Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Best Overall: Desired Tools Padlock at Amazon
“Combination of zinc alloy and plated steel will resist attempts at cutting from anything but a grinder cutter or heavy duty lock cutter.”
Runner Up, Best Overall: Oria Combination Lock at Amazon
“Is rust and weatherproof, while the plated steel interior will keep people from damaging the locking mechanism.”
Best Budget: Master Lock 1561DAST at Amazon
“The hardened steel makes it difficult to bend, twist, or cut the lock with hands or basic tools.”
Best Combination Lock: Master Lock 653D at Amazon
“The shackle is 1/4 inch in diameter which is enough to resist most basic cutting tools.”
Best Dial Lock: Master Lock 1500iD at Amazon
“Makes it difficult for anyone looking over your shoulder to keep track of all the different turn changes.”
Best Keyed Lock: Master Lock 141D at Amazon
“Uses dual-locking levers to boost the resistance against prying and hammering.”
Best Password Lock: Master Lock 1534D at Amazon
“Three letters and one number dial will help you keep the password unique and easy to remember.”
Best Smart Lock: Master Lock 5440D at Amazon
“Unlock with your smartphone’s bluetooth connection or put in a traditional number code.”
Best Overall: Desired Tools Padlock
The security a lock provides comes from the materials and quality of its construction. A lock that isn't built tough on the inside and out can easily be damaged, cut or otherwise accessed with some effort and the right tools. The Desired Tools Padlock offers maximum protection for everyday uses like securing things at school, work, or the gym.
The exterior is a combination of zinc alloy and plated steel that will resist attempts at cutting from anything but a grinder cutter or heavy duty lock cutter. Using the lock is simple with a four digit code that offers up to 10,000 possible combinations. Since it is light but strong, this is a good one to choose if you don't want to take up too much space when you store it.
Runner Up, Best Overall: Oria Combination Lock
The Oria Combination Lock takes a similar approach to security as other top combination locks. Four digits offer 10,000 possible combinations and better security than anything with three digits like traditional dial locks. The zinc alloy exterior is rust and weather proof, while the plated steel interior will keep people from damaging the locking mechanism.
The main difference between this one and other options on the list is this one comes in double. As a two pack, you will have either a spare or two to use for different things. Either way, two for the price of one isn't a bad way to go when you want value.
Best Budget: Master Lock 1561DAST
Budget locks can be hit or miss since their quality often depends on the materials and construction used by individual brands. Master Lock, however, is one of the best companies in the industry. As a result, you can put a lot of faith in the Master Lock 1561DAST. While it is cheap, that doesn't mean it is flimsy.
The hardened steel makes it difficult to bend, twist, or cut the lock with hands or basic tools. The combination dial offers three digits which is enough for everyday applications like locking up lockers and cabinets. Take note, because this one lacks weather protection, it is best used indoors.
Best Combination Lock: Master Lock 653D
Combination locks are quick and simple to use. While it is theoretically possible for someone to figure out the combination, the likelihood shrinks with the number of digits the lock uses. The Master Lock 653D uses four chrome plated dials to make it difficult for anyone to guess the combination or to physically damage the dials to get access to the lock.
The thing that sets this combination lock apart is its superior construction: an extra thick two inch steel body that is durable. The shackle is 1/4 inch in diameter which is enough to resist most basic cutting tools. Finally, the little details like padded sides and bottom make this one comfortable to hold.
Best Dial Lock: Master Lock 1500iD
A dial lock offers one major advantage over usual combination locks: it is extremely difficult for someone to watch you as you use it. While combination locks will show your combination once you open it, dial locks force you to twist and turn the dial in a specific manner as you enter the digits. The Master Lock 1500iD can make it difficult for anyone looking over your shoulder to keep track of all the different turn changes, making it more secure and faster to use safely.
To increase the durability of the lock, the 1500iD also features anti-shim locking technology that will resist physical attempts to get access. This is especially important for the locking mechanism since dials are traditionally vulnerable to being pried open with a tool.
Best Keyed Lock: Master Lock 141D
A keyed lock is one of the most secure types of locks. The key makes it impossible for anyone to guess or force open a combination lock. Even if the key is lost or stolen, it can still be difficult to match up the correct lock and key. The Master Lock 141D offers this level of security at a budget price. Covered in black vinyl to resist scratches, the interior is a hardened steel shackle that will resist common attempts to cut or damage.
The key works by pushing four separate locking pins into their correct positions. The lock uses dual locking levers to boost the resistance against prying and hammering as well as lock picks.
Best Password Lock: Master Lock 1534D
If number combinations are difficult to remember, you may have better luck with a password combination lock. The Master Lock 1534D works in the same manner as number-based combination locks, but replaces numbers with letters for you to use. Three letters and one number dial will help you keep the password unique and easy to remember.
Best of all, this lock is also customizable to help you remember the password. Each dial is removable so you can arrange and organize the letters and numbers to form any letter/number combination you want.
Best Smart Lock: Master Lock 5440D
Technology has taken the simple lock to the next level with smart locks. Using a smartphone, you can monitor a lock like the Master Lock 5440D anywhere and unlock it without the need of keys or combinations. This lock keeps things simple with a keypad in case you forget your smartphone. Unlock the 5440D with your smartphone’s bluetooth connection or put in a traditional number code.
The lock includes an interior storage compartment for anything small you want to keep safe. This type of lock is common in real estate to store keys and access cards. As a lock, the 5440D is also good for common uses like securing chains, doors, lockers, and other things you want to protect. The lock’s app even will let you share temporary or permanent access to other people while monitoring the lock’s status.
Opening mechanism The first thing you’ll want to consider when buying a lock is how it’s opened. Today, most models use either a key or a combination of numbers or letters. While keys are technically more secure, dials tend to be more convenient, as you don’t have to carry a key around. However, there are also smart locks that you unlock with your phone. The best option depends on your particular needs.
Location Where will you be using your lock? In particular, you’ll want to consider whether it will be inside or outside, as some locks are not weatherproof and may rust or otherwise deteriorate when exposed to harsh conditions.
Durability Locks come in varying degrees of durability and security. The thicker the shackle, the tougher it will be for someone to cut through. Keep in mind, however, that more durable, heavy-duty locks often cost more than inexpensive, lightweight locks. If you’re protecting something valuable, you may want to spend a little extra for a better lock, but if you’re just locking a locker, for instance, a budget option may work just fine.