Pay Bill Online

Self Storage Tips

What’s the Best Storage Unit Lock?

3 types of storage unit locks

You’ve selected the ideal storage unit for your needs. Now to help secure your belongings you need to find a good lock. With so many to choose from, how do you know which lock to get for a storage unit door? When deciding on a lock, be sure to consider the overall security options of the storage facility you’ll be renting from. A unit in a facility without perimeter fencing or cameras may benefit from a disc lock, whereas a unit in a gated facility with 24/7 video cameras, or resident managers may suffice with a lower-priced combination or padlock. Let’s break down the different types available to make the selection process a little easier.

NOTE – Before purchasing a lock, speak with the facility to verify the type of locks that will or will not work for your unit’s latch.

COMBINATION LOCKS

These types of locks are some of the most popular and most affordable options to help secure your storage unit. Instead of using keys, they use a specific sequence of characters to release the locking mechanism. This means you’ll never have to worry about misplacing your keys, contacting the storage facility office to access your unit, and then purchasing another lock.

  • Single Dial Lock – These are the types of locks you probably used on your school locker. They typically have a round dial that you rotate clockwise for the first number, then counterclockwise for the second number, then clockwise again for the final number.

Prices for these range from $6.00 to $9.00.*

  • Multiple Dial Lock – You will often find these locks on bicycle locks or briefcases but can also be found on the type of locks used to secure storage units or sheds. There are a number of rotating discs with notches cut into them that are secured by a pin with teeth. Once aligned in the correct sequence to match the pin’s teeth, the letters, numbers or symbols on the discs will release the inner pin and the lock will open.

Prices for dial combination locks are usually between $6.00 to $12.00.*

KEYED PADLOCKS

These are what most people picture when they think of locks that require a key. Padlocks can be made with a variety of materials that will affect the quality. A poor-quality lock can be made with soft metal casings and could be pried open or snipped with bolt cutters. Stainless steel or hard brass padlocks are more resistant to tampering.

  • Open Shackle Lock – These will fit easily into most storage door latches. The shackle (U-shaped portion at the top of the lock) is exposed, making it more susceptible to attacks with bolt cutters or saws.

Prices for these range from $10.00 to $15.00.*

  • Closed Shackle Lock – The exposed part of the shackle is shorter, thicker and protected by the padlock casing. These features make these locks more difficult to cut with bolt cutters.

Closed or shrouded shackle locks tend to be pricier than a standard open shackle padlock, ranging from $13.00 to $30.00.*

DISC LOCKS

A good option for self-storage units are disc locks which are usually less prone to theft or tampering. This style of lock offers better protection than a traditional padlock against bolt cutters as there is minimal exposure of the shackle. Disc locks typically require a grinder to remove making them the most difficult locks to get off. Materials used to make these locks tend to be strong, so if hit by a hammer it should not break easily. Plus, insurance companies may offer discounts for using disc locks instead of one of the others.

Average prices range from $12.00 to $18.00*

STOR-N-LOCK Self Storage helps give you extra peace of mind offering 24/7 video cameras, electronic gate access with a unique PIN, individually alarmed units at some sites, and managers who reside onsite at most sites. The added peace of mind from a strong lock on your storage unit door may help you rest even easier. Depending on what you plan to store, a simpler and less expensive lock may work for you. If you are storing anything of great sentimental or monetary value, the higher cost of a strong disc lock may be worth the extra investment. Our knowledgeable managers will be happy to answer questions you have regarding which lock meets your needs best. Contact us today!

*Prices mentioned will vary by store and different areas of the country.

About the author

STOR-N-LOCK Self Storage