Sheds are great for storing dangerous tools away from children and can keep unused tools from cluttering your workshop during projects. But sheds are also a target for thieves because folks don’t watch over sheds in the same way they watch over their homes.
You can protect your shed by locking it up with a padlock like our top pick ABUS Diskus. This stainless steel disc lock shows exceptional endurance against physical damage and the elements. While it’s an expensive lock, it’s a solid line of defense between thieves and your expensive tool collection.
Read on to learn about the best locks for sheds. If you want a lock for your home, we suggest checking out our reviews on door locks and smart locks.
We combed through dozens of products and reviews to find five locks we think are ideal for protecting your shed—and valuable contents—from eager hands. We also researched industry standards to get a baseline for each lock’s security and how it performs.
In general, we ignored locks that cost less than $30 because they don’t usually offer very robust security. Our top five shed locks all use keys rather than combinations since most combination locks we found were limited to light-duty uses like securing lockers indoors. Still, we mention a couple of combination locks in our list of other locks we considered.
During our research, we consistently found glowing reviews for the ABUS Diskus. This disc-type padlock protects its shackle with a cover that makes it difficult to break with a bolt cutter. For extra security, there’s also an anti-cut plate inside the lock to help protect against drilling and sawing.
This lock’s stainless steel body and shackle accumulate less rust, which can compromise padlocks left out in the elements. We like that there’s a small rubber cylinder cover that keeps dust and water out of the keyhole. The 6-pin cylinder uses a unique design with discs instead of traditional locking pins. Because the discs work differently than pins, it’s harder to pick this lock.
We found two flaws with the ABUS Diskus during our research. First, this expensive lock sometimes costs $60 or more, which could be overkill for a shed.
The second flaw is that this shed lock uses a proprietary security rating that doesn’t align with recognized industry standards. Without industry standards, we need to rely on user reviews and can’t make direct comparisons with other brands as easily.
But even with a lack of transparency on ABUS’s part, we recommend this lock to secure your shed. Ultimately, the ABUS Diskus stands out for its real-world performance, which is all that really matters to most folks.
Costing around $30, the Master Lock ProSeries 6230N isn’t necessarily a cheap lock, but it’s an affordable commercial-strength padlock that’s suitable for most sheds.
You can save money by buying up to eight keyed-alike locks. These all use the same key, which means less weight on your keychain. Using one key, you can lock the door to your shed and also lock down tools inside the shed with the other locks.
This lock uses a boron alloy and Master Lock’s BumpStop cylinder design to achieve a Grade 6 ASTM security rating, the best rating a padlock can have. And it’s resistant to physical attacks and bump keys (which typically make it easier to open locks without a key).
The Master Lock ProSeries 6230N has chrome plating that makes it resistant to rust, though it’s not immune to wet conditions. You might consider using this inside your shed or on a shed door with some sort of overhang above it to shield it from the elements.
The shackle on this lock lacks any sort of shroud (an external cover that reinforces the lock), so it’s more vulnerable to bolt cutters than other padlocks in our top five. But it’s still strong enough for most folks. Check out the Stanley Hardware CD8820 for a shrouded lock at a similar price if shrouding is a must-have feature for you.
ASTM security grade 6
Cheaper in multi-packs
What is lock bumping?
Locksmiths (and sometimes thieves) often use a technique called bumping to open locks without a key. They insert a special tool called a bump key into the keyhole and tap it with a hammer to jolt the pins into unlocking the lock.
Consider a deadbolt like the Schlage B60N instead of a padlock if you have a wooden shed with solid-core doors. Deadbolts are easier to use than padlocks because you can open them with one hand. So you can get into the shed without putting your tools down. We also like that deadbolts don’t have a vulnerability to bolt cutters.
The Schlage B60N has a Grade 1 ANSI/BHMA rating, the highest a deadbolt can have, so it’s durable enough to withstand burglars looking to break into your shed. Because it uses standard keys, it’s cheap and easy to make copies at your local hardware store for each family member that needs to get in the storage space.
Looking to lighten the load on your keychain? You can also have a locksmith rekey all of your Schlage deadbolts to use the same key, so the house key also opens the shed. And Schlage provides a lifetime warranty that covers the mechanical components and exterior finish on all of its deadbolts.
ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 security rating
Easy to make extra keys
Requires solid-core door
When to use a deadbolt on your shed
We recommend using a deadbolt if your shed has a door similar to your home’s front door. You can also use this deadbolt on solid wood doors at least 1 3/8 inches thick, though you might need to drill holes to install the door lock if there aren’t any.
4. Master Lock ProSeries 6271N: Best hidden shackle padlock
Hidden shackle padlocks, like the Master Lock ProSeries 6271N, are some of the most durable types of locks for sheds. This lock hides its shackle on the back, where a bolt cutter can’t get to it, eliminating the fastest method for bypassing padlocks. Additionally, the puck-shaped design has a thick steel body that’s resistant to sawing and drilling.
The locking mechanism uses a 6-pin cylinder to prevent lockpicking, particularly bump keys that thieves sometimes use to jolt padlocks into unlocking.
Because this lock has a strange shape, it works best with a special hasp that encloses the sides of the lock and helps you attach it more easily. You need to be extra careful when installing the hasp so that the lock will fit. Attaching the padlock to the hasp can be difficult since you need to press the lock to the hasp while getting proper alignment for the lock to engage.
