Which portable padlock to select to secure your belongings?

Match a padlock’s size and quality to the value of the property you want to protect. For top security, buy a pin-tumbler cylinder padlock with a case-hardened steel shackle and a laminated steel or solid brass body; look for the word “hardened” on the shackle.

The best, most expensive, locks have a five-pin cylinder and a double locking mechanism that independently locks each leg of the shack-le. If you’re using a group of padlocks, buy them keyed alike. Outdoors, use a corrosion-resistant padlock with all brass or stainless steel parts.

A combination padlock provides medium security and convenience-there’s no key to be lost. Look for reinforced double-wall constriction and a case-hardened steel shackle.

Use a padlock with a laminated steel body to protect property of limited value. These medium-priced, low-security locks closely resemble pin-tumbler padlocks; you can tell them apart by their keys.

A cheap, wrought-steel shell pad-lock is easily forced open. Use it only for nuisance protection-to keep a child out of a toolbox, for example, or to restrict access to a cabinet.

Select a hasp that matches the pad-lock in size and quality. Look for hardened steel construction, a non removable pin, beveled edges, and hidden screws.