shed-lock

4 Best Shed Locks To Protect Your Tools, Equipment & Bikes (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best shed locks on the market.
I’ve compared strength, quality, security and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

Everything I Recommend

IMAGE RECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCT FEATURES
  • Sturdy zinc bolt
  • Combination lock - no keys required
  • Tamper proof
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Includes security bolts
  • 2 pack - excellent value
  • Resistant to sawing and cutting
  • Includes security bolts
  • Very strong, excellent quality
  • Includes hasp and padlock
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Fitting screws are covered

More Detailed Shed Lock Reviews

Sterling 110 mm Locking Bolt

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Sturdy zinc bolt
  • Combination lock - no keys required
  • Tamper proof
OUR RATING
98
PRICE
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Sterling 110 mm Locking Bolt Review

Combination locks like this Sterling 110 mm Locking Bolt can have a number of benefits over traditional padlocks, as long as you’re comfortable remembering the code.

Unlike standard locks, there are no keys to worry about. Therefore, there’s no danger of keys falling into the wrong hands, getting misplaced, or not being on you when you need them. As long as you have the combination in your head, you’ll be able to enter the shed.

This also means that several people can have access to the shed, without needing to get a lot of keys cut.

The lock itself has a strong zinc die-cast body, and can be securely positioned in either a horizontal or vertical position, making it a good option for gates and cupboards as well as sheds.

It’s fitted with anti-tamper fixing screws which is good news for security because once they’re in, they can’t be easily undone. However, to make sure that you’re positioning the lock in the right position during assembly, it’s a good idea to use two standard screws to hold it in place first, and then screw in the anti-tamper screws afterwards.

Another nice feature is that there is an ‘auto-stop’ when the numbers are turned to zero. This means that you can enter your number combination, even if you can’t see the numbers, by turning the dials to ‘0-0-0-0’. You’ll know they’re on zero, because they’ll stop turning, and then you can feel out your combination.

Some elements of the lock can get stiff after prolonged exposure to the UK’s weather, so occasionally treating it with a little spray oil can help with keeping everything working smoothly, and warding off rust too.

In spite of this, this is one of the best shed locks featured here for minimum hassle – you don’t need keys, can unlock it in the dark, and it’s easy to reprogramme the combination as well.

Pros

  • Installation and setting the combination takes just a few minutes
  • As a combination lock, there are no keys which could potentially be misplaced
  • Once in place, the screws cannot be easily removed without a power tool meaning no one can tamper with this lock

Cons

  • If the lock is installed horizontally, you have to turn your head to read the numbers
  • Can get still if not treated with spray oil

XFORT Sliding Lockable Padbolts

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • Includes security bolts
  • 2 pack - excellent value
OUR RATING
94
PRICE
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XFORT Sliding Lockable Padbolts Review

Keeping things simple can often be very effective, and this pack of two XFort Sliding Lockable Padbolts provides strong yet basic shed locks. They’re made of heavy-duty steel, are 20 cm long, and can be secured with a separately-purchased padlock.

There are smaller sizes of the same design available as well, for more compact spaces, measuring 10 and 15 cm respectively.

Whichever size you get, they’re some of the best shed locks on this page if you’re after value for money; they’re reasonably priced, decent quality, and you get two locks included. The only catch is that you need to buy additional padlocks before they’ll be effective.

Worth noting: if using a padlock under 50 mm, the bolt can still be undone without unlocking the padlock unless the padlock is threaded through both bolt loops.

Whilst the six screws used to secure each lock in place are standard screws (and not anti-tamper ones), there are two bolts involved as well. These require two holes to be drilled through the door, and they fasten with nuts on the inside. Therefore, if used on a shed, even if someone were to undo the standard screws they would not be able to undo the nuts and remove the lock.

Nevertheless, some people choose to replace the standard screws with anti-tamper ones.

