Having a good lock will give you peace of mind that the items in your storage unit are safe. With such a wide variety of locks on the market, it is hard to choose which is the best lock for your storage unit. Even though the majority of storage facilities have security measures like gates, fences, and security cameras, if you have a low quality lock you are leaving yourself vulnerable.
Let’s go over the different types of locks you can choose from and what the benefits and drawbacks are of each.
Combination and dial locks
These are the types of locks that you would typically see used on gym lockers. They have either a 3 digit pin combination or a dial that has a 4 or 5 digit pin. There are even some of these locks that have a directional pad where you input a sequence of directions to unlock it.
Regardless of the locking mechanism, these locks are probably your worst option. They are the cheapest and most readily available of all the locks on this list, but they also offer the least security. The pins on these types of locks are easily cracked and for some very cheap versions they can be forced open by hand.
These might work well for school lockers or at the gym, but for a storage unit you’ll want to go with something more substantial.
Chain locks or bike locks
Certain bicycle locks can be very secure and hard to break into, but issues arise with the length of the chain. Most bike locks have their locking mechanism linked to a chain. This is is great when you have to lock your bike up somewhere, and you need flexibility, but if you use one of these bike locks for a storage unit, it makes it very difficult to lock the storage unit door tightly.
If the chain is very long, it can be hard to close the storage unit door completely and someone could force the door up and squeeze their way in. Even though bike locks provide a good deal of security they don’t work effectively at locking up storage units.
Padlocks with key access
These are the most common and most widely used locks for self storage units. You can get these padlocks anywhere for relatively cheap. However, you will have to keep track of your key, some storage facilities might be willing to keep your key for you but the vast majority will not. If you come all the way to the storage facility having forgotten your key, there’s nothing you can do. The same goes if you lose your key.
These locks provide great security, as they are difficult to pick, cut or break. Famously, Masterlock claimed that their padlocks could withstand a sniper rifle shot and still be functional. Your average padlock might not be able to withstand that kind of firepower, but it is a good option for securing your self storage unit.
Disc Lock with key access
A step up from padlocks, the discus lock is just that, a lock the shape of a disc. This kind of lock was specially designed for storage units and is the gold standard for self storage security. This is the kind of lock that Storwell supplies to our customers with every rental. In fact, Storwell believes so strongly in the security of the disc lock, that we only allow disc locks to be used at our facilities.
The main advantage to disc locks is that due to their shape they can’t be cut off using bolt cutters. This is both a good and bad thing. It’s good because it provides you with extra security, but it’s a bad thing if you lose your key.
Disc locks are hard to open without a key. You’ll most likely need to call a professional to either pick the lock or grind it off which could cost you a decent amount of money. Disc locks are more expensive than regular padlocks, but the security they provide and their weatherproof design makes them incredibly effective. If you are looking for absolute security for your storage unit, they are the way to go.
For the tech-loving storage owner, Bluetooth locks might be something to consider. Still a new technology, these are locks that can connect to your Smartphone via Bluetooth eliminating the need for keys or combinations.
Although Bluetooth locks are convenient, if you have Bluetooth capabilities on a weak lock that will still be a weak lock. You can get high quality Bluetooth disc locks that combine convenience and security, but they will be very expensive.
There are a few things to consider with Bluetooth locks. If your lock is going to be on an outside unit and exposed to the elements, it could damage the technology in the lock, meaning you won’t be able to unlock it. If someone gets access to your phone that means they’ll also have access to your storage unit. Unlike mechanical locks that can only be opened with a key or by destroying them, Bluetooth locks can be hacked. This means that someone could hack your Bluetooth lock, gain access to your storage unit, and lock it again without you knowing.
Overall what is the safest lock for my storage unit?
The lock that works best for self storage unit security is the disc lock, hands down. If you want to go with a slightly cheaper option a high quality padlock can provide ample protection as well. When it comes to Bluetooth locks, they are a fascinating new technology but the convenience they provide does not make them worth their hefty price tag and possible security limitations.