Best Locks for Storage Containers

best locks

Now that you’ve decided to use a portable storage container to store all of your extra belongings, you need to start thinking about the best lock that you can use to keep them safe and secure. Most locks will fall into two categories; a padlock or a combination lock. There are many locks to choose from between these two types, and before you decide, it is best to ask yourself a few questions first:

How Valuable is Your Property?

You could just bring in your old lock that has been keeping your backyard shed secure and use that, but you may want to consider some alternatives. While your shed lock works well on the shed right outside your window, you will want something more secure than that for a storage container that is not in view. While Porta-Stor facilities are secure, there is still a chance for someone to break in or vandalize your unit, especially if you are storing the container on different properties.

If you have made the decision to get a storage container to store some of your belongings, the chance that they hold some value is pretty good. Whether it’s pricey sports gear or sentimental items from your family, you want to keep everything protected. This is why a durable lock (not just that one from your shed) is important.

Where Will the Lock be Located?

Will your storage unit be inside or outside? You need to think of this as you choose a lock, because you will want a storage container lock that is tough enough to endure the outdoor elements. If a lock is not made for that, it can corrode over time due to moisture, cold, or heat, making it easier to break open. If your storage unit is outdoors, you will want to look into a brass or stainless steel lock. These metals will resist the elements better and last you much longer.

Types of Locks

Let’s go over the different types of locks out there, so you can make an informed decision on the right storage container lock for you:

Combination Locks

Combination locks have a set of numbers that must be turned in the right order for the lock to open. You can choose from a single-dial lock or a multiple-dial lock. Multiple-dial locks require the use of several combinations for the lock to open up, and most of the time the single dial lock actually offers better protection.

Single-Dial Combination Locks

This type of lock operates on a single sequence of numbers that need to be lined up on a rotating dial. These are typically opened by turning the dial in the correct sequence. When the correct sequence is used, you will hear a click indicating that the lock can be opened with a single tug.

Multiple-Dial Combination Locks

These locks use several rotating discs with notches cut into them. When the person that is operating the lock aligns the notches of the lock correctly, the lock can be opened. With the ability to better guess a multi-combination lock, it is less secure than the single combination lock.

It is usually best to use the multi-combination locks on things like bicycles and luggage and not on storage containers.


Using a padlock requires a key to both lock and unlock. They usually come with 2 keys. If you choose to use a padlock as your storage container lock, you need to be aware that the less expensive the lock, the poorer the quality of the materials. Using a poorly made lock will make it easier for someone to come and cut right through your lock. A good quality lock will have a harder shell and will have a double locking mechanism.

A high-quality padlock will require little maintenance and will be made of a harder brass or stainless steel. This is a great option if you have a storage container outside.

Handy Locks

These are the least expensive padlocks and are typically made with softer metal. The handy lock is not one that is recommended for use with a storage container, since they can easily be broken into. These are the types of locks that you usually see on gym lockers or bicycles.

General-Purpose Locks

A general-purpose lock offers more resistance to break-ins than the handy lock and is usually made of brass or stainless steel. The design of these locks offer better security and better protection from being cut open.

High Security Padlocks

Using a high security padlock means you are getting the most secure padlock you can find. It is made of the harder shell using brass or stainless steel. These locks have more pins inside the mechanism than most other locks, giving it the highest security.

Purchasing a lock will run you anywhere from $2 to $25, and some commercial-grade padlocks can run you up to $100. It can be worth the higher price if you want the best security possible for your belongings. No matter which lock you choose, just make sure you look into all options and purchase the best storage container lock for you. They all have their pros and cons, and there is sure to be one that fits your needs.

If you want more information on storage, check out Porta-Stor’s other blogs, such as this one that goes over the benefits of renting a portable storage container for events and parties!