Combination PadlocksOn August 1, 2020 by king.97
We all probably remember the combination padlocks that we used at school, those round padlocks with a large dial. Well these padlocks have changed and advanced. There are now different security levels and combination padlocks are made of many different types of materials including solid steel. So what makes today’s combination padlocks so different.
- Available with more dials than the standard three
- Can be made out of many different types of materials
- Internal padlock uses double ball locking
- Shackles come in many different lengths and offered in hardened steel
- Can be used in higher security applications with electronics or biometrics
- Also available with a key override padlock seals
The key override padlocks come with a lock cylinder usually on the back of the padlock that will release the internal unlock mechanism when the key is inserted and turned. The dial is a typical dial located on the front of the padlock. Shackles are available in different lengths and are usually made of hardened steel.
Double ball locking is where two steel balls are positioned on each side of the shackle. When the padlock is locked and the shackle is down the balls will engage cutouts in the shackles. This makes it very difficult to pry the shackles open. When combined with a hardened steel shackle, it makes this attack point very difficult to compromise.
The padlock body can be made out of anything from zinc alloy all the way up to hardened steel. If hardened steel bodies are used with hardened steel shackles you have two of the three items to make this a high security padlock. The third item is the dials, there should be more than three with the best being six. There should be no outward marking on the outside of the padlocks near the dials. No indication which is dial one and which one is dial number six.
One of the newer types is using the combination with either biometrics or electronics. For example a finger print reader on the padlock, or the operation of the padlock with a Bluetooth connection to an app, when that is authenticated the padlock still will need the correct combinations on the dial. This can also be set to a certain number of tries. For example for high security after one try the padlock will time out and not be able to open for 5 minutes.
So the combination padlock has advanced to be more than just a school padlock.