Locks that don’t protect you properly are a danger to you and your valuables. Of course, no lock can provide perfect security. However, there are some that just don’t do what they ought to at all. Many lock brands promise that their locks will prevent some method of picking, and they fail to do what they claimed. All of these locks have been guilty of this, so read on and take note.

Master 175

Master 175

The Master Lock 175 is opened by rotating four wheels. However, four wheel padlocks can be easily decoded. All someone has to do is use a tool like a feeler gauge and insert it into the sides of the wheels. At this point, you just move the wheels together until the code is revealed. An even simpler way to open this lock is to bypass the combination altogether. Just press the shackle on the padlock and shimmy a thin tool above the wheels. Be sure to insert the pick at an angle – let go of the shackle and the lock should open. Here we give you 10 better padlocks.

Abus ZB

Abus ZB

Like the Master 175, the Abus ZB has a four-wheel combination lock.. It also has a similar bypass procedure. In the case of Abuse however, bypassing the lock is slightly more challenging. In order to get past Abus’ anti-shim barriers, your tool will need to be modified slightly in order to get in. Once your tool is inserted, you’ll need to depress the shackle and wiggle the pick above the lock’s third wheel. At least this lock can’t be shimmied like the Master Lock 175.

Mul-T-Lock MT5 Thumbturn

Mul-T-Lock MT5 Thumbturn

If only the Mul-T-Lock MT5 Thumbturn didn’t have that last part. Without the thumb turn, the MT5 is actually a rather im[impressive lock – very hard to pick. The lock can be bypassed by manipulating the thumb turn actuator. A thief needs only insert a specialty tool and push it beyond the pins until it hits the actuator for the thumb turn. From there, it’s simply rotation. For a lock that is otherwise very high security, this loophole is a disappointing addition.

U-Change

U-Change

The U-Change isn’t very special regarding security. It can be picked with relative ease, but there’s an even easier way to bypass this one All a thief needs is a bypass key and a key blank that fits into the lock or, even better, a U-Change By-pass kit. Can you imagine protecting valuables with a lock that has a kit specifically designed for breaking into it? That alone tells you that the U-Change is not a very reliable lock at all.

Kwikset SmartKey

Kwikset SmartKey

The Kwikset SmartKey has gotten a lot of heat from the industry. Overall, it’s just not a great lock. However, this lock is used very commonly in households, which is why folks need to know its weaknesses. This isn’t hard, as the Kwikset SmartKey has a method of forced entry that is easy to find online. Although this lock is hard to pick and bump, the SmartKey lock cylinder can even be opened by hitting it a few times with a hammer. Although most of the methods to open a SmartKey are destructive, there is a specific tool that can be bought to open one in a bump-style method.

Abus 82

Abus 82

The Abus 82 is part of a series and it comes in many different sizes. Shutter padlocks themselves aren’t inherently bad, like four-wheel combination locks. It’s the internal mechanisms of Abus 82 that pose a problem. These locks aren’t very difficult to pick, but even worse, there’s a bypass. A thief can use a sharpened steel pick to manipulate the actuator, like with the Mul-T-Lock MT5 Thumb turn. The reason this bypass is effective? The brass actuator cannot stand up to a pick of a harder metal, in this case, steel.

Schlage SecureKey

Schlage SecureKey

When it first came out, Schlage claimed that SecureKey was bump-roof. Since then, this lock has proven to be very bumpable as well as easily re-keyable. When a criminal re-keys a lock, it means that they can use a bump key to pen the lock as well as rekey it to his liking afterward. These keys are also easily identified by criminals, as Schlage engraved each SecureKey with a plus above the keyway. Thankfully, the lock has been discontinued because of this. If you happen to have one on your door though, just know that your lock is a liability no longer in production because it did not perform as promised.

American Lock 5200

American Lock 5200

The American Lock 200 isn’t easily picked. It’s core is similar to that of the Mul-T-Lock MT5, which we know is a pretty decent lock without the thumb turn addition. However, this lock has a piece that makes bypass possible, and it is installed in every one of it’s locks. A bypass tool made specifically for manipulating the cam of this lock can be purchased with ease.

Master Lock #3

Master Lock #3

We’ve all seen the Master Lock #3. It’s almost like that signature blue banding on the bottom shouts, “Hello! I’m easily compromised!” These locks can be found everywhere, and they are one of the worst padlocks for security. Even the most ‘difficult’ method for picking this lock will open it in seconds. Kids do so in the lunchroom as a sport. It’s sad, because many people have lost something valuable to them due to the sheer ineptitude of this lock.

Android Pattern Lock

Android Pattern Lock

At first glance, these locks seem pretty capable, as they are not at all physically breakable. One would need to have some knowledge of bio-metric technology or chemical engineering in order to crack the case on these. However, you don’t need to know any of that stuff to break into one of these locks. All you have to do is factory reset it. This is done by holding down the power button and volume buttons at the same time, once the phone is off. The System Recovery Screen will come up, and all a criminal must do is navigate the menu in order to wipe away all of the data on the phone. At least they won’t be able to see your information before it disappears.

Conclusion

I didn’t put this together to scare you. Now that you’re informed, be sure to think twice when considering new locks or your homes or for the places where you keep your valuables. This information is meant to make you aware of the dangers so you can better avoid them.  At least you know now: whoever told you, “A lock is a lock is a lock,” was sorely mistaken.