Best Lock for a Storage Unit

Isabella Blake | September 8, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Keylock Storage: Best Lock for a Storage Unit


There are many good reasons to rent a self storage unit. The main one is to make room in your home, and you may do that by using your unit as an off-season closet or a place to keep your business inventory. You can use it when moving to make sure you have a safe place to keep all your belongings between living situations.


Another reason is to keep your things safe in a gated facility with 24-hour security. Good security is, in part, your responsibility as well by using an appropriate lock.


Many locks just aren’t strong enough. Don’t use a cheap padlock or the sort of combination lock you’d use on a high school locker. There are two types of locks that are secure enough for self storage, disc locks, and cylinder locks. Most facilities will offer to sell you one of these locks when you rent a unit. At Keylock Storage we encourage you to add the lock to your purchase. It will make moving in much easier.


Disc Locks


A disc lock is a specific type of padlock with a disc-shaped body and a curved locking bar, or shackle. The bar is short, just long enough to go through the hasp when the latch is in place. This makes it easy to close the lock. The thickness and shortness of the shackle make it difficult to cut through with lock cutters. Most disc locks sold at self storage facilities cost under $20. However, there are a variety of similar locks that are more expensive, but worth considering.


Specific Disc Locks and Padlocks


Not all locks we would call “disc locks” are disc-shaped, but all the ones we like have a short, curved bar that’s difficult to get ahold of with lock cutters, bars that are hidden completely. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a lock, but these are still good options. 


Here are some with appropriately short bars.


  1. Abloy Protec2 PL 362 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock. The body of this lock is rectangular, but the shackle is curved, short, and thick. It’s made from case-hardened steel and retails for about $300.
  2. ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock, Keyed Different. Retailing for about $135, this padlock is a beauty. It’s made of hardened alloy steel with a shiny black, anti-corrosion coating, giving it weather protection, which is great for drive-up units.
  3. Medeco M3 5/16" Shrouded Boron Padlock, 3/4'' Shackle Clearance, Indoor/Outdoor. As the name suggests, this hardened stainless steel lock has a protective coating keeping it in good condition regardless of the weather. Like the others, it has a short, curved shackle, making it easy to attach to a hasp but difficult to remove. It retails for $125.


One way thieves may get around a short locking bar is to cut the hasp itself. Fortunately, disc locks also make this difficult, but not impossible. If this concerns you, consider one of these shackle locks. They completely cover the lock plate and hasp, giving no room at all for lock cutters.


  1. Master Lock Hidden Shackle Locks Keyed Alike 6271KA-3. This lock looks a bit like a disc lock without the bar on top. It fits right on the hasp of the lock plate. You can purchase them in packs of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10 at about $25 per lock.
  2. Mul-t-lock MT5+ TR 100" Hockey Puck Padlock. This is much like the last locks, but stronger. It retails for $135.
  3. Ingersoll Padlock 10 Lever Extra Close. This looks like something you might find in a dungeon, and that’s a good thing. Shaped like a half-cylinder, this blocky lock is especially tough.

Cylinder Locks


This is a sort of lock that many are unaware of, but that works extremely well on roll-up doors. Therefore, this is the preferred type for drive-up units equipped for one. If you’re expecting something like a padlock or disc lock, you may be surprised. A cylinder lock is shaped like a round peg. You’ll find the keyhole on the wider, top end.


Latch plates that accept cylinder locks have a matching round hole on the latch plate. To use it, roll down your storage unit door slide the latch plate into place, place the cylinder lock into the hole, and lock it with your key. When you unlock it, you’ll feel like you’re unlocking your front door at home.


Cylinder locks run for about the same price as disc locks, generally under $20.


While you can use a different type of padlock, we discourage it. Yes, we keep storage units as safe as possible with our top security measures. However, if someone does attempt to break into a unit, a tough disc or cylinder lock will go a long way toward preventing theft.


Locking Tips


These self storage locking tips may seem obvious, but they’re important enough that we wanted to mention them explicitly. Keep these in mind when you think about protecting your unit.


  1. Always lock when you leave. While this is obvious, people tend to forget little things. It’s Okay to double-check your unit to make sure it’s securely locked before you head out.
  2. Keep your key on your keychain. A solo key, resting in your pocket, can easily get lost. If you secure your key on your keychain, you’re far less likely to lose it.
  3. Put the duplicate key in a safe place. Do you know that drawer in your kitchen with miscellaneous stuff? That’s also a good place to put your extra key. If you need it to be somewhere more secure, then think of a place no one would look.
  4. Never share your key with anyone you don’t trust. If you share your storage unit with your spouse or someone you live with and trust, then they should have the other key. Otherwise, if you need to get something out of your unit for someone else, you should go pick it up yourself.


Now, you know how to properly secure your storage unit, and you can be sure your belongings are safe with us.