Pros

  • Straightforward to install in just a few minutes - screws and bolts included
  • Can add your own choice of padlock for additional security
  • Secure enough to hold the shed door shut in strong winds
  • Bolts slide across smoothly so securing the door is easy

Cons

  • The six screws can be undone with a standard screwdriver although there are two additional bolts
  • The bolt fixtures are only secure if locking a shed. If locking a gate, the bolt nuts can simply be undone from the other side.
  • Ideally needs to be used with a padlock that is larger than 50 mm

Master Lock Heavy Duty Hasp

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Resistant to sawing and cutting
  • Includes security bolts
  • Very strong, excellent quality
OUR RATING
92
PRICE
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Master Lock Heavy Duty Hasp Review

It’s no good using a strong padlock to lock the shed if the hasp is weak and flimsy. An insubstantial hasp, or one fitted with weak screws, will allow even the strongest padlock to be broken off easily.

This Master Lock Heavy Duty Hasp consists of a hardened-steel plate and a boron-alloy locking eye, both of which are highly resistant to cutting. The screws are also concealed, and hidden under the hasp itself, making them impossible to undo with the hasp closed.

Along with the seven 30 mm screws provided, there are also two bolts which are used to secure the hasp further, requiring a hole to be drilled through the door so that they can be fastened with nuts on the inside.

Depending on the strength of the wood that you are attaching this hasp to, you might want to replace all the screws with bolts so that the lock can’t be pulled off with the screws.

The maximum padlock shackle size is 11 mm, any larger and it won’t fit through the staple. With the padlock in place, there is very little room for an instrument like a crowbar to be wiggled into, which is good news for security.

One disadvantage could be considered the size of the staple, as it protrudes quite far out of the hasp which might make it a more accessible target for bolt cutters. There have also been cases of these hasps rusting, so good maintenance and regular checks are a good idea.

All in all, this is a good quality lock from a reputable lock brand – you’ve likely already come across Master Lock when buying padlocks in the past. It’s one of the best shed locks if you want to use your own strong padlock; however, it should be checked for signs of rust every once in a while.

Pros

  • Design is close-fitting and does not make it easy to get a crowbar into any gaps
  • Screws are covered and can not be undone whilst lock is closed
  • Padlock eye is a good size so you can fit a heavyweight 11 mm padlock in it
  • Two bolts provided which are more secure than just screws

Cons

  • Screws are relatively short at 30 mm long and it may be more secure to replace them all with bolts
  • Lock is relatively heavy and may be too much for thinner wood doors

Master Lock Door Hasp and Padlock

FEATURES RATING PRICE
FEATURES
  • Includes hasp and padlock
  • Durable and weather resistant
  • Fitting screws are covered
OUR RATING
90
PRICE
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Master Lock Door Hasp and Padlock Review

For smaller sheds, or outbuildings that don’t contain a lot of valuables, this Master Lock Door Hasp and Padlock provides a good way to reinforce the door and act as a deterrent. It’s also one of the best shed locks if you want a secondary lock for a door.

Made from hardened steel, the 8.9 cm hasp is not as large as others featured on this list. However, it’s therefore possible to fit on smaller doors where bigger locks can’t go. Many of the other components, including the hasp staple and the shackle of the padlock are also made from hardened steel.

In terms of durability, neither the hasp or padlock seem prone to rust, even after several months outside.

The padlock has a brass 40 mm wide body, and a 6 mm shackle to make it harder to cut through. When the hasp is closed, there’s no way to access the screws, making it impossible for thieves to undo them.

One issue with the screws provided is they are not very long, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to pry the entire hasp off the door. For this reason, this hasp isn’t as secure as others, although it would be possible to use longer screws, or bolts, to attach it more firmly.

Whilst this isn’t one of the strongest locks on the market, it’s still good quality for the price given that a hasp and Master Lock padlock come included. Perhaps not the best shed lock for sheds with a lot of valuable equipment inside, it will keep smaller sheds and summerhouses closed, and can be used as a secondary deterrent lock.

