We supply a lot of padlocks for school lockers and we’ve learned a thing or two in the process. Over the years we’ve gone from simply supplying locks to manufacturing, testing and providing advice to schools, universities and colleges worldwide. Here is what we have learned:

Master keys for your padlocks

A master key is a special key that will allow you access to the locker even if you don’t know the combination or have a spare key. Having a master key means three things:

  1. Firstly, as a school you can inspect a locker should you need to gain access for whatever reason; Security, safety, key loss or in an emergency.
  2. You want to avoid having to bring in the bolt cutters every time a student looses a key. It is time consuming and wasteful.
  3. If you do have a master key, then ideally you want to be continue to use that padlock afterwards and reissue it to the same student or maybe another one.
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Until recently you could get 1 & 2 but 3 was lacking. We have worked closely with a British manufacturer called SHIELD to get all 3 on the wishlist. What resulted was a padlock designed entirely for schools in the UK.

It allows you to issue the padlock, the student sets their own code and you can use a dedicated masterkey to open any of the padlocks and reset the code for reissue if you wish. Perfection!



Security and Reliability

You would expect any padlock would be fit for purpose. Not the case in our experience. Over time we have weeded out anything we feel will come back and bite us or compromise security. Here is what you need to watch for:

  1. Key Variations – We call these ‘differs” and there needs to be enough differs or variations in a set of similar locks to ensure students are unlikely to find another padlock with the same key. Schools are especially problematic with students being both crafty and curious. You will be shocked to know how many padlocks are sold to schools with only 30 key variations! We have a database of the all the brands and know which have a minimum of 250 differs which we use as our minimum starting point.
  2. Combination Cracking – Combination locks are notorious to being liable to cracking the code. Mostly these are the types that come out of China but again school students are very good at this. The combination locks we sell are impervious to their inquisitive minds and again we have discounted many types in the process.

Below are two example of keyed padlocks will enough differs and combination padlocks with anti-crack mechanisms.




Anti crack, Germany made, Low price



Lightweight, reliable, Master key available