Aimed at: Anyone who needs a high quality padlock that both looks the part is very secure.
Pros: Use of ne Titalium makes for both lightness and strength.
It is a truism that security is only as good as the weakest point – and in my observations, the badly fitted hasp and staple or sliding bolt held on with nails are quite common on sheds and gates up and down the country. For these situations it would be pointless fitting one of the ABUS TITALIUM padlocks I was sent for review. With an ABUS security rating of 8/10 they are definitely not the weak point.
Handling the locks and working the keys makes one aware of just how up to date these padlocks are compared with some we commonly see on the market.
Firstly, the bodies are made from TITALIUM, an alloy developed by ABUS that consists largely of aluminium and titanium (hence the name) that is not only light but also extremely tough. The body exteriors of the locks are specially plated against corrosion, as well as being ground smooth, so that attacks with hammers and bars are more likely to bounce off than break the lock.
Just looking at the engineering of the bodies, it is clear that each has been milled from a single solid block of TITALIUM, so there are no seams or joints for a potential thief to exploit.
Secondly, as far as I could tell, the lock mechanisms are inserted tightly, right into the body of the locks – again obviating any exploitable gaps or weak points. The complex double-sided key is slid into the mechanisms and can be inserted any way up, thus saving time and hassle. A complex key and matching lock mechanism also makes picking the lock quickly highly unlikely.
The all important shackles are another potential weak point, and no padlock I have used so far in my career has been proof against a cordless angle grinder, thin cutting disc and enough time. Thieves might not always have the time to use this noisy option, so it is a limited threat, but I have actually given up on the bolt cutter option when it became clear that I was more in danger of pulling a muscle than cutting the shackle. Those locks you see on the movies being cut with a flick of the bolt cutters must be specially made….
So just for devilment, I got out my bolt cutters to try to cut either of the two shackles. The Extra Classe 96 has a NANOPROTECT shackle that is designed to minimise access to it, so it is hard to get a bolt cutter near enough to engage the jaws. I did try very hard and managed to dent the shackle a bit, but there was no way I was going to be able to cut it.
On the Monobloc TI 98 the special alloy shackle is again difficult to access, and again I only made a dent on it with the bolt cutters.
One of the other security confidence builders is looking the part – and these two locks certainly do. With solid bodies and smooth exteriors they provide a deterrence factor by simply looking strong enough to repel all attacks.
These locks from ABUS may be an “old” security solution, but it is clear that the application of modern materials and design has made them still applicable in the 21st Century.