Safety padlocks help in locking a piece of machinery or equipment or an area during a repair or maintenance. They are essential for the safety of heavy machinery and installation in the industry. They prevent unauthorized access to an item or area and avoid theft. 

There are so many hardware options to choose from for your safety padlock, that it can get challenging to decide which one is right for your situation. Below are a few questions that you can ask yourself, which can help you choose the correct safety padlock type.

1. How valuable are the items you're securing?

Choose a good quality security padlock since it is going to protect your valuables items from intruders and thieves. Buying a cheap quality security padlock will not solve its purpose. There will be chances of more thefts. So, make sure that you spend money on a good grade, high-quality security padlock if you are storing something valuable. For example, if you are securing something of high value in a vault, go for a padlock with thick shackle and durable material like Molybdenum. If the secured items are of less importance, you can do with a plastic padlock with thinner shackles.

2. How do the surroundings of a padlock look?

For an outdoor setting, consider outdoor padlock. It provides excellent security for outdoor positions. Garage and shed doors, gates, and shutters can use a regular padlock with a hard shackle that increases resistance to attack. With time, the external layer of the shackle might discolor, but the corrosion is only from outside and does not affect its locking system. 

Similarly, if you are securing a place that stores various electrical equipment, a safety padlock is suitable. For example, stainless steel padlocks that are OSHA compliant like the ones from TRADESAFE are safe and effective for safely keeping electric equipment. For extreme environments, underwater or for use near the sea, on a boat, use a waterproof padlock, which will withstand worse conditions.

3. What are the accessories that you are using with your padlock?

You should select the right component for the lock based on the security requirements. For example, when you are using a high-security padlock, accessorizing it with a thin and fragile shackle will ruin the lock quickly. On the other hand, if you use a sturdy lock reinforced into a wooden door, there is a high chance that the doorframe can splinter over time.

4. What is the keying system that you want to adopt?

One of the essential items to choose while selecting a padlock is the keying system of the padlock. The right keying method makes sure that only authorized people have access to locked areas at times of maintenance and inspection. The following are the different types of key methods that you can consider.

Uniquely keyed Padlocks

In this method, each padlock has a different key. This method ensures zero duplication when many maintenance personnel needs to lockout equipment.

Same keyed Padlocks

These security systems have the same key for all padlocks. It enables the owner or personnel of high importance to access all areas of the workplace with ease. These keys are usually accessible to a few people in an organization.

Combination key padlocks

If a lot of people need to access a lock, a combination type keying system is useful. You need not issue too many keys, and authorized personnel can have access to master keys to unlock a group of keys. However, these padlocks are not suitable for high-security zones.

5. How to choose the right lock material?

Choosing the right material for the shackle is crucial for your application area. For example, if you are working in a high-risk industry like nuclear or defense industry, then you need a lock that is highly strong and corrosion-resistant. Molybdenum is the material to go for in such scenarios (although, it might cost you a lot!). 

Use a high precision lock made from Boron steel if you are into heavy industries like automobiles. For increased durability and corrosion-resistance, you can select zinc or chrome-plated solid steel padlocks. If you are short on budget but looking for a corrosion-resistant padlock, brass padlocks are fantastic. If the secured area is of low importance, you can save money by buying plastic padlocks.

6. How to select the structure of the shackle?

Thieves are in the lookout for weak shackles. They can cut through slender shackles. A short and thick shackle is challenging to break in for thieves. However, too short shackles make it difficult to lock bigger fittings or multiple hasps. Therefore, you have to maintain the right balance between usability and security. Also, choose a restraint that the padlock holds from both ends. 

An open and long shackle is an easier target as a significant portion of the restraint stays exposed. A semi-enclosed shackle gives you better flexibility than a short closed chain and upgraded security compared to an open and long shackle padlock. Padlocks with extended shackles come in various lengths. Use extended shackle padlocks when you need to lock multiple fittings or hasps. However, more extended shackles are more susceptible to attack. You also get the adjustable shackle that you can alter according to your purpose.


The above are the parameters required to look into before choosing a safety padlock type. Choose wisely based on your budget, your needs, durability, and the personnel authorized to access these locks.