Before you move any items into a storage unit, you will need a lock to keep your belongings safe. Pay close attention to the quality of the lock you select so that your family’s valuables will survive any possible vandalism, theft, or break-ins. There is no shortage of locks to choose from out there, so this guide was designed to find you the best products available.
Before you pick one of the selections on this list, there are a couple of factors to consider. First, assess the value of the property going into the storage unit. Odds are that if you’ve gone through the trouble of renting out a unit in the first place, your items are worth something. Whether it’s sentimental photos of your kids or an expensive car, a tamper-resistant, durable lock will be the only sensible solution for safety.
Secondly, is your lock going to be used just inside or outside, as well? Is your unit accessible from the outdoors? If so, it’s going to be exposed to the elements, including extreme heat, freezing cold, and rain.
These environmental factors may corrode your lock and make the metal contract and expand. Choosing a lock made from a strong material will help it resist corrosion from the weather. If you know for a fact that the lock will be exposed to extreme weather changes, make sure you select one that is specifically designed to handle that.
The Best Padlocks for Storage Units
- Master Lock Electronic Lock Box
- Oria Anti Rust Combination Lock
- Master Lock Tumbler Padlock
- Brinks Stainless Steel Discus Padlock
- FJM Security Combination Disc Padlock
Each of the padlocks on this list was selected for its ability to protect your belongings, its price, and effectiveness based on user reviews. As you will soon see, they all bring something different to the table.
Master Lock 5441D Electronic Lock Box
For those who enjoy modern, digital solutions and need other people to have access to their unit, the Master Lock 5441D Lock Box is a suitable choice. Instead of remembering a combination, you can unlock the box with a numerical code or with your smartphone. Rest assured that your items will stay safe with this strong weather-resistant option.
“Helpful enough in a family home, Master Lock’s Bluetooth key box makes good sense if you rent your property out through a service like Airbnb, said Andy Boxall at Digital Trends. “The box is weather-proof, compact, and has a battery inside that lasts for two years.”
The lock comes without a long-term contract, monthly usage or activation fees and is free from shared access and monthly data package fees. This device enables you to share permanent or temporary access via a keypad code or Bluetooth with coworkers or invited guests. You may also monitor activity, get low-battery warnings, and receive tamper alerts from an app on your phone.
The Bluetooth encryption and authentication on this lock are military-grade and the storage capacity is large enough for access cards and keys. The battery is easy to replace when needed and this high-tech solution offers peace of mind for the valuable items you keep in your storage unit. The lock is durable and you won’t ever have an issue retrieving the keys from inside it.
This lock box comes with many useful features and is sized generously enough to house even a key ring. Not only is this perfect for your storage unit, but it’s also ideal for those who leave town frequently and like to hire house or pet sitters. In case of a storm or other complication, your sitter can always easily access your house even when you aren’t there. This completely removes the hassle of having to give out keys and remember to get them back.
Set a primary code for your own use and then set another temporary number for those who only need to use the box for a short time. Once you grant access using the app it’s just a single touch to the button to open up. In addition, you’ll be able to see which times and how often the box was opened. Use this for your house guests when you’re out of town or for maintenance work that needs doing while you’re gone.
Oria Anti Rust Combination Lock
Does your storage unit have outdoor access? Then a rust-proof solution like this Oria Combination Lock should be your goal. This product set comes with two 4-digit combination locks made of zinc alloy. These can be reset as needed to keep your stuff secure.
“Oria 4-digit resettable combination travel lock is easy to set as well as easy to use, making life very difficult for thieves,” said Mugambo Global Resources. “Set a combination that you won’t ever forget from 1,000 possible combinations, in just a matter of seconds.”
This lock offers 10,000 combination possibilities, offering far more security than 3-digit padlocks. The design fits through many different holes, is lightweight, small in volume, and effective in all types of weather. In addition to using it on your storage unit, it can be used on your employee locker or on a suitcase.
Setting your combination is straightforward and simple and so is re-setting it when you need to. It’s a simple lock with easy-to-follow instructions. When you try to lock it with incorrect numbers, it won’t close. This is a good feature since you can’t lock it on accident. Those who need a heavy-duty lock may not find much use for this as it’s portable and small. It really just depends on what you need.
This brand offers consistent quality and it’s great to have a customized combination. Trying to remember random combinations is a challenge so this takes out that hassle. This lock will last and last without any signs of rust, even in harsh weather conditions. Use it year after year with complete confidence that your valuable items are safe from harm.
Some may find setting the combination a bit challenging because to set your customized code, you need to press down hard on the lock. Once you get the hang of it, however, it’s pretty straightforward. Choosing a lock that will stay in good condition and rust-free is important, especially if you live in areas that get a lot of rain or snow.
Master Lock Tumbler Padlock
It’s no secret that rain can cause corrosion to locks over time, so if you live in wet conditions, this next option will appeal to you. The Master Lock 911DPF is sturdy, safe for wet conditions, and has high-quality, durable keys included with it.
“The keyway is protected with a rubber housing as well as a keyway cover,” said the Lock Reviewer. “The shackle is protected by weatherproof lock body extending past the body of the lock to the shackle. This provides excellent water protection as well as the additional benefit of making shims impossible to place.”
