Padlock, Deadbolt, or Combination Lock? Keeping Your Belongings Safe

If you have an onsite storage shed that you want to keep locked up, you have the ability to choose the type of lock you put on the main doors. Some sheds that look like little houses might come with a pre-installed deadbolt, but you can have that removed if you want and replaced with a padlock or combination lock. Less fancy sheds might not come with a lock at all, so again, you'll have to make the choice.

Cut It

Both padlocks and combination locks can be cut, unless you use a specific combination of a protective bracket and a storage unit padlock, which has a smaller hasp that sits under the bracket. If you want to install one of those brackets -- it's like a shield that sits around the lock -- a storage-unit padlock could be a good option. If not, then try to install a deadbolt if you want to avoid having the lock cut. 

Kick It

Deadbolts, however, aren't immune to kicks, particularly someone trying to kick in the door. Having a strong door, strong lock with a long bolt, and a strong door frame, as well as anti-kick plates on the door, can go a long way toward discouraging bored thieves just looking for an easy target. If you do get a deadbolt for the door, double-check the strength of the frame and of the door itself, and replace those if necessary.

Pick It

Combination locks and padlocks can be picked. Many cheap deadbolts can be picked as well, but superior, high-security deadbolts are harder to open this way. If you can afford a high-security deadbolt, get that; if not, you may want to try a combination lock. As long as you don't tape the combination to something nearby, that could be a good lock to use.

Combine It

Of course, if you really want to have security, you can use two types. For example, if you have a shed with a deadbolt, you can add a bracket and padlock for extra security. Someone who is really determined to get in could still get through, but if you're just dealing with someone like a neighborhood kid looking for an opportunity, two locks would make that kid go away (just remember to lock and windows on the shed, too).

Check out sites like and have a locksmith inspect the shed and suggest some locks for you. Locksmiths will be more likely to have one of those high-security locks available, and he or she can do all of the installation work so that you don't have to worry about getting everything aligned correctly.