When you’re planning to store your belongings in a storage unit, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. For instance, you’ll need to decide on the kind of storage unit you’re looking for, the features you’re most interested in, and what size will best suit your needs. But when you’re running through your storage checklist, don’t forget to think about and choose the right lock!
Depending on where you rent your storage unit, you might be responsible for purchasing a lock to place on your unit’s door. But because there are so many styles of locks to choose from, it can be tricky to decide the best lock for your storage unit. To help, we’ve created this guide, which outlines some of the best storage unit locks available.
Why Is Choosing the Right Lock Important?
It’s essential to choose the right public storage lock because you’re likely planning on leaving your belongings unattended for a period of time.
For instance, maybe you’re doing a six-month stint overseas and need to store almost everything you own. Or perhaps you’re storing the hiking and camping gear that you only touch during the summer months. You need a storage lock that will do its job while you’re away.
Additionally, it’s important to note that many storage facilities actually require you to place a lock on your unit, so again, you’ll want a strong and sturdy one that’s up to the task.
Different Types of Storage Locks
There are many different locks available, and finding the best storage lock for you comes down to personal preference. Check out some of the locks below to help you make your decision.
Padlocks With Keys
The best padlocks for storage units are the ones that come with a key. To open the lock, you simply place the key into the chamber and turn clockwise. To close and lock it, you click the metal shackle back into place.
Padlocks can be preferable because you don’t need to remember any combination codes to open them. With that said, you do need to remember where you keep your key! To prevent losing the key, store it in a designated place in your home or car, and always return it to the same spot when you’re done using it.
This is also a good lock for those who want an easy and affordable option. Of course, the more you pay, the more durable the lock. When searching for one of these padlocks, find one that cannot be cut with bolt cutters.
If you’re interested in a more tamper-resistant version of a padlock, you might prefer a disc lock for storage units. As its name suggests, the disc lock is essentially a round padlock with a short shackle that tightly hugs the latch on your unit. It also features anti-pick pins, making it difficult to break or interfere with the locking system.
When it comes to the best storage unit locks, the disc lock is arguably one of the most popular. But again, you’ll need to remember to keep your key in its own spot, so you don’t misplace it.
These days, many storage units are coming equipped with cylinder locks. Unlike the other locks on this list, a cylinder lock for a storage unit is an internal lock built into the storage unit itself, much like the lock on your front door. These are a prime choice because they are drill- and pick-proof.
To unlock it, place the key in the chamber and turn. Note: This lock isn’t self-locking, meaning you do need to remember to lock it before leaving your unit.
In some cases, the storage facility will provide you with a key to the lock that you must return once you’ve ended your rental lease. But in other cases, the facility will replace the cylinder lock with a new one for each new tenant.
If you’ve ever used a high school locker or gym locker, you’re probably familiar with a combination lock. This lock requires you to type or dial in a combination code to open it. It’s easy to use as long as you remember the passcode.
To open a combination lock, just type in your code. Usually, the lock will provide you with a pre-set code on a sticker on the back of the lock—if that’s the case, remember to take this sticker off before placing your lock on your unit! However, there are some locks that let you create your own code. Regardless, be sure to write down the code so you don’t forget it.
If you have a dial lock, type in or line up the numbers in the code and then give a slight tug on the shackle to open it.
If you’re using a combination dial, turn the dial clockwise in three full circles, passing the number zero three times to clear it. From there, turn the dial clockwise until the first number in the code reaches the marker in the center at the top (where the number 12 is on a clock). Next, turn the dial in the opposite direction (counterclockwise) to arrive at the next number. If you pass the designated number, go back to the first step. Once you place the second number under the marker, turn the dial clockwise again to land at the final number. From there, pull on the shackle to release the lock.
When you relock your combination lock, be sure to scramble the numbers or twist the dial several times.
Chain locks are like the locks you often see used on bicycles. Typically, a chain lock consists of a chain or twisted steel wrapped in plastic steel with a combination lock or padlock attached. To use it on your storage unit, wrap the cord around the unit’s latch several times—as tight as it will go—and connect both ends with the lock.
While they’re a great option for locking your bike to a pole, chain locks are not the best option for your storage unit, because there’s a lot of excess shackle material. In the same way a disc lock is a good choice because it has such a short shackle, a chain lock has too much shackle. This not only leaves room for tampering, but it also may not close your unit as tightly as another lock would.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Storage Lock
Regardless of what kind of lock you decide to go with, you’ll want to consider some of these features below before making your final decision:
- Keys or Combos: Do you want a key or combination code?
- Shackle: Choose the thickest shackle that will still fit around your storage unit’s latch.
- Locking mechanism: A series of pins keep the shackle in place. The more pins, the better.
- Tamper-proof features: Some locks are drill-, strick-, and pick-proof.
- Metal material: Choose a lock with strong and durable metal. Locks made with boron carbide are the strongest on the market.
The Best Storage Unit Lock Is a Free One
Want to skip the hassle of finding the best public storage lock? Allow Stor-It to take care of it for you! We offer all of our tenants FREE combination locks for their units, so you don’t have to give it another thought.
When you’re ready to rent a storage unit and take advantage of our free locks, turn to us here at Stor-It. After all, we’re Idaho’s largest and oldest storage facility, which means we know storage inside and out. Whether you need help figuring out how to open a storage unit or want advice on which size unit to go with, we’re here to answer all your questions and help you find the best unit for your storage needs. Contact us today to reserve your unit!