It’s important to do some research on the lock you’ll choose when you live somewhere that rains a lot. Water can get into your lock, freeze, and make opening it difficult or impossible. The questions you will have in this situation are: how exactly does this lock protect against water damage? Is the shank the right size for my unit? Will it stand up against bolt cutters?
This lock, unlike others, comes with a thick plastic top drape and a plastic cover that goes over the bottom and protects the keyhole, as well. The bottom cover is attached and swivels into place. Once you snap it onto the keyhole all the way, it can be difficult to open again so you may need a flat-blade screwdriver to assist you. These will help prevent water from getting inside.
The shank on this lock is about 8mm and should fit into your unit’s hasp well. It does have a bright yellow body which may make some uncomfortable since it’s so visible, even from a distance, but this depends on where your storage unit is. If you are wary of its color, you can mask it with black electrical tape.
The Master Lock 911DPF Tumbler Padlock is quite heavy and large, perfect for those who have heavy-duty storage needs. The core of the lock is very strong and resistant to both bumping and raking. Someone attempting to break this open might find that it even bends a cheap tension wrench. All in all, this lock is high-quality. This in combination with a bike lock can secure up to three bikes to their carrier, which is another benefit to its larger size.
Brinks Stainless Steel Discus Padlock
Most people who know anything about padlocks have already heard of Brinks and know that the brand name is synonymous with quality. This Brinks Discus Padlock is trustworthy and durable with both the shackle and body crafted from stainless steel.
It comes with a lifetime warranty and a rounded and shielded design for minimal shackle exposure. A smaller portion of shackle showing means that potential burglars will have a harder time cutting your lock or prying it open.
When you purchase this lock, you get a lifetime warranty and it’s a very common lock specifically for storage units. You will find that the action of the key is smooth but feels very secure, too. In addition, the lock is easy to snap back into place while you have your door already open. This means you need to use the key again when you lock your unit to go, so you can’t accidentally lock them up inside (a hassle nobody needs).
Using this lock will help you feel assured about the safety of your belongings. It feels extremely sturdy and when you close the lock, it stays put and doesn’t rattle at all. This is also a good choice for those who need something that will hold up against different weather extremes including rain and freezing temperatures.
FJM Security Combination Disc Padlock
For a shackle that is protected from thieves and bolt cutters, this FJM Security SX-790 lock is another good choice. Due to its unique design and shape, this disc-like padlock easily fits most applications while keeping your belongings protected and secure. It can be accessed without a key.
It’s simple to use and you don’t need any special pins or keys to set the code. It has more than 10,000 possible number combinations for your peace of mind.
This lock is, of course, suitable for storage units but also works for bikes, gates, and public facilities. Simply set your code, keep it written down so you remember it, and let the lock do its work. The smart design of this product deters thieves from cutting it because bolt cutters don’t work on the curved shape.
Even if you’re using a mobile unit, this is a good choice and will hold up to the commotion and movement. The lock will remain intact and effective, even throughout harsh season changes. For those who don’t like carrying keys around, this is the best choice. With this lock, you won’t have to worry about misplacing anything.
4 Questions to Ask About Locking Your Storage Unit
There are plenty of reasons to rent a storage unit, but the main one is just needing more room. Once you make the choice to get one for sure, there are some tricks you can use and questions you can ask to make sure you’re completely prepared. Ask yourself the following:
- What are you Attaching the Lock to? A good lock is useless without a good clasp. Before you put your lock on, look at the door clasp and ensure that it’s in good condition. The clasp should be fixed tightly into place and completely free from gaps or defects. If it isn’t in great condition, the lock could easily slip off and make your belongings more vulnerable to theft. If you notice any defects in the lock clasp, be sure to report them to the storage unit operator immediately. If you have already assessed it and found it to be reliable, you’ll be ready to attach your tamper-resistant, durable lock.
- What’s the Area like? The next question you’ll want to ask yourself is about the vulnerability of your property based on the area the storage unit is located in. Is there high crime in that area or a lot of activity as far as foot traffic? Either of these issues can increase risks of an intruder tampering with your unit or attempting to break in. Choosing a great lock can keep potential thieves from harming or taking your belongings. Any of the brands or products on this list will be adequate for your needs.
- Have you Labeled your Items? You may already know exactly what items you’re placing into your unit when you do it, but can you count on remembering half a year from now? Think of your future self and label your belongings so that you won’t have to dig through random boxes for ages to find what you need. Label every box and packaged item including the obvious, the hidden, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, place a checklist inside near the door so you can find hard-to-locate items.
- Have you Considered Changes in Temperature? Depending on which state you live in, temperature changes are something you must consider when you’re setting up your storage unit. A lot of objects won’t do well in the heat or cold and should be either well-insulated, double-wrapped, or kept out of the unit entirely. This includes vinyl records, electronics, and old pictures if you live in a humid climate. Any of these items will be compromised in extreme temperatures.
A padlock is only the first step to keeping your property safe from harm. If you’re taking the time and paying to store your belongings, they obviously matter to you. Make the effort now to keep your items safe from harm from the elements and thieves and you’ll be glad you did down the road.