of the padlock channel moisture away from the interior of the body. Two drainage holes on the lower left and right sides of the body allows moisture to drain out of the body minimizing pooling, freezing, and corrosion or water damage to the cylinder.

Master Lock’s Commercial Magnum line is designed to withstand abuse and harsh weather in facility and business applications. The octagonal, chrome-plated boron-carbide shackle is 50 percent stronger than hardened steel. The stainless steel body cover with stainless steel top and bottom plates provides a stronger defense against the elements.

Master Lock can customize these products with including laser engraving and keying flexibility. Commercial Magnum padlocks offer two body sizes ‑ 1 3/4 inches and 2 inches wide, plus three shackle lengths each.  Magnum padlocks can be ordered keyed alike, master keyed and keyed to match any existing 4-pin W1 or Edge Key Control systems.

Assa Inc.'s SRB36 & SRB37 padlocks are designed for the toughest conditions and harshest environments, with all-brass body inside and out. Standard features are Alloy Shackle for tougher cut resistance and Weather Seals to keep water out. Additional features/specs include:

  • 10,000 Combination Resettable Brass Padlock
  • Brass Body
  • Brass Internal Parts
  • Weather Seals
  • Moly Shackle
  • Carded
  • 6pc per Shelf Pack

The M-8000 Magnetic Padlock from Capitol Industries is pick- and tamper-proof, all-weather resistant, and has over 250,000 key codes. A unique water-tight construction and brass body protect the internal locking mechanism from the harshest environmental conditions, and are coupled with a marine grade stainless steel shackle for extreme corrosion resistance. The M-8000 is ideal for remote locations, fences, trucks, trailers, sheds, etc.

All FJM High Security padlocks have a solid brass body and internal components with a hardened, chrome plated body and shackle. There are no internal spring loaded components to wear out or rust over time. The FJM European style keyway is practically impossible to pick and requires the key to turn 90 degrees prior to engaging with the internal disks. FJM High Security padlocks come with 4 keys and the keys are self retaining requiring the padlocks to be locked prior to removing the key. FJM High Security Padlocks come in two major styles: Shrouded Shackle and Jimmy Proof D-Shaped Style.


Early keyed padlocks were unlocked via one standard key. Now they can be masterkeyed, ordered keyed alike or keyed different, or even come with a hybrid cylinder that can provide sophisticated audit trails or remote locking/unlocking. Combination locks can be reset and have either gotten more secure or easier to turn, see and open.

KIK Padlocks from ASSA, Inc., accommodate the ASSA KIK Cylinder Schlage Style in any ASSA Profle. These padlocks feature an Alloy Shackle, Weather Seals and a Quick & Easy Shackle Change. They are available in 1” & 2” shackle lengths and 5/16” & 3/8” shackle diameters.

CyberLock offers an extensive line of electronic padlocks, ideal for managing access to cargo bays, trucks, gates, control boxes, and more. Cylinders include additional protection against the elements for padlock applications. The absence of a conventional keyway means it is not vulnerable to traditional lock picking techniques. The padlock cylinders are powered by CyberKey smart keys and require no power or wiring for installation.

CyberLock Electronic Cylinder Features

  • Installs without power or wiring
  • Contains a unique ID that cannot be changed or duplicated
  • Has the ability to store 1000 access events
  • Retains encrypted access codes that bind the lock to a specific system
  • Contains a list of blocked keys
  • Can be installed indoor or outdoor

For those customers who want to use their smartphone as their key, Bluetooth padlocks are the answer. Master Lock offers the 4400D indoor padlock and the 4401DLH outdoor padlock. The user can share and control temporary or permanent access to the lock, allowing 24/7 accessibility or limiting it to days or nights only. When Bluetooth is enabled, the lock will unlock upon touch. When Bluetooth is not available, a directional code on the lock keypad can be used as an alternative. Set-up is straightforward - download the free Master Lock Vault eLocks app and when prompted, enter the lock’s activation code that comes with the lock. Bluetooth users can take advantage of many conveniences on their smartphones, such as monitoring lock activity, accessing its history and receiving updates when the battery needs to be replaced.

Pacific Lock Company’s PB300 keyless padlock uses Bluetooth® to communicate with authorized users through their mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and keyfobs using a wireless tech called PAC-BLU. Designed and manufactured by PacLock, the PB300 utilizes a cloud-based service called 'Sentinel' that a locksmith can use to program user data including the enrollment criteria of multiple users/mobile devices.  


An interesting looking padlock can grab attention and result in an impulse purchase at the counter of a commercial lockshop. Consider checking with your distributor to see if sales displays are available. Market combination locks in the fall as children head back to school and in January as folks join gyms to work off those holiday pounds.

Sports teams partnerships, for example Abus partnering with the Phoenix Suns, are a new trend. The strategic marketing partnership agreement designates ABUS as the “Official Lock of the Phoenix Suns.” The first-of-its-kind category partnership for the Suns is also the first U.S. sponsorship for ABUS, whose North American operations are headquartered in Phoenix.

Marketing to an aging baby boomer population, one of Master Lock’s new combination padlocks features a larger font size and an all-new optical grade 360-degree magnification lens.

"After listening closely to user feedback on our wide variety of personal padlocks, we found that a number of our customers were experiencing difficulties with reading the small numbers on their locks," said Cris Smyczek, Senior Product Manager at Master Lock. "The new Magnification Combination Padlock is meant to be an innovative and welcome solution for those older users with an active lifestyle and young professionals who encounter challenges reading their combinations due to farsightedness."


For the real estate market, FJM Security has expanded its popular lockbox line with the ShurLok II, while also offering their popular ShurLok and KeyGuard lockboxes

The ShurLok is the original dial combination lockbox with years of reliability and durability.  It’s patented one combination for the shackle and second combination for the key compartment remains the best feature in the market to prevent lockboxes from walking off.  The ShurLok II has the same patented dual combination feature everyone relies on, but comes with a front loading key vault.

ShurLok II features:

  • Patented dual combination – one code for the shackle and another code for the key door
  • Front facing key vault
  • 10,000 combinations possible
  • Durable all-metal construction
  • Zero locking- open the ShurLok in the dark
  • Easy to use & recombinate
  • Rust Resistant
    Fits 5 to 6 keys
  • One Year Warranty
  • Imprinting available.  Add your logo for marketing value
  • Optional cable available

Lockout is another specialty category. The new Abus 74M is designed for lockout/tagout applications. This lock series features a solid brass body and cylinder that offer superior corrosion resistance and are ideal for harsh environments and confined-space applications.

The 74M comes in nine bright colors for easy identification and differentiation. The plastic-covered lock body and shackle are non-magnetic and dielectric, providing intrinsically safe protection. Protected with patented NANO PROTECT™ coating that provides robust chemical resistance, the steel shackle is available in heights of 1.5” or 3”.

“With the addition of the brass body 74M, we assist customers in industries with harsh environments requiring products that meet OSHA Lockout/Tagout Guidelines,” said George Eubanks, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ABUS USA. “The solid brass body provides added corrosion resistance and will last longer, extending the product life cycle and allowing for fewer replacements over time.”

For the added safety of employees, this padlock is key retaining. This means that the key can only be removed from the padlock when it is in the locked position. In addition to all these great features, the ABUS custom keying department that can provide customers with complex key systems (keyed different, keyed alike, and master keyed) in very short time frames.


For more information on the companies listed in this article, contact your local locksmith distributor or visit the following websites:


Assa Inc.:

FJM Security: www,, www,

Master Lock:


Pacific Lock: