We all know what a padlock is, padlocks are portable locks designed to provide security for moveable items or things stored in a temporary or unlocked building – like a shed. The idea of padlocks has been around for so long and according to History, the first one was made way back in the 17th century. Undoubtedly it was large, heavy and expensive. Later on, English locksmiths built very large padlocks which they challenged all comers to “pick”, just to prove how strong and sturdy their portable locks were before.
The padlocks we have today have evolved a long way from those big heavy forebears. The first of what we think of as modern padlocks made their appearance in the early 20th century when a patent was granted to the Master Lock company for their design of a small and inexpensive but portable lock made from layers of steel (similar to the door of a bank vault).
The most common locking mechanism for a padlock is the familiar combination lock, often used for school and gym lockers. Turning the dial through the proper sequence of numbers aligns the tumblers inside the lock and releases the grip on the shackle. Other commonly available combination locks, such as the padlock with a number pad on the side of the locking mechanism – are often used for locking bicycles or even securing computers to a desk.
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Maintaining a Padlock
Padlocks, in general, are pretty low maintenance at all, even padlocks that are used outside of your house don’t require much. However, over time dust and weather can get into the lock and make the locking mechanism stiff and immovable, so some quick annual maintenance will keep your lock working properly at all times.
While modern padlocks themselves work really so well, overall security depends on how and where they are used. Commonly a padlock is out in the open and looped through a hasp secured with short screws. A quick spin with a pry bar of even a blow with a sledgehammer is often enough to pull the screws securing the hasp right out of the wall, allowing the locked door to open even though the padlock itself is still locked.
No matter how good it is, a padlock isn’t a total solution, it can only be part of an overall security plan.