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Lock It Up: Your Guide to Storage Unit Locks

June 28, 2019

best storage unit locksHow to Choose Your Lock Wisely

Beyond price, there are so many factors to consider when looking for the best storage unit locks. Considering what you are protecting and how much it would cost to replace, you cannot just buy the cheapest option.

No risk is worth taking, so you need to lock up your unit with something that makes you feel most secure!  

Select one of these amazing storage unit locks and give your storage unit the protection it really needs.

Types of Storage Unit Locks

Three of the best storage unit locks are called Closed Shackle, Disc, and Cylinder. These locks have five key characteristics in common:

  • A core that almost no one is going to pick open
  • A thick-lock body
  • A thick shackle
  • A shrouded shackle
  • Non-descript and non-ostentatious

These locks literally look like a hunk of metal. If you can secure your storage unit with one of these bad boys, you are closer to making your unit a fortress.

If you don’t want to mess around with the security of your storage unit, do yourself a favor and use one of these storage unit locks.

So, how do you choose one? Let’s review the pros and cons of each option.

Closed-Shackle Padlocks

Ordinary padlocks are inexpensive, but not the most secure (especially for a self-storage unit). While you’re probably the only one who has the key to unlock a padlock, they are the easiest kind of lock to tamper with or cut open.

Closed-shackle padlocks are very similar to typical padlocks, except the shackle (i.e. the U-shaped bar that locks shut around the latch of your storage unit door) is shorter, thicker, and has a protective casing to deter bolt-cutters.

These storage unit locks might be a bit more expensive than normal padlocks, but they are worth it.

disc lock

Disc Locks

A standard padlock is much easier to cut open than a disc lock. While disc locks function very similarly to regular padlocks, they have a distinct round shape that makes them very difficult to break.

The ease and security of using disc locks make them the industry standard for self-storage. But you will need to double-check that this type of storage unit lock fits the latch on your unit.

cylinder lock

Cylinder Locks

Cylinder locks are like the kinds of locks you would find in a normal door. They are the most difficult to break into, but a little more difficult to install.

Only certain cylinder lock sizes will fit a standard storage unit door. Their use in storage is a more recent development, so not all self-storage facilities in Little Rock will be equipped to install cylinder locks.

Factors to Consider

Now that you know some of the best storage unit locks available, it is time to consider some hard truths.

What you find in this section may surprise you, so it’s important you review all this information you need before you choose a storage unit lock.

#1 Cost

There is a wide range of locks on this list with a variety of price points represented, but when it comes to cost you should not just be thinking about the sticker price. You should be thinking about value.

Storage unit locks are important investments that protect the things that matter most to you. A good rule is to choose a lock that costs around 10% of the value of what you are storing.

When you think about it that way, cheaper locks are meant to secure things that you don’t care too much about losing.

Sometimes you need to store inexpensive stuff like decorations and clothing. Other times, you’re storing antique cars or expensive electronics.

So, it makes most financial sense to protect your storage unit with a lock that’s worth it.

#2 Hasp Size

No matter what you can afford, you also need a lock that is going to physically fit the latch on your storage unit.

The hasp of your storage unit is what the shackle of your lock secures onto. The hole in that hasp must be big enough for the shackle of your padlock to fit through.

It must also be positioned in a way that allows for the shape of the padlock to fit properly. The dimensions of the hasp cannot prevent the padlock’s shackle from closing securely.

#3 Storage Unit Location

Location introduces a third factor you need to consider when looking at storage unit locks.

First off, is your storage unit located inside or outside? If your storage unit is outdoors, you should consider potential issues like weathering. A lock is not worth much if it rusts shut or breaks!

What to Avoid

The storage unit locks listed above are simply the best for self-storage.

We cannot recommend ordinary padlocks, single combination padlocks, and multiple combination padlocks (like a bike lock) as secure options.

We can recommend that you invest in a lock made with high-quality materials, even if it’s a bit more expensive. Cheaper locks are cheaper because the manufacturer cuts costs through low-quality metal. So, look out!

Where to Buy Storage Unit Locks

Fortunately, all the storage unit locks listed above are easily found at most hardware stores like The Home Depot, Lowe's, and Walmart.

For your convenience, every Modern Storage location sells Disc locks at the front office. Our West Little Rock location also sells Cylinder locks.

If you aren’t sure which lock to buy, just ask one of our friendly storage specialists for some assistance.

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