Padlock Definition

Padlock consists of two english words "Pad" and the noun "Lock" which are dating from late 15 century. The word "padlock" has been recorded for first time in 1425-75. [source]

Pronounced [pad-lok

  1. Noun - a portable or detachable lock with a pivoted or sliding shackle that can be passed through a link, ring, staple, or the like.
  2. Verb - to fasten with or as with a padlock [source]


The padlock was used in ancient times by Greeks, Egyptians, Roman and other cultures. People use it as the travel lock for protecting merchandise. It comes in small sizes with the different geometric shape. During the era of last Czar, Nicholas II (1895-1918) Russians make massive hand-forged padlocks. In early periods, instead of gifting ornaments, people use locks as a present which comes with a congratulatory message.

Anatomy & Parts

Padlock Anatomy and Parts

1. Shackle

  • Straight shackle - It has a metal structure with a horizontal shackle. The straight chain is sturdy and robust.
  • Circular shackle - The circular shackle covers two different metal cases. It has a disc shape, and the chain is circular.
  • Flexible (cable) shackle - A padlock made of brass with a wire of 20 inches. Where solid shackle does not work, the flexible cable is another option.
  • Shackle diameter - It comes in various thicknesses. The security level differs with the width of the padlock.
  • Open v closed shackle padlock - In comparison with a closed one, the open lock is easy to use. However, closed shackle padlock gives high security.
  • Hidden shackle lock - Another name for shackle lock is a master hidden lock. It is an ideal choice for commercial use.
  • Single post shackle padlock - For utility meter blockade this is a reliable option. In this lock, there are two keys made of steel.
  • Padlock shackle size - The padlock shackle is of multiple dimensions. It also varies from material to material, for example; brass shackle measures 3/16 inches. 

2. Body

  • Pressed steel - The pressed steel padlock results from two types of heavy-duty steel. Its shackle has covered within lock positions.
  • Solid brass - The solid brass padlock is comparatively cheap than others. It is soft to touch because of the brass material.
  • Laminated steel - This padlock prepares from thin sheets of steel which then fix to structure body block. It features a bumper of plastic for making more comfortable handling.
  • Armour Encased brass - The padlock of this material encloses brass in a jacket of hardened steel. It increases protection since it does not open quickly by drilling.
  • Solid Steel alloy - The solid steel alloy is more hardened than a solid brass padlock.

3. Locking mechanism

Two types of padlock mechanism:

  • Integrated - The padlock with integrated padlock mechanism engages tumbler and shackle.
  • Modular - These padlocks are modified version. It does not combine tumbler and shackle.

Keying Sizes Explained

  • Plo-32/15 in.
  • Plo-32/32 in.
  • Plo-32/51 in.

Padlock Types

Undoubtedly, padlocks are virtually used almost everywhere. The most popular types of padlock are the following:

  • Laminated - The laminated is the first type of steel padlock. It consists of various pieces of metals packed with each other.
  • Lockout padlocks - The purpose of making this type is for the use of lockout programs. A single key is enough to access it.
  • Weather resistant - It has made from a material that is resistant to weather. It does not corrode and open quickly with the key.
  • Combination - First combination lock invented by James Sargent. In this type, there are some buttons to unbolt the device.
  • Combination with key control - This type of padlock mostly uses to lock the rooms in schools and gyms. It opens with the combination of keys.
  • Guarded /shrouded/shielded padlocks - It consists of metal guards to protect the shackles. Bolt cutter cannot break this type of padlock.
  • Breakaway shackle - It is designed for emergency situations. Breakaway shackle breaks easily by a hammer.
  • Government padlocks - This padlock has constructed to meet the requirements of US government. It follows ASTM standards.
  • High Security - The type used to increase the protection. It has more applications, unlike other padlock types.
  • Single-post shackle padlocks - Instead of using U shaped post it works in a single post. It is for vending devices and meters.
  • Wireless - The wireless padlock can be unlocked from a distance and it is useful. It comes in different shapes and physical designs.
  • Bluetooth - This padlock work on a Bluetooth technology and can be controlled from your phone using an app. It is more reliable and durable padlock. 

Keying Options

  • Keyed Alike - These keys can open all the locks present in the pack of padlocks. For a reason each key is alike.
  • Keyed different - Each padlock unlocks with the unique key. There are no duplicate keys in the set of the lock.
  • Master keyed - Padlock with master keyed contains a master key that opens the lock quickly. Master lock series and its key need to order at the same time.
  • Rekeyable - When keys are missing, the rekeyed works in that situation.
  • Interchangeable core padlocks - There is no requirement of disassembling of the core like in rekeyable. It quickly attaches to the lock like user key.
  • Non-removable key - When the lock is open, the core remains to fix with the padlock.
  • Reserved key system - The type of key is not for the use of the local public. However, use by big companies and government.


  • Plastic - For a light security, plastic material padlocks are available. It can use where there is no tempering.
  • Aluminum - The aluminum padlock has a coating of different color. It ensures lock system with color coding.
  • Brass - In comparison with a plastic padlock, brass one has more longevity. Plus these are resistant to weather and cheap.
  • Solid steel/case hardened steel - It is incredibly durable and uses for high protection. The solid steel has a coating of zinc or chrome.
  • Stainless steel - The stainless steel padlocks are also sturdy. These locks are better than solid steel ones.
  • Titanium - The lightweight and corrosion free material padlock. 

Most Famous Padlock Brands

Selecting the right type of padlock brand is essential. The most famous names are:

  • Stanley hardened steel padlock, 
  • Medeco M3,
  • Abus Granit, and
  • Mul-T- lock.

Where To Buy Padlocks Online?

A wide variety of padlock is available in online stores such as:

  • Amazon
  • Home Depot
  • Walmart

How To Choose the Best Padlock

Padlocks Security Level

Physical Security






Cut Resistance:

Shackle Material

Shackle Shrouded

Boron Alloy

Hardened Steel

Stainless Steel



Shackle Diameter






Lock Material

Hardened Steel


Brass, Aluminum

Shackle Locking

Dual Ball Bearing

Dual Lever

Single Lever

Pick Resistance







Weather Resistance


Stainless Steel

Brass, Aluminum

Plated Steel