Pros

  • Does not rust easily
  • Comes with 2 keys so there's a spare if one gets misplaced
  • Small size can fit into more compact spaces than larger padlocks
  • Screws are hidden when the padlock is locked so cannot be tampered with

Cons

  • Included screws are fairly small which is not the most secure; larger ones may need to be purchased separately
  • Not suitable for use on sheds with a lot of valuable items

Things to Know Before Buying a Shed Lock

With property at such a premium in the UK, many of us are turning to sheds and outbuildings to store more valuable items, from tools to bikes to garden furniture.

Unfortunately, theft from garden buildings is on the rise. This may be because we are storing more expensive items in sheds, or because thieves are looking for softer targets now that most people are protecting their homes with alarms and security lighting.

With this in mind, you may want to consider upping your security with a quality shed lock. Even if you don’t store anything valuable in your shed, you should still make sure it is secure, especially if there are any items such as ladders or heavy tools inside that would help thieves gain access to your home.

When buying a shed door lock, there are a few things to consider. Not only is it important to get a decent lock, but also to maintain it so that it stays secure. Below are a few things to bear in mind when looking into shed locks.

It’s no use buying any old lock just for the sake of having one. Many low-quality locks can be easily removed by thieves in a matter of minutes, making the effort of installing one in the first place completely redundant.

The best shed locks will have anti-tamper designs, and this is what you need to look out for:

  • If you are looking to purchase a hasp and staple lock, you need to make sure that both the hasp and the staple loop are strong and resistant to cutting or sawing. If the hasp or staple can simply be broken and pulled off, it will be irrelevant how good a padlock is used.
  • Any lock that is fixed to a door needs to be difficult to remove, otherwise thieves will just take it off. Look for a lock that has tamper-proof screws. These will make it impossible to remove the lock with a screwdriver. A drill is required to undo tamper-proof screws – something that your average thief isn’t going to bother with.
  • Locks which have nuts and bolts included add an extra level of tamper-proof security. Often, the lock will be attached with screws as normal, but there will be one or two holes where a bolt can be fixed through instead. You’ll have to drill through the door, and then the bolt will go all the way through, being held in place by a nut on the other side. This makes the lock pretty much impossible to remove from the outside. Some people choose to replace all of the screws of a lock with bolts, to make it more secure. The downside of this is that you’ll have to drill a lot of holes through the door.

There are a lot of different things to consider when buying a shed lock, and some things to bear in mind to make sure that it’s as secure as possible. Some relate to the lock itself, whilst others are to do with the surface where the lock will be placed:

  • Attach locks to good quality doors. This is especially important if you have genuine valuables in your shed. If the door is made of weak, flimsy wood, there are two things that could happen: firstly, the lock will be easy to simply rip off the door because the wood will break and allow it to happen. Secondly, it will be easy for thieves to break down the door or kick it in. Having a quality lock on a flimsy door isn’t enough to make a shed secure.
  • Consider if the walls of your shed are too thin. Some smaller sheds can be made of relatively thin wood. In these cases, thieves may be able to kick or knock in the shed even if they can’t get through the lock on the front. Keeping valuables in these types of sheds is not recommended.
  • Ensure that screws are long enough to be secure. Some locks and hasps come with screws that are relatively short, around 40 mm long. Even if these screws are tamper proof, they can be relatively easy to pull out of a wooden door along with the lock. Replacing short screws with longer ones will make locks harder to remove. And using bolts instead of screws will make it even more difficult.
  • Make sure there are no gaps for leveraging tools like crowbars to fit under. When you have attached your lock to the door, look for any gaps which might make it easier to leverage the lock off the door. Hasp locks should fit well over the staple, leaving no gaps around the sides. Also make sure there are no gaps around the shed itself which a thief could take advantage of.
  • Check that the hinges of the shed door are strong and difficult to undo. If the door hinge has screws that are obvious, and easy to undo, a thief may just target them instead. Make sure hinges are strong, attached with tamper-proof screws, or attached with the screws hidden.

Seeing as the lock will be used to protect outbuildings, it will be extremely exposed to the elements. Therefore, it must be weatherproof – if the weather weakens the lock over time, you may not even realise until it’s too late.

