Using the Right Lock for Your Self-Storage Unit

Most self storage facilities have rigorous security measures in place. Digital video monitoring, electronic gates, keypad access and perimeter fencing keep your belongings safe and secure. Some facilities have gone the route of keyless systems that require only an app on your mobile phone to gain access. Others offer “smart” units that offer real time storage unit monitoring. If your unit isn’t equipped with the latest in smart technology, you should consider purchasing a high-quality padlock.

Before you purchase a lock, there are several things you need to consider.

  1. Depending on the security level of your storage facility, you need to decide between a medium- and high-quality lock. Don’t compromise the security of your belongings. Go with the best lock in your budget range, especially if you’re going to be storing for a lengthy period of time. 
  2. If possible, consider a shrouded shackle. They are more expensive, but harder to drill because of a protective covering on the shackle.
  3. Consider the size of your padlock and where you’ll be using it. You want it to fit, and you don’t want to buy an industrial-sized padlock for a small unit.
  4. If you’re considering a regular vs. a disc padlock, the disc padlock actually provides better security. Some say these are the best locks for storage units because there is virtually no space to use bolt cutters.
  5. A combination lock isn’t recommended. It’s better used for your kid’s school locker. Combination locks may deter a lazy thief; but, even for an amateur, they are easily snipped with a bolt cutter.
  6. Be sure that your padlock is made of materials that will provide strength, hardness, longevity, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Common materials that will provide these qualities are steel, alloy steel, aluminum, carbides, and brass. 

Best Storage Unit Padlocks for 2020

According to Locksmith Nerd, following are some of the best padlocks for 2020:

ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock

The ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock is the top pick for 2020. It does not compromise in design and has a tensile strength of 25,000 pounds.


  • High Security
  • Well made, heavy duty
  • Worth the cost
  • Excellent resistance to pulling and drilling
  • Strong and shrouded shackle
  • Durable


  • May not fit all storage units

Medeco Padlock

The Medeco Padlock is the #2 pick. There is only marginal difference between this and the #1 padlock. It features maximum strength, durability, and security.


  • Comes with three keys
  • Shrouded shackle
  • Unique key duplication card
  • Excellent resistance to pulling and drilling
  • High-security padlock


  • Expensive

Master Lock 930DKHPF

The Master Lock 930DKHPF’s corrosion resistance makes it a great option for outdoors. It’s also the least expensive option of these locks.


  • Comes with two keys
  • 5-pin cylinder locking mechanism
  • Lock works in many weather conditions
  • Resistant to cutting, prying and drilling
  • Solid, high quality, but inexpensive


  • The shackle is long, so be sure to check that it will fit your unit.
  • This lock has been known to rust over time, however it’s still worth considering as an all-weather lock. 

Abus 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock

The Abus 20/70 Diskus Padlock is made of stainless steel, and the shackle has little room for cutting or drilling.


  • High quality and high security
  • Heavy duty
  • Resistant to drilling
  • No springs in the mechanism
  • Difficult to pick


  • Could get jammed on an extremely cold day.

If you’re interested in looking at further options, check the Locksmith Nerd link above.

Choosing the right lock can be overwhelming because there are so many options. We’ve narrowed your choices in this article, but there are many more selections. It helps to consider the value of your possessions and the security features at your storage facility. Having the right lock will add an extra layer of security and a little more peace of mind.

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