Choosing a Lock for a Storage Unit

When renting a storage unit, remember that security is key and to always research the company before signing a lease. You want to be sure you are choosing a secure storage facility – most facilities take security extremely seriously and use things like closed-circuit security cameras, coded gates and much more. Of course, nothing is completely foolproof and it is still possible, however unlikely, that someone might try to gain access or break in to your unit.

This is where choosing the right lock for your unit comes in.

Choosing the right lock is going to add an additional line of security for your belongings making them that much more secure. Let’s look at the features of some of the most common lock types:

Disc Lock

A disc lock looks exactly as it sounds. The lock comes in a circular design and offers a very small opening for where the lock opens and closes. Outside of the lock, it works in the same basic manner as a padlock, as you need a key to unlock the lock, which opens the metal bar at the top of the lock, allowing you to slide the disc lock in and out of the hand on your storage unit.

disc lock on storage unit

Cylinder Locks

Cylinder locks are the most secure locks available. They cannot be cut and are storage unit doors are built specifically to work with these types of locks.  The lock works similar to how your front door locks at home with the lock held inside the storage unit.


Padlocks have a heavy duty base and an elongated ‘loop’ arm that opens and closes when the lock is engaged. The loop gives you added space for using with the storage unit, and different padlocks either use a key or a code that you select in order to open or close the lock.

storage padlock with key

Closed-shackle Padlocks

A closed-shackle padlock at first glance looks like a traditional padlock.  The difference is that the base at the top of the lock (the part shaped like a ‘U’) is shorter and thicker making it more secure than a standard padlock.

A lock is only as good as its weakest link. You need to look at not only the large, thick base of the padlock, but also the size and thickness of the arm that engages and moves to secure the lock.

Some padlocks have large loops for easy usage, but this is the weakest area of the lock. This makes it very important to select a lock with the smallest locking arm. The most secure and recommended option is a cylinder lock.

Keep your belongings safe by choosing a secure storage facility and adding an extra line of defense with the right lock.