Looking for keywords like ‘non-corrosive’ or ‘corrosion-proof’ is a good place to start. This will usually be referring to the body of the lock, especially if it’s a sliding one – it’s important that the housing of the lock doesn’t corrode.

In most cases, a lock or padlock that is made from hardened steel will be sufficient. These aren’t as rust-resistant as stainless-steel locks, but stainless steels tends to be softer than hardened steel (and therefore easier to cut through). Hardened steel locks are less prone to tampering because they are difficult to saw through.

Unless you live near the coast, or plan to leave the lock without being used for a very long time, a hardened steel construction should be sufficient.

Regardless of what your lock is made of, you should make a point to check it often for signs of corrosion. This way you will keep on top of any rust if it starts to appear. Naturally, rust can compromise the strength of the lock, so changing the locks when they get rusty, or keeping them well lubricated to protect them from damage, is a good idea.

The two most popular styles of lock either use a hasp and key or a combination. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style:

Key Locks

  • If the key gets lost, these locks can be almost impossible to get undone.
  • They have a simple design which means that even cheaper items can be of good quality.
  • No combination to remember.
  • The hasp and staple need to be strong, as well as the padlock – a weak link will render the whole outfit useless!

Combination Locks

  • The combination can be remembered by as many people as you wish – not limited by number of keys available – especially useful in commercial settings.
  • You may have to pay considerably more to make sure the whole lock is good quality – choose one from a reputable supplier with a good security rating and ensure it has a four-number combination.
  • There are no keys to lose, and no risk of accidentally leaving a key lying around.
  • If you forget the combination, it can be difficult to reset the lock.
  • The combination can be changed as many times as you like, on a regular basis if that makes you feel comfortable.

If you have a lock made of stainless steel, it won’t be adversely affected by the weather; however, a hardened steel lock will benefit from being lubricated to extend its life.

You can buy specifically designed lock lubricant, and should lubricate all metal parts. This can include the shackle, casing, sliding pin and keyway (if there’s a padlock involved).

You can also lubricate combination locks, injecting the lubricant near the buttons. Be sure to move the cylinders around in order to distribute the lubricant through the lock.

Avoid using WD-40 to lubricate locks. Often this is the first ‘lubricant’ we reach for, but it’s not well suited to locks. It actually consists of a solvent, not a lubricant, which is designed to displace water and oil. Ultimately, this can have the opposite to desired effect; it may remove any lubricant in the lock, and even cause it to dry out and stick.

Shed Lock FAQs

It is advisable to clean and grease metal locks yearly to help them resist corrosion. Use a specified lock lubricant for this job. You should also make sure to use locks regularly, even if it’s just to open and close them, to stop parts from getting stiff.

A secure shed padlock is a great start to securing your shed but there are other things you should check.

  • Check that the door of your shed has strong hinges secured with good fixings. If not, a determined thief could simply pull off the door rendering your padlock useless.
  • Make sure the shed is in a good state of repair, with no holes or gaps, and with secure window frames and door frames.
  • Ensure that there is not a gap between the shed door and frame when the shed is closed as this could provide an opportunity for a thief to lever the door and break it.
  • Add a translucent film to the windows so that thieves can’t look in and see what is inside your shed. This is a particularly good idea if you are storing any high value items in your shed, such as bikes and power tools.
  • Consider adding a battery-operated alarm to your shed for extra security. These are easy to set up, and will detect motion inside the shed if an intruder gets in through a door or window. These alarms will sound a very loud siren which should be enough to scare off any intruders.
  • Security lighting is another option that will deter intruders from your property. Most security lights will detect motion and light up when anyone enters the area. This will scare off most thieves and is reassuring as it allows you to see what is going on in your garden after dark.

It’s true that stainless steel is the most weather resistant metal for locks; however, it is not as strong as hardened steel. Unless you live near the coast, where the corrosive sea air may quickly affect the structural integrity of hardened steel, you don’t need a stainless steel lock. Stainless steel is also easier to cut and saw through than hardened steel. A hardened steel lock will do the job well, and will last a long time if you make sure to lubricate it regularly.

Sources
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