While we found a combo pack that includes both the ProSeries 6271N and its hasp, it doesn’t come with the bolts, nuts, and washers you need to attach to a shed door. These aren’t expensive parts, but they’ll require a trip to the hardware store.
The Stanley Hardware CD8820 is another lock that gets a lot of praise from user reviews. It has a durable shrouded body that resists tools and partially covers the shackle to protect against bolt cutters.
This lock has a 6-pin cylinder that makes lockpicking more difficult for thieves. This robust design helps qualify for an ASTM Grade 5 security rating, the second-highest rating on padlocks.
Unfortunately for the Stanley Hardware CD8820, we found there was practically no customer support should you need help with your lock. We couldn’t find any mention of this lock—or any padlocks—on the Stanley Black and Decker website. The only official mention of the lock is a PDF brochure from 2012 that lists two now-defunct websites.
Based on this evidence, we’re unsure if the company still makes padlocks, but there’s no active marketing online to say if this is the case. Even without customer support and a warranty, you can still buy the lock on Amazon. We think the Stanley Hardware CD8820 is an excellent padlock for sheds and a solid alternative to our budget pick: the Master Lock ProSeries 6230N.
Shrouded body resists tools
ASTM security grade 5
6-pin cylinder resists lockpicking
Practically no customer support
What is a shrouded lock?
A shroud is essentially armor for locks. This armor is stronger than the other materials in the lock and makes it more difficult to damage the lock. Shrouds generally protect the entire lock, but their main use is stopping bulky bolt cutters from directly touching the shackle.
More locks we considered
Brinks Commercial Discus Lock
The Brinks 673-70001 Commercial Discus Lock (about $12) is a budget alternative to the ABUS Diskus. Still, it has only a 4-pin cylinder, and there isn’t much information online about its capabilities and security rating. Still, we like that it has a rubber cover that keeps it from scratching painted doors on sheds as an all-metal lock would.
The Kwikset 660 (about $17) is a cheaper deadbolt alternative to the Schlage 60D. This ANSI/BHMA Grade 2 deadbolt isn’t as durable as the Grade 1 Schlage but is still more than capable of protecting your shed. Your personal preference is probably the deciding factor between the two locks since you might choose this deadbolt if you already have Kwikset locks at home.
Master Lock 875D Combination Lock
The Master Lock 875D Combination Lock (about $20) is one of the few combination locks that stood out during our research. With this lock, you can set your combination for easy access without a key. This heavy-duty lock is weather resistant but can deteriorate over time like any outdoor padlock in harsh conditions.
Yale P89 Deadlocking Nightlatch
The Yale P89 Deadlocking Nightlatch (about $22) falls into a category of locks known as rim latches. Rim locks work similarly to a deadbolt, but fit on thinner doors, making them a good choice for sheds. We recommend rim latches in instances where you want deadbolt functionality but your wooden shed door isn’t thick enough for a standard deadbolt.
Hasps are the hinged plates that allow you to secure doors with a padlock. While they aren’t particularly complex, they’re a vital part of padlock security. Here are five hasps worth checking out for your shed if you don’t already have one:
We think the ABUS Diskus is the best lock for protecting all of the gear inside your shed. Its robust stainless steel body can withstand attacks and adverse weather conditions to keep all but the most determined thieves out. It’s an expensive but worthwhile investment.
In any case, a shed door lock is a wise addition to any outbuilding. Beyond a lock, we recommend locking up gates on your property and possibly setting up outdoor security cameras with a direct view of the shed so you can see trespassers before they get too close.
Shed lock FAQ
Do shed locks work?
Locks, like all security devices, have two functions that can protect your shed:
Deter: A lock can scare away opportunistic thieves looking for an easy score. If a thief can’t get in your shed quickly, they’ll move on.
Delay: With enough time and the right tools, no lock is impervious to damage. But every added second increases the chances of a thief giving up or getting caught.
How do ASTM security ratings work for padlocks?
Padlocks—like most of the products on this page—use a standard from ASTM International, an organization that develops technical standards for a variety of products.
These ratings start with Grade 1 as the lowest rating and end with Grade 6 as the highest. Higher grades are more resistant to physical attacks like twisting, cutting, sawing, pulling, drilling, freezing, and impacting the body and shackle.1
At least one padlock brand on our list doesn’t use ASTM ratings for its products: ABUS. Instead, the company uses a rating scale it developed: the ABUS Global Protection Standard. This scale starts at Level 1 and goes up to Level 10 for its highest score.
Because the ABUS rating scale doesn’t align with the ASTM scale, it’s challenging to compare ABUS locks with other brands in any meaningful way. The biggest reason to use an internal scale is that ABUS can bypass the testing costs of qualifying for an ASTM rating, even if its products likely qualify for high ratings.
How do ANSI/BHMA security ratings work for deadbolts?
Deadbolts—like those from Schlage, Kwikset, and Yale—have a different design than padlocks, resulting in different security standards. The organizations that determine deadbolt strength are the American National Standards Institute and the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (ANSI/BHMA).
ANSI/BHMA ratings use a descending scale with Grade 3 as the lowest and Grade 1 as the highest.2 Grade 1 locks work in commercial settings and can take the most abuse from tools and brute-force attacks before breaking.
*Amazon.com list price as of 05/29/2020 at 11:10 a.m. (MT). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.
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Written by John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist with over seven years of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech. Before joining SafeWise in 2020, John was an editor for Top Ten Reviews specializing in home security and the smart home. Learn more